Friday, November 25, 2011

"Three Years And Counting................And....................Willy Wonka Jr....L.L.C....................."

Good Evening;
Well only 7 minutes to get 150 more hits/visitors and reach a total of 20,000 on this the 4th birthday of my little "Exercise In Exorcism" here.
I'm guessing it 'ain't gonna happen'!

Yep! It's been 3 years today since I started this journal, as a way to acknowledge the unsung generosity of all the people who have helped me and other folks out on the streets with donations of cash, food, clothes, etc. And most importantly by the simple act of a smile, a wave, a hello, all acknowledging our shared humanity.

I was reminded of all this yesterday, Thanksgiving, as I stood on the curb of the I-83 exit ramp to North Ave. After Tom dropped me off at the Light Rail terminus in Hunt Valley I rode the train down to North Ave. and took the bus to East Baltimore to see Monkey and grab some 'bupes'. I then took the bus back to I-83 and broke out my bag of 'reduced for clearance-$1.33 for 6' chocolate bars and my "Homeless, Please Help, Buy A Candy Bar....Suggested Donation $1.00" sign and hit the corner. It was about 12:10 pm. when I started and 1:40 pm. when I quit. (I couldn't stand any longer without taking a break because of my back and left leg, and when I did the junkie crew came by and took over.) In the 90 minutes I was out there, [of which about 30 were spent talking with the Moroccan guy selling flowers and stuffed animals who is an old acquaintance], I ended up with $20.00, and sold 12 candy bars. Some people gave $2.00 and a few did not want the candy. A number of people expressed their appreciation of the fact that their was an attempt at an exchange of goods for cash, rather than straight up begging or panhandling. Even though both sides were aware that it was not a perfectly equal exchange, monetarily, the "me to you/you to me" action added a sense of dignity to an act of charity, for both sides.

I had a few pleasant conversations with people stopped by the red light, some who bought/gave, and some who did not. I went up to the Starbucks in Mt. Washington on the train and left there at 4:00 pm. when they closed. I ran into my friend Ian from Whole Foods, who used to work at the fresh seafood department there before he took on a managers position at a new store in D.C. As we were shaking hands and saying goodbye he palmed me a $5.00 bill and said "Have A Happy Thanksgiving" and left before I could get untangled from the power cords and push the table away and catch him and give it back.
THAT is the kind of act for which I started my blog to show my gratitude.

I already mentioned Courtney's gift of a sweet potato pie when I got back up here to the Giant, and I just want to say 'thank you' again. It was much 'lighter' and sweeter than other sweet potato pies I've eaten, and yes there is still over half the pie

I fell asleep right after I signed off here yesterday, about 1:00 am., and slept like a rock until 6:00 am., when I got up to pee and take my morning meds. I went back to sleep, on purpose, until Noon...NOT on purpose. I had been thinking of going back down to the corner, but I was still extremely tired from 3 very late nights and very early mornings at Jenn's new place in Monkton. As it turns out, it was after 4:00 pm. before I got out of the sleeping bag, spending the whole day dozing-reading-dozing, until I HAD! to get up to run over to the Giant to use the bathroom, about 5:00 pm. After taking care of bodily functions and washing up I wandered through the food store puttering around and finding the best deals on something to eat.

Then back here to the shed to the TV and Jeopardy then "Ironman", and flipping through the channels until the news came on. I played on the laptop and half listened to 'Letterman' until the TV battery died.
(At the moment I can only plug in 2 items at a time because of the size of the AC adapter plugs on the cords...and the laptop does not have a usable battery)

Now it's 1:00 am. again, and my right foot is getting cold, so it's stand up and try to get circulation back and then slide into the bag to read the end of my book. Tomorrow I need to take another couple dozen chocolate bars from the anti-mouse-hanging-storage-bag and head to the corner and try to make some cash. Depending on how well I do then I'm taking Rachel to lunch later Saturday afternoon or Sunday.
I'm hoping to get there, make about $25.00 +/-, and get back early enough to see Rachel tomorrow. We are going to Quiznos so I've got that covered with the gift card already, I would like to get back to the corner on Sunday and catch the church folks both ways, to and from, it was usually a lucrative day, and especially so on this holiday. Strange as it may sound, there were times I really enjoyed being out on the corner when I was just simply panhandling,......and the positive response from the people I spoke to, and my own feeling of legitimacy on Thursday, with the chocolate bars, reinforced that.

I've got no cash coming in for at least 2 months from D.S.S., so I'm going to hope for mild weather and get out there as often as the competition allows. I won't take a chance when the junkie crew or the drunk guy(s) are there, not wanting to be linked to them by motorists, or, most importantly the police.

Okay, I've got to move around...NOW!!!... the foot is starting to have that burning/freezing sensation..............


And last, but certainly not least;
A sincere thank you to all of you who have been reading,
and commenting, e-mailing, FB messaging, and especially to those of you who took the time to stalk, I mean search out (lol!) and meet me.
I'm grateful for the gifts and donations, and an extra thanks to those
who bought a copy of 'TALESPINNER'.

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