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An Old Friend and Socks for the Homeless

October 7, 2013

Arizona – Sunday, September 29

Leif, Karena and Kelsi headed out early for church, while I took advantage of a quiet Sunday morning to start with some walking in their desert neighborhood. With all the stucco homes in various shades if browns and tans, and decorative stones in the front yards instead of grass, and flowering cactus, it was all very different from back home! I also saw some kind of tree with green bark and fern-like leaves. I walked nearly 2 miles with Tula, and the morning began to get hot, so she seemed to have enough. I put her in the van with the air conditioner on, and since the others weren’t back from church yet, I continued my walking around the neighborhood. I think I covered all the streets (some more than once!), and the paths that ran between the backs of the houses and by the playground. By the time I got back, I had covered almost 5 miles, and the others were back from church. I was happy to get so much walking in before the heat of the day.

Late last night and this morning, I had been in touch with an old high school friend who also happened to live in Phoenix, but on the other side of town – coincidentally right around the corner from Rustler’s Rooste! We decided to meet for lunch, and she offered to drive out here to get me. Her name is Karen (not to be confused with my cousin Karen from last night, or Leif’s wife Karena!) and she got to their house a little early, and it was great to see her again. Since she moved away from Michigan, we hadn’t seen each other for about 25 years, although we had been pretty good about keeping caught up during all the years. We went to Macaroni Grill, and 3 hours passed in what seemed like a half hour! They weren’t real busy, so the staff didn’t seem to mind us sitting there for hours, although we didn’t realize it had been that long! We headed back to Leif and Karena’s house, and they told me Tula had been a good girl the whole time, and only whined once or twice after I first left (she doesn’t like to be left behind!). Karen was going to walk a few miles with me, and we took Tula with us. But it was still pretty hot out, and she didn’t seem very interested, so I took her back. I imagine the sidewalk was pretty warm, so I didn’t want to push her. Karen and I set out once again, and in no time at all, we had covered a little over 3 miles, so I was up to 8 for today. Karen had to head back home, and we hope it’s not another 25 years before we see each other again!

I sat and visited with Leif for a while, and Karena joined us too. It’s so unusual for me to have time to just sit and relax! Kelsi had headed back to college, and Karena told me about an event for the homeless people she and Kelsi were going to participate in next Saturday. Once a month their church (along with others in the area) puts together bags of food, toiletries, new socks and hats, and then the volunteers – who are all part of Team Hope – go to downtown Phoenix where the homeless people are, and pass out all the bags to the many people who show up. I wanted to help a little too, so Karena talked to one of the organizers, and they still needed more new white socks, so a little later I was going to head out to Wal-Mart, which was really close by and open all night. My good intentions of taking Tula out for an evening walk went out the window when we simply sat outside again on a nice evening. Both Leif and Karena get going really early in the mornings during the work week (earlier than this night owl would be up!), so after they turned in, I ran to Wal-Mart for socks for Team Hope to take to the homeless, and ended up getting about 70 pair. The only driving I did today was a couple miles to Wal-Mart and back – it’s a very rare day when I only drive a few miles! I did a little computer work and finished my laundry before calling it a day.















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  1. Leif Nygaard permalink

    So glad we were able to connect!!!! And, Team Hope so appreciated your generous donation!!! Definitely made a difference for those less fortunate!! I’ll be glad to eat rattlesnake with you anytime! 🙂

  2. There is something so comforting – even more than just warmth – in slipping into a new pair of soft, cozy socks. Bless you!

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