A Travelogue

Monday, December 12, 2005

Warm Fuzzies

They're delivering the gifts and food this afternoon to our 4 Adopt-a-Families.

Years ago Hans started this in his Engineering Department. At that time his department was given one family with several kids for whom everyone chipped in. It was so overwhelmingly successful that the next year they provided for two families. Now they do four.

Since the beginning, Hans and I always provided the Christmas dinner: turkey and all the trimmings plus a copy of my turkey soup recipe and all the ingredients. Yesterday we put together the food boxes: Each box was wrapped in Christmas paper, the shiny foil roaster at one end with the soup recipe pasted into it with a cheery red bow. I tied each bag with long and colourful curly ribbons - the onions, turnip, celery, carrots, potatoes, etc. There's a bag of spices (including bay leaves, paprika) and barley for the soup, cans of chopped tomatoes and garlic to perk it up.

The families don't know who all the donors are but they do have a contact name in Hans' department. One year I received a wonderful thank you letter from one of the families. It turns out that they had fallen on hard times since the dad was laid off and subsequently was diagnosed with throat cancer. He had had surgery and still couldn't chew very well, and was so grateful for the soup recipe.

So yesterday as we packed up our four boxes, I thought of him. I hope he still makes the soup.

Early Morning

It's very early and I'm in the hot tub, watching the sun pink the sky behind the greenhouse. I see a large bird awkwardly trying to land on the edge of its roof, large wings flapping. Maybe it's the great horned owl, I think to myself. Suddenly, the wings cease their restless activity. They remain vertical and motionless. I peer intently through the window trying to discern detail and slowly, it comes into focus. It's a mule deer, staring back at me.