Tuesday, January 07, 2014


Diane has been serving dinners
at Home and Hope for 11 years
The past two months have flown quickly, and it was our turn again to prepare the evening meal.

Most of the dishes required some preparation, especially Liva's squash au gratin, but the most popular was the cheapest and quickest to prepare. The nice lady at Safeway had donated a frozen cheese pizza, which turned a golden brown after 15 minutes in a 400-degree oven. The children skipped past the vegetables and headed for the pizza; the eight slices were scarfed up within minutes. The adults were content with the healthier salads, sauteed vegetables, and Liva's casserole, a win-win for everyone.

At Home and Hope there's a shortage of volunteers who are willing and able to stay overnight at the churches where the families are temporarily housed. The older folks have the requisite flexibility in their schedules but not in their bodies. Spending the night on air mattresses or sleeping bags can be tough on pre-arthritic joints.

Kris gave me a tour of the sleeping rooms. Emergencies happen rarely, she said; most mornings you wake the families at 6:15 and the van picks them up at 7:00 sharp, at which point you can go home to your warm, familiar bed. She's older than I and does overnight duty in four-day stretches. Shame is not the ideal motivator, but it works with me. © 2014 Stephen Yuen

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