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Whittling Away with Dick Brooks - Food and Fellowship

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/17/24 | 4/17/24

I’m tired, my back hurts, my hands look like prunes, my shirt is still wet.  I had a great time!  We just had our monthly “Food and Fellowship” luncheon at our little church.  It’s a lunch for anyone in the community that cares to come.  It’s a meal held in the middle on the week at noon so the main group attending are seniors.  That figures, the food is good, all for a good will donation.  Most of us preparing said feast are in the senior category ourselves.  I was the chief chef for a few of them.  It may be because at an early age I earned my campfire cooking merit badge for having mastered cooking an egg in an orange skin and boiling water in a paper cup, both useful skills which I for some reason have never made use of again.  As the oldest child, I was the designated peanut butter sandwich creator for the three younger ones to stave off hunger and famine on those rare occasions when Mom wasn’t available.  As I aged, being of the male persuasion, I honed my skills at the backyard grill, turning raw ground meat into appetizing lumps of barbeque sauce soaked charcoal.  I got so good at it I actually had pieces of chicken take flame and have to be blown on severely to extinguish the fire.  Through the marriage years, I did learn to be a passable cook since I was the first one home and could have dinner ready by the time The Queen got home. 

I retired and was offered an adventure by my friend Captain Chip to be the ship’s cook on the Half Moon for it’s month long Voyage of Discovery.  It meant planning, shopping for and cooking three meals a day for the crew of twenty most of whom were seventh graders.  It was truly an adventure.  Everyone survived despite the malicious rumors of a ptomaine outbreak and the finale which was being anchored in New York Harbor on September 11, 2001.  Some adventures are too adventurous but I loved the kids and cooking for them.  Flash forward to today, our trusty crew met yesterday to do the prep work.  A jollier crew would be hard to find.  Teasing and laughter and working together for a good cause, it’s a friendly adventure each month.  I got there today, my friends and I together served lunch to 76 folks and had a really good time doing it.  We’re not so young anymore but it feels good to work hard and the companionship and being a part of a team makes the aches and pains feel better.

One of the most common complaints I hear from older folks is that they’re lonely, their family is grown and gone.  They feel that their productive days are gone.  My advice to them is to find a place where they can contribute.  Join another family.  Schools, fire companies, hospitals, churches, senior centers, libraries all need help.  Our luncheon group is a family.

We enjoy each other at our church once a month, many of them aren’t members of our church.  They just enjoy the comradeship and fun.  There’s some limps, a lot of missing hair, various body parts that are no longer with us, a few hearts that skip a beat or two but we laugh a lot and even though we probably wouldn’t admit it, we love each other and care about each other and it’s a good thing.  Try it, volunteer.

Thought for the week—How do you know when you’re out of invisible ink?    --Steven Wright

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

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