soup kitchen

Quiet Day, Hectic Week

Sunday's Whirligig logo

Today’s one of those nice, quiet days.  It’s Palm Sunday.   I’m sitting around now listening to the Yardbirds’ ‘Knowing That I’m Losing You (Tangerine)’.  It’s nice to be able to have a lot of time to Yourself sometimes.  I’ve always really enjoyed listening to the old songs, because they do such a good job of Painting quite a fine picture with offbeat Symbols.  By listening to ’60’s hippie music, I can allow my Memory to travel in such exceptionally flexible ways.  It’s a good Way for me to be inspired to Think and to relax.



My average week lately is usually quite busy in a soup kitchen.  People there have lots of extremely intense problems.  Some are hooked on Tobacco, and too many are even Stoned.   I often overhear their Sad anecdotes about life in their Cold and dangerous circumstances. 



For right now, though, I don’t have to deal with that environment.   I need lots of patience to deal with that barbed Wire like world.   It truly helps to have a lot of time to deal will with it in advance. 



This week’s Sunday’s Whirlygig  words are painting, tobacco, cold, memory, tangerine, stoned, wire, think, sad, way, yourself, and symbols , which were taken from ‘Blown Fuses’ by Austrian poet Pam Brown.





Passport Progress

Because I recently got a passport application, today I went to the nearest Walgreen’s on Long Beach Boulevard, to get the necessary photograph.  The woman asked for my name and telephone number.  



Once I’ve gotten a few more necessary details taken care of, I shall be ready to fly.  Up until now, I’ve never traveled any farther than to Florida, Michigan, and Illinois.  The only other country I’ve been to is Canada, and now even they require a passport.



Over the past few years, I’ve been working at the local soup kitchen, giving coffee, cold drinks, and Sandwiches to poor people.  While I’m there, I often listen to people’s tales of their trips to various foreign countries.  Soon I shall also be able to spend countless hours soaring through the Clouds to various tourist traps.  Although I have every reason to believe I’ll never exactly qualify as a living Legend among globetrotters, at least I shall be able, starting, soon, to make a bit of a contribution to those kinds of conversations.



Here’s yet more about my attempt to get a passport.  Please join us all daily.  Today’s words are sandwich, cloud, legend .

Both A Pedestrian And A Passenger


My parents both died in late 2013 and  I took over my father’s car, a then~perfect 2001 Saturn.  It lasted until June of last year, when it fell apart completely on me.  I often think that Maybe it’s not quite the best Decision I’ve ever made, but now I walk absolutely constantly, to anyplace that’s within walking distance.  That includes both St. Mary of the Isle, where I attend Mass regularly, and the local soup kitchen, where I work.  Since I can’t walk everywhere, I now use Lyft for trips to places that are farther away than my feet can handle.

So far, my experiences with Lyft have been quite nice, with only one slight problem.  Last Wednesday night, during a snowstorm I wanted a ride to my Knights of Columbus council.   I got a driver who was an exceptionally talkative young black guy.  He said he was from Brooklyn (his accent was more like Jamaica in the Caribbean), and didn’t know Long Beach well.  I understood, but still wasn’t so crazy about the fact that he drove into oncoming traffic on Long Beach Road.  I was forced to Chide him a little.

On the Bright side, I’ve always been able to count upon quite a Smooth Ride.  I can easily overlook that one minor Trial.  Considering that I first got a license in my late teens, life without a car is quite a new and confusing experience, but I consider it Just one more of many I’ve been through over the years.  Maybe the Tide will turn in the Wormhole that is  my life, and I’ll get another car.  Until then, I can just consider my circumstances to be a metaphorical Tithe I can quite easily and happily pay.



Hi, it’s been quite a while, for some strange reason, since I last wrote a post for The Sunday Whirl .  Believe it or not, the preceding is a true story.

elmer’s death

Elmer, a regular at the local soup kitchen, got killed by a car last week. When his friends found out, they wanted to arrange a fitting funeral for him.

The volunteers asked some of their undertaker friends to donate their services.

His obituary was in Newsday.

Because of his having been, for so long, such a distinctive familiar character in the local towns, his wake and funeral were attended by hundreds of people.

In honor of his lopsided sense of humor, his closest friends left a memorial to him outside the kitchen . They knew he would truly have appreciated it.

Each week in Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads our attempt to write a hundred~word story based upon a photo prompt. This week’s photo prompt has been provided by Ted Strutz.

the cats at the soup kitchen

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “An Odd Trio.”

The Kitchen on Pine Street can often be quite an exceptionally interesting place. Its official name is the Long Beach Food and Friendship INN. Having no previous experience with soup kitchens I don’t know what I could possibly compare it to but there’s always something distinctive going on there.

When I work there I’m expected to bluff my way past all kinds of characters and to put up with a wide variety of eccentric obnoxious behavior and circumstances.

One of the jobs I typically get is giving out a bowl of soup to each guest as he asks for it. Besides soup we always have a full, hot meal, salad, as well as drinks (always non-alcoholic), dessert,fruit and miscellaneous other kinds of things to keep people happy. The food is good. We get it from Trader Joe’s, Waldbaum’s, King Kullen and other nearby food stores.

Because in our neighborhood there are many factories, as well as a public school across the street, we have a lot of dumpsters in our general vicinity. One problem with this is that there’s always a steady supply of stray cats which each of us must bluff his way past. Unfortunately we’re constantly forced to throw away a lot of food. This inevitably attracts all those annoying creatures. At least so far they haven’t made any real trouble for anyone, as far as I know.

Considering that it’s Long Beach, there are a large number of beaches nearby. I feel like showing up at the soup kitchen with a beach towel one of these days, winding it up, and swinging it at all those obnoxious cats in order to chase them away. I know there’s no way that can possibly solve the problem but it would at least dispel any immediate trouble.