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I spy joy at the food cart

Make Peace, photo by Sanja Gjenero

Make Peace, photo by Sanja Gjenero

Today I had the privilege of witnessing a genuine bond of appreciation and community between two people. It warmed my heart the way a really good love story does—the kind that gives me the uncontrollable urge to hug someone.

My friend Kristin and I walked up to our favorite food cart and before we could even order the nice man behind the window addressed Kristin with a wide smile and a heartfelt ‘how are you’. He quickly thanked her for joining their fan page on Facebook and did it in such a manner and tone that you’d think she had given him something of great value.

For him and his family-run business, publicly acknowledging her support of their food cart IS of great value. In this moment of genuine appreciation, Kristin offered a sincere ‘you’re welcome’ – both in word and gesture.

The shared sense of community linked them so strongly I could almost see gold chains in the air between them. It was lovely. Simply lovely.

Standing there enjoying the radiating warmth and abundant smiles filled me with hope and love. And hope for love.

Love thy brother. Love thy community. Love.

September 14, 2009   No Comments

I spy joy in community

I came back to work after what seemed like a short weekend (kid’s birthday party and all) to hear a wonderful story from my co-worker, Deborah Shimkus.

Deborah is one of those real-life tree-hugging dirt-lovers. In addition to putting bumper stickers on her car, she expresses this by volunteering to further the green cause. Hence, her involvement in Lake Oswego’s Sustainability Action Month.

At the kickoff for the month’s festivities, an event was publicized promising, among other things, a giant earth cake. Just a few days before the event when the media hit, they realized that one of the things that got changed along the way was the giant earth cake. Deborah thought this just wouldn’t do. She pulled together $60 from the volunteers and went on a quest.

In just two stops, she found Judy in the bakery at the Lake Grove Albertsons. Deborah told her story, explained the urgent need and held out a wad of cash that should only be able to buy a couple of sheet cakes. Rather than getting laughed out the door, a team was assembled—store manager and all—and plans were drawn. The community-minded crew even went out and measured her car to see just how big the Giant Earth Cake could be.

Within two days and a mere trifle later, Deborah picked up a few hundred cupcakes pushed together and covered quite artistically with frosting to make a 4 foot Giant Earth Cake (and moon!) with continents, mountain ranges and even clouds hovering over the deep blue sea.

The cake was delivered to an amazed audience, which includes the Lake Grove Elementary School singers (pictured here), who wrote and performed their song “Earth Deserves Better” at the kickoff to the City of Lake Oswego’s Sustainability Action Month.

If this kind of community spirit isn’t what’s at the heart of sustainability, then I guess I don’t know what the word means.

Judy and the Lake Grove Albertsons crew – you’re alright in my book.

(photo by Deborah Shimkus)

May 7, 2009   1 Comment