It was a good Christmas. We first went to town and loaded up the bookcase shelves at the Valley Hotel, known as V-Ho. We then returned home because we forgot the honey and sourdough starter, the latter of which our guests had requested.
We next went to Anchorage, first stopping off at the Sullivan Arena, and dropping off two boxes of books. It was an eye opener – homeless people outside the plywood covered doors, some smoking cigarettes. One says to me, “you dropped your wallet,” and as I looked around, his buddies smirked.
Inside the door, an arctic entry of sorts, was a warming area where others stood quietly. We went into the lobby area and told the desk person that we had books. She glanced up from her computer and said, “Put them over there, on that table.” This is what we did. There was a small bag of clothes on the table. I thought – all those textiles at VCRS – I’ll bet these people could use these clothes.
As we headed out, I again told the woman behind the desk that the books were there and that we were with the Bright Lights Book Project. She gave a half smile and said “good.”
I am hoping that we can do more drop offs.
We next drove to our friend Judy and Brian’s place. It was not far from the arena. I met the couple a few years back, at the end of my Fairbanks to Valdez bicycle trip. They spend the winters here and the summers with their families in New York.
They are avid outdoors people. Right now, Brian is in considerable pain – his leg hurts. It’s a neurological issue. Though the pair is preoccupied, and attempting to figure out what to do, they celebrated Christmas with us, or rather we celebrated Christmas with them.
Their townhouse was decorated with Christmas finery – and Judy made an incredible meal. We contributed – Pete brought along. We exchanged presents that we all set under a decorated tree. Ornaments, they were a catalyst for stories.
I gave the pair books. Brian is in so much pain that he can’t read right now. I should have given him a water bottle and a bucket of Advil.
It was a contrast, we all have so much, and the homeless people have so little. How did it get to be this way? It definitely is not right. Not enough and too much ho ho in this world.
Next: 355. 12/27/22; Raudi’s State of the Barn Address