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November 27, 2019: Big Sister and Little Sister

Today my little sister assisted me in sorting books at the recycling center. There she was, in a hard hat and a reflective vest, barely visible above the sides of the chest high cardboard box.

She tossed books to be saved into a shopping cart and books to be shredded into small boxes. I watched as the pile she was standing on diminished – finally, all that was visible was the top of her yellow hard hat. Every so often she’d say “Al, here you go,” or make a chrring sound as she found a book that someone else would enjoy.

El taught elementary school for many years, so she knows her children’s books. This was fortuitous since the box she was in had more children’s books than anything else.

Bill Schmidtkunz and Pete also assisted – Bill was quiet and very intent on what he was doing. Pete, less so since being a board member, he felt the need to check in with the floor workers and talk about how things were going. But he did do his share.

One of the reasons for having El accompany me to the recycling center was that there seemed to be a cat problem. The yellow cat that had first been brought over from the shelter had not taken to the second cat that had been

Eleanor and Ryder

brought over from the shelter. El speculated that the two were not going to get along and that perhaps the second cat be either returned to the shelter or found a new home.

When we got to the recycling center, we learned right away that the two had become buddies. They were in the office when we went downstairs – both were curled up on a chair.

I was relieved to see this because I didn’t want to be relocating that cat. No cat wants to go back from whence it came. And this cat both has a great disposition and is quite beautiful. Bob, one of the floor workers, is watching out for both cats and, I am happy to say, cares for both equally.

El was a good sport – she worked hard for about four hours, and during this time emptied an entire gaylord.

As we both worked, I thought about this holiday and the fact that both our parents are dead. And at one point I thought that they were with us in spirit. Both were pleased to see us working together. And they were both pleased that we were doing what we were doing – sorting books, so that later the books might be well received by others.

It is really good having El here. The sorting did proceed in a more relaxed fashion than it would have otherwise. Also, her sentiments about various books were similar to mine. And she did find a few books that she will take home.

Our workday ended on the top floor of the recycling center where I introduced her to everyone, and we talked some about books.

It snowed and the snow has now turned to rain. I suspect that tomorrow we’ll be more of an inside day. We have plenty to read, so we won’t be bored.

Next: 329. 11/28/19: A Conversation with Tinni

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