Friday, October 04, 2013

Closed oceans, open hands

A bit ago I was laughing at the fact that the feds have "closed" part of the ocean around Florida as part of the shutdown. Really, you can't make that stuff up.

The shutdown, however, does provide those of us who do still have steady work to practice our charity. Donate an extra couple of bags of groceries to a local food bank. Give more than usual to your church's benevolent fund (many churches have a special fund on hand to help families with rent, utility and other payments on an emergency basis). Go through your closet to pull out the nice clothes you never wear and drop them off at a thrift store.

Better yet, invite a family affected by the shutdown over for dinner. Massively overcook, and send the leftovers home with them. They get several meals out of it, and you get the pleasure of their company out of it.

The leftover thing - is this just a Wisconsin or Midwest thing? It's fairly common all over, I think, for families to parcel out packages of leftover Thanksgiving goodies among the feast's attendees. But does anyone else do it for regular dinner parties? Maybe it's just my social circle?

Leftovers aren't simply foisted on unsuspecting guests - they are asked if they want to take home any of the extra food. In some cases, I deliberately plan to have much more food than I need to feed the dinner party (having college students over for dinner comes to mind) specifically so I can send food home with them if they like.

Anyway, it's a way to offer some help in a manner that doesn't necessarily feel like charity to the recipients. Provided, of course, that they aren't some of those strange people who refuse to eat leftovers.

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