Well, it looks like we might be on to a really great Holiday Tradition. On this same day last year, we had just finished cleaning the house (what else would you expect me to make the kids do on the first day of Christmas Break?!) I posted about it here. And just like last year, we were working on spiffing up the house for the Holidays. In fact, I really kicked it up a notch and actually had all of the carpets and tile professionally cleaned starting this morning. This meant we needed to get out of the house.
I had the perfect plan. We would go again this year to the Commodities Distribution at the fair grounds. This is a time when needy people in the community can come through and pick up free food. Last year all of the big kids participated, but this year it was just Seth, Jackson, and Jebb, as Gabe and Elise had Bball/dance. When we got there I somehow ended up sorting eggs again like last year. Like last year, it was very messy, but very terrific. Jackson really got into removing broken eggs from the cartons and Jebb helped me replace them with good eggs.
There were a bunch of people from our ward there helping too and it was fantastic to work with them. My friend Patti and her son Derek (one of my seminary students) helped with egg duty. I have to confess that when we first arrived I looked for other stations to man, like cans of corn or frozen chicken. Those are really tidy and straight forward. You get X number of each item if you want it. But those stations were all filled and the egg station was looking very empty. I just remembered last year how it was so messy and difficult to keep up with the line. While other stations were calmly passing out their commodities in the prescribed numbers, all of us at the egg station were sorting, dumping, refilling, and giving. I guess I was feeling a little lazy.
But it was meant to be and this year I absolutely loved doing the eggs. While it was still messy and fast paced, we had the opportunity to give out as many eggs as people wanted to take. No limit! It was so much fun (if that's the right word) to be able to say, "Take as many as you'd like!" or "Here, you better take one more dozen for good measure!" I think I have found the sweet spot at the commodities distribution. It's definitely more work, but the rewards were much greater. All of the other stations had a limit, but we got to give and give and it was so great to make people smile when we did. I feel a smidge guilty because I got to pass out most of the eggs while poor Patti, Derek, and Jackson got stuck sorting. I hope they won't hold it against me and will want to do the egg station with me again next year! :)
Once again going to help out was a really great reality check. I let my stress level get way too high lately, and this helped bring everything in my life back into perspective. I saw one gal I knew whose (now ex-)husband used to work for us at the pit. They both got involved in meth and he went to prison after many run-ins with the law (one of which was stealing the safe from our office). John has kept in touch with him while he is in jail and was sad to hear that their family had broken up. She came through and I reached across the table and hugged her. I think she was about to cry. I smiled and wished her a Merry Christmas and gave her lots of eggs. As she walked off my eyes were burning a little and I said a little prayer for her and her children. It's hard to see people make bad life decisions and watch it ruin years of their lives. I am so grateful for my family and continue to see over and over again the divine wisdom in a strong family unit. Near the end of the long line of people, 3 young men came through. They were very rough looking. They had the whole hat askew/baggy pants thing going on as well as various tattoos and piercings. You know the look. As I watched them I wondered how different would their lives be if they had the love of a mother and a father? I would bet that they don't really have any positive male role models in their lives and I wonder if they had been nurtured during their formative years. As a society we all are impacted by broken homes and weak families. I hope that is something we will soon realize and that there will be a cultural shift towards valuing the traditional family.
OK, OK, I will stop rambling. Once again, a great way to kick of our Christmas break. I think this is a tradition we need to keep and I hope next year there is a spot for me at the egg station.