A month or two ago I attended a dinner with some folks from the Nordic Ski Team from Ashland High School. After a while the conversation turned to fundraising for the team. A few ideas were bandied about and before I could stop myself I said, “Why don’t we bake and sell pies for the fundraiser?”
Have you ever done something like this? I would like to blame the wine at dinner… but clearly I like volunteering for causes that I believe in. And my son really seemed to enjoy the Nordic Ski Team when he was in high school. The kids on the team were fun to be around… and they supported each other. At the time, I was impressed with how easily they connected and was happy to contribute to their success.
It has been two years since my son graduated from high school, and yet when the need for help arose, I couldn’t stop myself from saying, “Why don’t we sell pies for the fundraiser?” knowing full well that I was freely offering my services. At the time I didn’t think it was a big deal… or maybe, I knew that it was something that I could do to support some of the kids in our community. In any case, today I spent about ten hours with a bunch of like-minded folks and baked more than fifty pies to raise money for the Nordic Ski Team.
Last night I couldn’t sleep because I knew that this fundraiser had been my idea. The phrase, “What the heck was I thinking?” kept rattling through my brain. I know that I did not have to do this… but in some way I needed to do it… to support the kids, to encourage the other volunteers, and finally, to pay back those who had supported my kids in their school careers.
Tonight I am tired but happy. A group of volunteers had a great day baking and connecting… and the Ashland High Nordic Team will be able to buy some much-needed equipment. As I look back on the day, I can say that I am very glad to have been a part of this project.
“How can we expect our children to know and experience the joy of giving unless we teach them that the greater pleasure in life lies in the art of giving rather than receiving.” James Cash Penney
Yesterday I had a few pleasant surprises. In the morning I received two phone calls from friends asking if I was going to be home. They both said that they were just going to “drop something off.” Hmmm… I wondered, what could that mean?
A short time later the doorbell rang. There at the door was my friend Donna. She handed me a box and said “Happy Birthday!” What? “But Donna, today isn’t my birthday…” She looked at me and smiled and said, “I know that… it’s my birthday.” Donna reminded me that last year I had made her birthday cake… and this time she wanted to share a special treat with me. She calls it “Lemon Posset” and it is absolutely delicious! It tastes like lemon curd mixed with whipped cream… really incredible. What a delightful way to celebrate her birthday!
A short while later, the doorbell rang again. This time it was my friend JoAnn. She had brought with her a brown paper bag which she then handed to me. Inside were many of the ingredients for making one of my favorite treats, Pecan Pie. JoAnn said that she wanted to do something to support my pie journey and sensed that I really liked making Pecan Pies… which is true. What a wonderful gift and how generous of her to go shopping for me! I am very grateful for her thoughtfulness.
The last surprise of the day came in the afternoon when a friend called to offer us tickets to “The White Snake” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It was a great show and a nice way to end a day of surprises. And just when I thought I’d received more than my share of blessings, this morning the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor Jae offering me tickets to another show at the festival! How lucky can one person get?
With so much goodness going on, it just seemed right to share some of my good fortune… in the form of a pie of course… with the Ashland High School Nordic Team as they prepare to compete at the State Finals this weekend. I send them all my very best wishes for realizing their personal bests and creating some very happy memories.
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. Charles Dickens