Sunday, May 25, 2008

Every Third Friday Ritual

If it’s been a while since you got some warm fuzzy feelings in your heart let me make a recommendation. My church, Peace Presbyterian, is responsible for feeding the folks at the homeless shelter the third Friday night of each month. For the past year of so I have been the coordinator of these events. It’s really not such a big deal to do this and if you do it in the right spirit you’ll get some of those “warm fuzzies” I mentioned earlier. Our local shelter is not that large, I think it houses about 100 people. Generally we only have about 70 mouths to feed on cold nights and about 55 during warm weather. Some of the faces you see are the same each time we are there but there are always some new ones. There is a good mix between young and old, black and white and male and female. Some faces show the lines etched by years of hard times and others look like they should be in a booth at Applebee’s. The thing that strikes me the most is the level of politeness shown by them all. I know this is the south and everyone says Sir and Ma’am but it goes beyond that. They will wait patiently for everyone to be served before coming back to the window to ask for seconds. We are supposed to stay in the kitchen and not mingle but I like to break that rule and go out and “work the crowd”. We usually have extra salad or cookies and I take the containers and go around heaping food on their plates. It’s a rare thing for it not to be eaten. I find myself wondering what happened during their day. What do you do all day when you’re homeless? My days are ‘wide open busy’ chasing from one job to another and time seems to fly by. When you’re homeless and unemployed how much time do you spend thinking about where you will “do lunch”? Think about this and then find a way to volunteer at your local homeless shelter and treat your heart to some “warm fuzzies”, you’ll be glad you did. I found this verse somewhere about 10 years ago and read it for the first time during some hard times in my life. Since that time I have carried a laminated copy in my wallet and every so often I take it out and read it over again. I learned that Saint Benedict wrote it many years ago. I’m sharing this simply because I think it is worth reading and considering…..interpret it any way that suits you………Crookedpaw

A S i m p l e R u l e

Live this life and do whatever is
done in a spirit of Thanksgiving

Abandon attempts to achieve
security…they are futile

Give up the search for wealth
it is demeaning

Quit the search for salvation
it is selfish

And come to rest in the certainty
that those who live
this life with an attitude of
Thanksgiving, will receive its full promise
Give unto others as you would have them give unto you

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Man’s Gotta Do, What a Man’s Gotta Do

Recently a distant acquaintance of mine made a really hard decision. I’ve never seen this dude face to face but have read his blog daily for the last year or so. He’s also shares the same occupation as my son, Lenslinger, so naturally I have an interest in his take on things. To say that this guy calls a spade a spade is putting it mildly. He tends to refer to these kinds of implements as a “f---ing shovel”. Therein lies the problem. Sooner or later this kind of behavior will come full circle and rare up and bite you in the ass. Some of you will realize by now that I’m talking about Rick Portier, much better known in the bloggersphere as the “Turdpolisher”. I first learned of Rick by reading “Viewfinder Blues” and seeing this strange name listed as a blog of interest. About this same time I made half dozen relief trips into Louisiana and developed a liking for some of the more colorful Cajuns that I came into contact with. I think Rick knew all along that sooner could come anytime but “Turdpolisher” was his horse and he was going to ride it `til it dropped. When the word came down that his every word was being monitored he wisely pulled the plug and started shopping for a new horse. “the turd had finally dropped”. I mean after all, “bis’ness is bis’ness” and someone’s gotta put some rice and beans on the table. I’m hopeful that he will come out of this mess with his meal ticket still intact and in a position to scan the horizon for a way to share his colorful take on life in a way that keeps him out of trouble. Maybe his new blog could be “Excretion Enhancer” or something like that. Crookedpaw