Saturday, November 14, 2009
Banking Time: neighbors helping neighbors
You might have heard about Time Banks. Our town has begun to talk about creating one. Not the whole town, but a group of us, four women, one man. We met at the library, a central meeting point, a clean, well-lighted place.
The five of us are all retired, living far from our extended families. Some still travel a lot. Some are still in great health. But, we know neighbors who need help getting to doctors or pharmacies out of town. We have had our share of emergencies, and were it not for a good samaritan, we could not survive.
The discussion went on for a couple of hours. We decided that we could run a pilot program with just the five people present, with few steps, such as exchanging phone numbers and email, and writing down a list of jobs we were willing to do for others. The usual stuff: driving, running errands, cleaning up yards, garages, taking stuff to the dump, trimming trees. I volunteered my gourmet cooking skills.
I bet none of you in Blogland guessed that I have such an amazing set of skills.
Neither did I.
I thought I was a normal, average cook. Who knew? A couple of parties later, I've been designated the official gourmet cook in town. They bid $60 at a library silent action, for one of my gourmet meals. Imagine how that went to my head! I demanded Le Crouset pots in my kitchen, and a subscription to Gourmet Magazine. Now, with such a title, I feel compelled to prepare meals I only dreamed about. It does help that I'm retired, have traveled and have frequented great eating places.
O.k. So, I'm willing to cook for others now and then, banking two hours or so for each event. (Frankly, I would do it for free, just to feel so needed!)
I'll let you know how this goes.
I'm telling my husband not to expect his jobs to be done with my banking hours. I'm trading for my self on this one.
I'm off to cook for my son(s) down in California. For a week, my nubile son will host his mom and dad in his newly purchased house in need of a woman's touch, and I will be buzzing around making suggestions for this and that. We'll have the traditional Turkey Dinner at Thanksgiving, and the traditional Ham Dinner a couple of days later, making enough food for a crowd of friends who might come over and watch football. I will eat one serving, then rush over to my favorite digs in L.A. filling up on stuff I can't make at home.
When in California, it's In-and-Out Burgers. There is a joint every few miles. I could do a midnight run.
Forget the home-grown veggies, the freshly caught fish grilled on applewood and pearwood, gently pruned and seasoned for these meals, year after year. Even the sage, the lavender, thyme and rosemary were picked fresh from the front yard. The lemon tree growing indoors contributed its fruit too, never sprayed, watered from the basin each time, gently nourished and appreciated.
In Oregon, we have always been GREEN.
When in Oregon, it's Fish and Chips at Crazy Norwegian's, right here in Port Orford, not a chain, a one of a kind establishment, right on the highway. You can't miss it.