Wednesday, April 1, 2009

High Hopes @ The Homestead

Isn't the concept of spring's pending arrival just delicious? Haven't we all had it with the weather's menopausal moods lately? Cheery blossoms are here in the DC area and I'm thrilled. I am so looking forward to my usual midnight meanderings around Jefferson's Basin. There is nothing quite like the blizzard of pink and white petals floating on the water's surface magnifying the trees' majestic fantasy for its admirers.

Thanks, Japan, for your vision allowing mine to have such an annual treat.
Bet you've all been wondering where I've gone off to (again). This time Scoop has been doing her best to explore every inch of the westernmost hinterlands of Virginia. The traditional Virginia. What looks to be more like the Virginia I encountered in 1970 when getting ready to move here along with many others from post-industrial Pittsburgh. That is when the brain drain started from the Steel City. That is why our football team has "The Steeler Nation" because its diaphora is scattered like a dandilion puff in August just after a Chem-Lawn treatment.

My destination this time was the much heralded THE HOMESTEAD and attendance at an Alpha Delta Kappa [ADK] State Convention. Living a charmed life, I've been able to check off another location I've wanted to see before slipping the surly bonds of Earth. The Homestead is perfection. Not one flaw was encountered during the weekend there. My only issue was that my stay couldn't have been longer.
ADK is a fantastic professional organization of female educators. Membership is honorary and granted to those who excell in their area as recognized by the nominating chapter. You must be nominated as applications are not part of the acceptance process. They are a powerful and generous group of women who work toward excellence in education, altruistic work and world understanding. I am proud being among their ranks.

Saturday evening was our banquet. Walking into the ballroom, ball jars with a lovely red label and a skirted lid decorated each placesetting along with an individually autographed copy of The Christmas Jar by Jason Wright, our key note speaker.
When he spoke, Jason detailed how the "giving gene" in his family skipped him and that he really didn't feel as compelled as his family members to perform altruistic deeds. The story he weaves in this book is warm and wonderful; but, as he said, the drive for action it instills in others is the the real gem. I'm here to say that the book is a seed which grows into readers' giving. Fortunately for me, Jason struck up a conversation with me in the lobby of The Homestead. We chatted for a little and exchanged our senses of humor about the day's events. He is as quick, charming and endearing as they come. He and his mission are memorable
In a nutshell, here is how it works:
1. you find a jar, any jar; but a ball jar is a good size
2. each day, or when you think of it, place your spare change in the jar
3. keep collecting it while involving those around you
4. during this time, mull over who you can give this jar to who needs a boost or a little unforseen "sugar" through the providence of God through your actions. Mary's Magnificat Prayer reads: "My soul doth magnify the Lord."
5. once it is filled, you give it away without any credit, pomp or circumstance. this is the part where your person magnifies the Lord.
6. reap the intrinsic thrill of knowing you are a good and gentle soul
OPTION: include a copy of Jason's book or a note of encouragement.

Another approach is to challenge others as I am doing now to follow your footsteps and do the same. My jar is heavier than when it cleared my doorway. I plan on keeping it up until it is full. Lord knows we all can find good and worthy homes for these jars once they are full. Good and worthy people are falling short on utility bills for the sake of feeding their families in every city on the map. There are others working and not making it. Maybe you want to place it some where close to home or far away. Give it to a church and have them pass it on. If you can't come up with a name, surely they will. For me, it is like books I've purchased for my classroom that disappear into student backpacks, never to be seen again. They always end up where they should be and where they are needed.
So, empty out that spaghetti sauce jar, wash it out and start tossing your coinage. Let me know how it works for you. Let Jason Wright know too. Maybe your story will be in his next book.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I though you were going to talk about "Homestead" as in where Kennywood is located!!!

    You would be surprised how quickly that jar fills.
    I had a little trash can and thats how I paid my kids tuition in catholic grade school.
    By the end of the year there was around 2000 dollars in it.