Tag Archives: Shop ‘n Kart

Day 364: A Perfect Pie Recipient

4 Apr

Apple Blueberry Pie

A few years ago, I took a class called “Emotional Intelligence” at Southern Oregon University.  One week our assignment was to notice things that were happening around us and this is what I noticed, albeit a bit too late.  I had taken my son, Coco, shopping with me and we had pushed our cart to the checkout line but there was a person ahead of us with a full cart and so I knew we had a bit of a wait.  As I stood there my mind was racing and I realized I’d forgotten a few things.  I told my son to stay in line and hurried off to get the last few items.  It was only when I was back and it was nearly my turn to checkout when I “noticed” the woman in front of me.

She was a young mother, her baby was crying, and there was some kind of trouble.  Finally she became upset, said “Forget it”, picked up the baby, and left the store, leaving her groceries behind.  I asked my son, “What just happened?” and he told me that the young mother had not had enough money to pay her bill.  She wasn’t short much money, and she’d been dealing with a screaming baby, and maybe she was just a bit frustrated.  And if I had been “present” I might have been able to help her.  Instead, I was scurrying around being efficient.  The memory of that moment still haunts me.

Tonight I wanted to bring a pie to someone who needed a lift… and I had someone in mind, but I was unable to connect with them.  So, as I have done before, I put the pie in the car with me and drove to the store (Shop n’ Kart) hoping to run into someone I could give a pie to.  As I walked through the store I tried to be aware of who might need help.   However, even though I searched, I did not find anyone and so I approached the register to pay for my groceries.  Just then I felt a tap on my shoulder.  There behind me was Adam, our new Associate Pastor.

About six months ago I gave Adam and his wife Sarah a pie when they came to First Presbyterian.  Since he knew about my project, I asked him if he knew of anyone who might appreciate a pie.  He considered a few possible recipients and then mentioned a neighbor of his, a single parent,  that was going through a challenging time.  Perfect!  I asked him if he would please deliver the pie to his neighbor with my good wishes and he agreed.  Tonight he sent me an email saying that the parent looked so tired when they answered the door but was thrilled to receive the pie… and the children thought it was delicious.  Adam finished his email this way, ” …glad I ran into you, I think it was the perfect family to be the recipient of one of your pies.”  I think so too.  Thank you Adam for your help in finding the perfect home for my pie.

 “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Day 280: Happy Birthday Christian!

11 Jan

Apple Blueberry Crumb Crust Pie

It seems to me that much of my day revolves around food.  Of course for the last nine months I have been making a pie each day, but that is only one of the many ways that I find myself focused in the kitchen.  There are days when I am busy making a pot of soup or a casserole for a friend in need, while other times I find myself testing gluten-free recipes for my neighbor.  If it has to do with food, I seem to lose myself in it.  With all that focus on cooking and baking, that means that I also spend a lot of time shopping – and one of my favorite stores in Ashland is Shop ‘n Kart.

Here is one reason for my loyalty: A few years ago I was on the board of the Ashland Schools Foundation.  One of my tasks was to secure donations from restaurants and grocery stores and then prepare meals for the volunteers that helped on fundraising calling nights.  The very first person I approached was Eric, the manager at Shop ‘n Kart and he generously donated $100 in store credit to the cause.  That was such a help for us and I have never forgotten it.

Another reason for my loyalty has to do with the employees that work there.  Maybe it’s because they see me often, but I enjoy the nod of recognition and their willingness to help me when I need assistance.   I am grateful that they don’t seem put out or avoid eye contact when my “questioning” face appears.

Christian is one of the employees that I have really come to appreciate.  He has helped me with special requests a few times,  he has a calmness about him that is admirable even when the store is slammed,  but more than anything I like that he takes the time to speak with each customer and look them in the eye.  That’s so very important in a world that gets busier every day.

Today I brought Christian the Apple Blueberry Pie that you see above.  When I gave it to him he seemed genuinely pleased.  As I told him about the pie project he said he was happy to be a part of this year of pies.  Then he told me that yesterday was his birthday…  and so of course I wished him a Happy Birthday.  And now I would like to offer this quote from Jonathan Swift,  “May you live all the days of your life.”

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.   Abraham Lincoln

Day 275: January 6

6 Jan

The date of January 6 is known by several names.  According to a few sources, it is called Little Christmas and it is celebrated by people in various countries in Europe.   It is also known as the Feast of the Epiphany  – the day that the wise men came to visit the baby Jesus and thus revealed to the world that he was the messiah.  Still others refer to this day as Twelfth Night, a celebration which brings an end to the twelve days of Christmas.

For our family this day has greater significance – it is the day that we lost my Mom.  It’s been 23 years since she passed and yet the memory of that day is still so vivid.  Our world changed in an instant.  When I look back it is like looking at two pictures – before and after, or rather, with her and without her.

Anniversaries such as this one are hard to forget, and harder still to talk about.  It’s almost like a  gentle dance of words with my sister and my Dad…  because I think we feel the need to say we remember and yet we don’t really want to dwell in sadness.

It was very important for me to find a way to honor my Mom with today’s pie and when my friend Laurel suggested the Lithia Springs School I thought she had the perfect solution.  I called to ask for permission to bring a pie to the school and found out that at this time that there are currently 27 students attending classes. That would mean that I would need 4 pies!  Instead, I decided to prepare a large pan of Apple Blueberry Cobbler so that I would have enough to feed everyone.

Laurel came with me to deliver the “just out of the oven” cobbler and on the way we hurried in to Shop ‘n Kart for 3 half gallons of vanilla ice cream to make this dessert even more memorable.  We were greeted at the school by several of the students who offered to help us carry in the goodies.  One of the teachers had plates and utensils at the ready and she proceeded to serve the cobbler and ice cream to the students (and some of the staff too).  It was really heartwarming to see them all enjoying the treat.

One of the staff who had arrived a bit late asked who had brought the goodies and why.  I don’t think she really was expecting an explanation but I told her that this was my way of remembering my Mom. It only seems fair that since she always had a way of making things special for me, that I should bring something special to share with these young people who might not experience that very often.

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan