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  • Yesterday, I realized I’m not completely out of the Vertigo Woods just yet. I had my regular 10-day visit from the beast. It was not nearly as intense as it usually is, wasn’t debilitating or anything - I was just noticably off-balance and a bit spinny, so I took it easy. The good news is, I didn’t experience the intense nausea that usually accompanies it, so the medicine is still making a difference. It’s just not completely gone, like I was hoping it would be. Dang it! Today is much better.

    I drove out to Manassas this morning to make my morning food donation pick-ups, usually about a 5 hour deal, in all. I was listening to J.C.’s tune from his story “Escaping the Hard Gray Edge”, a great story and mesmerizing tune, through my car’s system. That really set the tone for a fine morning.

    When I got to the warehouse, I noticed another car parked near where I usually park. Once inside, I pulled the three large coolers together that I usually load onto the van, then went to get the keys to the van I usually drive – and, they weren’t there. Damn. I’m going to have to drive one of the other ones. That’s only happened once before. But then, I noticed the drivers schedule on the bulletin board. My name is usually on there for Sundays, as I’m the only regular Sunday driver. On today’s date, it was highlighted, and there was another name there.

    That’s when I realized – Susie must have misunderstood my e-mail to her, telling her I’d be away next weekend (Philly) and the following weekend (Pittsburgh), and thought it was this weekend and next weekend. That’s why the keys weren’t there, and that other car parked here. My replacement has already been here and out to make the pickups.

    I have a found 4 hours! Much as I enjoy making those pickups, bringing back between 1000 and 1500 pounds worth of food each week that helps families that really need it with good food to eat, that otherwise would be filling up landfills – I always welcome a break from it.

    My whole goal was to get the Sunday morning pickups going, hoping I could get others to step up and help out with it. That second part never happened, so it’s pretty much my gig, except when I can’t be there, then they find replacement drivers to keep it going. I had a number of folks who thought it was a great idea, but just had other things to do on Sunday mornings.

    I understand it. We all have those things that we think are great ideas, but just lack the wherewithal or commitment to actually do them. We'd rather talk about it than do something about it. This is one where I felt compelled to act, and I have never regretted the commitment. Since November, 2013, 80,000 pounds of fresh produce, baked goods, dairy, fresh and frozen meat and deli items have been diverted from filling up landfills to filling up hungry bellies of kids and families in need, as a direct result of my commitment. I personally have picked up 60,000 pounds of it. That’s the difference one person can make, simply by committing to do something about an issue you care about.

    Hunger is one of those issues for me, probably stemming back to the time I was AWOL and living on my own on the streets for most of that time, laying low so I wouldn't get caught until I was ready to turn myself in, and got to know what hunger really feels like – just a small taste of it, mind you, but it was enough. You never forget what that feels like, once you’ve experienced it. I haven’t. I’ve always been grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in a meaningful way, on this particular issue.

    That said, I am perfectly happy that someone else gets to enjoy that experience today. Me – I’m taking it easy, and enjoying the found time. It’s Kathy’s birthday – maybe I can interest her in going out to brunch somewhere! She’s out getting her hair done right now, so I have a little time to plan something. Then, maybe I'll start working on tuning up that guitar.

    I love it when things work out like this!
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