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charlieq
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Susan heard the duckling first, its insistent peep answered by the mother's squawk. It came from a containment pond next to a row of townhouses bordering a park where we walk. The pond drains a nearby wetland. When the aerator... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Across the Great Divide
Last month in our Colorado neighborhood, a stranger broke into a home late at night, crashing through a glass door and awakening the frightened homeowners. The newspaper sketched the crime story in the next day's Blotter. The retired couple quickly... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2018 at Across the Great Divide
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Are you working now? A question we asked folks at the Day Center. Yesterday, Susan and I heard a talk by the new head of Grand Junction Economic Partners. Robin Brown is smart, dynamic and great for the job. Her... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2018 at Across the Great Divide
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Paul, we'll call him, since he was quoting Thessalonians and calling this passage a comfort in his suffering: Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay affliction to those who afflict you, and to give relief to you... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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I remember the day last spring when the security curtain that rolls down over the Day Center vestibule's windows stopped working and was deemed beyond repair. Since then, the view facing west has been blocked by metal slats. In my... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
Abusive relationships have been all over the news lately because they involve well-known figures and sympathetic victims. In some cases, relatively minor exercises of male privilege are held up to represent a long-suppressed and much deeper problem. At places like... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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We We started out sharing positive experiences that had shaped our attitudes toward winter. But as happens at our Peace House meditations, we veered off on a tangent about animals in our lives. Lawrence told us about walking past a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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De said he was drinking homemade beet juice. I believed him, since he could have claimed the ruby liquid in the cranberry juice bottle was what the label said. He was still getting used to the idea that it was... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
J. told me he was freshly homeless after seven years living in a neighborhood rooming house that had been taken over by a bad element. A new owner enforced the rules more strictly without entirely keeping trouble away. At least,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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Back in February, I shot this photo of my bike outside the Day Center to remind me of a brief conversation I had with my friend Kelvin. He was having a hard day, which seemed to be a symptom of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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Nathan was on something today and it wasn't the planet earth. It took him a full minute to write his name and when he spoke I could scarcely make out what he was saying. He brought two bunches of tiny... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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"Lisa" arrived late as I was vacuuming the entry. I took her for a social worker looking for a client with her notebook and leather purse stuffed with papers. "Are you the man?" she asked. "I'm a man, but I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
I'd be reluctant to cut into Raymond's business.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2017 on Spring Haircuts. at Across the Great Divide
1 reply
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This was my second Wednesday in a row giving haircuts. Last week, I did a Marine high fade and turned a sort of tight, black cauliflower afro into a neat salesman's cut. Both turned out great, but I didn't think... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
It's not all heartwarming moments around the Day Center, though this week had its share. Tension and conflict, held back with meditation, medication and protection orders, percolate just under the surface. Colin came into the Day Center with a cast... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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I can't help but think of "John" this week as I read the budget-cut smoke signals being sent by the White House. He represents the “able-bodied” man who might be required to work in exchange for benefits in the GOP-sponsored... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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International Women's Day went a bit differently at the Day Center. Alice, who has been a guest of ours off and on, came in to to hire someone with experience doing drywall. It took about five seconds for me to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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The big man said hadn't been to the Day Center before, so I gave him an intake form and turned back to admitting the morning crush. It was first of the month, when the various forms of government aid deposit... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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After a winter morning ride down the hill, my cable does not want to uncoil enough to secure my bike to the rack. The shape-memory of the metal keeps it curled, and though I can wrestle it through the wheel... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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Last week at a book club, I met a landlord named Ted who told me he had rented rooms to four of the men I mention in the Acknowledgments for my novel, Inhabited. Ted had gotten into low-income housing when... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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When I saw Carl last winter, he looked bad, although maybe not according to the standard of scary men on the street. His grey wool overcoat still had some formality left in it, but he seemed ready for the rag... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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Today was the first of the month, a day when balances show up in public assistance accounts. The first has always been well-known as a time of, let us say, increased discretionary spending by pensioners and people on disability. Extra... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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Today I counted one bike trailer with personal belongings, one carrying scrap, one shopping cart, one loaded tricycle and one wheeled walker loaded with laundry. Today started with one of our guests—a world-champion passive-aggressive—walking past me and saying, we need... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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My fourth vacuum cleaner since starting at the Day Center. This week at the Day Center I realized I have survived three breakdowns. Put another way, I am now pushing my fourth vacuum cleaner. (Or maybe the fifth, counting a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2017 at Across the Great Divide
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Driving to the Day Center in Grand Junction, I wondered how different the place might feel on my first day back after seven months away. Although there are superficial similarities with Peace House Community in Minneapolis, the Day Center bustles... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at Across the Great Divide