Shelter.Posted: April 4, 2012
Since I am no longer dating, I have more free time. I no longer have my garden (sigh, sniffle), which is where I spent a lot of my solitary Spring time and energy, so I thought I should do some more volunteering. It is always good to feel less crumpled and more useful. You know how that is.
So, I called one of the places nearby that is always looking for volunteers, a medical facility. I called the number, gave the name to the receptionist, was disconnected twice, called back, was put on hold, talked to the receptionist again, was told there was a new volunteer coordinator, was given a new number, called it and got–nothing, just blank space. I was running late and had to get to an appointment by that time anyway, but sheesh, sometimes things fall into place more easily than at other times. I’d try again later.
On the way home I stopped at the market to get food for dinner. It always makes me feel good to go to the market. Lots of people milling about in a cheerful purposeful bustle, the colors of the fresh greens and fruits, the smell of fresh baked bread… Ah!
I even ran into The Entrepreneur on the way, and he was very happy to see that I was wearing his bracelet. As I walked away from him, he called, “Hey!” and when I turned around he said, “God Bless You!” Funny, I hadn’t realized in any of my previous encounters with him that he was religious in any way. Maybe I looked as though I needed more blessings this time!
On my way back from the market, there was a young woman walking towards me on the sidewalk with such purpose, looking directly at me, that I thought she must be someone I know.
She didn’t look familiar.
She looked cold, she was not dressed for the chilly weather. Bare arms, bare legs. I said hello. (Still puzzled.)
She stopped on the sidewalk in front of me. “Hi,” she said. She paused, as if thinking of what to say next.
I waited. She wanted something.
“Hi. Um, can you … can you tell me how to get to…”
(Ah, so she needed directions, and I must look like a friendly local person. Must be the shopping bag and the spring in my step!)
“Can you tell me how to get to the ___Women’s Shelter?”
Wait, what? The Women’s Shelter? I thought I knew where that was, but it wasn’t around here.
Hmm. “Do you have the address?” I asked.
“Yes, it’s …” and she told me the address.
I was startled. I had walked right by there. It must be a satellite shelter. By the street and number she had given me and from what I knew, I could deduce even which building it might be in.
So, I directed her to the place, assured her she was nearly there. Her whole person seemed to sigh with relief. She smiled and thanked me and hurried on her way.
When I got home, before I even put the groceries away, I looked up the shelter online. Sure enough, there were satellite shelters.
I contacted the volunteer coordinator.
Funny how things work out, huh?