On my way home from Grand Rapids yesterday, (where I have grown accustomed to seeing panhandlers on every other street corner) I decided to take the BACK roads home. Imagine my surprise when I saw this gentleman on the corner of Lessiter and Old Belding Road. For those of you not familiar with the area, it’s in the country off the beaten path (aka BFE) and not a “high traffic area”!I hate to admit it but it was such an oddity to see a panhandler in this location I was trying not to laugh. I turned my car around and rolled down my window to ask “Mikey” as I later found out his name, if he got much business here.

After parking my car to chat with Mikey for a while, I asked him if I could Pay him to take his picture. He was more than happy and asked that I share his picture with everyone I knew, to let the world know, “People are experiencing tough times”. So I gave Mikey 5.00 ( he assured me he only wanted a cup of coffee) and took a few shots. I told Mikey I was sorry life had treated him so roughly. He was quick to tell me that the other people he lives with have it much rougher and said, “At least I am still able to walk and get around.”

I would have to acknowledge that People like Mikey impact me more profoundly than most I meet on a daily basis. The Mikeys of the world make me realize how easy, for the most part, life has been for me . Not because I am more “blessed” just maybe a little luckier to have not had so many roadblocks on my life’s path.
It was a pleasure getting to know Mikey and whether or not he was buying coffee or something else, it’s not for me to judge…. I have a glass of wine after a rough day, I might have more than that if EVERYDAY was as rough as what Mikey’s appears to be. Thanks Mikey for your kindness and helping me to keep my “Life Perspective Compass” pointing North….

As Always,

Here’s to “Shuttering” with Happiness!


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