(photo not me, but how i was feeling)
that annoying moment when you can’t find the long side of your blanket.
image credit: zooborn.com
i happily take part
in a wonderful program
to help warm the children.
through the generosity of the local community
money and time are donated
to provide new warm clothing for children in need.
children are referred
by school counselors and social workers.
these families meet with volunteer shoppers
to help with the process.
all of the money raised
goes directly to purchasing clothing,
with no administrative costs
subtracted from the donations.
i am one of the volunteers who take the families shopping
and never fail to be amazed by the people i meet.
on my shopping trip this year
i met a single mother whose husband had died
raising sons, 12 and 16
supporting them by working at mcdonald’s,
her oldest son works at taco bell
she’s had a rough time of things lately
extra money has been harder to come by
both sons are in school, play football, and do chores at home.
when i asked how she was able to do it all
she told me, “life goes up and down. you just do what you have to do.”
after we shopped for her sons’ winter clothing
we made our way to the register.
just ahead of us in line
another family was checking out
who were also program recipients.
after being rung up, it was discovered
that they had gone just a bit over their allotted budget
and were going to have to put something back.
the mother i had shopped with
reached into her purse
and gave them the $1.89 they needed.
what an incredibly generous act of compassion
from someone who had so little herself
as she helped someone else to warm their children
when we checked out and went to leave
she hugged me and said,
“thank you so much, i always pay it forward.”
“to keep a warm heart in winter is the real victory.”
participating partners: kiwanis club of ann arbor, washtenaw county, walmart, mlive, old national bank, ann arbor news
my children, friends, family, co-workers, and visitors of all kinds, know that i love my coffee. new, old, freshly ground, from a bag, from a tin, just dripped, just perked, re-heated, from all corners of the world, as well as the local coffee shop, gas station, or grocery.
when i make my own pot of coffee, i love it strong, black, with a bit of cream. i love to heat what’s left, in the microwave, or on the stove, over and over, until it’s all gone. it gets stronger and thicker and more potent with time. my daughters have taken to calling it my ‘chernobyl blend,’ my version of ‘turkish prison coffee.’ at least i know i could survive most any coffee, most anywhere i may find myself, be it a prison, a truck stop, or at home in my own cottage kitchen. and that’s a life skill.
here’s wishing you a hot cup of coffee, however you most like it, wherever you may be, on this, the shortest day of the year. and if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by my cottage in the morning, for a cup of my own special blend. we’ll share a pot, and toast to the beginning of a return to the long and brighter days of sun. happy winter solstice!
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee. –Abraham Lincoln