Random bits of this and that, and a free song

As I write this, it’s well after midnight and I’m more awake now than I’ve felt all day.  I have always been a night owl by nature but the past couple of years the shift off of day light savings time change, has left me worse than usual.  I find myself wanting to be completely opposite (asleep during the day, up all night).  Which obviously isn’t a workable solution, for a wide variety of reasons.  I don’t mind being a night owl, but I can’t go completely opposite of “normal”.  I find myself needing sunshine this time of year badly anyway, and it doesn’t help if you sleep through what little of it there is. But with my health issues missing out on too much sleep is very bad also.  So I try to strike some sort of balance.

Today has been a bit of a bust.  Nothing horrible.  Just a general blah, non-productive sort of day for me.  I hate those. I just haven’t had the energy or stamina to get much of anything accomplished today.  That’s the sort of day that I find extremely frustrating.

I thought I would share, if you are looking for Christmas songs, Amazon has lots of free mp3’s posted this time of year.   If you just look around.  This is not a sponsored post, nor is this any sort of affiliate link.  I just thought I’d share this with you.  I got quite a few neat little Christmas mp3s for free last year from Amazon.  And while you do have to sort through some crap to find good freebies, there are good ones on there.

I liked this version of Silent Night, by SixPence None the Richer.  That one song I linked directly to, off that album, is free right now.  I’m not sure how long that will last, but it is free at the moment.  And free is good right?  😉

Right now it’s 19 degrees outside, snowy and windy.  I can’t help but think about the two veterans I spoke of in my earlier post.  My husband went out to check on them again today.  He said the road to where they are camping out is rough and it didn’t look like anyone had been up it today.  But someone had brought them a load of firewood since he was last there.  And they weren’t out of the bottled water or canned food yet.  My husband took them some more meat for their fire today.

We wanted to make sure they weren’t out of propane yet, since those little canisters they are using to heat their tent don’t last long.  But they were doing ok.  Their spirits seem good, in spite of their circumstances.  I’m not going to share too many of their personal details here, because I haven’t asked permission to do so and it just wouldn’t feel right.  But they talked about how much they appreciate the people in this area and how much the local community has done to help them.  They are on a list for housing, but the waiting list is long.  They said some members of a local church chipped in and got them a cell phone with a few pre-paid minutes, that way they could call out if they have an emergency, and keep in contact with the VA.  My husband talked to them for a little while, but he didn’t want to keep them out of the tent for long since it is so cold out.

There Just Aren’t Words

How do you write about something when you just can’t find the words?  That is what I am struggling with at this moment.  I want to write about this, but I don’t know how.  So pardon me as I stumble along to even attempt to say what I feel right now.

See this camp:

We recently found out about this camp.  Two men who risked their lives and served our country are living in this camp. One is an Air Force veteran, the other a Navy veteran.  One is on crutches.  As I write these words in my warm home, it is 30 degrees outside.  I don’t know what the wind chill is.  And it’s going to get a lot colder before winter is over.

I realize that there are a lot of different reasons that people end up this way.  Some choose it.  Some can’t live by society’s rules.  Some have made big mistakes.  Some have addictions, mental illness, etc.  And some are just honest, good, hard-working people who end up with no where to go.  In our current economy the homeless that fit into that last category are growing.  And I choose to give people the benefit of the doubt, unless I see reason to do otherwise. I am disabled.  I once worked 65 hours a week or more and I am now no longer able to provide for myself.  I live by the grace of others in my life.  It is an issue that frustrates me to no end.  I don’t like it when people judge me incorrectly, so I won’t judge others.

These two men are purposely trying to avoid town and the crime-ridden shelter areas.  I discussed this issue amongst some friends and some of them couldn’t understand this mentality.  Personally I can.  I know if I were able, I’d much rather rough it in a tent than be around some of the things that go on in the worst parts of town.

We don’t want to pry or step on any toes.  So we haven’t prodded them for much information.  They seem to be handling their camp very well.  It is clean, well kept.  And what appears in the photo above to look like “stuff” piled on the sides of their tent, is actually what they are using to hold down the tarps that make their tent.  We have had some very severe wind recently, so this is a crucial part of there set up and smart.  They have a floor of wood pilots. Someone gave them two cots and some blankets, so they are off the ground.  They are using propane for heat. Kerosene for the little lanterns they have.  A wood campfire to cook on.

We don’t have much in the way of money these days, but we are going to help however we can.  We put together some things for them.  Baby wipes, canned food, paper towels, toilet paper, some empty unused Kroger bags so they’d have something to haul their nonburnable trash out in, some candy, and a big case of bottled water.  We weren’t really sure exactly what they needed most.

My husband took it to them and they were kind and very appreciative.  They seemed particularly grateful for the toilet paper.  Sometimes the smallest things, can mean so much.

I know there are a lot of homeless people in the world, and we can’t help everyone.  But we can do something.

When my husband asked them today what they needed and what else he could bring them, they didn’t ask for money, they asked for some meat for their fire.

The whole thing has really brought some things into clear perspective for me.  Recently I’ve been kind of bummed about how much smaller the pile of gifts under our tree was going to be this year.  We have never been the type to spoil our kids with tons of stuff.  But I do like for them to have a big Christmas and birthdays.  Even though (judging by what I’ve seen) I don’t think my definition of “big” is anywhere near a lot of people’s definition of big.  Still, things are leaner this year for sure.  But now all of that just seems so silly.

My kids are warm.

There is food in their bellies.

We are blessed.