Once again this year there has been a major gap in the Daily Journal, and be forewarned, there is going to be at least one more before the end of the year. The earlier one was when we got our house that we pretty much abandoned six plus years ago when we took off on the road for the full time Life. This last one, basically the month of July, was when we were volunteering at the Escapees CARE Center in Livingston, Texas.
As far as our experience at CARE, we enjoyed our interaction with the residents more than we could ever imagine. It was good for us and we hope it was good for them. We helped in the kitchen and kept track who was eating which meals during the day, more so on the weekends than the weekdays. We drove residents to their doctors appointments, and checked on them if they didn't appear at the dining room when they were expected. We cleaned the dining room, then played cards in the late evening with some of the residents. We laughed and joked and did things that the residents didn't expect but really appreciated. We were also on call every other night, meaning that if any of the residents had an emergency, our phone would ring and we were responsible for responding in whatever manner necessary. During our stay this fortunately never occurred.
Care runs on volunteers, both in terms of physical presence and also in terms of monetary donations. As we learned, in the winter, the time when people want to be here because of the weather, they have too many volunteers. In the summer, a broiling cauldron of heat and humidity, there are virtually no volunteers. It was this lack of summer volunteers that led us to make our commitment for July in the first place, it fitting in nicely with our European travel plans for mid August. We knew it wasn't going to be a vacation, and our first week there we found ourselves working over 40 hours. Linda and I and two other singles were the only volunteers for the month. And during that time we kept telling ourselves that we were here for the residents. As was pointed out to us in our weekly volunteer meetings, CARE exists because of Good Will. Consequently I will say nothing more about our four weeks there other than to say that anyone who volunteers in the summer is honestly appreciated far, far more by the residents than those who volunteer during the winter when the weather makes it easy to be there.
As for what is next in our lives - on August 14th we leave for three months in Europe. Be forewarned that while the Daily Journal will be written during that time, it will not appear here. Linda is going to help me by typing it up, so we will be using the Because We Can mirror site on Blogger, as she can't use my HTML program I use, but she can use LiveWriter. The site will be http://www.because-we-can-bob.blogspot.com/
To make it easy, here a link to it. We will be writing everyday, or maybe I should say, Linda will be typing in what I dictate, everyday, so if you want to follow along you can.