When I signed on to volunteer at Harvest Hope Food Bank, I had no idea what to expect. Obviously, since I've never done something like that before. I kind of pictured working in a warehouse-type place, boxing food items up or loading stuff onto a truck to be shipped off to the people who need it. Well, I was partially right - that stuff definitely does go on there, but I didn't do any of it.
I showed up at my specified time at 8:00 this morning. A nice lady showed me around and explained what all goes on there. She's worked there for almost ten years; she's a very cool lady with a very happy attitude for it being that early in the morning and cold out. I have the feeling I could learn a lot from her should I spend any substantial amount of time with her. Just being with her for a little while made me feel like I could burp rainbows and fart unicorn dust.
I'd brought some canned food with me, mostly stuff my mother-in-law...(Hey, can I stop referring to her as that? It's a really long word and it's annoying to type hyphens, I hate the acronym "MIL", and since I tend to refer to her a lot, I want something easier. Her name is Iris. I don't call her that to her face, but I'm going to start calling her that here - nice, short, easy-peasy.)...Iris has given us over a period of time. She buys food in bulk a lot and for some reason thinks she needs to share - stuff like low salt chicken broth, canned peas and carrots, weird soups I've never heard of, etc. I had two bags full of weird badness I was more than happy to donate and they were graciously received.
So what did I end up doing for two hours?
I sat at a desk, labeling and stuffing envelopes and thinking, "I think this is the definition of irony." A very sassy sixty-something-year-old man named Joe flirted with me a little, (Well I am having a good hair day today, who could blame him) and told me how much he loves working there. He's one of the ones who regularly boxes and loads up the food, and he also delivers it when need be. He told me it's a lot better than sitting around bored "watching grass grow" like most retired people do. I think I fell in love with Joe a little.
They are having an event later today, so my services were only needed for a couple of hours. They thanked me profusely to the point of embarrassment and I told them I'd definitely be back soon. It was so cool to see this and meet people who cheerfully give their time and energy to help other people. I think my little black heart grew three sizes today, just like somebody told me it would. At first I was a little disappointed to have done something so small, but whatever. I like the place a lot and maybe next time I'll get to do more. Maybe I'll even get to work with Joe!
I feel lucky today, and not just from the experience this morning. Our washing machine is finally ready for a dirt nap; there is no reviving it. I've done my share of time in laundromats, oh yes I have, but today I'm bringing the dirty clothes over to my moth..er, Iris's house to wash and dry them. They're out of town, so I'll be able to do whatever I want while I'm there and I'm guessing this will include a nap. And here I thought this day would be nap-free. See, my good karma has started already!
Jesus, I should not have just said that out loud.