Sunday in the cold rain

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Today was one of those days that the weather was cold and rainy. Many people ask why we still serve in such weather. I remind them that Hunger and those in need, are still in need even though the weather is miserable. We are still there for anyone who shows up. If we serve one or we serve a hundred we will still be there for them. To everyone who came down today……..Thank You!

Two sets of Rules

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An old blog showed up in my feed this morning and I thought I would share it again. I still remember that day and sad to say, nothing has changed….there is still two sets of rules.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2011

Two Sets of Rules

Over the years of serving those without homes, I have learned that there are unspoken rules for those who have and for those who have not. After I picked my son up from roller derby practice Monday night, I saw another example of that. It was late and we had not had dinner and decided to stop and grab a burger on the way home.

I stopped at one of local burger chains and as we went inside, there were two gentlemen who had came in as well. Both older, clean and well dressed, the only difference you could see between the two was the fact that one was carrying a backpack. The one with the backpack sat in a back corner, in a spot were no one could see him except those entering or leaving from side door. The other sat in the middle of the place in full view of anyone coming or going. The one in the back corner began playing a game of solitary and the other asked for a glass of water and sat to read the paper.

As we waited for our order, I had noticed that I knew the man in the back corner from the park and I waved and got ready to go over and talk to him. As I started over the manager of the place came out from behind the counter and started to speak to him, so I decided I would wait until she was done talking to him. My son stood with me talking to me about practice, but I kept my ear tuned to the conversation in the corner. As the conversation in the corner started to heat up, I found myself slowly inching closer to hear, my son sat down and just shook his head. I asked him “What?” He just laughed and said “We are going to be here for awhile.” Okay so by now my son knows me well enough that I can’t walk away in a situation like that.

As the manager left I walked over to ask what the problem was and what was going on. Our park guy said he came in to wait for his wife to get off work. Let me give you a little back ground on our park guy. He has lost his job and has not been able to find work. His wonderful wife has been able to find work, part time at a radio station just down the street from the burger joint. Because of only part time work, the only place they have to stay is in the camper they have. Neither is on drugs or drinks. Very wonderful people who only are trying to make it in this world. Back to the manager, she had stated to him that he would have to leave, they there was a policy that stated that you could only stay in the place for thirty minutes, unless you were a paying customer. He explained that he was only waiting for his wife to get off work and would not be there long. She didn’t care and wanted him out. If he didn’t leave she was going to call the police.

Now besides my son, myself, the other older gentleman reading the paper, the only other person in the place was our park friend. I asked the manager “If this gentlman has to leave, then why is the other not asked to leave as well?” “That’s different, he comes often and is not bothering any of the costumers.” She stated. I asked her “what costumers are being bothered by our friend sitting in the corner, there is no one in here.” “It’s just different for him” she stated.

“So let me get this right. Our friend can’t stay because he is not a paying costumer and the other can stay because he asked for a glass of water that he didn’t pay for?”

“Yes, it’s different” she said.

“So were is your policy posted that you can only stay thirty minutes unless you are a paying customer?”

Once again she didn’t have a straight answer and could not show anywhere that it was posted. I asked how someone was to know that policy just walking in off the street, still no answer. She then stated that he needed to get out and promptly walked off. So I promptly walked over to our friend reached in my purse and pulled a five-dollar bill. Are you hungry or thirsty I asked him? No, I just wanted to wait for my wife; she will be off work soon. I said go buy something to drink, even if you don’t drink it and sit back down, you will then be a paying customer and they won’t have any reason to ask you to leave. He smiled, took the bill and walked to the counter. The same lady looked at him and refused to take his order, so my son and I stood with him until someone waited on him. Finally someone took his drink order and we all sat and chatted for a while.

My son and I had to leave, but as we were leaving our park friend handed me back the change from the drink. I told him to please hold onto it and if she came back to make him leave again, go over and buy something else and you just keep doing that until your wife gets off work. We laughed, hugged and left, telling our friend that we would see him soon.

Now before anyone gets upset, I do know that restaurants can’t just let people come in and hangout. They are there to make money. My point to all this is we have two different people doing the same thing. Coming in to a place that is pretty much empty, neither buying anything and both minding their own business in different parts of the restaurant. One who did not buy anything, but has been in from time to time is allowed to stay. The other because he is homeless was asked to leave. She stated he was bothering customers (the only customers were us and he was not bothering us) and who was she to determine who was worthy enough to sit and stay inside?

Once again the unspoken rules for those who have and those who have not, for those who are accepted by society and those who have been rejected. When will we be begin to look at others and see the worth and beauty they have inside of them and not determine a persons value based on their appearance or what processions they may have?

Thanksgiving Meal in the Park

Well today was our Thanksgiving Dinner in the Park. There were so many who came to help out, as well as to make food for our friends in the park. Everyone had a great time and so many expressed their thanks for all you did. To see their eyes light up and the smile come across their face, makes it all worth it. So this is a week that we will sit at our tables with family and friends, giving thanks for all that is before you and what you have in your life. As you sit at that table, know that YOU are the one’s whom I am grateful for. I give thanks for your loving hearts and your generosity to give to others. Never asking for anything in return, only loving on people because they deserve to be loved. You do this not only in the park, but in every aspect of your lives. Because of you, this community is a better place. So, to you I say “Thank You.” I am blessed to have you in my life. May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and love.
To Jeff and Linda, you were missed today. Our prayers were with you.
Enjoy the pictures of our day.
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Thanksgiving Dinner and how you can help.

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Just a reminder that we will be having our Thanksgiving Dinner, for our friends without homes, in Ann Morrison Park on Sunday the 20th at 4:00 p.m. We will do a traditional thanksgiving dinner. We try to make our holiday meals a little extra special for our folks. Many have no family or friends to spend the holidays with. If you would like to help serve or help with a food item, please let me know. Below is a idea of what will be served. If you have any suggestions or ideas, let me know. Hey if you have any good, easy dessert recipes….you can send them my way!  Thank you in advance, you are appreciated.
Thanksgiving Dinner
Turkey–all ready have
Ham–all ready have
Potatoes–all ready have
Stuffing–all ready have
Gravy– will make from Ham
Veggies—-have the makings for a green bean casserole, but could use another veggie
Rolls
Desserts–have a few pies, but will need other desserts
Suggestions for anything else or sides……let me know

A day to grieve, but also celebrate a life

Today is a day I choose to spend alone with my thoughts, memories, grief and pain. A day filled with memories of a life taken to soon, a life that I will never get to see of the things that may have been. A day that a piece of my heart was ripped out, a day that the pain that surfaces much more on this day. It has been seventeen years ago today that my eldest son (who will be forever my baby boy) was taken from me. This week has been a hard reminder of the pain of losing child has on the heart. Sunday in the park, I was asked to keep the daughter of one of our friends lifted in prayer. She had lost their baby. Wednesday I was asked to stay late at work and help cover for a little while, as much as I didn’t want to, I stayed. I was approached by one of nurses as I was cleaning the dinning room. She started to talk to me, then just broke and as she stood there crying she expressed how her heart was still breaking over the loss of her son, a son she lost a few years ago. When I arrived home that evening, I found out that a dear family had lost their loving four year old son on Monday. I get upset at times at the thought that no parent should out live their child. Angry that a beautiful life that was once given to you, suddenly taken away. No parent should endure the pain that comes from loosing a child, a pain that will rock you to the core and question all you believe in. But it is the same belief that I find myself holding on too all these years.
So, today as I sit here with my grief and tears in my eyes, I find that a lot of that grief and tears are for those who have also lost their child. My ache in my heart is a ache that I know they are feeling. I wish I could tell them all will be right again, but it won’t. There will be forever a piece of your heart that will be missing. They say time heals, but I think over time you just learn to deal with the pain and choose to celebrate your child’s life. There will be times when you think all is all right and you can move forward, then you will be hit out of the blue and the pain and grief will come rushing in. When this happens and it will, hold fast to the knowledge that your precious child is residing in a place glory. They are walking the streets of gold with the Almighty, they are singing songs of joy, their home is now a place where they are whole and there is no sorrow or pain.
As the years pass, each day I find myself thinking of my son, but today is a day I grieve and hurt the most. At the end of day no matter how many tears I shed or cry out for my son, it will not bring my son back to this world. I know my son lives in a place of glory now and I would never want him to endure the pain of this world again, but I miss him and long to be with him. So I push through the pain and remind myself that my faith and beliefs tell me that one day I will be reunited with him, one day I will see his beautiful face, I will feel his warm embrace and one day I will hear those words I long to hear….”Welcome home Mom.”
To all of those who are suffering right now. Know you are not alone. My love goes out to you, and you will forever be in my prayers.
franklingravestone