Today was Meals on Wheels day for me & Mike. It's only the second time we've done the route but I already feel protective of some of the folks we deliver to. It's really an eye-opening experience for me. There are about 13 stops (16 meals total) around the roughest part of Birmingham, and all of the people are very elderly and/or living in really bad conditions. Also, we can tell that for some of these people, seeing us is the only face-to-face contact they have on a daily basis. One lady today kept us talking and would have kept chatting for a while if we'd let her. She lives with her husband who I think cannot speak, he usually grunts at us when we say hello, so I'm sure she loves to have someone to talk to. I can also tell that a lot of the people are scared because they keep their doors locked and have bars on the windows. It makes me really sad and angry to think about people preying on the elderly. Anyway, I highly recommend doing something like this if it is available in your area. It doesn't take much time and is really rewarding. I know doing volunteer work is about helping people, not making yourself feel good, but I do feel good about doing something for my community.
Anyway, it's another hot day in the 'Ham (but not as hot as it could be), and I can't wait to head home to Richlands this Sunday. I'm really looking forward to seeing my grandmothers. Doing the Meals on Wheels thing makes me appreciate how independent and well-off my grandmas are: my mom's mother is close to 80 years old and still drives, attends church, cooks, shops, and my dad's mother is close to 90 years old and volunteers at church, cooks, drives, shops, sews, all that stuff. They are both really cool ladies to talk to, it's quite amazing to think of everything they have seen and experienced.
I have been really blessed in the grandparent department - my dad's father lived to 89 (he passed away in December '04 of old age) and was really the figurehead of our family. Everyone called him "Pop" and after Mike met him for the first time he was dubbed "The Godfather" because of his ability to pick up the phone and make things happen. When we were there that day, after Pop met Mike, he picked up the phone and called each of his three other boys (my dad was already with us) and they all came over. We had a little impromptu party. I was just thinking today of how awesome it is that I have such a large, wonderful family. It's really comforting to think that no matter what happens in my life, I will have somebody there to help me. I know everyone doesn't have that and I'm really thankful.
ADDENDUM: After he read this, Mike said that I forgot to mention that after Pop called everybody and they were at his house, he fell asleep in his recliner for most of the evening. LOL! Classic Pop. Also, I forgot to write about my mom's father, who I never knew because he died when my mom was nine from lung cancer after smoking for most of his life. I think that speaks volumes for my grandma, his widow, who raised four kids up pretty damn well after that.