Those who read my blog know how I'm kind of a volunteering junkie and that I include my kidlets as much as possible. Well, today wasn't any different. Instead of letting my gang sleep in on a Saturday, I woke them dark and early. Okay, so it wasn't really early but it was dark and rainy so ... close enough. One of the many community activities that our church's Outreach Committee does besides the Turkey Giveaway is Love is Stronger than Dirt. Cute name for an activity that seems to be a hit in the Township of North East.
This is where I just have to point out that the name of North East cracks me up. North East is actually in far north western Pennsylvania but because it's located in the North East corner of the "hook" it got it's name.
Sorry, I'm easily amused.
Back to Love is Stronger than Dirt. This takes place at the local laundromat. A groups of us, armed with a few hundred dollars in quarters, laundry detergent and other necessities, give the locals a break. We provide everything needed to do their laundry except the laundry. So many people showed up today that every washer and dryer (except the obligatory broken ones) were in use.
We met all sorts of interesting folks: a former drug dealer who is trying to get his life back together; a man who swore he knew me from years ago in Warren - never been there - and insisted to India that our little hamlet wasn't always in NY but was at one time in PA - sure, we'll go with that; This same man gave Andrew life lessons that Andrew said was actually very interesting; a little boy determined to win the claw game - that can't happen; and a woman who bought us donuts to thank us for paying for her laundry.
Then there is that weird hypnotic effect that front-loaders have on people. This blanket (belonging to the son of the donut lady) was twirling in a way that several of us and some random people were watching it in fascination.
By 10:30 (1 1/2 hours after we began) we were down to just a few rolls of quarters but somehow we managed to make it to 11:45. With just two ladies with large loads left, we gave them the change and went on our way. In our case, we headed over to the Thrift Shop for a couple of hours of stocking shelves and hanging clothes.
Remember the wreath I made? Sure you do. If you don't then you need to read the blog in the link. Anyway, apparently my position on the decorating committee is as the official wreath person. The week after we decorated for Good Friday we went back to add some items for Easter. I was given this bunch of grapevines (it's trimming season, after all) and asked to make several wreaths and a crown. I had the wrong car and had to fold down half of the rear seat so poor Jerome had the vines poking him in the ear the entire ride home.
After we soaked the vines for four days, Andrew sorted the vines for me, Matthew supervised (and was the mold for the crown) while Jerome and I wrapped the vines into wreaths. This is how many we ended up making. The crown was placed on the cross on the stage and was spray painted gold for Easter.
I really need to add that when we brought the wreaths into church just before Good Friday service, we left them on a table in the narthex while we went up to the balcony to sit. The woman in charge of the committee took the wreath and walked on to the stage while the praise band was practicing. She stared up at the cross for a while before motioning for the tallest member of praise band to help her. He took the wreath and played ring toss with the cross to try to get the wreath in place. It took about seven tries while the wreath bounced under the seats, across the stage and behind the cross before he finally managed to get it onto the ten foot tall cross. I know this is probably wrong because of the symbolism but those of us watching were laughing.
Until next time,