Another Harvesters Tale

Dewy asparagus

Dewy asparagus

August 22 – What a beautiful scene as I looked out the back window a few mornings ago. Our new asparagus plants were bathed in the most beautiful green/blue dew that I have ever seen. Almost like seeing the work of an artist or something surreal. Of course, I went out to look at the lacy plants so I could enjoy them close-up. Every plant in the row was decked out in typical spring garments (although it’s a bit late for spring), although some had the shape of a small Christmas tree (and it’s a bit early for that!).

On the eight-mile drive from home to the church that morning, we saw bright blue chicory along the roadside, tall grasses with plumes, sunflowers, and partridge peas, all dressed in dew. Arriving at the church we joined with other volunteers who helped to distribute the food from Harvesters to those who had come out for this once monthly treat. It’s always a real joy to both of us to be at that distribution point, where we can see that the people really are thankful for the food.

As the truck drove into the driveway, we scooted to our places along the sides of the truck. Both sides are divided into compartments where the various foods are stored. These included bagged carrots, brat buns, all kinds of salad greens, both Swiss and jalapeno cheese slices, tomatoes, and bags of onions.

Big old cabbage

Big old cabbage

Dale and I distributed cabbages, the some of the largest I have ever seen. Some must have weighed at least 14 pounds, and without the outer leaves looked delicious and would make a good batch of coleslaw, sauerkraut, or just plain cooked.

Not for Dale, though! Coleslaw is fine, and maybe a tiny bit of the saurekraut. But COOKED? I am pretty sure that he would starve before eating any of that. I well remember the first time I cooked some cabbage for supper, not too long after we were married in Africa. When he came home from his work, he sniffed heavily and asked, “What’s rotten in here? That smell!” I have never again in all of our sixty years of marriage even suggested he try some. Instead, I have just decided that there are many other kinds of food that I enjoy just as much, so will forget that cooked cabbage.

Cars lined up for Harvesters

Cars lined up for Harvesters

Since we have been volunteering for quite some time now, we see some of the same people each month. When the food for which we are responsible is passed out, I have always made it a point to go up to the window in the trucks or cars to give the people greetings and a pat on the arm or shoulder, wishing them well as they move on around to the other side. So many people look familiar, and some enjoy reaching way down from the window to give me a hug. I think I am shorter than any of the other volunteers, but we manage to touch base anyway!

One of the older ladies asked me if we could ask our volunteers to pray for her fourteen-year-old granddaughter who is in the hospital with a tumor on her brain. When she told me that the doctors didn’t even know what they could do for the girl, both the grandma and I were in tears. Since the director of the program suggested that we have prayer before Grandma left for home, I asked her to go through the line on the other side of the truck and then pull out of the line, and we would see her in the parking lot. I so much enjoy praying to our God, but that was a hard prayer for me to give. Grandma was so upset and concerned, but I do think she was helped by visiting a bit with us that morning.

Leuvina Wallace

Leuvina Wallace

After the food was distributed, Paul, the driver of the truck, pulled out of the parking lot, and Dale and I drove several miles to the home of Luevina Wallace, a very special former teacher who will celebrate Birthday Number 99 on the last day of this month of August! She is a delightful lady who spent so many years helping boys and girls and young folks to learn not only what is required in school, but so much more knowledge that has helped them to find a good place for themselves in the world. It seems as if just about everybody in the area knows Luevina or has enjoyed her as their teacher. She has been a role model for so many through the years and continues to smile and do what she can to help those who stop by her house for a visit.

And it was a good thing that we had stopped to take photos of the plants that were all covered with dew in the morning. By the time we got home, the hot sun was back in charge, there was no more dew on the plants, and we were glad to get home to cool off! – CHRIS

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