What’s goin’ on Wonderful Listeners!
This past Saturday, I particpated in another volunteering event! Let me just say, the more I volunteer, the more I become addicted to it. Seriously, helping others is wonderful plus I can’t escape the humanitarian in me. He’s just so thoughtful! 🙂
Anyway, I’d rather not waste time going over the semantics of what I really mean by all my usual mumbo-jumbo ramblings! I’d rather just tell you the story itself! 😉
So this story starts off at 7 am. I was not in any mood to be getting up this early, especially on a Saturday but alas, these are the consequences of my commitments.
I knew I was going to be working “hard” so I wore the crappiest clothes I could find (which I don’t have many of anymore. They keep just, well crapping out on me!)
I needed to be at the meeting spot at 8 am. This was a schedule, annual and huge event known as Bobcat Build. It’s held every year by my school and thousands of students come together to give back to the community where my university is located in. It’s honestly pretty damn great!
But, I think I’m getting sidetracked a bit. I didn’t eat because Bobcat Build supplies breakfast to everyone that particpates. Yes! It was decent enough let me tell you. Hey, free food I will not argue with (mostly.)
Funny thing happened though. I was supposed to bring a signed waiver to this meet (you know because schools don’t want to be held responsible for your safety) but I totally forgot it! I had to rush back to my apartment and I got back just in time to be signed in.
After getting signed it, I roamed around for a bit to see what else was around before we dispersed to our jobsites. Wouldn’t you know it, they were handing out free t-shirts and drawstring bags. I, of course, took them with kindness.
I knew arriving on the scene that I would need to find the other volunteers who would be at the same site as me. I called one of them, Zachary, in advance to see where he was. He had 10 people under his name so he had company to help out. Although it was difficult fidning him since we didn’t know how each other looked. But we found each other.
Right at about 9:30 am, everyone picked up their supplied tools and headed off to their jobsites. Zachary’s team and I headed over to our site (but we were carpooling of course.)
Bobcat Build did ask us to call the peope we would be assiting in advance and let me tell you, the couple on the other side of the phone sounded so sweet! (Though, the day before they were ignoring our phone calls but I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose.)
Whatever. We arrived to the site at 9:55 am. We were doing some more landscaping work I found out! (By this point, I’m familiar with how this thing goes.) I met Robert (Bob) and Colleen Elliot and they looked just as sweet as they sounded.
They both led us into their backyard and I saw what lie before me. Weeds, weeds and more weeds! Not to mention their patio was in pretty bad shape! But, that’s why we were here— to help.
I got to work right away pulling weeds. I made sure to wear gloves and keep my arms away from the weeds as much as possible. I remembered the pain I was in last time I de-weeded something. The other volunteers got to work de-weeding other areas and some cleaned up the patio!
While in the process of de-weeding, I felt really isolated from the rest of the group. While it’s true that I knew who Zachary was at this point, everyone was so busy or “niched” that I didn’t blend into the social group well. Trust me, I wasn’t awkward but they just had their own thing.
So I stayed to myself and just de-weeded my patch of land (well, sliver really.) You know, I ended up de-weeding my patch all by myself! No one came to help me but everyone was busy of course. Still, some people found time to take selfies and snapchat sooooooooo you know I was feeling a bit irritated. Whatever, I just minded my business.
Before I forget, let me just go off about these weeds. I do not like picking weeds but it lets me think about my life consciously. The weeds I ran into were so deeply rooted that it took me almost 3 hours to finish my small patch! But I knew that I did my part and did it well; that was good enough for me. I also found lots of aloe vera growing amongst the weeds. I saved some for Bob and Colleen because it’s a useful plant to have!
Eventually, we finished our work. We did run into some wasps, spiders and other critters but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle (thankfully!) Once we finished, Bob and Colleen came out to thank us for all our hard work.
Now, let me take a moment to talk about this couple, Bob and Colleen. I honestly enjoyed being around them. Not only were they nice, but they made me feel welcomed in their home. I didn’t feel like someone who just came to do a job and leave; I felt like I had the priveledge to stay.
You know, Bob is such an interesting guy. He owns a garden. He’s been working on it for a little while and he’s got some strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, all types of stuff! I think his little garden was wonderful and he was so proud of it. It just made me happy to hear him talk about it.
But also, he is someone who was recovering from cancer. I know the pains of dealing with cancer, not directly though (well… that’s debatable.) I at least sympathized with him. You know, he had this constant shake about him, like his body was trying to support itself and struggling. I found it almost charming but it was not my way of making a joke of him; quite the contrary, I thought his shake was anything but a joke.
And how can I forget Colleen! She is like the neighborhood lady that always is smiling and hands out sweets to kids. You know, in fact, once we all finished our work, she gave us some of her fresh, homemade peanut butter brownies! OH MY GOSH! THEY WERE THE BOMB!
We had a wonderful conversation with her, and I just almost wanted to keep listening to this couple. You know, my group was even thanked by Colleen’s daughter who showed up. She seemed really thankful of us for helping out.
Eventually, we did have to leave though. I mean, we finished our work early and just sat down and chatted with the elderly couple for the hour we had left to be there. The only thing we had to do on the way out was move the trash to the street so it could be picked up. And wouldn’t you know it, I ripped my jeans in the process! Luckily, it wasn’t too bad of a rip!
Before leaving, I told Colleen about all of the aloe vera I found and she pointed me to her countless pots of them on the porch! (How did I overlook them?) She actaully ended up giving me one of them to take home! Dibs on the free, natural, antiseptic plant! 😀
On the way, out I had to take a moment to personally thank both Bob and Colleen. They were so hospitable that I had to hug them and smile. I did a lot of smiling! 🙂 They told my group that we were welcome to come back anytime and that if we needed someone to help us out or make us feel at home, we could return. I took that to heart very much. I may very well see them again one day. In fact, I hope I do!
Then, we left and went back to the meeting spot for the event. We returned the tools and all went home. I was very happy to get home because I was not feeling too well. Seriously, I think I’m recovering from eating some bad food or some illness. I dunno. What I do know is this: I will not forget what happened on Saturday. It was truly a day to remember! 🙂
But that ends this story. Yes, my life sometimes has bits of lessons to learn and jokes to laugh about. So, I do hope you enjoyed my story.
But I gotta get going now. Until next time, cheers!
How do you feel about the elderly? Would you return to visit someone who made you feel at home even if you didn’t know them well? Leave all your thoughts below!