Charity Work & Switching Friends Houses! (PA) “DAY 304” – 5/4/11

May 6, 2011 - 11:47 am - (PA) “DAY 304” - Week 45 - State 41

I wish I didn’t go to bed so late last night because this morning I’m suppose to be at First United Presbyterian Church to do volunteer work at 9 am.  Ahhh!  I’m so not a morning person especially after just 4 hours of sleep. 🙁

Charity Work
Even though I wanted to stay asleep for at least another 4 hours, I got up and made it down to the church on time.  Now, as is always the case, I didn’t know much about where I was going or what I was gonna be doing.  All I knew was where to be, what time to get there, and when I’d be finished (noon).

F.Y.I. - Matt set this up for me through the United Way (I think).  What I am sure of is that Matt set this up for me, so to Matt... Thank you again for helping out! 🙂

First United Presbyterian Church
For anybody that know me well, I’m truly not a morning person as it takes me at least 45 minutes to be myself. (It takes me a while to shake the cobwebs out.) 😉  So, when I got there, I didn’t tell my story or anything like that, I just asked what they needed me to do and got to doing it.

Back tracking a bit, I’ll explain (the best I know) what they do here.   I’m not sure of the exact terminology but I think this place was a food bank.  So, in so many words, they boxed a bunch of food and handed it out to the needy people of this community.  Nice! 🙂

My Job For The Day
After meeting Mundy (the lady who runs this place), she introduced me to Sally who I was gonna be working with all morning. (Both ladies were real nice and I enjoyed their company while I worked.) (Right: Mundy)

Anyway, my job was to help Sally pack each individual box with a specific amount of food each order.  But, it wasn’t like each was order was real different as there were just 3 different boxes we could be packing.  There were the number 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s.  Easy enough.

The Boards
It actually was an easy system once you got the hang of the boards around you.  For example, each board had a list of the different foods each box got as well as how much of each item.  So, all you had to do was go down the list item by item and place the food on the table. (There were 3 different boards per box.)

Working All Morning
Once I got the hang of it, Sally and I boxed a bunch of food for the needy.  I don’t know how many we actually did (I wasn’t counting), but I’d say it was somewhere between 20-30.

Also, sometime during my shift, Sally and I drove to the local supermarket where they donated a bunch of baked goods to the food bank. (Sally and I drove over there in the Rooster mobile because I was parked behind her car.)  My bad.

A Photographer Stops By
A little bit after Sally and I got back from the supermarket, a photographer (Scott) from the Observer-Reporter stopped by to take some photos of me for the article they are writing on my journey.  Nice!

Scott was a real cool guy and after he finished taking the photos he needed for the story, he even grabbed my camera and took some for my website. (I can’t offer him health care or any pay so the newspaper shouldn’t worry about me stealing him.) 😉 Thanks Scott and it was nice meeting you.

Finishing Up My Shift
I really had such good time working with the all the women there that before I even realized it... it was noon and time to go. (I wasn’t the only one leaving, Sally and the others were done as well.)  Thanks ladies, good luck life and take care!

F.Y.I. - By 10 am I was myself and having a good time with everybody there.  It takes a little while but then I’m good for the rest of the day.  Man, do I hate mornings until I really wake up. ;(

Back To Matt’s
After I got finished doing some volunteer work, I went back to Matt’s house to pack up my things because today I am leaving his house and going to stay at another friend’s place in town for the rest of the week. (I’m going to Shakes’s, another one of my best friends from WVU.)

F.Y.I. - Just because I’m leaving Matt’s doesn’t mean I’m done hanging out with him this week.  Tomorrow for instance (Thursday), I’m playing golf with him (if the weather is nice) and Friday I'm going to a Pirate game with him and few other guys (again if the weather is nice).  So, I guess Mother Nature will determine if I see Matt again. 😉

Thank You Matt & Renee
Even though I will see Matt again, I still want to take a second to thank him and his wife (Renee) for all that they did for me over the past two weeks.  They took me in on Easter weekend and made me feel like family, they feed me everyday I was at their home, and a bunch of other stuff too.

Lastly, I’d to thank them for just being my friend! 🙂  On this journey you have no idea how good it feels just to be around good friends who’s company you enjoy.  And... that make you feel comfortable.

Now... I have had this feeling a bunch of times on this trip while staying with many different friends, but it never gets old. (I know because it’s my journey.) 😉  I guess what I’m trying to say is... thank you for being you brother!  You to Renee! 🙂

Arriving At Shakes’s House
I stayed at Matt’s house until 4 pm-ish before I left and went to Shakes’s home. (Shakes didn’t get home from work until 4:30-ish.)  The ride wasn’t bad as it was only 15 minutes away but when I got to within 100 yards of Shakes ‘s place, I couldn’t find it. (My GPS was getting lost, I’m in the country.)

Eventually, I got in touch with Shakes and he told me I was a only 2 houses away. (Cell phones don’t work to well out here either so he didn’t get my texts until 20 minutes later.)

F.Y.I. - Shakes's real name is Aaron but his nickname in college was Shakes.  It has stuck ever since as everybody still calls him Shakes.  I think it was Wulf’s doing (although I don’t remember), his nicknames stick like glue. 😉

Shakes & His Family
I have known and been friends with Shakes since I was 17 and he was 18. (I was 17 for over 2 months my freshman year in college.)  So, I have been friends Shakes for a long time and have stayed in touch with him since we left WVU many years ago.

My point is, I have met his wife Joanna (Joey) before as well as his oldest daughter Julia (she was young though), but his youngest daughter Grace (who’s 10 months old) I’m meeting for the first time. (Shakes is overrun by women in this house.  Good luck in the teenage years my man!) LOL JK 😉

Anyway, his wife Joey is super cool with a great personality and his daughter Julia is a spitting image of Mom. (You’re in for it Shakes!)   Then, there’s Grace who seems to be just taking it all in.  You go Grace!

Shakes’s 3 Legged Dog
After showing me around the house and introducing me to the newest member of the Shakes clan, he brought me outside to show me his pool as well as his property. (He has a big place with a lot of property, 5 acres or so.)

The thing is, when we got out there, although it was very nice, all I could focus on was his 3 legged dog (Lilly).  Yes, Shakes has a 3 legged dog. 🙂  The crazy part is, this dog can move and from the way she acts, I don’t think this dog has any idea it just has 3 paws.

Dinner With The Shakes’s
By the time I was all settled into Shakes’s house, it was dinner time.  As I sat down at the table Joey told me she wasn’t a good cook, but she must have been being modest because I thought dinner great!  Thank you so much!  (It was meat and potatoes, that’s my favorite meal.)  Woo Hoo!

Hanging With Shakes All Night
Once we finished eating dinner, Shakes and I went downstairs to his man cave where we hung out and BS’d for the rest of the night. (He asked me if I wanted to go out, but he had work in the morning and I was happy enough just to hang with Shakes, so we stayed in and watched TV for most of the evening.)

Other than watching TV, Shakes Dad stopped by to see his grand kids as well as his son. (Shakes and his Dad are so similar is scary. They have the same voice, mannerisms, and personality.)  You know what they say, like father like son.

Watching The “Little Fockers”
Anyway, after his Dad left and Joey (and the kids) went to bed, Shakes and I rented the “Little Fockers” and watched that until it was time for Shakes to call it a night. (The movie ended sometime after 11 pm.)

F.Y.I. - I didn’t think the movie would be that good but it was funny as I got a handful of laughs from the flick.  And truthfully, that’s all you can hope for from a 3rd installment of a comedy.  Not bad.

Crashing Out
I stayed up until 2 am before I went upstairs to the guest room and fell asleep for the night.  Shakes’s guest room is really nice!  Between his place and Matt’s I am ruined for the rest of my trip.  Damn!  I needed to sleep in a rusty bath tub to prepare myself for the next 3 weeks of nowhere to stay. 😉  But I’ll take it. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Dad says:

    Nice to have have friends so close to each other.
    Your charity work is terrific. I think of all the things you’ve done to date, and there have been
    many fabulous events and things, Charity seems to always lift you up, too.

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