Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday's Tasks

We started working this morning at 6 am and didn't quit until 4:30 pm. We took 30 minutes for lunch so it was a full non-stop 10 hour day. Some of you are probably wondering, "Why do you put in 10-hour volunteer days?" Well, it's simple--I want to do it and it's fun and so what's not to like about it? I can guarantee you that if it wasn't fun, I wouldn't be doing it. Look at is this way, if you are having fun and there's an almost unlimited supply of fun to be had and you can have as much fun as you wish then why not keep on having fun? I only quit at 4 because I've run out of people to talk to--they all go home right about then and so the party's over for today. Dang. Also, Happy Hour arrives only 60 minutes past 4 pm so there's various prep work to do for the day's fondest hour. You know how that goes.

I write three reports a day when we are immersed in this type of work. if I didn't write them I couldn't possibly remember everything I do during the day. It all becomes a blur. At the end of the day it's hard for me to recall how it all unfolded. So, that's why I write a report every few hours. I send the report to my Supervisor in Idaho Falls. Then I don't have to struggle to recall what I did--it's all in black and white on somebody's email inbox screen. All I know is I met and talked with a heck of a lot of people, took a mess of pictures, did some video and went in and out of a heck of a lot of doors. I heard some amazing stories, told a few tall tales, too, and reaped a lot of actual tangible benefits for the Eastern Idaho Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. One of the day's best vignettes was on the deck of the Education Center of the famous Sacajawea Center. Ah, what an exquisite gem of a place is that whole 71-acre complex. It just reeks Wonderment and it's the kind of place that makes you glad to be alive on Planet Earth. We love that place. Anyway, we got to sit out on the deck talking with the Director for a full hour, swapping stories and seeing visions and making plans--the whole gamut. Meanwhile the sunlight played a symphony on the shimmering cattail-laced marshlands and verdant, lush riparian areas. The shadows across the distant Continental Divide mountains almost appeared to be choreographed. Our Partner, Judy B. is full of energy and effusive in her communicative abilities. Our repartee between the three of us reminded me of a Texas two-step dance. Our conversation was tight without being taut, it was focused without being too Type A, it progressed rapidly without missing all the connecting parts and it finished on a wonderful note. We both left there feeling energized and exhilarated. That's what this place can do to you. It has that potential and it only waits for willing participants to unlock that potential.

Another great vignette was in the book nook of Rags N Wags. I was videotaping the Humane Society's Board President. I did three takes with her. First, I gave her a pep talk about how to say what she needed to say. Then, after each take, I would give her advice on how to make the take better. Finally, on the final take she just flat NAILED it! Gawd, it was so awesome and so inspirational, it was all I could do to hold the camera steady as my eyes began to mist while watching her NAIL IT in the LCD viewfinder. WOW, I wanted to stand up and do a river yell but that would have probably spawned a rescue call so I kept my mouth shut and behaved in a very genteel manner.

Finally, the other vignette was in the local historical museum. This place is run by a woman named Hope. If ever Hope floated anywhere, trust me, Hope Floats here. I have been working on Hope for well over a year to sign a certain piece of paper called an MOU. Today, Hope signed it. I was so elated. I never thought I would EVER get Hope to sign that paper. Hope and I swapped a lot of stories this afternoon. I think I really got her attention when I told her about visiting a little rat's patoot Mom and Pop market in Superior, Arizona, many years ago. Susun and I love such little old markets. As we were walking around the place soaking up the ambiance, we spied a old, tired bumper sticker sandwiched in the glass of the manager's cubicle. It simply said, "History Happens." We managed to buy that sticker and it became an icon in our lives for many years.

Today reminded me of that bumper sticker because, yes, indeed: History Happens!

Cheers, jp

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