Saturday, September 06, 2014

A lovely lazy day--and a lesson in compassion

I have a case of the lazies. Last night I did nothing but focus on the novel I'm currently reading for review. After procrastinating about Loved Honor More by Sharon Wildwind, I found myself quickly drawn in--or was I avoiding writing? Anyway, I decided today was Saturday, and I'd play hooky again. Went to Central Market for a few special items--and, oh, tragedy! bought the wrong kind of chocolate.
Met a former student (she graduated in '98, so she really is former) for lunch at Swiss Pastry where they have my favorite tuna salad. She's an interesting lady--background working at a winery and lots of experience in food service, with a smattering of editorial jobs in there. Like a lot of sous chefs, she bounced from restaurant to restaurant, but four months ago she started what seems like her dream job. She's director of food service for Union Gospel Mission. So we talked about the joys and perils of feeding 800 meals a day. The mission relies on donated food, but once they had cases of canned green beans donated--all those small cans. It meant hours of opening cans. She has lots of stories and they're funny and sad.
But the reason she's perfect for her job is that she has such compassion for her guests. Yesterday as I left a small restaurant, a homeless man called something to me across my car. I didn't understand him, but I quickly said, "No, no thank you," jumped in my car and locked the doors. When I told Heather about it today, I said, "You wouldn't have done that, would you?" She said no, but she understood. I asked what makes her feel safe and she said, "Instinct. I'm pretty good about reading people" and told me about a man who rushed up to her. She said, "Hey, you're in my bubble, and I don't let anyone in my bubble." He backed off.
The world needs more people like Heather, and I will do what I can to be one of them. Jordan always rolls down the window and gives a bottle of water or a couple of dollars to someone begging on a street corner--another thing it never occurs to me to do.
Came home, read some more and went down for a nap just as the thunder rolled in. I saw on Facebook that some people sat on their covered porches, a few with wine, and enjoyed the rain. I'd have liked that, but it's so lovely to lie in bed and listen to the thunder. My mom said the gods were bowling. I didn't sleep, but I drowsed, and when I got up I saw that the schoolyard across the street was a lake, so we had a good amount of moisture (that's my rain gauge).
Tonight, Jacob's with me. He's terrified of storms still at age eight, but I think it's passed at least for now. If it doesn't come back before he's asleep, all is well. He won't wake. He brought his golf clubs and explained in detail when you use each one, but it makes me nervous when he practices in the house. I told him about the time his grandfather took out an entire chandelier with a golf club.
Meanwhile, less than two hours after dinner he was starving for a peanut butter and honey sandwich. I said when I finished what I was doing, and he asked indignantly, "Which would you rather do? Write or get me a sandwich when I'm starving?" "Write," I said. Maybe that too is a lesson in something but probably not compassion.

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