One of the things I have been missing since my move north is my volunteer life. I've always been involved in at least two types of volunteering. I have done both "easy" things from home (phone trees, fundraising organization, making quilts for injured soldiers), and hands on down and dirty projects (building latrines in Honduras, teaching sewing at a low income after school and summer program, working with Habitat for Humanity). I've deliberately chosen in retirement to travel no more than a fourth of the year (including craft fairs), and part of that reason is so that I can make a real difference in my volunteer commitments.
Since my arrival in Denver, I had been looking for a new volunteer opportunity. Because I was visiting different churches each week, it was difficult for me to "jump in" if you will. Now, however, I think I have found the perfect first time volunteer opportunity. A group of churches in Denver take turns hosting a large group of homeless women within their churches. The church provides a dinner and places to sleep as well as something to eat in the morning (during the day they have another place to go to). Two shifts of church members spend the night assisting the women and keeping watch.
This is a perfect opportunity for me in many ways. First, I prefer to volunteer WITH the people needing help rather than "for" or "to" them. Second because as a "night owl" this is something unique I can offer, and there are a shortage of people who can spend the night. Third, because this is a volunteer situation within my new church, and I will be interacting and making friends with that same group of people. I still hope to find other ways to volunteer on a less intensive level and as always many of my sewing projects are for charity. Meanwhile, I've been able to make new connections while at the same time helping those who need it most.
In other news this warm Friday in retirement:
- I am no longer in the cold, cold north. The weather is in the eighties. One day was spent digging through the storage unit looking for summer clothing, golf shoes and the like. The good news is that I found a few warm weather outfits. The bad news is that son's clothing is at the very bottom and very back of a fully stacked ten by twenty foot unit.
- It has been difficult for me to quilt, as my lovely Janome sewing machine sits on a small, basically fold out table. I had not realized how much I would miss my two six feet tables in an L shape. Quilting things of any
- Our house hunting will probably begin in earnest in the next week or so, although Zillow has been my friend for awhile. Lists have been made of needs and priorities (my sister needs a large garden with a high fence and the dogs need a separate dog run for example), geographical requirements haven been settled and so on. The house below has been on and off the market during that time-and I frankly see no reason why. It's still on my short list as long as it remains.
- Bob has an article over at Satisfying Retirement on what he calls "simple sizing". I've shared right or simple sizing in the past few months that I don't need to repeat it here, except to say that priorities change and we need to change with them. By cutting those less important expenses life becomes much more rewarding.
- I'm reminded that in certain cases quality is more important than quantity, you do get what you pay for, and there is such a thing as an investment purchase (I write this as I compare options to replace my long dead grill with one I hope will cook everything and last many years (more on that later)
- Finally, I'm enjoying for the most part all of the smaller things that give life reward with little costs: movie rentals, spending time with family, walking out side, sitting and reading on the patio, sewing on a beautiful day, cooking easy summer meals at home, and walking through the neighborhood art market. All of these increase joy without money, and allow me those occasional slightly more costly things such as tonight's dinner out alfresco! What about you and your weekend?