Posted by: Brenda Kula | January 16, 2008

Meals On Wheels And Good Friends

Sun_in_tree_2_2I’ve been a volunteer for the organization Meals On Wheels for over a year now. I called and offered to help after a local television station made an appeal for volunteers to help make deliveries. I met with the volunteer coordinator, Dianne, and started right away.

Somehow my across-the-back-alley neighbor, Walli (short for Walliece) started volunteering to go with me. It became a regular gig. She usually drives. as she is more patient in traffic. (And in general!) At each stop I get the food out of the back and head up the sidewalk with my basket. A main entree, bread, milk and a dessert. 

The clients are kind-hearted souls. Some come to the door with the aid of their walkers. You try to be a ray of sunshine in their day, in case you are the only person they might see or talk to. It is a good feeling to give back. I once was a volunteer for an animal shelter in Oklahoma, but I had the habit of bringing animals home, so I had to end that particular endeavor. I am grateful for so many things in my life. That could and may be me behind that walker someday, waiting on the noon meal to arrive, and I hope I am treated kindly and with respect.

After we finish with our deliveries, Walli and I usually go have some lunch. We might take a trip to one of the local garden nurseries to enliven our gardens with color. If someone asked me to describe Walli, I’d say she is gracious and articulate. A southern lady. She has this lovely full-bodied head of white hair that I’m so envious of. She dresses well and remembers to apply lipstick. On warm days, you’ll find her peering out from underneath her wide-brimmed hat while tending her gardens. 

Walli is honest with me. I’m honest with her. Both of us seem to share an "okay, now that’s bullshit" radar. A wry, "bite-them-on-the-butt" sense of humor. We pepper our conversations with plenty of flavor. Mix the two of us together and you get a pretty stiff drink.

Not since my daughters were small have I so enjoyed a neighborhood. We are a close-knit bunch here in our little neck of the piney woods in Tyler, Texas. The neighbor women and I sit outside and share our lives while our dogs run and play together. Most of the lights inside the houses on our block are out by nine o’clock. It is quiet and peaceful. Mainly retired individuals and couples. I have raised my children, so I don’t care for living around the noise of music blaring and basketballs being bounced on pavement. I am perfectly suited for our little cul-de-sac of garden homes. I am blessed to have such good friends and neighbors. Walli, Ralena, Phanita, and Liane. You all bring richness to my life. 

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