Yesterday I purchased a boatload of produce.
OK, it wasn't a boatload, but it was a whopping amount to fit into my car. I purchased a huge bag of Gala apples, a bag of clementines, two giant boxes of grapes - both red and green (NOT a nod to Christmas, yet, thank you very much), two big ol' containers of mini-tomatoes, a giant sleeve (I will call it that...?) of romaine lettuce, approximately twenty bananas (organic, at that), two giant bags of cranberries.
This morning that Spouse o' Mine delivered them to our community Emergency Shelter.
We do this occasionally. Three years ago, I was experiencing not a life-crisis, but a life "what is bothering you?". It had to do with that summer being what I knew would be our last summer with our son home, living with us. Our two daughters had already made permanent moves out of our nest, and I had coped accordingly. When I felt the familiar twinges of this fledge, though, I knew I had to acknowledge what it was and what I might do.
I always loved to feed our family. Healthy. healthy, let's be athletic, let's be healthy and happy... I asked myself what it was I would miss most with our son's final departure. Probably, I thought to myself...was feeding my family. I wonder if birds in the nest feel this same impending loneliness?
And then I got it: I would provide a meal to our Emergency Shelter twice a month. I mentioned this to that Spouse o' Mine: the cost would be much as if he & I went out to eat each week. In that we rarely eat out, this seemed an agreeable task at hand.
OK - so that was three years ago. Since then, I have received great feedback about shelter meals. There are a few weeks that I opt out of cooking a meal. Thanksgiving week is one of those weeks; there are many, MANY offerings in our community for Thanksgiving meals.
But...what about the day before, or the day after, when kids are out of school and don't have their school breakfasts and lunches?
Ah! That's where this fruit and fresh produce come into play.
When our kids were wee young things, we had a fruit bowl in the kitchen. Anytime, anytime at all, no questions from us, they were welcome to take what they liked from the fruit bowl. As were their playmates. Playmates were incredulous. "Really?!"
The feedback that we get from the Emergency Shelter is that the kids, in particular, are the ones who eat the fruit and such. The fruit is set in a bowl, as I understand it (for privacy reasons, our Emergency Shelter does not allow people into their inner rooms.), and the kids flock to it.
And that's all I have for today.
Mid Week Thanksgiving, tomorrow.