On Tuesday night, I got an odd email from a person I didn’t know. It said simply, “We’ll be shelving tomorrow night at 7:30. Hope to see you there.” Because I work in a library and have no intention of freelancing, I wrote back to ask who the writer was, shelving what and where – and I didn’t use the word fucking even once. The Mystery Writer responded that the food pantry blocks from my house was looking for volunteers the following night. Then I stopped swearing with my inside voice. The times I’ve sorted stuff at the food pantry followed all hands on deck emergency calls, but this was not that. Though curious about ordinary activities at the food pantry, I was also concerned that stress on my hip would force me out before the work was completed.
Turns out I needn’t have worried: three middle-aged women, another in her thirties and six teenage girls sorted donated items for half an hour at a high rate of speed, then tossed around cases of industrial-size canned goods, then composed bags the food pantry distributes to its clients once a month, I believe I heard. I’m not entirely sure, since I was running my tail off and tossing off one-liners. We cleaned up the room and left in place a satisfying arrangement and quantity of those special bags. I explained that emails to me must contain information such as who and what they’re talking about and surprisingly no one punched me. Admittedly, the ache when I sat down concerned me, but the next morning, I told Lupe about how much fun volunteering was and Lupe intimated that after exams, she’d like to join in. The food pantry needs Wednesday night help every two weeks. It really is that easy.
In our backyard, lettuce seedlings in containers are just about ready to live outside the greenhouse. It’s not really a greenhouse. It’s a clear plastic tent, but it serves the purpose: as soon as the tender seedlings are ready to live outdoors, younger seedlings can be transplanted into containers. In the kitchen, we thought long and hard about it and decided that we should be eating organic, cage-free eggs, which cost about $1-$1.50 more per dozen than eggs where the chickens lived in grisly factory farm conditions. These eggs were so pretty Pete took their picture. It matters how animals are fed and treated, you know? Kind of a lot like it matters to people.