Monday, January 21, 2008

Ponderings, Musings and General Chatter

I spent a good bit of time on the phone with my cousin, Fred, up in Dallas on Saturday. It was absolutely wonderful to get to talk to him. He's got tons and tons of information and stories to share and I'm just flat out tickled to have family so close. Ok, maybe a lot of people might think that people who belong to my father's mother's father's side of the family are a bit far removed to consider family; but, I disagree. In my mind, they are very much family.

Heck, one cousin I consider as close as a sister is a bit more distant than that in the family tree. Let's eleven times great-grandaddy had two wives. The first wife's children is who she is descended from and I am from the second. Or is it the other way around? I'll have to go look. Needless to say, it amused us no end to find that out, since we'd been friends for years before we realized it. Even more amusing is that she is most likely a cousin to my son from both my side of the family and his father's side of the family. Closer on his father's, but still. What can I say? I'm easily entertained.

On a totally different subject...There is this homeless man who stands on the corner with a little sign that says "Lear jet out of fuel". It always makes me chuckle when I see it. That man is always there. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of days I've headed to work and he's not been there. And, every time, I worry about him. Is he ok? Did he have difficulty? Has he gotten sick? He's by no means young. He always has a smile and a kind word. And always nary a whiff of alcohol, nor a glaze in his eye. I don't ever recall having seen him smoking, either. He's always so sweet. And...he's always there. Day in and day out, he is there.

Today, it is cold and rainy out. Nasty weather. Yet, he walks up and down that little stretch of road with a smile and a kind word for everyone who takes the time to see him. Just see him. I'm not the only one won over by this gentle, old man. I saw someone the other day do something I do for him from time to time. She gave him her lunch. I, sometimes, stop for coffee on my way in to work in the morning. Almost every time I do so, I get him one too. Especially on days like today.

I want to make him this big, toasty scarf to be able to wrap up around his ears and lower face to help keep him warm - maybe brown with a darker brown jet worked into the end of it. Just because I want to do something for this man who inspires me. And, he does - if that man can be on that corner every weather like the age he is. I can sure as heck manage to survive in my comfortable office, sitting on my arse.

You know the one reason I hesitate to do such a thing for him, though? And, I find myself so ashamed of the comfortable people for this...but, if he had a nice scarf on, along with other warm clothes so he could more readily withstand the weather he braves every day...the thought that would go through people's minds who see him (and I dare any of you to deny it) is that he has money enough to afford something nice and how stupid would it be to pander to him even more?

Maybe he could get a job - even at his age - I don't know. I do know, if he did, whoever his employer was would have one of the most reliable employees they had ever had the good fortune to employ.

**Photo: Portait of Homeless Man in a Pensive State By: Leroy Skalstad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin,USA, Formerly Homeless. This photo looks much like the gentle man I am speaking of.