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9 degrees January 13, 2016

Filed under: I wonder,Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 4:27 am
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Tonight was a typical night for me. After work I had to run to Roncalli to pick up Kam, run over to the bowling alley for bowling practice, then hustle him downtown for play practice at the Anthenaeum.

Typical running, going through the drive thru for dinner, dropping him off to bowl with his teammates for about two hours, during the time he was bowling I was running errands – dropping off dry cleaning, talking to a friend on the phone, grabbed a Starbucks, and chatted with another friend before Kam came out of practice; jumped in the car and told me he forgot his pants for the dress rehearsal tonight. Looking at the clock, I knew I had just enough time to run him home, have him change his clothes while I made a couple of peanut butter sandwiches, sliced up an apple, grab a water and head back out onto the snow covered streets. I remember complaining the streets in our neighborhood  were basically a block of ice, I looked over and my comments were falling on deaf ears –  wireless headphones and iTunes had taken over.

I often don’t turn on the radio when I drive Kam around, mostly because I can hear what he’s listening to already. Windshield time is time for me to think about what’s next. Dinner, homework, work, tv, playing with Riley, and eventually sleep.

I dropped my aspiring actor at his destination a few minutes early (which makes me feel accomplished) and was ready to head back home to get dinner ready for Mr. D.

Downtown is usually quiet on that side of town, as I turned on Alabama I noticed there were lights about a block behind from me, but were heading my way. I pulled over and waiting for them to pass. It was a red, SUV type of vehicle, I noticed it was Indianapolis Fire Department vehicle as they passed. Almost immediately they got in front of me and went to the next block and started to get out of the SUV. Then I saw a guy on a cell phone with a blue coat talking to one of them. Two of the other firefighters were headed toward a bench a few feet away from the corner on the passenger side of my car. I don’t know why but I rolled down my window as I observed the scene.

There was a man (I’m guessing it was a man because they kept calling him bud) lying on a park bench motionless. It appeared to me that he may have been there awhile, the plastic like tarp that was covering him was covered partially in snow. He was motionless. One of the firefighters was calling something in and the other just stood there shaking his head.

That’s when a cop car pulled up to the scene and I got in the next lane and out of the way.

I cried all the way home. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. Someones father, uncle, brother, cousin, or son was laying on a bench downtown, motionless, covered by plastic and snow.

I’ve seen homeless people downtown before, but never in that condition. I’m sure there are people reading this saying “yeah, well if you think that’s bad you should see how it is in Chicago, New York, LA.” I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t care. I think it’s absolutely despicable that a man who had obviously been lying there for hours probably got past by a hundred times by people that didn’t make a call.

If I knew there was something I could do that would make a difference I would. I’ve volunteered at food pantries, gave money when I could but I just feel hopeless.

My heart broke for a man that I never met; but I will never forget him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping Your Word – Even On Social Media March 26, 2013

Mr. D is a meteorologist, bet you didn’t know that. Yes, he is an engineer, but his degree from Purdue is in Atmospheric Science.  Sounds fancy doesn’t it? When all of the news stations were predicting major snowfall over the weekend I rolled my eyes. When Channel 8 broke in during the NCAA tournament games on Friday I sighed loudly. On Saturday I couldn’t take anymore of the snow nonsense, I took to my Facebook page and posted this:

“Everbody is talking about all this snow we’re suppose to get. No offense to the weather people, but they’re never right. So if there is above 5 inches of snow at my house on the ground Monday I’m taking a picture of me laying in it in my bathing suit.”
I glanced over at Mr. D who happened to be sitting next to me when I wrote it. He looked at me and said “are you sure you want to post that?” I looked at him coyly and said “duh.” He said “I don’t know if you want to do that” I said “why, they’re always wrong, you know we’re not going to get that much snow.” Looking outside at the sun he shook his head as I pressed post. I got a few comments and likes, nothing unusual.
Things started to heat up about seven o’clock  Sunday when one of my friends asked if I was getting nervous. At that point I really wasn’t, it was snowing but nothing alarming, certainly nothing to make me think I was going to have to put my bathing suit on. My son’s school cancelled class for Monday, no big deal, they cancel for anything these days.
This morning when Mr. D told me he was going to shovel the driveway and go into work I thought nothing of it, he likes a shoveled driveway, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up I didn’t even look outside. I instinctively grabbed my phone to check out Twitter and Facebook. Lying in bed I noticed that my Facebook page looked like it had some activity so I went there first. I immediately sat straight up in bed when I started to read the posts. “6.5 inches Steph, bring it on!!” “Yup, we are waiting for that photo you promised.” “So..what about that picture?” “If you wimp out you will never live it down. Just Do It! “Peer pressure – Do It!” 
I thought, is this happening? I thought quickly, ran through some scenarios, then I stopped. I got up, grabbed the bathing suit I had on last week in Cancun (where it was sunny and 80 degrees everyday) and put it on. I looked at my hair in the mirror and thought, I’m going to need a hat to cover up this messy hair. What a joke.
I posted to my Facebook page “I’m not wimping out – jeez you people! Kameron (my son) will have to take it (the picture) it may traumatize him for life!”
I knew there was no explaining this to Kameron, I mean what do you say? So I yelled for him to come downstairs, I needed him to “do something for me.” He came downstairs and saw me looking outside in my bathing suit and said “MOM WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I laughed and said “I need you to take my picture outside in a minute.” He looked panicked and said “why?” I looked at him and said “because I made a bet, and I lost, so I need you to take a picture of me laying in the snow.” He said “who did you bet, betting is stupid.” I said “sometimes it is, but when you say you’re going to do something you better do it. People will remember if you said you were going to do something and didn’t do it.”
So I did it.
The funny thing is while I was sitting in the snow I thought Kam’s not going to forget this. The time he took his crazy mother’s picture in the snow because she lost a bet. Someone actually mentioned to me that he would never forget it. It might be one of those stories he tells a friend or maybe even his kids about me and I’ll laugh and say he’s full of it. I hope he does remember it, mostly I hope he remembers what I said about keeping your word. It’s an important thing, something I’ve always believed is extremely important. Life isn’t any different than business. If you talk the talk you better be able to walk the walk. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. A client may or may not forgive, but they won’t forget.
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Was it cold? Yes. Did it kinda stink? Yes. The reaction and comments I got on Facebook made it priceless, and I missed the mail lady by two minutes, can you imagine? Good lord.
Tonight I asked Mr. D if he was surprised I actually took the pictures. He said “no.” When I asked why, he said “it wouldn’t be you style not to.” He’s right.
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