Apple Blueberry Pie
Today I chose to make a pie without knowing where it might end up. I was present for the making of the pie.. and worked carefully to make a lovely pie… but still I was not sure where it would be delivered. After it was baked I asked my daughter to go for a walk with me so that I might have a chance to think of a pie recipient… and as we exited our house I saw Leslie.
For those of you who have been following my blog, you will recall that Leslie is a woman who I met when she was having a garage sale… and at that sale our sons became friends. That was the beginning of our friendship and it has been almost 16 years since that first meeting!
Tonight it was Leslie that suggested I bring a pie to Aaron, for he was the person who had coached her son Dylan when he was training to become a black belt in karate. She told me that Aaron worked with men who were incarcerated and he helped them with rites of passage ceremonies. These men may never again be on the outside, but Aaron works to help them move forward somehow.
Tonight I want to recognize Aaron, and others like him, who work with the people in our prison systems. They do this work without judgement… and most of the time without pay… and it is such a valuable service that they offer. I extend my heartfelt thanks to them for the gifts that they give to the people that they serve.
“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
― Nelson Mandela
We moved back to Ashland about sixteen years ago. Not long afterwards, I was driving around town and saw a sign for a garage sale. I followed the sign to a street by Ashland Community Hospital and parked my car. My children were with me and as we got out of the car I noticed a sign for “free kittens.” Before we went another step, I told my children that we could pet the kittens but we could not take any of them home. I waited until they agreed before we proceeded into the garage.
Once inside we met a friendly lady who turned out to be Leslie, and my daughter Alexandra went off to play with the kittens while my son took off to play with Leslie’s son. Leslie and I chatted for quite a while and I thought, “she’s got things to do… we should go” and I found my daughter and gently extracted her from the kittens. When I asked where my son Coco was, Leslie brought me to her son Dylan’s room and we found the boys playing together nicely. Leslie then said, “If you’d like, you can leave your boy here for a while since they are playing so well.” I thought, “Really?” It was such a nice offer… and they seemed so engrossed in what they were doing… and so I said “okay.” It was a few minutes later when I was driving home that I started to wonder, “what have I done?” After all, I didn’t even know Leslie’s last name!
But anyone that knows Leslie knows that this was an easy offer to accept. She is warm and kind and gentle and somehow I “knew” that my boy would be safe with her. And as it turns out, her son and mine have been friends ever since… as have Leslie and I.
When I think back to that day, I can’t help but think “what a lucky day that was!” And that is why tonight I brought a Pecan Pie to Leslie and her family. I am very grateful to her for a friendship that has continued to grow over these many years… and for her welcoming spirit that invited us into their lives.