Oh Hello! Come in. Sorry about the dust and cobwebs. I’ll tidy up. But have some pasta salad.
I haven’t been around. I didn’t have much to say for a while. Now it seems I have a whole bunch of things, and hope I remember all of it so I can get it down here.
Let’s see… Last Thursday, I participated in the UW Day of Caring by helping to beautify the local YMCA. Weeding, mulching, etc. It was a long day, with a lot of work, but I’m glad I did it. While I was weeding, one of the residents came over to “help” me. Recently, the city closed a YWCA, so there are women living there too. So, this resident that came over to help me – I never did get her name – was very nice. I’m pretty sure she was a little bit crazy, but she seemed nice enough. She was telling me about her huge house 2 towns over, and the house on the beach in another state. Yes, she lives at the shelter and goes to another shelter for her food. She has a 15-year-old daughter with whom she doesn’t get along.
Then she started telling me about her husband, and how he beat her. She worked 2 jobs while he went to school, so now he’s educated and she’s not. And for some reason, she seems to think she can’t go to school now.
While she’s telling me all this, part of me was screaming in my head – I JUST WANT TO WEED!! I CAN’T HANDLE ALL THIS INFO!! But I tried to be sympathetic and most of all, just listen. I think that’s what she wanted most of all. I know that much of what she said was probably not true. And that’s okay. She wanted someone to listen to her.
She must have thought I was nice, too, because she went inside and brought out Minnesota. What? Yeah, Minnesota is a kitten. Probably 6 months old. Double paws. White with 2 different color eyes. OH EM GEE. What a sweet little boy. She was very proud of her little boy.
So, I’ll admit that my initial reason for volunteering for DoC was to get the day off from work, and also to add to my list of volunteerism. That is now part of my annual review – how much I help in the community.
But after that day? I have a new perspective. It is very easy to see a homeless person and marginalize them; avert your eyes; walk by without “seeing” them. But they all have a story. They all have a past. They all came from somewhere. What’s that saying? There but for the grace?
I’m not saying that I’m going to go sign up to work with the homeless or volunteer at the shelter. But it’s nice to get a new perspective and to see things from outside my comfort zone once in a while. I appreciate what I have so much more.