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March 24, 2022: Expressing Gratitude

Expressing gratitude. I don’t think that I’m very good at it. But these days my heart is filled to the brim with this emotion. It never used to be this way. My heart used to be empty.

My getting the book project going. and as well, the events that followed suit, brought about this much needed change. If there was suddenly no book project, my heart would remain full.

I am mainly grateful because my friends, a handful of people, continue to draw upon their respective areas of expertise in assisting with this project. Today, for example, Bill distributed books and followed up with some email questions about book suitability.

Alys and Tyra with Shadow

Nan worked on getting an event organized. Pete worked on writing up the final report for the Mat-Su Health Foundation grant (they funded us this past year), Bea edited my article on the importance of stories that’s going into a local paper, and Milena wrote up and submitted her donation request letter to Saltchuk Maritime.

Me? I had the best job of all. I continued to sort and categorize the young adult and children’s books that are in the U-Haul Storage unit. Way fun, to open box after box of books, and find real treasurers. And I never tire of doing this. In fact, I hear the Palmer 5:00 p.m. whistle blow and I have to tear myself away from the task at hand. I just want to keep working.

The other volunteers are obviously as committed to this project as I am. This is why it, thus far, is so successful. And because it has grown so much, I can no longer do all the work myself. A tough call because of course I’d like to. But just the distributing alone takes several hours a day.

What is most daunting to me is that I’m now in a leadership role. The last time this happened was when I attended Cobleskill Agricultural College. I was, as a second-year final semester student, required to take a one credit course called Animal Husbandry Techniques. The less lofty name of this course was barn duty. Morning and night, for two weeks, I and several freshmen fed, watered, and cleaned up after the school horse herd. I was in charge of the freshmen, meaning I told them what to do. I was surprised to find that they listened to me and asked me questions, to which I was to have the answers. The answers to the questions were obvious to me, but I guess not to them.

I acquired near mythic status when one day, the herd stallion got loose and attempted to race past me, out the barn door. I simply reached up and grabbed his halter and stopped him. I didn’t even think about it. My being in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing was totally circumstantial. However, it raised the bar higher in terms of other’s respect for me.

I had to go way back in time in order to find this example because I was not in a leadership role again, until now.

I’m doing the best that I can. Only time will tell if I’m successful.

82. 3/25/22: There’s No Place Like Home

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