I feel like a broken record when I write these posts. Almost every week it is the same story- this week has been a roller coaster of emotion. . . like all weeks.
The weekend was great; it was filled with lots of fun, friends, JV merriment, and acceptable bed times! (I usually go to bed around 9:30pm. . . on the weekend I stayed up 'til 11:30!!)
But then it was Monday. Mondays are the worst day at the park because our guests have gone without services all weekend. Everyone scrambles to get as much as they can, and that means tons of work for the green hats. Nothing too bad happened, I just remember feeling worn out. It was also my dad's birthday, and I was kinda bummed about not being with him. That was probably part of the worn out feeling. Later that night, we had a community night where Angie (the director of Mustard Seed School where Kathleen and Tessa work) took us rock climbing! I had never been, and it was exciting! I did a little rock wall with a harness, some bouldering, but I mainly just worked out at the gym portion of the facility. It was a great night!
Tuesday, was a normal work day. . . except this week has been exceptionally hot! It was over 100 degrees, and two things happen in the park when it's hot: 1. People get easily irritated (myself included) and 2. people get lethargic (myself included as well). After the work day, I had spiritual direction with Sister Claire, who took me for ice cream- a wonderful treat! We talked for about 2 hours, ending with a lesson in gifts. Sister Claire introduced me to a homeless women, Devora, who taught her the greatest lesson she ever learned- gifts are about the person giving the gift, not the person receiving it. If you want the full story, please call me up to talk about it!
Later that evening, my wise neighbor Dave took Krystal, Alice and me out to dinner. It was a nice dinner at The Elephant Bar. We learned more about Dave, and Dave taught us invaluable lessons only an 80 year old man can.
On Wednesday, I had the greatest meal I've ever had in Sacramento! Don't get me wrong, I have been to some great restaurants here, and the lunch provided by Loaves & Fishes is surprising tasty, but this meal out did them all! Our Tuesday Volunteer, Tuesday Bob, took Krystal and me out to eat at The Press Bistro. He had the valet take our car (glamorous!) and he said not to think about price! Bob insisted Krystal and I start with cocktails and he ordered three tapas plates and an appetizer. All were delicious, but the appetizer out did them all! It was seared pork belly served with glazed peaches and an arugula salad with almonds. YUM!! The combination of sweetness from the peaches, tangy-ness of arugula, and buttery/fatty goodness from the pork belly was to die for!!! We then had fantastic entrees and three deserts we all split. It was heaven in a meal!
Thursday work was pretty typical, followed by a lovely phone call to my beautiful sister Beth, fun happy hour with my friend Nick, and magnificent (and sad) dinner with Casa Jane. Eric, a JV from Casa Jane, is leaving this weekend to go to med school in New York. He has become a good friend of mine in the past year, and I will miss him dearly.
Today, Friday, was another day at work. To explain what that means would be impossible. It is a crazy chaotic mess that is sad, funny, and wonderful all at the same time. Here are a few short stories as examples:
-Crazy Gary lent me his Rudyard Kipling book to read a few poems out of. Monday, he will bring me a few William Blake poems and the speech that JFK had in his pocket when he was assassinated.
-John Gomez hugged me again. And then he got very loud and angry when his radio wouldn't work. After a few minutes, I broke down and gave him another one. My need to be liked wins again.
-Good ol' Tom landed on our doorstep yesterday. He is a fifty year old man with the mental capacity of a 5 year old. I'm still not sure if he's playing us, or real. I give him the benefit of the doubt and help him when possible, but am still skeptical.
-A hospital dropped off a John Doe today. He has no recollection who he is, where he is, or where he came from. After an hour talking to him (so I missed BINGO- sorry guys!), the police finally came and I left them to straighten it out. As I was leaving, he got up to follow me like a lost puppy. I teared up.
-Joe keeps asking me to marry him.
-Cedric said wedding vows to Cameron (our summer volunteer) and I. According to Cedric, Cam and I are now married. He witnessed it.
-Rush and Humble are new to the park. They didn't go to the teen shelter (they said they were too old) so I directed them to Union Gospel Mission. I hate it there.
I could go on. There are so many people I see every day, and there's a new interaction with each one of them.
I'm going to miss it.
Tonight is the JV/MV thank you party hosted by Loaves & Fishes. An after party will follow, time and place still TBD. Tomorrow I don't have anything planned, but I want to hang out with Casa Jane one last time before Eric leaves. Sunday will be the usual (mass, brunch, paperwork).