We have a lot of organizing to do before going out to help at the ranch in the "bush" (sage hills, cattle range land, forests and gullies actually).
Over the winter I have become more involved with different activities and my calendar just filled up. Soon, everyday I had commitments. I will look forward to being in the bush where I don't look at calendars and forget what day it is.
Our special Deacon, Lois, was voted the village's Citizen of the Year. She too is slowing down, becoming deaf, but so many still depend on her. She did a funeral for a friend's husband last weekend. Cliff Moore was a naval man so the Legion were involved and Lois is the chaplain for the local Royal Canadian Legion.
Tanya Wong, beside Lois, was voted Citizen of the Year for our home village of Cache Creek. Tanya works hard for the disabled children's societies and for the community. I was so proud of both of them. So of course I had to go to the Rotary luncheon for them. All these food celebrations are making weight loss impossible. Getting out to the bush may be a big help.
For the last two 'Soup's On' days I went down the street to the church hall to help set up and prepare and dish up individual portions of salads/vegetables/fruit/desserts etc. at 9:00. The tables were set and the 2-4 soup choices were heated to government regulations. We must always have one vegetarian soup as so many folk want that, even the street people. We are happy to give them choices.
Then I took on the job of greeting at the door. My leg is still not back to normal so I could sit on the foyer bench in between greetings. Some come before the door opens at 11 but the door is never closed, so we welcome them in. The head cook was Gerda on Friday and she made a wonderful lentil, barley and ham soup. So (as a joke) I wrote on the chalkboard that we were a sponsor group called Gerda's Galloping Goddesses, although we were really all a cell from St. Alban's Church. The customers like to know who is cooking each time. Then wonderful, wandering, but not-quite-homeless, Mike, came to help with dishes and to do the heavy lifting, so I quickly changed 'Goddesses' to 'Gleaners'. Although 'Big Mike from Wales' said he wouldn't mind being called a goddess. Gerda is from Germany and works hard for this soup kitchen at 78 years of age. She organizes one lunch a month.
When you look at this crowd you can't tell who are the ministers and who are the ministered-to. That is not a focus although it happens. The first in line here is the United Church minister but she didn't arrive until after 12:00. All are welcomed in and thanked for coming as they leave. We have welfare folk who can't donate and folk who just like to get out every Friday and visit with friends. Some put $10 in the pot and some put more/less or nothing. Any profits go to the food bank. It is amazing that every few months we can vote to send $300 or more over to the Elizabeth Fry Society and the Food Bank. One of our church men put tissue flowers and butterflies on the walls for Spring decorations. The visitors/eaters noticed that nice touch. It is just a good social time for all, especially the old age pensioners who find it difficult to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. Hcre they get a choice of cleaned and cut up and prepared fresh food. I noticed that this week folk seemed to linger longer over lunch and enjoy the socializing more. Maybe folk are glad that winter is almost over. Next week the Free Evangelical's Church group will be doing the lunch for Good Friday.
It took me 40 minutes to clear the tables, sweep the floor and wipe down the table tops with bleach/soap water. We need to leave everything tidy for the next group.
This is the last time I will help with this worthy project until after Halloween next fall. I will miss the joyful working with friends in the kitchen. I will also miss talking to some of the folk who hide in the community for the rest of the week.