Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day 26: July Food Challenge $1 per person/meal/day Kindness Everywhere I Turn

This morning, as I was drinking my morning coffee, I got a text from a friend. They are out of town and are members of an organic CSA. Their weekly box was due for pickup today: did we want it? ABSOLUTELY!
I've never been a part of a CSA and had no idea what was going to be in the box. It was fun to wonder all day, "What things are in season right now that I'll get?" (Tomatoes, cucumbers, figs?)

Lo, and behold, when I picked up the box, not one of those things were in there! What??? Not one. I wouldn't have minded and would have eaten every (allowed) bite, but instead, it was bursting with white eggplants, onions, bell peppers, poblano peppers, jalapenos, a good-sized cantaloupe, fresh eggs, and some okra. What an unexpected treat: thank you, Friends!

And then, as I was working on dinner, another friend, sent a text. She'd apparently spent the day canning and had a jar of fresh applesauce, one of apple butter, and one of strawberry jam with our family's name on it. Does our family like those things, she asked? Yes, Ma'am we absolutely do!

This morning we awoke to our air-conditioning being broken. It's under warranty, but the repair folks won't make it out until Thursday afternoon. Despite every fan in the house whirring at high speed and the windows open to help pull the outside air inside, the house was baking at 89*F this by early evening (think black asphalt shingle roof). A neighbor offered us the use of their window-unit AC. Actual cold air? People own units like this to have "just in case" (makes mental note to self)? It is humming away here in our bedroom, and I am sitting right next to it as I type these words out.

Also, today other neighbors invited us over for a casual "dinner with friends." They wanted to order pizza. Polite manners would be to pay for half or bring drinks (Tang anyone?) or do something that would cost money. What to do? What to do? How to stay on track without making someone, especially the host, feel awkward? We suggested that we bring homemade pizza dough and half the toppings and bake them together for a treat. "Oh! That sounds like fun! We've never made pizza from fresh dough before."  Well, The Spouse has been making fresh dough for years! The kids and adults all had a blast customizing their pizzas. Our hosts made homemade guacamole: devoured by The Fam. We took over, as our "hostess happy," a basket filled with some of the treats from the gifted CSA box. There was, after all, more than enough to share. We talked recipes and listened to the radio. Heard about their hike on the Appalachian Trail. Good, relaxing conversation and laughter: and no extra expense to our food plan. No awkward moments, just easy hanging out over a simple, fun meal.

Even the grocery store is showing acts of kindness. Yesterday, as I walked in, there by the door was a sign and a cooler full of ice cold waters: free.

So today, we spent $0.
We are one day closer to finishing the month on track.
We've had tests to our fortitude from multiple directions, yet it has all worked out just fine.
All in all, I'd say today has been one of the best days yet this month!
Kindness, friendliness, neighborliness: in every form radiates joy all over this fine day.