Thursday, December 23, 2010


(hair courtesy of "Who-ville" day at the high school. I was one of 5 people to actually dress up. Yeah, no shame, my people!)

Holy moly! I haven't posted a blog since August. Fail. Actually, it'd be an epic fail (as the kids these days say.) It isn't that I haven't wanted to blog, I have. It's just that there's been too much to write about and not enough time to give it all justice. So, basically, you've missed a lot of garbage AND a lot of good since I didn't record it on the 'ol bloggity blog, but we'll pretend we're all on the same page and if I can remember the details later on I'll mention them... maybe.

I'm trying not to stress that my Christmas vacation is pert-near half over. Christmas Eve day tomorrow will mean I am scrambling to do all the things I have procrasti-santa'd all week. I did finally get the kids' present wrapped last night and hopefully tomorrow Christmas cards will hit the post office (only to sit there until after Christmas, right!?), but at least it'll be off my to-do list.

One of the things we had on our to-do list tonight was to clean our chapel with several other families from our ward. Now, y'all could call me a big fat liar if I told you I was super amped to go to the clean the church when I have baking to finish. Cuz, I really wasn't. I wasn't very positive and in this season of giving, I wasn't being very seasonal.

When we got to the church, we split the duties. As Tyler was taking out the trash to the outside recepticle that's enclosed in a brick fence and gate, he discovered there was a homeless man hiding out next to the trash can. Tyler was stunned a bit and the timid man kept the conversation short so Tyler'd leave. Now, if you've been in Vegas, you know we've had several days of non-stop rain and drizzle, so I'm sure this man was appreciating that the skies (at least at that point) were clear. Once Tyler got over his surprise, the man told Tyler that being in the enclosure meant he was doing better than being out in the open. I couldn't even imagine calling camping out next to a (STINKY/DIRTY!) trash can "better," but I guess perspective is important no matter what's going on in our lives, right?

Anyhow, Tyler came back to the church and nobody really knew what we should do, or how to handle the situation. Tyler went back out before we left to see if he needed anything to get through the night, to find out if he was hungry, and the man was very gentle and humble and assured Tyler he has food stamps so he wasn't hungry, and he would be okay through the night. He was wrapped in a thick comforter and Tyler surmised that he was trying to just go to sleep. Of course, by that point, I got pretty grateful that I had the opportunity to clean the church. I mean, there are places that don't have chapels to meet in each week. And I was feeling pretty spoiled with my unbaked goodies that were sitting in my house (yeah, the same goodies I was cursing since I really DO hate baking). Yeah, in my house that is warm and furnished with comfortable furniture and beds. And, of course, I was thinking about how sad and devestating homelessness is, but at Christmas? It's painful.
So, here was what was awkward about the whole thing: taking that moment to teach our kids. Because we don't know much about the random homeless man, Tyler told the kids to stay inside, which then piqued their interests. Tyler tried to explain there was homeless man out by the trash can and, I swear, you'd have thought they thought he was a zoo animal! I was a little mortified when we were leaving they wanted to go drive by to see him "living in the trash can." I mean, a live, real, human homeless man? They were all over it. To them, it's what stories are made of and they wanted to see him in the flesh . . . to do what? Stare at him? I kinda lost it on them to let them know he was just a normal man who was struggling. He didn't have a home or a bed or warm clothes to wear and that it was really, really, really sad. He was more than the "guy living in the trash can." I guess we need to teach our priviledged kids a little more perspective.
As we left the parking lot, we did what many other people who really had no clue how to make this tragic reality any better, we stopped at 7-11 and bought a hot dog and some hot chocolate to take back to him. When we returned, I asked Tyler to ask him his name. His name is Doug. I just kept thinking, this is a man with a name. I didn't want my kids calling him the "trash guy" or the "homeless man." He's someone's son/brother/maybe a father and for whatever reason, he's spending tonight sleeping in a comforter on the ground of trash enclosure. Maybe we should have done more... I dunno. Usually just dropping my change into the Salvation Army bucket suffices my "charity" to-do's for the holidays. I hope he knows we care. A hot dog and hot chocolate says that, right? I hope he knows we prayed for him by name tonight...

As we drove home, at Christmas, I thought about Michael McLean's song from "The Forgotten Carols."

Homeless, Homeless
Like the Christ child was
Homeless, Homeless
But there is hope because
He came down to earth to lead us
He vowed He'd never leave us
Homeless, Homeless
For in His love there is a home

Oh so Homeless, Homeless
Was His humble birth
He was Homeless, Homeless
And still He changed the earth
Nothing kept His heart from giving
Most of His life was living
Homeless, Homeless
He showed it's how we live,
Not where

When His homeless days on earth were done
(When His homeless days were done)
He went home to where we all came from

And He went to prepare
(He went to prepare)
A mansion for us there
(A mansion for us there)

He gave His whole life to lead us
And I know He'll never leave us
Homeless, Homeless
For in His love there is a home

(We are not Homeless, Homeless)
For in His love there is a home
(Like the Christ child was)
[repeat to end]

There is a home.


On a different note.

Because I am teaching high school, and those hooligans can google like no other, I have decided it will be prudent for me to take my blog private. I don't want to presume you've been all devestated that I haven't blogged in 4 months, so if you wanna invite to my private blog party, leave a comment with your email. And then you'll have to log-on to see if I've written anything exciting... I know. Sorry for requiring effort to see my ramblings.