Monthly Archives: December 2013

Fishing for people

Getting a large number of volunteers is like fishing. You put your hook into the water and wait to see what gets hooked.

Yesterday, in desperation, I went into an American Legion Post. The doors were open and there was a young man sweeping the steps. I asked him to volunteer after explaining what it was all about. “Maybe” he said.

Then inside I spoke to a bartender and a delivery man and asked them. Both work on New Years, and the bartender said all the members were in their late 80s and 90s, and I thought, so what. But I didn’t get anywhere.

I walked outside and saw a man walking up the street and I hollered at him. He stopped, and looked at me with surprise. I told him all about it, and he actually seemed interested. He showed up at the meeting and brought his wife! Good fishing that time.

We’re still short for some stations and shifts, and I’m going to keep trying up to the last moment. This is harder work than traveling the world.

We had 42 people yesterday at the final meeting. So that makes about 90 people if they all show up. I’m told that 10 percent won’t. E-gads!

I don’t know what will happen in the stations with no one to manage them.

There are many reasons why this was more difficult than it should have been.

Ten more

Ten more volunteers, and still hoping for more.

Some key people backed out, so they need to be replaced.


eighty eight volunteers

If they all show up on Sunday during the volunteer orientation meeting, we’ll total  88 volunteers as of today.  Sunday is two days away. And there are a total of three more days.

I took some flyers and information to the Target human services department. It would look good  right about now, I would think, for their employees to do some work in the community. At this time that would be good public relations for the company. But guess they are the ones who need to understand that.

All the armed forces we have in and around Monterey are all closed up and most have gone home. It’s a ghost town.



Thankfulness for 2013

Looking back over my awesome year of 2013, I’m grateful for every single person who helped me along the trail I found myself on. Here’s a thank you for the folks who put me up in their homes, the hotels and hostels I stayed in, the people who helped me get on and off trains, buses, taxis and airplanes. I thank my extended family members in Holland and Germany and for the awesome experience in Berlin at Christmas and the New Years Eve rumble at the gate and my friend Marilyn who met me in Berlin and my friend Marc in Berlin who works at an art gallery. I’m thankful for all the women and men who I met on the journey in waiting rooms, in transportation from one country to the next. Here’s to the awesome experience working with executives in Spain. I’m thankful for the certificate I earned while flying on the shortest booked flight in the world, from one island to the next. I’m thankful for all the cultural experiences and all that I have learned on the journey. I’m thankful for the many stories I have yet to share.And a special thank you to Paula and Bud.

What a year!

Trying to see the good in everything

One hundred volunteers are needed. We have only a few days left and we’re behind by about 75.

Everyday, I try to think of something else to do in order to bring those numbers up, and everyday we get a few more volunteers, but I need huge numbers of them.

I’m using positive thinking and won’t give up.

Anyone have any ideas?


Indonesian Christmas

Brad, Debbie, Ronnie, Michael, Brandon and I all went to the Indonesian Consulate General and his wife’s home high on a San Francisco hilltop yesterday to celebrate Christmas.

Debby knows so many people who attended the party, that it amazes me. She works the room like a diplomat and never hesitates to introduce all of her American family to everyone.

Indonesian food is the best, in my opinion, and the food yesterday didn’t disappoint.

After that we all went to a spot near the Golden Gate bridge and walked around a bit in the fresh air.

Michael and Brandon accept, but not to willingly, to yet, another photo opportunity by their mother. Debby is known for taking photos wherever she is, and it’s fun to see how she gets “her boys” to comply.

Michael, all grown up and handsome, went back to Luther College in Iowa this morning. It was good to see him briefly.

I’m still working at finding volunteers for First Night Monterey. I’m trying to use a positive approach, and just know all of it will work out. I got some positive energy yesterday from the family.





We rehearsed the first visit to Santa Claus

Larry and Brad were tiny tikes when I planned to take them on a visit to Santa Claus. I didn’t want them to be scared, scream or cry. I wanted it to be a great experience so we practiced the visit in improv.

First I played Santa Claus, ho, ho, hoing loud and beckoning them to take turns and sit on my lap. “What do you want me to bring you little one?”

“Ho, ho ho, I’ll see what I can do Larry/Bradley.”

They took turns for awhile with me as Santa, then they took turns with each of them playing Santa. It’s pretty funny to watch a two year old sit on the lap of a 3 and four month old brother.

When we arrived to the Denver Dry Goods, we went up the escalator and there sat Santa Claus, alone, as if waiting for them. You couldn’t plan it this good.

Both Larry and Bradley ran to him and occupied both of his knees.

Preparation is everything.


Laughing with the family

I had a wonderful time last night at Larry and Sue’s house in Aromas with Bobby and his girlfriend, and Treva – who I haven’t seen for months, and Brad, Debby, Brandon and Michael – (who came all the way from Iowa), and, son, Ronnie.

We laughed, played the gift game, ate and left with love in our hearts.

I am so proud of my sons, and the good men they have become. They just amaze me…and I thank God for the gift of those three guys.

I’m also proud of my grandkids who are all productive and good people.

I’ve been blessed.

Rushing around the jingle bell

Christmas is catching up with me and as of today, I wasn’t even sure what day Christmas fell on.  I’m so busy working at getting volunteers that I barely have had time to feel the Christmas spirit.

Everyone is running around in the stores, looking frantic and the music…well… Jingle Bells is nervous-making and if that stupid, tired, mommy doesn’t stop kissing Santa Claus, I’m going to gag.

I rushed around in only one store and purchased some items that will be used for a gift exchange-fun game we’ll play in my family tomorrow.

I don’t even know what I’ll be doing on Christmas Day.

On a vacant lot close to my apartment there are blown up Santa Clauses, Snowmen, and so much stuff you can’t take all the lights and bling in, but one thing caught my eye, “Keep Christ in Christmas”, the sign that tells us what Christmas is about, however, I didn’t see anything related to Christ among the jiggle bell, rubber, blown up, lit up ‘stuff’.

So, tomorrow, I’m going to think about the reason behind Christmas and take the day to rest and reflect.




Oh, what to do?

What can you do when you get a cup of coffee and a cookie at McDonalds and you sit in your car listening to the radio and dunk your cookie into the cup.Then you drop all of it. Of course you have no spoon.

Well, I just waited until the coffee was drained, and then I pulled the cookie putty up with my fingers and slurped it up off of my fingers like pudding. Not something I’d do in public.