Tag Archives: homeless

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Annie on my chair

Annie and Bootsie on my chair

Home. What we all long for. What some of us have. What some of us don’t have.

Home — what does it mean? Does it mean having a house, an apartment a condo? Does it mean having a large cardboard box for the homeless? Yes.

Or does it mean where we grew up, the house at the end (or the beginning) of the street. The house where we lived and laughed, cooked and cleaned, played Parcheesi, slept and sat at the dinner table…does this represent home to you?

For me, it did…for a long time. Now that house is sold, my parents are no longer living, and the four remaining children are all grown up with homes of their own. Very different homes. But homes they are, not just houses.

And what about the folks who have only a tent or huge appliance box as shelter? Do we ever think about them, want to help them? Or do we just walk by them when we see them holding out their hands.

Most of us have never seen these people’s living (if you can call it that) arrangements. No, those places are in a part of town (or under the bridge) that we don’t frequent.

I’ve seen these forlorn places. I’ve talked to the people who live there when I was getting information about the homeless situation in Atlanta. Unfortunately, the article was never published, as the small magazine it was to appear in went out of business.

I love my home today, and it has provided me with a very comfortable place to live and to heal — from my COPD, from lost loves and from the move of my beloved grandson to another city far away.  And though I never lived on the street, I almost did — several times. How sad I was then. And how blessed I am today.

I believe in counting my blessings each and every single day of my life. I don’t think about what I don’t have anymore. I only thank God for what I do have. That works for me. Do you do that, too?

Lots of people have a home, but they want a bigger one, a newer one, one with more land or one with less land. People grumble about mowing the lawn, repairing the roof, and washing the dishes or doing the laundry. People complain about a lot of things, but I think the world would be a much better and happier place if people sought ways to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters, spent less money on stuff and took some time off each week instead of working so many hours that they die of heart attacks at a fairly young age.

That’s it for me tonight. How about you? I would really love to hear your comments and thoughts on these things. I hope you’ll click the comment box. Have a blessed day.

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I’ve Been Thinking


This Christmas cactus in my home has bloomed three times since Thanksgiving!

Of course, the problem with thinking too much is that a person can often wind up with obsessing instead of just “thinking.” That’s happened to me, and it’s probably happened to you as well. I’ve not been obsessing about the following things, but I’ve definitely been thinking about them…

One of the things I’ve been thinking about is health. I wonder why some of us (me included) wait so long in our lives to develop and maintain good, healthy eating habits. At the same time, how is it that many of our parents had horrible eating habits (by today’s standards), yet still managed to live until they were 90 or more years old. Yet today, with all the health information available, many people die in their 60s or 70s. I keep thinking that maybe it’s because of all the pollution and food additives, as well as to the stress we put ourselves under by working 24 hours a day. What do you think?

Another thing I’ve been curious about is why we are cruel to each other. Here are some examples.

1. We have bullying in schools (of course, it’s always been that way, but now it’s coming to the attention of many people who either hid their heads in the sand or who chose to look the other way).

2. Many children totally disrespect their parents by the way they talk to them in the United States, but in Asia, most kids do not do that.

3. We are not always very nice to our friends. We act as if we are friends with someone, but then that person turns around and poof – the supposed friend has disappeared without rhyme, reason or even a simple “Goodbye; this relationship is no longer working for me.”

4. Some of us claim to be Christians. We go to church every Sunday, volunteer to cook the Wednesday night or other special occasion meals, help with the yard sales and send cards to other parishioners who are ill or grieving. Yet, we walk out of church and immediately start gossiping about so and so whose dress seemed totally inappropriate or asking the person we’re with if they’ve heard the latest news about x and y’s divorce and custody battle. We give money to support our church, but when we see a homeless person on the street, we turn our heads and make a fast track for wherever we are going…thus totally ignoring Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40 — “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

And one more thing – why has my Christmas cactus bloomed three times since Thanksgiving last year? lol – I sure do love these plants!

Anyway, I guess that’s enough for tonight. It seems that it’s been so long since I wrote a blog – another trip to the hospital and the days just fly by. But I’m out now and really paying attention to eating more healthily and using some natural remedies to help God heal me! (Not that He really needs any help, but I think you catch the drift!).

Have a blessed day and week and month and year. And please, please let me know what you think of any of these things – either by email or by leaving a comment!

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Slipping Through the Cracks


plant in sidewalk
Isn’t this a wonderful photo? I found it on morguefile.com. It was taken by giulian.

Luke 10:33 (NIV) But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

It’s hard to tell how old he is. His long, wavy brown hair is clean, and his reddened face makes me wonder if he is/was an alcoholic or just has weathered skin from being in the sun. His warm brown eyes belittle the rest of his appearance, which includes almost always dressing in camouflage.

I met him at the convenience store. Every night, night after night, week after week, month after month, he stands outside because once there was a robbery and he wants to make sure the women who work late at night into the wee hours of the morning are safe. The company doesn’t pay him to do this. He does it because it is his way of serving others.

His little red moped scoots down the road to his sparsely furnished house without air conditioning. His voice is soft and his grammar is pretty bad. He’s lived in Spartanburg all his life.

Being a writer, I’m always asking people questions. This drives my daughter nuts! She says, “Mom, you shouldn’t ask her such personal questions.”

I always respond with the same answer. “Well, Mol, I’m a writer and that’s what writers do.” If I had a dollar for every time we’ve had that short conversation, I’d probably be buying a home in the Hamptons.

Anyway, I needed an extra pair of hands and a strong back for my move in December 2010. I asked the gal at the store if she would trust him to help. She said, “Absolutely. We’ve never had anything go missing as a result of him being here.”

So I asked him if he would like to make some money, and he said “Sure” in his slow Southern drawl.

He did show up to help and did a wonderful job.

A few days later I saw him at the soup kitchen where I volunteer.

Fast forward to night before last. I had a car full of groceries and garage sale items I hadn’t unloaded yet. I was exhausted from running around, and it was getting late. I didn’t want to make 10 trips to the car, so when I saw him outside the store I stopped to ask if he would like to help. He agreed and came over, unloaded the car, hooked up my new flat screen TV (small for my office; I guess I’m finally in the 21st century now!).

Then we had dinner. I’d bought some fried chicken and potato salad. He wolfed it down. We chatted. He told me he’d had a job at a car wash in town for 20 years, but then he found a better job and then lost that one. He hasn’t had a job since and now does whatever work he can find. His friend lets him live in the house rent free.

He told me he doesn’t have food stamps, disability or any type of government assistance. Amazing. Seems like everyone these days gets that stuff, and some of them actually look like they live better than I do, taking vacations and so forth.

It used to be that when I would meet someone like him I would immediately take the person under my wing, try to fix and change them, and mostly feel self-righteous — as if I was God’s special messenger doing my part one person at a time.

I don’t do that anymore. I learned my lesson the hard way after getting ripped off by two people I tried to help…sometimes I’m a very slow learner.

He’s coming over today to do some planting for me because I just can’t get down on my knees right now. It’ll probably take an hour, and I’ll pay him $10 so he can have some money to put gas in the moped.

This man has slipped through the cracks of our society. So many have. One of my passions is helping the homeless. My dream is to renovate some of the old schools, mills, etc. around here and turn them into sustainable housing. I still have time.

Some people say you shouldn’t give people on the street money. Instead, they say you should buy them a meal. Over the years, some people have said to me, “Most of them are just alcoholics or drug addicts, OR (with a smirk) they’re mental cases, and THAT’S why you shouldn’t give them money. You can never be sure, you know? You never know what they might do to you.”

Though these people are partially correct, I ALWAYS give someting. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’ve been homeless so many times (never on the street, but very close).

Anyway, what do you do when you pass someone on the street who asks for money or you meet someone who is slipping through the cracks? Does it make you feel as good as it does me when you help someone else?

And, would you like to help me make my dream come true? Let me know what you could bring to the table (skills, money, who do you know, etc.) by emailing me directly.

Have a blessed day.

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