Tuesday, August 4, 2015

First Day of School Love Fest

Albertsons, my grocery store, donated a cart full of baked goods.  I exchanged a letter suitable for tax purposes for donuts and cookies and brownies and croissants and pies and cakes and anything I could find on the bottom two shelves of the rack near the freezer cases.

It was the most fun I've ever had in a grocery store.  It felt like the end of Wonderama, my favorite Sunday morning tv show, where the winning kids got a shopping cart and free rein in a toy store for 60 seconds.  I breezed by the cashier, waving and saying thank you.

Arranging the goodies in the trunk took some figuring; carrying them across the parking lot at Prince was easy.  I grinned as I remembered the first year I came bearing treats to celebrate the start of a new school year.  I needed a cart and a helper and a cane.  This year, I stacked the boxes in my arms and I marched over curbs and I knocked on the door with a smile on my face.

I know the recipients think I do this for them... and I do.... but I do it for myself, as well.

I made the first delivery before the chocolate covered donuts imploded; sweets and temperatures nearing triple digits are an unpleasant mix.  I drove next door to the middle school, where I left a poster taking credit for the sandwiches GRIN volunteer Phil the Magnificent organized for the staff.

I was really enjoying the hassle free volunteering experience, until I got turned around on the way to the next school and drove in the exit and did my best apologizing to the teacher I encountered as she drove in the right way.  Schools should have clearly marked front doors.... or should they, in these troublous times?

I knew this principal when he was at Prince; we've run into one another at book stores across town over the years.  Since my trunk was still filled with goodies, his colleagues were the next recipients of GRIN's largesse.  The faculty was in a meeting, they would be free for lunch, we moved a plant to the outer edge of a round table and set out cakes and pies for dessert.

CTG's got a connection there, too, and we talked for a while about her wonderfulness. She's why I started this effort; it was nice to have her along for the ride.  I took their Thank You's wrapped around my heart and dropped off the last batch of decorated cakes at the middle school on my way to mah jongg.  With a brief precis of GRIN, some hugs and many smiles, I was on my way to the rest of my day.

I came home to a donation check from another fabulous GRIN volunteer, and so tomorrow I will be back in the grocery store, this time with cash in hand, to fill up another cart and put smiles on some more faces.  One of those smiling faces will be mine.

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