Is There An Answer to the Dilemma of Lawrence?

Dear and kind-hearted readers, what is the solution to chronic homelessness in America? Wow, Mother Goose, that’s pretty huge for this early in the morning. Can you tone it down a bit?

OK.

Our friend, Lawrence Little, returned to our home on Monday which is the day after Sunday which is the day that we brought Lawrence to church with us. He sat at our kitchen table and drank a large mug of hot chocolate with Husband Goose. (Mother Goose was not present for this meeting as she occasionally works at a part-time job…) Recounting the previous day with our church pastor, Chuck Colegrove, Lawrence said that indeed the pastor did take him into the city to The Safe Haven Foundation, but there is a two-week waiting list to be allowed into their program.

Mother Goose is indeed grateful for all of the help that our church has shown Lawrence in the past eighteen months. Here is an excerpt from my pastor’s email describing just some of the care they have provided to our friend:

We have helped Lawrence on several occasions since first meeting him back in the Fall of 2012. We paid for 1 month of housing while he was seeking a job, paid for bus passes on 4-5 occasions that he secured a job or was about to secure a job….you’re right, helping with money isn’t necessarily the best option….when we’re able to, we help.

I’m hoping that Safe Haven will get him on the right path. He’s had several opportunities in the last year with jobs but can’t seem to hold it down.

Chuck has also offered to write a referral for Lawrence if he needs something like that to speed up the housing process at Safe Haven. Thank you, Chuck, for all you do to bring joy and love to a dark and fearful world.

I may have mentioned that Lawrence does his “rounds” through the city — knocking on the doors of kindly people who have helped him in the past. Husband Goose described him as having a “rolodex of helpers” in his head, and I believe that is an accurate picture of how he survives. One day at a time, one handout at a time, one bit of help from his friends is enough to get him to the next day.

Obviously many people have shown him love and kindness. Many people have directed him to job opportunities and housing opportunities. I am sure that somewhere in this large city he has at least one case manager who has filled out the proper intake forms and has done everything to get him into the system of public care. He has had money in the past — according to his story, he used to have a LOT OF MONEY in the days when he was a street performer doing break dancing on a cardboard mat on Michigan Avenue…

He’s an artist as well.

Lawrence has been prayed for and preyed upon. The mean streets of Chicago can be rough — a stark contrast to the kindness of the people who God puts in his life to care for him in manifold ways every single day.

Is there an answer to homelessness in America?

I don’t know if there is anything else that can be done except for this one thing:

We must not lump all of God’s homeless people into one big category and call it The Homeless Dilemma.

Each and every one of those people at the busy intersections and sitting along the avenues with their cups and their cardboard signs is a real person with a history of good times and hard times. Each and every individual who wanders the streets looking for a way to get somewhere else has a story to tell.

They have souls that require as much nourishment as their physical bodies.

They need a hug and an ear to listen to them — they say they need money, but what they might need more is a short-term connection to someone who might give them hope for another day.

Hope is a survival tool for those who have little else to carry with them.

My friends, do what you can. One person at a time is enough. Give them the time of day, give them a hug, give them a mug of hot chocolate, but whatever you do, give them hope.

Mother Goose thanks you.

This is not Lawrence.  I have never photographed my friend, not wanting to seem exploitative in any way.

This is not Lawrence. I have never photographed my friend, not wanting to seem exploitative in any way.

A Sort of Feathery Love Story

In days gone by, Mother Goose was known as quite a swinger.

(For my younger readers, a swinger is defined as a person who actively seeks excitement and moves with the latest trends or one who is being modern and lively.)

Modern. Lively. Trendy. Excitement. These are all buzzwords and keywords, perhaps even synonyms for Mother Goose.

Perhaps you would only consider me an old floozy now, but in my youth I was a pretty happenin’ gal.

Can we altogether say “Woot woot”?

Let me just tell you a short story — a Valentine’s Day story from the early 80’s. The 1980’s.

Once upon a time, Mother Goose worked at a marketing agency in the great city of Chicago. She had recently moved to the Windy City of Big Shoulders from northern Minnesota with her college diploma rolled up and tucked under her arm. She was a very proud young goose to have landed such a promising position in a growing business — I mean seriously! Talk about Mary Tyler Moore dancing in downtown Minneapolis — Mother Goose had found a nesting zone right at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive with an office overlooking the Chicago River and a receptionist with big 80’s hair. Mother Goose flew regularly to NYC, NY and LA, CA to visit her clients.

What an exciting life for a country girl!

Many of the young men in the office admired Mother Goose from afar — some of them even admired her right up close in her face, maybe just a little too up close in her face. Perhaps they had never seen a goose of her stature in the mad advertising world. Perhaps they wanted to look into her sky blue Land-of-1,000-Lakes eyes. Maybe she just smelled really good and they wanted to get a good sniff.

Whatever the reason or the season, Mother Goose was quite popular and never lacked for dates or dinners. So many suitors, so little time…

One day as she strolled briskly along the Avenue, she heard a voice calling out her name.

“Miss Goose! Miss Goose! Wait just a minute for me to catch up with you!”

Mother Goose turned around to see a young man with a bushy mustache running up behind her. She recognized him as one of the most handsome young art directors from the agency. She thought for a moment to remember his name…

“Mark? You are Mark, right? How nice to see you today! Isn’t it a lovely day? Are you on your lunch break?”

Out of good-natured Minnesota habit, Mother Goose smiled at him and noticed he was carrying a red rose. “How unusual,” she mused to herself. “Here we are out walking on our lunch hours, and this fine young man is carrying a lovely rose in his hand. I wonder who the lucky lady might be…”

Shy young Mark looked down at the sidewalk and said, “Miss Goose, I wonder if you’d like to join me for a lunch today. I’m heading over to Su Casa for some authentic Mexican cuisine, perhaps a small margarita. Will you come along? Please, Miss Goose?”

How could she resist his boyish charm? But still she wondered about the rose in his hand. Perhaps someone had given it to him? Maybe he had just found it on the street and didn’t want to see it run over by a speeding car. Surely it was for his mother…

And then the mustachioed Mark dropped down on one knee right there on the boulevard and handed the beautiful red rose to Mother Goose and said with much passion and emotion, “Miss Goose, may I just say that I have admired you from afar. But starting today, I would like to call you my very own goose. I shall be your gander, and we shall travel to all four corners of the world together. Please take this rose as a sign of my undying affection for you. And I shall remain forever yours. And by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Miss Goose.”

Well, what could I say? Of course, I said “yes” to lunch. And I said “yes” to many of his other questions and invitations after that one.

Nat and Mark 1983

Some of the details of this story have been modified due to the notoriously bad memory of the goose…

A Request from Mother Goose

Mother Goose is all aflap today to celebrate Valentine’s Day. If I could honk and whisper at the same time, I’d tell you that I love you, dear and gentle reader. I would shout it from the mountain tops and write it on a sandy beach. I would stomp my large webbed feet to a samba beat. We’d waltz off into the moonlight. I would nibble rich dark chocolates in your honor and sip bubbly champagne. The sky’s the limit — there are so many ways I would show my love for you. Little candy hearts, deep red roses, Elvis singing “Love Me Tender”.

So tender, so touching, so romantic.

By now, all of my precious readers have figured out the secret Joy of Mother Goose. It’s all about the Love. Mother Goose is loved by thousands, nay millions of fans worldwide. Adoring fans flock to my front gate just to catch a glimpse of the Goose.

Like Elvis, Mother Goose knows the burden of fame and fortune. There is no privacy when you are a famous Goose. My name has often been schmeared across the tabloid covers. Mr. Goose and I can never have an anonymous dinner out — the paparazzi are everywhere. I know that my dear readers love me and want to be near me. You want to touch my feathers and pat my cheek. You want to pretend that we are very close and that we know each other very well. You want to ask for my autograph and just a quick photo together to show to your friends. I understand about idols, I really do.

Please know that I love you too.

But just for this evening, please let Mother Goose and Mr. Mother Goose have a quiet dinner together without all the public adoration. Let it be your Valentine’s gift to me — please… I know it’s much to ask. Self-control and restraint in the presence of a famous goose is very difficult. Celebrities like Mother Goose are wonderful to behold up close. But if you really care, if your love is real for me, please grant me this one favor — admire Mother Goose from a distance. Just for today.

Alone at last...

Stevie Nicks Never Got Older

Mother Goose is in prime romance mode this morning, and cannot get this song out of her silly feathery head. Do you remember “Landslide” which was written by Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac? I hope that this song gets stuck in your head today…

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmm, mmm, mmm

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older and I’m getting older too

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older and I’m getting older too
Oh, I’m getting older too

Awh, take my love, take it down
Awh, climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide bring it down

And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide bring it down
Oh, the landslide bring it down

She might sing of getting older, but of course, Stevie still looks young and enchanting. I wonder if she still floats and hovers and twirls and swirls onstage — her singing and dancing are so unique and lovely. Mother Goose will even go out on a limb and say that Stevie Nicks is ethereal in her music. She is hypnotic and entrancing — her voice is haunting.

Listening to this song, Mother Goose can’t help but sing along. Sometimes Mother Goose pretends that she IS Stevie Nicks, and sings loudly and twirls around and around in a flurry feathers and musical passion and wonder. In my dreams, I leave my ordinary suburban existence and I float off to mountain majesties and ancient mysterious castles. I see my reflection in snow-covered hills.

I go where no goose has gone before….thanks to the song, Landslide and the graceful beauty of Stevie Nicks.

Mother Goose pretending to be Stevie Nicks.

Lyrics of Love

It’s no secret that Mother Goose is feeling the love. With Valentine’s Day only twenty days away, I’ve got hearts in my eyes.

The eye of Mother Goose, courtesy of Frescoes

Yes, it’s certainly time for making our preparations. Have you made your dinner reservations yet? Maybe you’re a stay at home traditionalist when it comes to Valentine’s Day? What’s on your menu? Have you spent any time perusing the Valentines in the card aisle of your favorite mart? Browsing the flowery bouquet websites? And what about the chocolates? It’s time, folks.

Life is like a box of chocolates, Forrest

No matter who you love or who loves you, this is your holiday. Our lovers, our boyfriends and girlfriends, our spouses, our children, even our pets come to mind when I think of Valentine’s Day. It’s actually one of the last remaining universal holidays that’s appropriate for everyone — who gets offended by celebrating love?

In honor of this loverly holiday, Mother Goose will spend some time examining some outrageous love song lyrics. We’ve been singing love songs all of our lives, haven’t we? (Is this starting to sound a little bit familiar…like the expose` Mother Goose conducted in the fall? 🙂 ) Together let’s take a closer look at some of those love songs to determine just what exactly we promised with those sweet, sentimental, and sometimes sappy lyrics.

Truly some of the songs will bring a tear to your eye. Be prepared for that and have your tissues handy. Other songs will simply rock your socks off. We will laugh and sing and muse together, dear and gentle readers. Shall we begin?

Our first outrageous love lyric comes from the song, “Me and Bobby McGee”. Written by one of the greatest songwriters of our time, Kris Kristofferson, it just goes over the top if you ask this goose.

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, headin’ for the train,
Feelin’ nearly faded as my jeans.
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained;
Took us all the way to New Orleans.
I took my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna,
And was blowing sad while Bobby sang the blues.
With them windshield wipers slappin’ time,
And Bobby clappin’ hands,
We finally sang up every song that driver knew.

Freedom’s just another word for nothing’ left to lose:
Nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free.
Feeling good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues.
Feeling good was good enough for me;
Good enough for me and Bobby McGee.

From the coal mines of Kentucky to the California sun,
Bobby shared the secrets of my soul.
Standin’ right beside me, Lord, through everything I’ve done,
Every night she kept me from the cold.
Then somewhere near Salinas, Lord, I let her slip away,
Lookin’ for the home I hope she’ll find.
And I’d trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday,
Holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine.

Freedom’s just another word for nothing’ left to lose:
Nothin’ left is all she left for me.
Feeling good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues.
Buddy, that was good enough for me;
Good enough for me and Bobby McGee.

Wow! Did you see that line? “I’d trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday, holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine.” That’s just outrageous LOVE. Have you been loved like that? Who loves like that? Trading away all of our days, our whole futures just to get one yesterday back. To relive one day in the arms of a lover and never have anymore days. How much love is that? Can the heart of this goose even fathom love like that? I think not.

How many tomorrows would you sacrifice just to have one yesterday back? It’s a heartbreaking thought, and Mother Goose is going for a tissue now…

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 63,048 honks to date

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