The Dwarf and Other Adventures

sleepy the dwarf

Today, I am sleepy. I believe the job of Sleepy the Dwarf of Snow White fame is already taken. But I suppose I *could* be a dwarf if I really wanted to. I’m short enough. I could head out each morning, whistling a merry tune, shovel on shoulder. I could mine gems, deep within the mountain.

You’re welcome for the ear worm.

However, today I think I’ll do my regular job. No shovel required and certainly no whistling. Though my office did smell like garbage this morning. There’s a broken garbage truck sitting in the shop bay, waiting to be repaired. Hence the aromatics.

I’ve had 2 cups of coffee. The sun flirts with dark rainclouds. A breeze blows out of the west, reminding us that it’s still spring on the calendar. I ran 3 miles this morning. I was not feeling it today. Almost bagged the whole “run a mile each day” goal I set. Nobody had a gun to my head. Who would know, anyway?

Me, myself and I. All three of us would know. I slogged up the hill. Puny Susan comes to mind. I made it and put in three miles. I passed a homeless man talking to himself on the way down.

Speaking of homeless, a guy I’ll call Bob stopped by our house yesterday. I saw someone wearing a red baseball cap pass by the window. We had Builders group from church going. A large spread of cookout type foods sat on the table – burgers, dogs, chips, fruit and veggie trays, potato salad and macaroni salad. One gal even brought a cake. We talked and ate and enjoyed each other’s company.

Jonathon answered the door to the man. Bob was looking for work. He wanted to make some money by doing odd jobs. He’d been by the house before, several times. See, we live in town. We get foot traffic like this. Jonathon invited him inside. I always turned Bob down because, well, I didn’t have any work and he showed up when Jonathon was out of town. I didn’t feel comfortable with a strange man hanging around me and the kids.

“Here,” Jonathon said, pointing to the table groaning with food. “Help yourself.”

Bob’s eyes lit up. He put together two hamburgers and a full plate of sides.

We all said hello from our seats. Bob didn’t look at us. He blushed slightly, then went outside. Since the weather permitted, Bob and Jonathon sat on the front steps. I could hear Jonathon drawing him out, asking questions and sharing his own experiences.

I felt strange. I wanted to help Bob. But I didn’t know if it was safe. My mom-radar was going off full-tilt. Was Bob safe? Was he casing the joint? My husband is a giver. He learned from his mom. He takes care of people as much as he can. I like to give, too, but I realized yesterday it’s mostly to people I already know. I like known quantities. I’ve had bad experiences dealing with homeless from working in downtown Portland. You never know what will happen. It can get ugly.

So I prayed. Jonathon found out some things. Turns out Bob has a baby girl who lives with her mother in Olympia. He needed bus fare. He hopes to get a job there and stop living in a tent.

“Here,” Jonathon said, drawing off a $5 bill for Bob.

Bob took it.

“Thanks,”he said.

Bob had a bicycle with no seat. Jonathon yanked one off one of Ruby’s old bikes, since it was dumpster-bound anyway. He put it on for Bob. Bob rode away and came back for more food.

“We have plenty,” Jonathon said, smiling. Bob filled up his plate again. Then he left.

I still felt uneasy. I remembered the stories of tramps at the time of the Depression. They would mark houses with special symbols to say, this house is safe. Ask for what you need and they won’t turn you away. They care for the less fortunate. I hoped we would be protected and not robbed or worse. Maybe I’m cynical and guarded. But I’m proud to be married to someone who isn’t.

Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. – Luke 6:30




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