Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend update

I think I need to establish a new pattern in my life: work hard Tuesday through Friday, take Saturday and Sunday for "productive weekend" stuff, and reserve Monday for real bumming. I love squeezing lots of fun stuff into the weekends but inevitably Sunday night arrives too soon and I haven't caught up on sleep at all.

Saturday morning I worked a couple of hours at a food drive for the local food bank. We stood in front of Wal-Mart and in the nicest way possible accosted customers as they walked in. I tried to catch everyone because I thought they could all afford to grab an extra jar of peanut butter. It was a fascinating study in human nature. For one thing, I was pleasantly surprised to see that many people did donate food -- I would even venture to say that most did. And a lot of the most generous ones weren't the ones you would have guessed from their appearance (and vice versa).

While most people donated a couple of items or maybe a bag of canned goods, a few people donated full grocery carts. Of course we thanked them profusely, and all of them responded with some variation on "Well, I've been there ... my husband was out of work for a year and we were forced to rely on the food bank to feed our children ... to give $50 worth of food to help someone else now is the least I can do."

There was also a really sweet older man who on his way out the door asked us if we also accepted cash, and then he fumbled through his wallet for a $100 bill. So generous! And there was another old man who donated a bag of food and told me, "I'm a male chauvinist and I am only doing this because you seem so sweet," which doesn't totally make sense, but the food drive was a good cause so I figured I could live with it.

Later that afternoon Mom and I went to Winston-Salem for Sally's baby shower. Sally is one of four sisters who, to our whole family's great delight, moved in next door to us when I was about 8. I was in the grade between Grace and Rachel; Amanda and Sally (who were widely known as Salamander) were the same age; and Jane was a couple of years younger. Also, my parents and their parents, Liz and Charlie, have been best friends ever since then.

Now, all of the girls are married and everyone's spread out -- Liz and Charlie in Kentucky, Grace in Charlotte, Rachel in Florida, Sally in Winston and Jane in Kentucky -- so it was a rare treat to see all of them at once. Unfortunately Amanda couldn't come because she had to chaperone her youth group at Carowinds, but all the Taylors (and Grace's and Rachel's kids) are planning to visit my parents and other friends in town later this week, so we'll get to spend some more time with them then.

We got home around dinnertime and Matt was playing golf with his dad for Father's Day so I went on a run/hunt for blackberries. I discovered a new patch, in a wet area along the neighborhood's main road. I ate all the ripe ones that I could reach. When Matt got home we ate and then went over to Lauren G. and Paul's with the usual peeps for just a little while -- I was ready to crash.

Yesterday I was on nursery duty at church -- fun, but the kids were climbing the walls because the playground was too wet for us to take them outside -- and then we kept Dylan for an hour or so while Lauren and Paul took London to the pool. And then Mom and Dad, Granny and Granddaddy and Amanda and Stephen came over for a Father's Day cookout, which was really fun.

After dinner, Mom and Dad walked around our yard with me and told me which trees and plants are going to grow up to be something and which are just scrubs that will never amount to much. It turns out we have a ton of sassafrass, a few persimmon trees and two gardenia bushes, as well as a black widow near our propane tank. Thanks for the education, and happy Father's Day, Dad!

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