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Hearts are where you find them. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Hearts are where you find them.
Each of us has had more than our share of Retail America bearing down at us to show how much we love each other on Valentines Day OR ELSE. Eleanor gets it at work, with the endless parade of cards and candies and floral arrangements passing by. Meanwhile, anytime I watch or listen to anything with a largely-male demographic audience, the adverts are relentless- for flowers and  Sherry's Berries and 50 Shades of Grey-styled teddy bears (I swear I am not making that up), all the way up to dayspa packages and jewelry purchases that will prove your love and get you nookie in return on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Us? We'll exchange cards. There will be dessert of some form.   But the sweetest expressions of love we shared this Valentine Double-Eve were not purchased at all.


One was a story I heard yesterday in Rochester and shared tonight.  Some hearts need to be warmed more than others, especially those in need of literal warming.  The city's long had a homeless problem, and it was made worse when county officials recently shooed the hardest-core cases from their overnight warmth in the garage under downtown's courthouse.  I was just in there yesterday morning, and yes, that Soviet-style 60s monstrosity is pretty toasty, even at garage level.  Probably some judge smelled pee and ordered a purge.  Then, a Catholic social justice group set up a tent city in a nearby park, providing heaters and other modest amenities, but again the sight infringed on the views of too many well-connected people, so the homeless were again made homelesser.  I hadn't heard of what had become of the issue, even as temperatures plunged to century-record colds.

Until yesterday:

We took a leap into the unknown and offered shelter to the struggling residents of Sanctuary Village who had been evicted from their tent homes. The church had the space, an incredibly supportive and helpful staff, and some willing volunteers.

And you, the Rochester community, kept phone lines ringing with offers of food, clothing, bedding, and money. You appeared with hot meals, spent the night as one of three night managers, and drove our guests to morning destinations.

Our guests were constantly appreciative and want to thank you for your caring.

We are also grateful to the Glazer family who, while in deep mourning, offered temporary housing in a warehouse for the rest of the winter.

The "Glazer family" developed much of downtown's new and restored real estate over the past couple of decades, and they are in "deep mourning" because their CEO and his wife lost their lives in a plane crash a few months ago- the same plane they graciously allowed friends of mine (and a cousin of theirs) to use when one of them took ill in a faroff place and they needed to get back to Rochester in a hurry.  Their love for their fellow men (mostly) is a testament to their goodness.

Likewise, the "we" in that letter is Rochester's Downtown United Presbyterian Church, long a champion of social justice in the community. I remember them best for being the first of that flavor to appoint an openly lesbian pastor, only to have one of their Fundier fellow congregations start a denominational fight seeking her defrocking in 1992. The church hired her anyway in a non-ordained role, and it took almost 20 years for Presbyterians to finally welcome LGBTs among their clergy- something my own church stupidly refuses to do.

More evidence of hearts intersecting with stupidity:

We finally watched A Normal Heart tonight, Larry Kramer's story of the coming of AIDS in the early 80s and the relentless ignorance of so many in power who refused to treat (in any sense of the word) the disease as any other epidemic. The casting all around was awesome, but it was truly inspired to have the injection of Julia Roberts into the role of New York's main medical fighter against the unknown killer, even as she suffered herself from a childhood case of polio- a disease that was similarly viral and scary in its time, but which America rallied to research and cure despite the obstacles. As with the church, the medical community's come a long way in the years since this film's setting, but here, too, we have a long way to go.


FInally, some hearts just spontaneously appear. I reposted the amazing picture I found on an early-morning Valentine's drive a year ago, and it still blows me away that I caught it at just the right moment:


Happy Valentine's Day, and keep those hearts warm, however you can:)
5 comments or Leave a comment
jenny_evergreen From: jenny_evergreen Date: February 13th, 2015 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
What an awesome photo! Thanks for the uplifting stories!
liddle_oldman From: liddle_oldman Date: February 13th, 2015 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, if they're going to die, they had best do it and decrease the surplus population

It's dormant now, but my church, smack in the middle of Quincy Square and across the street from City Hall, had for some years a lunch program working out of the downstairs kitchen, and the city government and local worthies just went mad over it. They must have tried a dozen ways of shutting it down, to get the marginal and indigent off their streets.
ellettra From: ellettra Date: February 13th, 2015 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I noticed yesterday in Rite Aid that the Valentine's section is ALREADY being pushed out of the way and dwindled down to clearance items to make way presumably for Easter junk. I mean, it's not even Valentine's Day yet!
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: February 13th, 2015 11:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Only 314 shopping days till Christmas:P
ellettra From: ellettra Date: February 17th, 2015 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
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