The Gathering Place

tables of interested people talking
puzzles, cards, and paper
looking connected, smiling

coffee drinkers munching warm monkey bread
tea, need more cups
tables of interested people chatting animatedly

computer people taking turns
talk of hands housing and snow
looking connected smiling comfortably

counseling sessions
getting info
connecting with other humans
~Anne Street

The Gardener

I am a gardener
And I do it well.
How did this happen?
Now I will tell:
My wonderful grandma
Started this love.
She watches me now
From heaven above.
Her double white lilacs
Were her pride and joy,
And her lily of the valley,
They smelled so good.
I had to follow her footsteps,
That’s how it began.
My gardens, not formal, but fun.
There are gardens everywhere
Front, back and both sides.
I’ve worked every space
To form gardens of joy.
Exhibited in garden shows,
And shared with my friends.
The joy from my garden
Will never, never end.
In springtime, my flowers
Are pink and blue.
Come summer, there’s a change
A rainbow of color
You’ll see in my yard.
Come autumn
There’s purple and rose
And all shades of yellow.
Never in church
Have I felt so close to God,
as I am on my knees
In my beloved gardens!
~June Garman

TGP Hymn

(to the tune of “Away in the Manger”)

The coffee is perking, the tea water boils,
A puzzle lies waiting for the people to foil.
The bathroom needs paper, both toilet and towel,
Caseworkers are joking and how they do howl!
The guests, they keep coming, it’s starting to rain.
It’s cold and they’re soaking and feeling the pain.
We offer them blankets to help  them feel warm.
A smile shows we care and will do them no harm.
Jeanne offers communion, Chick’s bible he reads,
Ed brings us some gas cards for those who have need.
For holidays there’s Bunny serving soup by the cup;
That rascal, George Hardy, will perform your nup.
We love our dear neighbors and all who come in.
We are glad to be here for you through thick and thin.
We open our hearts and wish goodness for you.
Sharing our stories is important to do.
~Bunny Fazekas

Success

All social welfare programs hamper success. If you work and earn money, you lose your benefits, including medical, food stamps, and housing vouchers. There is no gradual easing off. So people are frozen, traumatized by the fact that if they work, they lose everything.

The Section 8 program is a prime example of a failing system. They pay rent for a family for the duration of the children’s youth. I remember in 1970’s when Section 8 was introduced. It ruined the chance of any availability of low rent housing. What we used to pay $300-$500 for rent suddenly went up to $750-$800, $950 for the same apartment. Now the regular worker can’t afford the rent.

The whole concept is a drain on the system. If we want affordable housing, it isn’t right to feed these “high” rents to a chosen few landlords and corporations. So the average working family can’t afford to live there. The answer is to make the money available to families for them to own houses. Instead of draining the taxpayers, make the money paid back in the form of a low interest mortgage. There is a long list of reasons why this would be better than living on the dole.

Every aspect of every program needs to be reevaluated. Because all these split up families and dampen the chances of success.

~Mitch Kane

What is Success?

What is life but a series of successes and failures. Success is different for everyone.

For a child it might be learning hop scotch, for an adolescent surviving middle school, for a young adult finding a career they are passionate about, or a love interest. It might be hitting middle age, successfully raising children and helping elderly parents.

But success to me is helping people find thir road to success. A successful relationship with God wouldn’t hurt either.

~Anonymous