Long about 4:30 in the morning, Mom put the beans in the oven.

Two earthenware crocks, a gallon or so each I’d guess.  One tallish, about as big around as a salad plate, the other shorter but big around as a dinner plate.  Which came in handy, since Mom used an old salad plate — white with a green stripe around the rim — as the lid for the tall crock and a cracked blue willow dinner plate as the lid for the other.  A pound of beans apiece, Great Northerns (her preferred bean) or navy beans, picked over for pebbles or broken bits or shriveled specimens and poured into the crocks with water almost to the top of the crock, put to soak about 4:30 the afternoon before.

Soak 12 hours, bake 12 hours in a slow oven.  That was Mom’s rule of thumb. Continue reading



On weekdays, the shelter staff wakes us up at 6:00 AM.  On weekends and holidays, it’s 7:00 AM, and oh, the luxury of sleeping in!  Assuming, of course, that none of the day clients — folks who come in to take showers and/or eat breakfast/lunch and/or just hang out — show up early and get into loud arguments at 5:30, which happens more often than any of the residents would like.

I get it that the fact I’m a resident makes me more privileged, as a homeless person, than someone who’s sleeping in a vehicle or on a blanket in a park or wherever, and I should be glad for the bed regardless of how long I actually get to sleep.  But getting awakened by loud, nasty voices hurling profanities and insults?  I doubt that’s anyone’s cup of tea.

Speaking of Tea and other morning-type beverages, Continue reading


For those who’ve been curious, here’s my poor totaled Beast, as seen at the body shop the day before it was hauled off by the salvage company:


Twenty-one years of good and faithful service.  Thank you, Beast.