I never knew the old man's name. I called his dog Me Too because the old man held a sign that said "Homeless. Hungry. Anything helps." and around the dog's neck, you'd often see a sign that said "me too". He stood on the same corner every day, he and his dog and his sign and his backpack and a large jug of water. He always had a smile. After he got to know us, he always had a joke for Sydney - "Did you hear about the cat that ate the ball of yarn? She had mittens". He told that joke more than once. And God bless her, Sydney laughed every time.
I'd pull up to the stoplight and he'd wander over to the car and we'd shake and chat for a few minutes. If I had money, he had money. And, so did Me Too. I found him sick one day, barely able to stand up in the heat. He was with a group at the time. I went home, and packed a huge bowl of cold pasta salad with chicken in it, an extra large juice bottle of ice water, and a can of dog food and Sydney and I took it back to them. And, I made my own family wait to get their supper that night.
Often, Rob will go buy a short stack of Wal-Mart gift cards and hand them out to the homeless. When he gave one to the old man, we found out that his camp had just been raided and the police had taken a box cutter to his tent, so the old man and Me Too were sleeping cuddled up under a tree. The gift card was enough to buy a tent. And, he was so appreciative, I thought he was going to cry.
One day, when I pulled up and we were chatting, he explained that he'd be gone for a month or so. He had prostate cancer and was going into the VA hospital. A veterinarian around the corner had agreed to board Me Too. About 5 days later, he was back on his corner. There was nothing the doctors could do.
A few weeks later, he stopped being regular on his corner. He was there sometimes, and at other times, it would be someone else from his group. Then, I didn't see him again. Then, I saw Me Too walking with somebody else.
Someone once told me not to give money to "beggars". They were only going to spend it on beer and smokes. My feelings are; that doesn't matter. I give them money to make me feel good and it's between me and my karma. If they chose to spend it on beer and smokes, that's between them and their karma. And, besides all that, who am I to judge that beer and smokes aren't the best use of the money to that particular person. God knows I have my crutches to help me deal with the hard realities of life. Even though my hard realities are nothing compared to the homeless'.
It's not charity. It's sharing my blessings. I like to create a relationship when I'm sharing. I stop to talk and to shake hands and to pet dogs. The couple I'm sharing with now is a man and woman who have a huge white dog with a brown patch around his eye. They're such a happy couple. Always laughing and joking and hugging and bumming smokes at the stoplight. Nothing inappropriate. Just happiness. If I have money, they have money. And, so does the dog with the brown patch around his eye. His name is Cisco. I made a point to find that out this time.
There have always been people that didn't fit into society. They've wandered the world for all time. Their stories are in the bible and there's a wandering "beggar" of some sort in almost every book since. I think the homeless are the wanderer's of our generation. No place to fit in. And, they end up alone. Standing on a corner. Homeless. Hungry. Anything helps.
If I've had a hard day at work and I'm really stressed out and angry, my mood changes immediately when I roll down the window and say something nice...Hey, man, how's it going? Hot enough for you? Hope this helps. Take care and have a good one.
Okay, that's enough of that heavy stuff for this Way Back Wednesday. Here's a pic of my Indian Orange Peel so far. This is the center of the quilt. To piece the border sections together, I had to pull paper from some of the pieces. Finally finished that and am now ready to get sewing again.
Y'all take care and have a great one. Lane