Project 2011 Buy Less, Give More even though I haven't really shared much about it here in the past couple of months. The monthly spending recaps started to make me feel very exposed and very uncomfortable, just like I was afraid they would. It turns out that what made me the most uneasy was putting my spending out there for real life friends and family to see. My parents, my in laws and my closest friends read this blog, and it came up a few times with several of them about spending money on this or that. It just started to feel a little too strange for me and my husband, so while I continue to work hard at limiting my spending, I just don't share the nitty gritty of the dollars spent here. Does that matter to any of you out of curiosity?
The Give More portion of the project is still in full swing as well. For two months now we have been delivering meals every Tuesday for Meals On Wheels, an organization that can be found pretty much all over the country. Syd's been with me since day 1 and knows the route as well as I do now, anticipating which houses we'll drive to next and asking when we get to see Eddie who waits on his porch for us each week and comes to the car to greet Syd. Taylor's been with us for the last 3 weeks now since she's been on vacation and has just started to get the idea of what we do. She enjoys putting the milk and juice in the lunch bags.
Carmen is the "visitor" who walks the meals up to each house, and is 82 years old, older than many of the folks we deliver meals to in fact. She sits in the passenger seat while I drive us from house to house and we chat about her grand kids, our summer adventures so far, and I now have her hooked on the Trader Joe's veggie straws. She's been doing this route for a while now, and in the beginning she made sure I checked our route book at each stop so that I knew where we were going. She finally trusts me now though and knows I won't get us lost ;)
While I know our little contribution here is worthwhile and important, I can't help feeling that it still isn't enough. It still feels all too safe and sheltered. When we started the route almost 8 weeks ago, we had 11 stops, now we are down to 7 due to hospital stays and even one death. Our route book lists the ailments of each client and a big pink note labeled "HOSPITAL HOLD" sticks to each stop we're supposed to skip. You never get the details of what's going on and you don't know how long they'll be gone. That part is hard, but really as the driver, I still feel very detached. I see their faces for a brief moment when they open the door and accept a meal, so overall I'm very disconnected and protected.
I'm not saying I need something dangerous or heart wrenching to feel relevant. And really it isn't about what I need at all. It's just that I think God has more in store for me and the kids, and how we can help, somewhere down the road. I love and value this experience right now, but I pray it's just the beginning for us.