Central Meadowbrook

 

 

I really am fortunate to be where I am right now you know.  My mind is NOT filled with the busy-ness of the rat race and the matrix of society.

I am so grateful the experiences that I have- I get to see so many things.  I have seen the worst in humanity and I have seen the best.

my sunset

I live in an area, the town Mayor or some city official decided to call Central Meadowbrook.  It’s in the eastern central part of town.

 

In a low income apartment building, with the faint smells of the overflowing dumpster behind us and the sewer line that seems to keep plugging up.  I take a small trash bag with me whenever I take the little ones for their walk and pick up as I go along.

overflow

My babes haven’t been to the groomer in a very long time; they are looking a little shaggy, but Olive wouldn’t have it any other way.

olive 2

I have learned to use natural remedies to keep the fleas at bay, and they actually welcome being sprayed down.  It soothes their skin.

I have made best friends in a very short amount of time.  We are a village-we take care of each other and share what we got.

share

 

The Spur always takes me to a new adventure.

I am seeing so many things and meeting so many people.

 

I know I will have to go back to work the 8-5 – and when I do, I hope I don’t forget how to really live.

 

For those that read my stories, Thank you.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Elizabeth Joy

 

 

I was feeling off when I got up this morning.  I woke up at 5 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep.  It was still dark outside, so I did an early morning meditation in hopes to re-ground myself.

pups

When it was light enough out, I took the furry ones for their walk and continued to make coffee and get dressed so I could make my bus by 8:20.

It was threatening rain, so I grabbed my rain jacket, my lunch( I made extra for those that I would be sharing with), my tea and my bag with all of my other goodies that I carry with me.

spur bus

The bus driver got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and decided to take it out on my knee.  As I was looking for a place to sit, she punched the gas pedal and I fell into the metal frame around the seat.  Ouch….

At my transfer, I asked the next bus driver if she could tell me when we would be at the number 4 transfer so I could make it to my doctor’s appointment; she gave me a blank stare.  I sighed…climbed on the bus and hoped maybe I would see it.

When I realized I had gone too far, I felt that uneasy feeling climb up my insides.  Yep, I was going to miss my appointment.

smoking

I got off the bus, and asked a gentleman for a smoke and that is when the tears fell from my eyes.  I sat there for a minute, regrouped, called to let the medical office know I wouldn’t be there, she was very nice and rescheduled for me.  Since this was my last bus pass until I get paid, I would have to wait until next week.

I decided to go ahead and get my lab work taken care of at the clinic I was at and continue on to see my new friend at the Goodwill to see about job offers.

She wanted me to go back that afternoon to talk to another lady about an office position, so I agreed and then decided to go to my favorite water gardens to eat my lunch(literally) and maybe some fresh air would do me some good.

I took some more pictures and found a nice serene spot that was cool and peaceful.  I closed my eyes and let the wind wash away my irksome morning.

reflections

When I was finished eating, I headed back to the bus station and sitting on the ledge was a lovely young lady playing the violin.  The sounds of the bow caressing the treble strings flowed through my soul and I had to sit and listen as the calm washed over me.

violin case

I dug through my wallet only to find enough change that equaled maybe 50 cents.  I put them in her case with the rest of the change.  She stopped playing, stood up, faced me and belted the most beautiful song A Capella.  The tears streamed down my face as her expression filled my very being.

When she was finished, she gave me a hug and said “Everything is going to be alright, you are a strong woman”

I smiled and asked for her name.  Elizabeth Joy.

I wish I knew the song…….

I went back to the bus depot and as I was waiting, there was a car parked across the street with the words ‘Hope’ on the side of it.

hope

I went back to Goodwill with a smile on my face and a knowing-

Everything IS going to be alright.

And I did share my lunch with the young lady that is going to classes to get her G.E.D.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

The Spur

To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

 

I was waiting for my bus Sunday morning to go my little job.  I am finally getting more weekends-yay!

e. lan

There was a gentleman talking with another and in the distance I could hear the beautiful chimes of a nearby Church; just loud enough to drown out the sounds of the cars and voices that were happening around me.  I closed my eyes for a brief moment to let the countenance of the nearby Sanctuary wash over me.

love

 

When I opened my eyes, my attention drew nearer to the man standing by the bus stop bench preaching to the other sir.  I agreed with what he was saying; because, after all, it is what we have conviction for is what defines our Faith.

spur

We climb onto the Spur and venture on our way to our destinations.  The bus was getting pretty full, so I shared my seat with a young man in his 30’s dressed in a very nice suit, wearing a handsome tie, with the poignant tie tack so strategically and properly placed.

We travel through the area of divergence, and I notice a fellow fixing himself up on the curbside, just so he can get through another day.

My mind wanders off deep in thought of things I no longer remember, and this dear old man, my guess in his late 80’s dressed in a suit- I would assume he was of Scotch-Irish decent by the fading red hair.  He wore his Crucifix, St. Christopher pendant and another that I couldn’t quite recognize with his Rosary Beads firmly gripped in his fingertips.   He carefully placed a newspaper down on the seat and chanted the Mantra of the Catholic.

church downtown

My mind focused on this gentleman, completely out of place and I wondered why he had no family to take him to the dated Cathedral downtown.

 

 

As I arrived at my place of employment, I smiled within myself.  Even with all the dissemblance happening in the world, we still have a chance of coming together under the Grace of Divine Spirit.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

My Day in the Park

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.

Gertrude Jekyll

 

I was trying to budget bus fare and schedule 2 appointments in one day.  I packed a lunch and filled my PowerAde bottle with my raspberry tea.  I left my apartment with plenty of time to make both.

 

 

At one of the stops, this mom with her 2 year old and baby in a stroller hopped on and the 2 year old was giving mom fits.  She set the car seat down without strapping in the baby and gave the wriggly boy a Dr. Pepper in hopes of distracting him.

tantrum

Knowing how bumpy the bus ride can be, all I could see was this baby seat flying across the bus.  I offered my assistance to hold the infant carrier in place as she struggled to keep little Mason seated.  I offered up my crackers and he obliged.  At one point, I am holding the baby seat from tipping and Mason in my lap.  I remembered a time, when my son was about that age and didn’t react very well to sugar or red food dye, so I offered up my knowledge of cutting out these things for this sweet boy.

sitting cafe

I managed to miss my transfer stop and ended up downtown.  There was certainly not enough time to back track to make my first appointment and have ample time to make it to my second. So, I sat at the Subway near the station and bought a $1.40 bag of Baked Lays- BBQ, because those are my favorite.  I found an empty table, ate my PBJ sandwich and chips and sipped on my tea.  I noticed the local Molly Trolley drive by, so when I was finished eating, I hopped on the free bus with no destination in mind and rode around downtown until she mentioned the Water Gardens.

molley

I climbed off the Trolley and walked across the street and ventured into the majestic water displays.

Everywhere there was a pool of water, there were locals bathing and cooling off in the aquatic alcoves.  It is summer time in Texas.  It’s hot….

There was one gentleman looking pretty hungry so I offered him the rest of my tea.

I strolled around and breathed in this lovely sanctuary and after a bit, I regretted giving away my drink.

After I was finished, I walked back to the transfer station so I could catch the bus to my next destination.

I made it to my doctor’s appointment early and they took care of me right away.   I now have more appointments and have reduced bus fare.

Slowly but surely, I am getting back on my feet.   I can use these tools to help me get there.

I guess next time I venture out, I should pack 2 lunches- one for me and one for the less fortunate that I will be sharing with.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

The White Dove

 

Out of difficulties grow miracles.

Jean de la Bruyere

 

I was taking my pups for their outside adventure for the last time for the evening, as I was opening my door, the pooches started barking frantically.  I look up and there is a white dove on my balcony and he didn’t seem to mind whatsoever that there were 2 tiny dogs yelling at him.

dove 2

When we were done with our trip, I didn’t expect him to still be on my stairway.  The dove nestled himself on my neighbors cooler unit and stayed there through the night.  In the morning, I had noticed my neighbor giving him some water.

I could see the twinkle in my neighbor’s eyes as he knew this was a message from the Divine.  He shared with me he had lost his mother and brother as well.  Even their ages were the same.  I also met my neighbor down the hall.  She is a nurse and has lived in this building for 5 years.

dove 5

My son came to visit, and was also touched by our visitor.  He took beautiful pictures of our special friend.

The Dove stayed for 3 days.

dove 3

In that time, he would let us get close, but not touch.  He would look into your eyes all the way to your soul.  There are no words to describe the warm comforting wisdom coming from this lovely creature.

dove1

 

The evening of the 3rd day, he was gone.

My neighbor was saddened by the Dove’s departure.  He tells me “I guess I missed my sign.”  I responded by telling him that maybe it will take a couple of days to present itself.  Or maybe, the sign was simply the gift of having a White Dove come visit us.

 

Then and Now

I don’t know why I am so fascinated with the Great Depression; I guess it has a little to do with my living situation as of late.

My mother was born in 1934.  I remember growing up (we didn’t have much then either), of her telling stories of what it was like living in that time.  From using cereal box cutouts for soles of shoes to her mother having to use Rations to buy food for her family of 9.

ration book

Depression Glass.  When I was in college I remember having to do a public speaking project on artifacts and I chose a cake plate that I still had that belonged to our family.  I remember it as a young child.  It had a small chip in it and it was green.  I don’t have it anymore.  One day, I will build my collection up again.

Depression glass is clear or colored translucent glassware that was distributed free, or at low cost, in the United States and Canada around this time.  Much depression glass is uranium glass. The Quaker Oats Company, and other food manufacturers and distributors, put a piece of glassware in boxes of food, as an incentive to purchase. Movie theaters and businesses would hand out a piece simply for coming in the door.

depression glass

S&H Green Stamps were trading stamps popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s. They were distributed as part of a rewards program operated by the Sperry & Hutchinson company (S&H), founded in 1896 by Thomas Sperry and Shelley Byron Hutchinson.

green stamps

Quoted from allabouthistory.org; most characteristic of life during the Great Depression was the widening gap between the “haves” and “have-nots.” Unemployment rose from a shocking 5 million in 1930 to an almost unbelievable 13 million by the end of 1932. It would be rural America that would suffer the greatest. Unemployed fathers saw children hired for sub-standard wages. In 1930, 2.25 million boys and girls ages 10–18 worked in factories, canneries, mines, and on farms. Children left school to support their families.

The harsh reality of life during the Great Depression is vividly recalled by Travis (12 yrs) who found his father behind their Massachusetts house, crying and heartbroken. “My dad was the strongest man I knew, but the Depression brought him to his knees.” While starving children in the Appalachians chewed on their hands, nearly drawing blood, nursery school children in Philadelphia played an “eviction game.” Toy furniture would be piled up in one corner of the room, then picked up and moved to another corner. “We ain’t got no money for rent, so we move. Then we get the sheriff on us, so we move again.” 

children 1930

I look out my kitchen window, I see children playing with the mouse trap boxes and collecting grass hoppers with them, eating a hotdog on a piece of white bread with ketchup; using the Diet Pepsi cans as soda bombs for some kind of childhood game.

kitchen window

We’ve come along way, haven’t we……

I did finally get my Food Card, and took my bus trip to the grocery store. I will save that story for another day.

I am also learning how to make wine from grape juice.  I will tell you how that goes.

Hugs and Hope

DTC

 

cc 4

The Birthday Party

Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.

Robert Frank

My furbabies have been over stimulated with the new sounds of their new home.  I know they are only doing their job to protect their alpha dog.  (Me)

The first few days were a little rough for me and my poochies.  They have been barking at everything and everyone, making me nervous and them as well.  I would take them potty and try to introduce myself, but the dogs were in protect mode, which made it difficult.  I was really starting to think this situation wasn’t going to work.  I even had a neighbor tell me to keep my nasty dogs away from her.  I was really feeling like I wasn’t going to fit in.

Wine Roses 5AB

I decided to walk across the street to the family dollar and buy myself a six dollar bottle of Liberty Creek wine.  You know the good stuff.

As I was getting my drink on, there was excessive laughter and screaming from the neighbor kids in our courtyard, so I peeked out my kitchen window to see what the raucous was all about.  There were about 20-30 kids playing on a Slip-n-Slide and kiddy pool and water balloons.  Child hood memories came flooding in.  So, I grabbed my glass of wine and sat on the steps and watched with delight.

I asked the kids if they minded if I took pics, they thought that was cool.  I sat and watched as they carried on without a care in the world, wearing whatever clothing and it didn’t even matter.  They were having a blast!

The mom of 9, saw me and told the kids to say hi to the new neighbor.  They all in unison said HI! Really loud!  It warmed my heart.  I am sure it was with sarcasm, but hey, it’s a start.

soup kitchen

Later that evening, the mom with the birthday boy knocked on my door and invited me over for some cake and ice cream.  I obliged.  As it turned out the mom and I have a lot in common and we talked about racism and  that we naturally fear the unknown.  One of her daughters pulled out some braids and she was showing me, and I took my hair out of my pony tail and showed her my hair.  The mom exclaimed, ‘you have  hair like we do!’  We laughed!

I told her about my blog and she showed me some music that she and her mate recorded together.  She has this amazing voice, so I shared it on my social media.  Maybe one day, she will be heard and she can share her talents with the world.

As I reflected on this special night, how here we are from all different walks of life,and that we aren’t really so much different after all.   We have our unique ways of expressing ourselves through music, writing, painting, drawing or whatever.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet such wonderful people and their babies.

Now, if I can only get my fur children to relax a little, we will be all okay.

With Hugs and Hope

DTC

The Other Side of Poor

 

I am still not completely moved in but today I had to go to my little weekend job.  I carefully planned out the bus trip to downtown from the East Side from which I now live.  As I waited for the bus, there was another lady waiting as well.  Since I have to spark a conversation with anyone around me, I learned a little bit of her story.

dep3

 

She was happily married for 16 years, her husband owned his own business and she helped him with books and such.  About 3 months ago, he suddenly passed.  Left her with nothing; she now lives in a broken down van parked by a mini mart.  She has resorted to trading favors for things she needs.

I found a spot on the bus, and another lady sat in a seat near me.  She had an infected cut with still stitches.  She can’t afford antibiotics to help it heal.

dep2

We drove past an area, with people of all race and creed, with knapsacks, and everything they owned waiting for freebies from an outreach center.  I would guess 75-100 folk.

A man in his late 50’s hooked his bike to the front on the bus and hobbled on with shoes that barely stayed on his feet.  By the look in his eyes, he was in a very bad way.

I had to look away; the tears welled up in my eyes. …..

The bus continued to drive past some under passes with men, and women hovering for shade as the heat of the day pressed on their desperate lives.

 

Another, a diabetic, can’t afford his insulin……

I made it downtown to my job location, and had a few minutes to spare.  All I could think about was how fortunate I am.

poor

 

As I got to work, I searched for my demo products and of course they weren’t there, but I didn’t seem to mind, I winged it like I always do and prayed to God how grateful I am.  When I was finished with my shift, I cleaned up the back area and bagged up the leftover demo product that was collecting dust and took it with me.  I got on my bus to go back home and I handed out some of the product samples to those that would take it.  The rest I am going to make care packages for the folk that live in the buildings around me.

I am going to keep on collecting leftover samples and give what I can to the people that I come in contact with that are in need.  It is only a tiny fulfillment of need, but maybe it will give someone a smile.

I messed up purchasing my ticket, so I had to purchase another.  I didn’t have exact change, so at the transfer station I ran over to a McD’s to buy a “cheap” bacon biscuit for $5 to make change.  The dollar store across the street costs more than any high end grocery store.  Price Gouging.

dep4

Here, we have the poorest of poor, and they are being robbed by corporate A-Holes.  No wonder the moral stinks.  You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.

I don’t have an answer, and I don’t know how to fix it, but if I could wave my magic wand, I surely would.

This is all I have today…..

 

With hugs and hope

DTC

 

Coincidence?  Or Serendipity

 

 

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

 Helen Keller

tears

 

Life is full of ups and downs, good opportunities and sometimes not so good opportunities.  I believe in trying to make the best of every situation, learn from my mistakes and take those lessons and try to apply it in my life somehow and sometimes reach out to others in hopes to inspire them to better themselves or at least take a deeper look inside their soul.

 

As you know, I never meet a stranger.  When I was working my real job (giggles) a few weeks ago, another employee was having a rough day.  It also happened to be her birthday, and like my birthday, hers was forgotten too.  I knew exactly how she felt.  I reached out to her and we immediately became friends.   Without losing her anonymity, I won’t give out any more information, but she reached out to me and wanted me to share this inspiring story with the hope of  touching another life that is struggling with demons of their own.

The following are her words.

addiction

 

I am a recovering methamphetamine addict. Clean 5 years now.   I stay away from people or situations that could cause me to interact with addiction type lifestyles for my own sobriety.

This weekend I was sitting in my patio when a young guy was walking by below, He hollered up at me asking for a cigarette, I obliged, of course. I had my grandson here & my boyfriend left shortly after. About 30 minutes later the young man came to my door asking if he could use the phone to call a ride on up out  of here he says.

I measure him up real quick & gather than he’s been actively using & has reached a point of regret. I came to the conclusion that he was harmless as he was too focused on being upset with himself so, I let him in.

He uses the phone & starts taking to me about his situation, fishing for approval for his decisions but not really saying why he was away from his girl & his kids.  I just listen.   After a bit he was seriously needing some sign if approval, as he’s unsure if himself at this point.  I didn’t share anything with him about me or my recovery journey & nothing about his actual actions was mentioned.

I just looked at him & said, “I can see you’re struggling with your choices.”   He says yeah…

I said “well no judgment here & you don’t have to tell my why; I’ll just say your face is a bit thin & your heart is heavy.”  He says,” I think you know more than you’re letting on.  It’s like you’ve been where I am at.”

About that time his ride arrived. I told him that with age comes experience. He asked what have I learned. I told him that I learned my actions were my own & so were the consequences that come with my actions.   And what my children saw when they were young molded them into their perceived life now.

I felt like God put that kid in my house.

I just hope he does better with himself, I hope my words helped.

 

face

I believe nothing happens by chance.  I believe Spirit put that young man in front of her so they can inspire each other and pay it forward to touch someone else that might need it so desperately.

 

We all have our crosses to bear and our demons to fight.   When we are at our lowest of lows, remember, our Guardian Angels are always with us and they are wrapping their loving wings around us and protecting us.

If this inspires you or if you know someone that can use some inspiration, please share.

Thank you.

pretty

Stories We Tell

The way people come into your life when you need them, it’s wonderful and it happens in so many ways. It’s like having an angel. Somebody comes along and helps you get right.

 Stevie Ray Vaughan

srv3

 

So today I was working a double shift at a Tom Thumb handing out my lovely samples of food product.   It was some soda the first half and chicken and rice the second half, which was my 3 day of sampling chicken.  Please don’t make me do chicken and rice any more.

There was a gentleman in the store that visited me for a bit and continued to converse with me; because I have that personality that is so easy going (I must, because I never meet a stranger).  Anyway, this man, Tom, happened to be a drummer and lived in this area his whole life.

He went on to tell me when he was in Junior High and High School, he went to the same  school as Stevie Ray and he was in a band with him in Junior High.   Now, I know what you’re thinking- it crossed my mind too.  Yes, he was trying to flirt with me, but little did he know, I am a writer and guess what?  What a great story!  I did politely decline his offer, but, here I am, writing.  Bad punctuation and all

srv2

Born on October 3, 1954 in Dallas, Texas, Stevie Ray Vaughan played guitar as a child and became lead singer for the Texas band Double Trouble, which led to work with David Bowie and Jackson Browne. Vaughan had hit albums with his band before the 1989 release of In Step, for which he earned a Grammy. He also recorded with his brother Jimmy. Vaughan died in a late night helicopter crash on August 27, 1990, at 35.

Inspired by his older brother Jimmie’s guitar playing, Stevie picked up his first guitar at the age of 10, a plastic Sears toy that he loved to strum. With an exceptional ear, (Stevie never learned to read sheet music) Stevie taught himself to play the blues by the time he’d reached high school, testing his stage skills at a Dallas club any chance he could.

srv5

Well into his junior year, Vaughan had already played with several garage bands. But lacking any kind of academic drive, Stevie struggled to stay in school. Following a brief enrollment at an alternative arts program sponsored by Southern Methodist University, Stevie dropped out of school, moved to Austin and concentrated on making a living as a musician. To make ends meet, Vaughan collected soda and beer bottles for money and couch-surfed at various friends’ houses. The rest of the time he was playing music, jumping in-and-out of various bands that had semi-regular gigs in the Austin area.

In 1975, Vaughan and a few others formed Triple Threat. After some reshuffling, the group was renamed Double Trouble, inspired by an Otis Rush song. With Vaughan on lead vocals, the group developed a strong fan base throughout Texas. Eventually their popularity spread outside the Lone Star State. In 1982, the group caught the attention of Mick Jagger, who invited them to play at a private party in New York City. That same year, Double Trouble performed at the Montreux Blues & Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

While there, Vaughan’s musical abilities caught the attention of David Bowie, who asked the musician to play on his upcoming album, Let’s Dance. With some commercial viability behind them, Vaughan and his band mates were signed to a record deal with Epic, where they were put in the capable hands of legendary musician and producer, John Hammond, Sr.

srv 1

Whether or not my new friend actually went to school with Stevie in Oak Cliff or not; one can only speculate,  but, what a nice tribute to a talented musician from Texas.

Info on Stevie Ray Vaughan was acquired from biography.com