The Set Up
Over the weekend I received an encouraging email from Carol in Wake Forest, NC. Remember, she and her son, Colin are collecting One Can A Week for the VFW in their community. The email contained a link to a story about a fellow who summers in the coastal town of Holden Beach, NC. His name is Bill Spier and he is 76-years-old. He started his “A Second Helping” program—which is similar to One Can A Week—five years ago. It involves collecting food from folks who spend a week in the 700 plus rental homes along the shoreline. All of the homes have kitchens and he reasoned that the folks might donate the left over food at the end of their stay rather than cart it home. He was right and he collected over 14,290 lbs. just last year.
This is the part of the article that got most of my attention probably because I am also looking to inspire others to initiate a One Can A Week program in their neighborhood and I can’t seem to kindle a flame. By Monday I was sufficiently dejected enough to realize I had to let it go and think about something else.
Of course, the last stoplight would turn red at Speedway and Wilmot and make me a couple of minutes late for my computer lesson with Aaron at Villa Hermosa just across the intersection. And of course, as I darted up the stairs and rounded the corner to the computer room, I could see he had already positioned himself in his scooter in front of the computer and was patiently waiting for me to arrive.
When I came back from getting a drink of water at the fountain across the hall, I noticed his was smiling. He had typed his first message. I told him now comes the fun part…editing. I know as a linguist and writer, he loves words and has done an incredible amount of editing in his life. I quickly showed him the arrows on the keyboard and he took to them like an editor to a red pencil. He started to smile and chuckle and the curser raced to the double letters and the no-space between words. He even said, “I’m having fun.” And he needed no air breaks.
The second, which was the last email he typed, was to his grandson. He talked about how he was not good at this stuff but his grandson was and could help him. He signed it, “Your anxious granddad.” We both laughed.
Aaron will check his email himself tomorrow to see the replies. He’s anxious in a good way to get them. He has made tremendous progress in just two lessons and has taught me something in the process. When it comes to moving One Can A Week forward, I have to be as patient with myself as I am with all of my students. That’s when the success will come.
Food for Thought
As I sit behind the display table at the Rincon Market on Saturday mornings I have plenty of time to observe folks, think and make notes. This past Saturday I saw a neatly dressed gentleman in a white shirt and black trousers who had a cell phone on one hip and a holstered gun on the other. This struck me as strange in such a peaceful place and my mind whirled around that dissonant image for a few minutes. Then I wrote: When your brain is not loaded and ready to fire, carrying a gun highlights that fact.
The Luck of Bobby and Debby – Lopita and I were standing on her porch discussing our desire for everyone to vote this election season when I noticed she started looking over my right shoulder. I stayed focused on Lopita until a quizzical look took over her face. She was actually wondering who was trying to get my attention in the blue sports car down by her mailbox. I turned and saw it was Bobby and Debby Rich, who were somewhat lost.
We collected a total of 200 lbs. of food, including 32 lbs. of produce and 4 lbs. from the Axis Food Mart. The money we donated amounted to $84.50…two checks for $55.00, $19.50 in cash and $10.00 from the Axis Food Mart.
See you Sunday,