Updated: Nov 20
We all have our passions; something(s) we love doing. Mine is cooking and writing - as in short stories.
Why do I love these things?
I personally enjoy creating, and when you cook or write, you are being creative.
I love to make others happy and enjoying good food or escaping with a fun story helps others.
My passions have helped others in many ways, often when they needed it the most. (Story of how my passion for cooking helped those in need coming soon)
With Thanksgiving only nine days away, many individuals and families need help through no fault of their own. Some people have worked hard their whole lives, but unforeseen circumstances (and there are many) have brought them hardships.
My husband and I donate to Lighthouse Mission. This is a wonderful organization that helps those in need. We've seen what they do for the community and know how dedicated they are to helping those who need it the most.
I've always considered myself blessed. Not only did we always have enough to eat, but we also had a large, caring, loving family to share it with. Holidays at our house were always filled with an abundance of food, family and fun!
This year is especially challenging. Many people are suffering financially and, it's also difficult to gather with family and friends due to restrictions/travel bans. So many have lost their livelihoods because of this pandemic, and buying food is challenging. Isolation is difficult.
When my children were little, we used to volunteer through the church to deliver Thanksgiving baskets filled with food to those in the community who needed it. We drove around for a few hours for a few days before the holiday and stopped at homes to deliver their baskets.
This came up in conversation one day. A woman asked me how I do it? She said, 'I mean, you are a single mom of two small kids, you work full time, you go to school and the holidays are such a busy time."
How did I do it?
First and foremost, I made the time. It was a few hours of driving in total, split between three days.
I asked her how she found the time to drive from Long Island to New Jersey for a concert? With traffic, that's four hours drive time back and forth and a three hour concert from start to finish. She spent seven hours, more than I did delivering baskets in the neighborhood.
We are ALL busy. We work, have family obligations, children, maybe pets, all of which need care and attention. We own businesses, work long hours, and need to take care of households. And we work hard for all of it. We are also damn lucky.
Yes, it takes hard work, but, let's not forget luck. In a heartbeat, we can be blindsided. I know. It happened to me. Post on that coming soon.
We make time for what's important to us. Don't say you are busy, just say it's not a priority. Let's call a spade a spade.
Fond Memories: I still remember the woman who ran from her front porch and bear hugged me before I was able to take her basket out of my van. No one ever thanked me so profusely for anything before or since.
Two small children watched through the window as mommy "attacked" the lady in the red van. When I was finally released from the arduous embrace and got my balance, I retrieved her basket and handed it to her with a big smile. We had a great laugh. Crying and laughing at the same time... We've all done it, usually at some of the most challenging or heartbreaking times of our lives.
I glanced back as I walked around my van to the driver's side. The kids' eyes were wide with excitement as mom carried the basket up the walk.
Growing up, when I was hungry, I dug through the many refrigerators and freezers in my house. If nothing appealed to me, I raided the cabinets and pantries. Then I declared, "There's nothing to eat in this house!" Mom would say, "There's plenty, you just don't want any of it." I said the same to my own children.
Some families are worrying about picky eaters, others are scrounging for something to eat. Click the green link for my post on difficult eaters.
Mom's house is stocked better than the local supermarket and always has been . As a child, that was normal. Not all children get that kind of "normal." Mom always told us that, to make us aware, and my family has always helped where they could.
My mom used to carry dogfood in the back of her car and feed stray dogs when she came across them in her travels of food shopping, nail appointments and PTA meetings.
We are not all handed the same lot in life. One day, I took notice as I was walking the neighborhood around Lincoln Center on my way to see an opera. So many people that day were out walking their dogs (the area is residential). These dogs were decked out in designer outfits, collars, leashes, even coats and footwear.
We are not all created equal. Some dogs are born in a back alley near a dumpster and others are living in the lap of luxury in Manhattan. That's life. Don't think it can't change. Those alley dogs could wind up living the good life in a Hampton's mansion and that elite dog could wind up in the pound. Take nothing for granted.
I never forgot that lady I delivered that Thanksgiving basket to. I wish I could have gotten her name (it wasn't allowed) because I would love to know how she and those kids are doing today, twenty-something years later. It warms my heart that at least on that Thanksgiving day, they had a good meal to enjoy as a family.
The families did get food from the church charity weekly, but on Thanksgiving, we delivered a basket to them rather than them coming by the church pantry.
Please consider making a donation to Lighthouse Mission. Every little bit counts. It all adds up. If you can, volunteer. They can use all the help they can get. I can no longer do the things I used to, due to disability. But, we still donate and help however we can.
It could mean the difference between a wonderful holiday and a very sad holiday.