Carrie, Ted and I were up and about early in the morning yesterday. Breakfast served and Ted was out the door to knock some dirt off the cars. Soapy brush and a bucket of water and the water hose and he was ready to do some damage. I think most of the damage was done to Carrie. She slipped into her bathing suit and decided to help her brother. For a while I could hear squeals and laughing that soon turned into anger and yelling. I walked to the door to see if we were playing nice to find Carrie covered in soap suds and her brother using the long handle brush to do some scrubbing on her. It must have been fun when first started but soon developed into a game Carrie wasn't interested in playing. Refereeing is a big part of parenting. If it weren't for being a referee, I might be able to start and finish what I started quickly.
Within an hour the rain that was predicted made it's appearance along with the thunder and lightning. We put the car washing on hold and I loaded everyone into the car; it's break time for me. I'll let their mother referee for a while.
Days ago I had promised Carrie that we would go to the fountain downtown and Carrie never forgets a promise of fun. She might forget to put her cup in the sink, pick up her clothes or make her bed but a fun promise, no way! I didn't even try to dodge that bullet but gave in and took her downtown. The sky's were heavy dark grey swirling masses that threatened more rain but we went anyway.
Metal benches surround the fountain that alternates spouting water and turning itself off for a while then gradually building up to spouts of water that graze the sky. There were 5 children there and most of them were in shorts and t shirts. Carrie came prepared in bathing suit and beach towels. This wasn't our first rodeo. I videoed and took pictures while she ran, crawled and danced through the spouts and amid the light sprinkling of rain that would fall. She giggled and squealed and danced as only a 4yr old without a shred of self consciousness can do. She had a blast and getting her to leave took a bit of coaxing. Promise kept but other promises made to do it again with no specific date so I'll be clear for a while.
To the right of me just beyond the perimeter of the fountain, benches and tiled water area stood a group of about 10 men, neatly dressed and all in the age range of 45 to late 50's and some even beyond. I noted their presence and occasionally would glance their direction. One walked over to the bench next to mine, smiled and sat quietly watching the children. He was also neatly dressed, greying hair that was clean and rolled in waves down his back to just below shoulder length. All of them kept their distance, stayed together and quietly interacted with each other. I looked again and noted the paper bag covered drinks; tall cans of beer concealed in a crumpled brown paper bag. A lady in her mid thirties, moving around on crutches with one leg walked into the fountain and back out and I crossed my fingers that she wouldn't slip in the water and hurt herself. I had to think about what I was seeing before it registered that I was seeing the homeless.
The shelter is in the general area and the ones that were lucky enough to find a bed there were required to leave early in the morning and not return until a set time in the afternoon. This, I think, is done to encourage them to do some job seeking. I want to clarify one thing here; not all of them were drinking beer. Some had sodas and water. I don't know what their stories are on how they came to be where they are so I just observe and hold judgement. I'm sure some were passing through this stage of life related to drugs and alcohol and some might be people that would be served better if they were back on their medications. This economy has added a few more to the homeless rosters. I watch and wonder.
Time passed and so did Carrie and I. It was time to leave and the last child there that she had been playing with was leaving so she didn't put forth an argument. I took her home and traded her for Ted who is spending the night.
Ted began surfing the TV channels and was checking out the "On Demand" of the HBO movies that can be selected at will instead of at HBO's schedule to watch. He came across a movie entitled "O" and insisted that I sit and watch it. He had watched it in his Speech II class at school. We watched it together and I was thinking the whole time "why haven't I heard of this movie before this?"
I highly recommend watching it if you have the chance. I would also be interested in joining Ted in high school. We didn't get to watch movies every class period for Speech.
The movie ended and we sneaked off to Sonic for a Butterfinger Blizzard for Ted. I decided that no where on my diet list was listed this treat so I abstained. Can I have a pat on the head now?
Again, I'm awake early but this morning the booms of thunder and the flashes of lightning drew me up from my sleep. We were promised lots of rain this weekend and the skies are keeping that promise.
Again the promises?