Friday, October 14, 2011

Craftsman Tools

I caught a flicker of movement glanced over at the door to my shop and there stood a woman, an urban camper. I buzzed her inside.

"Excuse me, but the pawn shop down on the corner won't buy our tools."

She appeared to be about fifty, that or she'd just been rode hard and put away wet; weather worn.

"Okay. I'm sorry about that but how may I help you?"

Her, "You wants 'em."

What the heck I thought. Said, "Let's step outside and set them on the bench." She had a man with her, little fella  about her age or a bit older. He had a black rucksack, it sagged.

He gave me a once over, seemed to settle in his mind I wouldn't rip him off and eased off the backpack. As he's unloading she begins with, "They done went and turned off our power. No lights, all the food in my icebox has gone bad. I just don't know what we'll do now and we're hungry."

They didn't appear the type to have owned a home or to pay rent on an apartment...but who am I. She didn't carry a purse, he only held the backpack. Best guess, street people in need of either drugs or drink. The wrench set he placed on my bench was probably stolen. Hence the reason the pawn shop turned them away.

She began to weep. I dug out some cash and extended my hand towards the man. She reached and snatched it away, said, "Oh hell no, you took the last of our money and I never saw a penny of it."

They turned and began to walk away. He yelled back, "Careful, I saw a roach climb out of those wrenches."

Nice set. Craftsman, forged in the good 'ole USA. What the heck.



  1. Unfortunately some people aren't helpable until they are ready to be helped. Many good hearted people leave a legacy of greater suffering in a belief that they can institute a perfect system to save everybody.

    The people who really make a difference are the ones able to work with each individual and have the faith to withstand a harrowing rate of disappointment.

    I know God didn't fashion me with such a temperament or calling. Sometimes the best you can do are the little moments of sustaining the lost until they are able to really reach out.

  2. Odysseus, very darn true. Thanks.

  3. Y'all planning on coming across from the Imperial measuring systems to metric any time soon? Not that I mind building up the ol' guns every time I lift my tool bag but this "9/16, 5/8, 11/16" business does my head in :)

  4. Odysseus:

    i see what you are saying. i always gave money to panhandlers in the city and my friends would say "why, they are just gonna spend it on booze or drugs"

    probably true, but here is the thing... i don't ever know that for sure and even if true, it's possible that it gets them through another day and tomorrow they wake up and realize it's time to straighten themselves out….

    did i buy them the last day they needed? doubtful, but possible, we are tasked with trying.

    anyway, i have no idea what kind of pain they really might be numbing themselves from, maybe i am helping ease a suffering too much to bear right now... do i have spare change, i mean, really, do i have spare change??

    the voice inside me, the voice of god, jesus, the universe tells me... of course i do.. and often, i would well up with a weird mixture of shame and compassion.

    as Stephen says, "who am I?" ... even scarier.....could that have been me?

    good on you Stephen for trying your best not to judge... i know you didn't NEED the wrenches, but that was the situation you were presented with and you did what someone less fortunate asked of you..

    that's what we are here for

  5. i am usually the blatherer here so i will keep it short this time and say:

    what Odysseus and jambaloney said.

    "There but for the Grace of God..."

    your friend,

  6. Tough call that's for sure. I have no problems with charity even to those who seem to habitually over expect it as long as it isn't forced at the point of the government gun. Yet receiving stolen goods is another thing altogether. Of course from the details I am sure it wasn't taken from too far away from the selling source so who knows. Regardless it is hard to turn anyone down who is suffering it says more about you Stephen than anything.

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  8. While certain types of petty theft are becoming more common these days for sure, so is this sort of story as well. From what I read, this sounds legimate. The pawn shop down the street may have just been over loaded with stuff people are bring in to hock. I bet that's happening alot more as well.

    Stephen, in these types of situations, when common sense judgement fails to deliver a clear cut course of action to take, it's hard not to follow your heart. I could post several Bible passages related to this but I will take it on faith that everyone pretty much knows them.

    When it comes to helping out our fellow man in need..... and I'm not referring to stupid protests and politics...these days there's no need in judging each other because were all gonna be judged in the end on how we treat those in need like these folks you mentioned. You came out shining pretty bright on this, Stephen. Good example for us all.

  9. Ausprepper, we're pretty much there on the metric system...yet, we cling to our old ways. I still can't wrap my head around 10mm.

    Jamie, thanks. I just turned around and gave them to my son. He's a tech for Acura motors.

    kymber, amen.

    PioneerPreppy, thanks. I know I'm a soft touch, it's just hard to watch a woman cry and not do give a little something.

    Matt, Thank you. What more can I say.

  10. Stephen I can't wrap my head around 10mm either.....unless it's a Glock 20

  11. Stephen, I've been lurking (& enjoying your blog) for a while. I came over from Patrice's site...

    I agree that it's such a moral dilemma when asked for money for someone's food when you think they'll probably spend it on alcohol or drugs.

    Once, when I was living in NW Ohio and teaching music lessons in Detroit 3x a week, I stopped to get gas in a rougher area of town. (It was where I taught; being young & stupid, I didn't know the fear I would now know!) A man approached me and asked for money for food. I truly had no extra funds, but I had not yet eaten my sack dinner. I replied that I had no money except for the gas, but if he was truly hungry, he was welcome to my dinner. He appeared surprised and very grateful.

    You just never know...

  12. I would rather wonder if the few dollars I gave to a panhandler would actually be spent on food than to wonder if some poor soul went hungry or finally died of hunger because I was too skeptical to give them a few bucks.

    We are not responsible for anyone's choices but our own. You chose to help two people who were in obvious need ...what they ultimately chose to do with the 'help' you offered is not your worry.

  13. wow. people still care. all of you still care. there is hope for the world yet. i can sleep now.

  14. Matt, guess we're just stuck in our ways...thanks.

    KatieJ, thank you so much for hanging around. Please continue to so, nice people here. If you get the chance and have the time reach over and hit my follower button...God bless.

    HossBoss,amen, dear lady, and thank you.

    kymber, some indeed still do for one. Thanks. All my love.