Sleet, Sunshine, Snow and Soup

Thank you

Firstly, I should like to thank all those who read my blog and those in particular who either took the time to comment or else clicked the like button.  Yesterday’s blog has received the most comments since I started in March.  Thank you, thank you.

Today we have had rain, sleet, sunshine and snow.  As I said yesterday, we are so unused to this weather and we do not have the infrastructure  services to cope.  Yesterday we had thunder and lightning and so some areas lost power and some are still without power.  And of course, some of those affected by the earthquakes in Canterbury are still without warm and waterproof houses.  Our thoughts must go to them

So here in Wellington, today is not a normal day:

  • One of the things I notice is the lack of birds.  While I live in the central city I usually hear birds calling first thing in the morning and there are none at the bird feeder today.  Have they all flown off to warmer places?
  • And there are no sounds of happy children going to and from school.  there are several children who live in this street and Lotte usually watches for them in the morning and again in the afternoon.  But many schools have been closed today so maybe they are all at home.
  • No postman has gone up this street for a couple of days, ergo no bills being delivered.
  • No rubbish truck either so the rubbish sits forlornly in its bags at every driveway.  Hope that changes tomorrow.
  • No dogs barking.  We have several in this street who set each other off.  I guess without the postman and the rubbish collectors there is no need for barking,  Fortunately for me Lotte neither yaps nor barks but is disturbed when the others set up.
  • No neighbours stopping for a chat going up or down the street.  Many neighbours take the bus to work and I see them strolling home and taking the opportunity to speak to anybody they meet on the way up the hill.  Not today.  Everybody is in their warm house and those out on the street are hurrying home.
Wellington City Mission

One of several organisations helping the homeless.

And now I have to give a thought to the homeless and those who are forced to live on the streets.

We have many very active, non governmental organisations/agencies here to help.  They provide some food through the day but mainly deal with finding these people a meal and a bed for the night.  But of course, there are never enough beds in the shelter and I don’t know how the people who run/manage these shelters deal with the overflow.  I am sure that they don’t just turn them away. But what do they do?

Minestrone Soup

Picture from Two Peas & Their Pod

As I sit in my warm house, with the fire alight, a bowl of minestrone soup and fresh bread on the table I think of them.  I will also think of them when I go to my warm and comfy bed later this evening.  And I shall think of  them later this week when I go to the supermarket and will buy some extra cans of food for their collection bin.

And this is yet another reason to be grateful. My attitude of gratitude has slipped a little recently and this cold spell, and the plight of many of our fellow citizens has given me a jolt and a reminder to count my blessings.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
G.K. Chesterton


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20 thoughts on “Sleet, Sunshine, Snow and Soup

    • We had a case here a couple of years ago when a man who lived on the streets died and it transpired that he had a bank account in Australia with hundreds of thousands of dollars in it. He was one who chose his way of life. I imagine he is the exception rather than the rule.

  1. I hadn’t considered there would be homeless people in New Zealand – as though yours is the land of milk-and-honey, and such a thing could not happen – but I guess we have the same problems, all over the world. And money that could help the homeless, is squandered on useless things (like landing on the moon !!! aaargh). Today, when I gave thanks for my dinner, I also reflected on the fact that I’m fortunate to have sufficient that I can make a donation from my cupboard to the local food bank. We are very fortunate, so many people are struggling now.
    God bless, Your Big Sister

    • I think there must be homeless people everywhere Big Sister. They are not as obvious, living on the streets as in your city or in London, but they are around.
      The weather seems to have eased a little today but now we are being warned about black ice. I guess another day at home for Lotte and me.

    • Well the snow has gone and we are told that the temperature in Wellington will reach a heady high of 7*C – 44*F. But now we have black ice on the roads and many are still closed throughout the country.
      Farmers have a problem with lambing starting in some areas. But we are told that the front is moving away so hopefully it will improve in the next few days.

  2. Judith, I don’t know how you found me either, but hallelujah! Counting my blessings may be the only math I do all day, but I do it. You are so right about those who have NONE of the things we take for granted every day. Here in the US, in Madison, WI (where my dad would say, “In the winter, it’s colder than charity!”), there are many homeless who are now being told that even the State Capitol Building will not be open to them to get out of the cold daily. Disgraceful, and I’m speaking to local assemblymembers about it. I’m a very vocal activist on a lot of fronts, and it’s a sin that America has homeless people at all… thanks so much, Amy Barlow Liberatore
    http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/whose-side-are-they-on-now/

    • We have just heard that a new night shelter is to be built and this one will not require that the person is sober/off the drink before being admitted. But of course, there are the usual cries of NIMBY – not in my back yard – from the people who live in the suburbs. I understand their concern but these people have to be housed somewhere safe and warm.
      Thanks for the comment. BTW I read your latest post and commented on it.

  3. I’ve heard it said that if the only prayer you ever say is “thank you” it is enough. I think that your post fits that bill on many levels. Very well said.

    • And I now say thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this blog. There is no ready or easy answer to the problems of the homeless, but if everybody does a little then much may be achieved. 🙂

  4. I hope life soon returns to normal for you, Judith. And Lotte. Have you gotten her to go outside yet? Poor girl probably doesn’t know what to make of the snow in her yard. We also have homeless people in our area. There are several places that take them in, feed and house. But not all have, or want a place to go. In winter, several churches take turns opening their doors for them to have a place to stay inside at night.

    • Hi Patti. The snow has gone and now we have rain rain and even more rain accompanied by the occasional thunder clap. She has been siting on my lap or on the desk all afternoon. We did go out for a short walk a little while ago but the poor little thing was walking into the wind and her ears were just about blown inside out.

  5. Judith, what sort of weather does Wellington have in the winter? I know here in the US – Georgia, specifically, we are not set up to handle much snow. Plus, if we receive frozen precipitation, it is typically ice – which shuts everything down.
    Our winter was tough for us this year, too. I believe mail was out of service for three days. Mother Nature is must be going through menopause. Then again, that would probably cause heat flashes.
    Interesting what you mentioned about the homeless man with a bank account. Every homeless person has a story – some are tragic, and some – though different – are living their ‘own’ normal.

  6. Hi Lenore. So you live in Georgia? That is a state that I have never visited.
    Here in Wellington we have a very temperate climate – never below about 12*C (53 *F) in the winter or 25/26 (about 80) in the summer. And we never have snow. Chaos has reigned here for a few days. Sno, followed by black ice. Ghastly.
    Mother Nature has certainly taken control here this year. We have had 2 massive earthquakes in Christchurch, tornadoes in the north island and now this polar blast throwing everything out of line.
    Maybe I should send MN some of my heart warming soup.

  7. It is a good thing to be grateful and we are reminded of the good in our lives during harsh weather conditions, when the fortunate can stay away form the brutality of the elements… The weather patterns continue to change everywhere in the world and as we continue to misuse the planet, she will continue to remind us… I agree that we do need to support and care for those in need for mother earth loves all her children… TY Judith for this one. 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth. Yes we do have the responsibility of looking after those who are unable to look after themselves. I hope that I have instilled this in my children and that they will instil it in theirs.

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