Well, I didn't make it to the Rescue Mission Monday night for orientation so I‘m signed up for next Monday. I started my new ... and second ... job this week. Bob arrived home two days ago right at five to find me sitting at the kitchen table crying like a little baby. That's right, just like an orphaned calf, a stuck pig, a trapped goose, a wounded goat…. you get the idea. Both my jobs are work from home and require equipment that WORKS! My brand-new headset decided not to work Monday. The trainers could hear me but I could not hear one word they said. Well, that is not totally true, either, I could hear about every tenth or twelfth word when I wasn't listening to what sounded like a wind tunnel. After nine hours of this including all the tech trips, I was a blubbering idiot, literally.
I got to thinking about why something like that would send me over the edge. The answer was really easy to find. First, I am under more stress than usual right now which is saying a lot since my life seems to be fueled by stress normally. I like to think of it as the gas that makes me run. Second, I am an extremely competitive over-achiever. I can never be happy to just succeed. I have to be the top of the heap. How stupid is that? Yeah, I know! Anyway, the last two days have been great and I am back to breathing ... and writing.
So, last night I went back to The Refuge to hang out. Everyone that lives there is young. Twenties and thirties young. Some single, some married, some with little babies and small children. Even though I was definitely the old gal in the group, I felt very welcomed and invited. We had a relaxed dinner together and shared some of the most wonderful conversations. To hear the vision these people have for their community is simply awe inspiring. Two of my daughters went with me, Miranda age 11 and Belen age 25. I have a strong suspicion Belen will be moving into The Refuge sometime in the near future. I am okay with that. The thought that my daughter would choose a life of sacrificial living over an easier life is very humbling. In fact, it makes me weepy. When Bel first mentioned the idea to Bob and I, we were not for it…at all! As parents, we want to protect. Bel doesn’t need our protection anymore. Someone greater has her back. I know this is true and I can relax. Remind me of that periodically, please!
Tim, the crazy young man that started The Refuge, shared some great hopes for the city with me last night. One of them is to have a vegetable garden that draws the homeless into community with others. Well, it just so happens that I am a veggie gardening, farm living, home canning, farm girl from way back when. It also just so happens that I had already talked to some others about possibly doing that very thing at The Refuge. When Tim showed me the gardening boxes that were already built and waiting, I knew I was in the right place! So a spring project is on the calendar. I can hardly wait. Just picture it. A garden inside the chain link fence that is surrounded by hookers and drug dealers. Do you have any idea how something so simple and yet so crazy can change a community and the lives in it? It can. No, really, it can. Just watch.
When it was time to go, the girls and I did a quick loop through the area looking for Nikki. I think I might have seen her under the bridge however it was dark and there were a bunch of men over there also. I’m crazy not stupid so we just kept heading for home. That, and I know Bob reads this and would have killed me if I had stopped. Not that I would have. I had my girls with me. Not that I would have if I was alone. Thinking about it doesn’t mean I would actually do it. Relax already! You’re stressing me out!
Anyway, I am going to head back down there on Saturday just to hang out and see if I can find Nikki. I want to have lunch with her if she is willing. She’s scared. That’s ok. So am I.