It is difficult to write passionately about a cause, regardless of how much it might mean to you, when you cannot honestly write about it in the first person....more

Henry and the Guy with Two Signs and the Pregnant Woman and the Old Man with the Dog

I think his name is Henry.  I’m not really sure because he has a speech disability and I found him quite difficult to understand.We met him standing by the side of the drive-through lane at one of the local McDonald’s.  My wife had a headache and wanted a Coke and, you know, Mickey D’s has drinks for a dollar these days.We asked him if he wanted something to eat and he said yes.  So along with my wife’s Coke, we ordered Henry a cheeseburger and fries and a soda.  He expressed his gratitude in no uncertain terms....more

Teaching Kids To Appreciate What They Have

I spent a very special day in Chicago yesterday with my daughters.  We were celebrating my ten year old daughters making it through a whole year after her intensive surgery to lengthen her tendons and to replace her hips.   It has been a long, very hard, very painful year for her, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to celebrate and make a negative turn into a positive....more

When Help Doesn't Help

It is sorely disappointing when you've tried to help a person again and again, only to bemet with ingratitude in return.  Thisis particularly so when it is evident that your efforts appear to have done nothing to improve hislife. Of course, when you start down the road of helping a needy individual, it is difficult to know when to stop.  At whatpoint does largesse cease being charitable and begin being enabling? We had it out with Homeless Guy #1 the other day.  I don't regret that it happened; we said some things that have needed to be said for some time....more
patriciaappelquist Thanks so much for your comment, Patricia.  My wife and I are really big on ...more

Homeless Youth of California

No one really knows how many of California’s young people are homeless at any given time.  But on one day in the middle of the winter last year, a PIT count (a flash census — PIT stands for “point in time”) estimated the number to be about 15,000.  That’s 15,000 youngsters aged 12 to 24 sleeping under bridges and over heating grates, in cars, in shelters, in the woods or on someone’s couch.I’ve known for some time that there are a lot of homeless young people, but I found this number to be truly appalling.  And that’s just for one state!...more

A queen for five days...

We arrived in Seattle for a wedding, knowing that we were to share a two-bedroom apartment with my sister-in-law and her husband, knowing that we were to share a queen-sized bed rather than the king we used at home. I was not thrilled at this arrangement.  So my dear husband promised me he would sleep on the floor if the smaller bed was a problem, and I envisioned adding a roll-away to our room, which was available according to the rental's website. I wanted both of us to sleep in comfort....more

Legalizing homelessness?

Last night, with 97 percent of the vote counted, CNN projected that the state of Florida would not approve the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes (Merica, CNN). Because the issue meant a change to my home state's constitution, a full 60 percent of Florida voters needed to approve the measure; last night, only 57 percent had. Twenty-three other states, however, have made medical marijuana legal....more


It's Friday and time for Friday Fictioneers to spin their tales of 100 words.   I look eagerly for the photo prompt each week.  Will it inspire a masterpiece from me or will it stump me?  It's always a challenge.  Our host is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields...more

Fashion Project Provides Shelter & Jobs for the Homeless

The fashion industry has been known to showcase designers' works on runways worn by models, but in the case of one designer, her work is not just a fashion statement, it's saving lives....more

The Day After Christmas

It’s definitely Christmas.I know this because my mother-in-law has already baked a peach cobbler and a fruitcake today and also made up food boxes to provide Christmas dinner to two local families who are desperately poor, one with three children and the other with seven....more