I usually hate it when he’s right, but not this time

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I have a great friend who is sometimes is too smart for his own good.  But his advice is sage, his common sense is welcomed and his support is evident.  The combination of those things has recently led me to draft a couple of letters to companies that have been manufacturing the products I have been using for the venture I began for our local Food Bank.

I penned a few well-constructed emails today to let the companies know how integral their products have been to the success of our Freezer Crockpot meals.  In a world so full of negativity, it’s nice to be able to spread a modicum of happiness.  In those letters I did nothing more than tell the truth about how much of a difference this project has made to our small community and how much their product has helped with that success.

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In a few short hours, I had my first email response.  Nowhere in my email did I ask for anything but, after being so impressed with the project and inspired by our story, this company immediately offered to send us some complimentary products to “help continue our excellent work”.

For those of you who know me, or follow my blog on a regular basis, you will know that some tears were shed after I read that email.  And I’m not completely sure if the tears were of pure joy because this company didn’t hesitate to help or because my friend was right….again.  Regardless of their cause, my cheeks welcomed the emotion.

This Food Bank project has been a labor of love since the beginning and the more time I spend organizing, shopping and setting up the volunteers, the more I know this is not just a one-shot deal.  This enterprise has become a part of my life, and one I hope to continue for a long time.  And now that I know even more support is out there, more home-cooked meals will make it into deserving homes during their tough times.

 

 

 

 

Comes a time

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Everything in our lives has a time and a place.  Whether we understand the correlation or not, the introduction of certain things into our realities is done with a purpose.  The novel ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ is one of those things that had a time and place in my life – and that time and place was now.

Had I read this book when it was first published, the messages would have never hit their target.  But now, almost twenty years after its publication date, this book has burrowed its way under my skin and caused numerous moments of reflection and awareness.

I began reading this book late on a Saturday night, although I wish I could say I dove into it on a Tuesday.  My appetite for the story made me pick it up again on Sunday afternoon and finish it early Sunday night.  I recognized many moments of my life through the book and I paused many times to wipe tears from my eyes so I could continue reading.

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(Mitch Albom and Morrie Schwartz)

I watched both of my parents wither from a disease, although not ALS, that stole their ability to function as healthy adults.  I felt a strong connection to Mitch as he tried to make life as normal for Morrie as he could.  But what I was most affected by from this novel is Morrie teaching Mitch how to live while he, in turn, was dying.

Life is not about our limitations, it is about our strengths.   Life is not about our possessions but about our character.  It is about being a part of a community and giving to those who are less fortunate.  Life is about having no regrets when we pass because the energy that we shared with others lives on through them.

Mitch and Morrie reiterated the philosophy behind a mantra I have, for many years, uttered under my breath.  “Life is not about what you have.  Life is about what you give.”   And since this novel has securely fastened itself into my memory, I will strive to give more so I can live far beyond this lifetime.

Give a little, get a lot

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I was asked by our local Public Library to donate some goodies for their holiday get-together today.  The local singing group ‘The Minettones’ will be performing and many locals will be in attendance.  I gladly agreed as it combined two of my favorite things – cake decorating and books.

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If you read my post yesterday you would know I have been filling out applications to volunteer at some local establishments.  Since the lodge is officially closed for the winter, I will have more spare time and I feel strongly about giving my time to those who could use the help.

Between the Toy Drive at the lodge and the time spent creating these goodies for the Library, I feel good about the decision to give back since I feel I have so much already.  I may not be rich in terms of my bank balance but life has treated me well in many other ways and now it is time to ‘share the wealth’.

 

Raising my hand

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Today will be a bittersweet day for me.  I have $1,000.00 Canadian dollars to go on a shopping spree for the rest of the toys that will be given to the children in our area who may not otherwise have had a present to open on Christmas morning.  This is the third year I have been at the helm of our toy drive and it has grown significantly each year.

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I am sad to say I have not volunteered as much as I should have over the years.  Back in the stone ages when I was in high school, we were not required to have volunteer hours as part of the curriculum.  We studied, we tried not to fall asleep in class and, if all went well, we graduated and moved on to college or university.

But this toy drive has sparked something in me.  It has kindled a need to use my able body and mind to spend some of my free hours helping others.  I have just filled out my application and submitted it to a local cause to see if I will be approved to become a part of their volunteer team.

With luck, I hope to have a positive response.  And when they ask who is able to come and help, I will raise my hand and be one of the people at the front of the line.