Workday – October 19, 2019

Saturday – October 19 – 9:00 a.m. to noon – Felton Presbyterian Church – WORKDAY

This is no venue for social networking, and it is unlikely that more than a few of us will see this post prior to Saturday anyway, but I want to at least briefly mention the workday cited above. I would have mentioned it sooner, but was just informed of it a few hours ago. It is only for three hours, but we always get quite a bit done before noon.

Although it is still early in the season, I intend to FINALLY prune the flowering crabapple out front, so could use some help to drag brush. Otherwise, the big cypress trees north of the parking lot, near A&W, need some major grooming. That is a big job that can not be finished before noon, but it would be nice to remove the lower growth that is encroaching into parking spaces. Of course, there is plenty of other work that needs to be done.

Audience

Why is someone in Ecuador reading about us? What about France? Did they just come here expecting to find information about Tom Felton who acted as Draco Malfoy of those creepy Harry Potter movies? There is certainly no problem with anyone reading what they want to on the internet. It just seems odd that there are others outside our Community who take interest in us.

Do any of us know much, or anything at all, about others like us in the Philippines? What about those in Nigeria? Do we read about others like us in other regions of California? How are they like us? How are they different? There are many variables, such as culture, climate, resources and government. Some may be in better situations than we are in. It is likely worse for most.

Ironically, we become less interesting as our situations improve. Those coming here for insight into our unique lifestyles will find less to read about as our individual lifestyles become less . . . unique. So many of us have regained domestic lifestyles and gainful employment during the past few years that there are only a few of us who still need to do so. That is not very interesting.

What is almost as good as a lack of interesting issues within our own group, is a lack of drama from outside. Hate groups are being recognized for what they are, and are alienating associates.

In this regard, boring is good. We know that things change, and that there will always be new issues developing. For now, we should just appreciate the slow but steady improvement, while new issues develop slightly slower than old issues get resolved. Perhaps our episodic improvements and good news are rare commodities that some of our audience come here to read about.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Generosity is a good thing. There happens to be an abundance of it here. In conjunction with the many other good things about our Community, the abundant generosity is what keeps a few of us from going hungry. Those who might happen to get into a bad situation several days before food distribution can easily find other meal and food programs nearby to stay well fed.

Sometimes, food even gets left for us at the picnic table near the parking lot at Felton Covered Bridge Park. Some of it is surplus from earlier events in the park, such as a birthday party or a picnic. On rare occasion, surplus food is delivered from events somewhere else, such as a wedding reception or a staff meeting. People actually go ‘that’ out of their way to share surplus food!

Generosity is certainly nothing new here. I wrote about it not too long ago. It sometimes involves other minor resources besides food, including clothing, bedding, tents, kitchen utensils, fuel, pet supplies, tarps, and on rare occasion, employment and housing opportunities. If too abundant, some of the non-perishable items can be stored until until someone has need for them.

Surplus perishable food that is not consumed in a timely manner is not so easy to accommodate. If we get to it quickly enough, some can be taken by those who can freeze or refrigerate it for later. Regardless of what happens to it, perishable food left in Felton Covered Bridge Park must be taken before wildlife makes a mess of it. Fortunately, so far, that has not been a problem.

However, there is slight but well founded concern that with such generosity and abundance of surplus, but fewer of us to benefit from it, there might eventually be potential for contributions of perishable food to attract undesirable wildlife. Ravens are notorious for taking unattended food, and leaving the wrappings strewn about. Raccoons and rats take what remains overnight.

Within the context of the collective ecosystem, scavenging surplus food is probably not a problem for the wildlife. The remaining mess of wrappings, and the waste of such graciously shared surplus, are the potential problems. Since the surplus food is being left for us, we must be attentive to how it might affect the environment, and not allow it to become a problem for others.

There certainly was no problem with this surplus food that was left early today. The fancy dried apricots and shelled walnuts to the right were quite a score. The sandwiches to the upper left were timely for lunch. Someone later brought salami and cheese to go with the remaining mixed crackers that were snacked on by many. Generosity and abundance go a long way in Felton.

9%

Wasn’t that what the forecast was? There was a 9% chance of precipitation over night? I know it is difficult to say. With all the modern technology available for such predictions, such figures change constantly. Regardless, most of us don’ t take a 9% chance of precipitation seriously. It rarely means anything, and even when it does, it is rarely more than a few drops off the eaves.

Realistically, what came through early this morning was not much more than a few drops off the eaves, but it was enough to remind us of what time of year this is. Pleasantly warm and dry weather is predicted through the week. In October though, the weather can be expected to slowly get cooler and wetter. It is impossible to say when it will rain next, but we know that it will.

Fortunately, there are very few of us who presently lack shelter. Those of us who are living outside are reasonably outfitted to do so. If necessary, tarps and a bit of dry bedding are available from where they are stored. We can always get more. Homelessness is not easy, particularly as summer becomes autumn, and then winter. We do what we must to get through the weather.

We are also very fortunate to live in such a remarkably compassionate Community, and within such a mild climate. The resources that are available to those of us who might need them are provided by others in the Community, most of whom live in homes and are inexperienced with the difficulties of homelessness. Not many Communities are so generous and compassionate.

Of course, the climate helps too. We need not contend with the severely cold and snowy weather that other regions experience during winter. After the earlier drizzle, the sky is already clear.

San Lorenzo Valley & Scott’s Valley Meal and Food Programs – September 2019

This updated list was printed and distributed last Tuesday at Luncheon at Felton Presbyterian Church, which is listed here as ‘Free Lunch Tuesday’. This list is likely more comprehensive than any of us need it to be, since almost all of us can procure more than what we need without ever leaving Felton. Nonetheless, for those who may find it useful, the list is posted verbatim:

San Lorenzo Valley & Scott’s Valley Meal and Food Programs

September 2019

Tuesdays through Saturdays (also 4th Mondays). Valley Churches United, Food Pantry and Food Distribution programs. Tues – Thurs 9 – 11:45 and Saturday 10 – 11:45. 1st and 3rd Fridays 9 – 11 are for seniors only. USDA Distribution on 4th Monday 10 – 1. For SLV, Scotts Valley, and Bonny Doon residents. Ben Lomond, corner of Highway 9 across from Ben Lomond Market, 336-8258.

Tuesdays, noon. Felton Presbyterian Church, 6090 Highway 9, across fro Rite-Aid, 335-6900. “Free Lunch Tuesday

Tuesdays, 2:30 – 6:30. Felton Farmers’ Market, Hwy 9 and Russell. Up to $10 matched when customers use their Cal Fresh (EBT/SNAP) cards. The extra money must be used for fresh produce at the market. (May – Oct)

Wednesdays, 12 – 2. San Agustin Catholic Church, 257 Glenwood Dr. Scotts Valley (next to the fire station). 438 3633. Food Distribution.

Thursdays, 10:30 – 1:30 (doors open 9:00 – 3:00). St. John’s Catholic Church, down from Rite-Aid, Highway 9 and Russell, Felton. 335-4657 . “Thursday Lunch.”

Thursdays, 11 – 12. Mountain Community Resources (a Community Bridges program), 6134 Highway 9, across from Rite Aid, Felton 335-6600 Food Distribution.

Thursdays, 5:00 – 6:30, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 5271 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley. 438-4360 Food Distribution.

Fridays, 5 – 5:30 p.m.. GateWay Bible Church, 5000 Granite Creek Road, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. 438-0646. “Fridays at Five” food distribution.

Sunday, September 29, 2:00 SS Peter & Paul Orthodox Church, 9980 Highway 9, Ben Lomond, north of town, 336-2228. Dinner.

Meals on Wheels (a Community Bridges program), hot meals at dining centers in Ben Lomond (M-F, 336-5366) and Scotts Valley (Wednesdays, 438-8666). Reservations required, $2.50 requested donation, for age 60+ (limited exceptions). Meals delivered if eligible, 464-3180.

Grey Bears Brown Bag Program, weekly bag of produce to be picked up in Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, Felton or Scotts Valley. Delivery available for homebound seniors. $30 annual membership fee, for age 55+. www.greybears.org (479-1055).

Except as noted, all programs are free of charge – Schedules are subject to change.

Submit Changes/Additions to slvsvmeals@gmail.com

(Please note that dinner on Sunday [September 29] at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church is not a recurring event, although other dinners will be scheduled later.)

Coastal Cleanup Day – Saturday, September 21, 2019

Coastal Cleanup Day is an ‘international day of volunteer action’; but we notice it most locally, as volunteers are out collecting trash and debris throughout the watershed of the San Lorenzo River. So much gets cleaned up and taken away in just three hours from 9:00 a.m. to noon!

Because there are fewer of us in our small Group than there had been before, there are fewer of us to attend. Two who so dutifully participated annually, as well as with most other cleanup events, now reside in Copperopolis, so will not participate locally. Another is temporarily in Morgan Hill, and works on Saturday.

This year, only one, or perhaps two from our Group will be participating, but will likely be going to Capitola to do so with friends. Of course, there are often those who do not plan to attend, but end up directing participants to areas of significant debris accumulation, and helping with the collection of such debris.

Statistically, for our small Group, that is still rather good attendance. If we estimate that there are about fifteen of us now, and one of fifteen participates in Coastal Cleanup Day, that is 7% of our total. 7% of the approximately 4,000 people of Felton would be 267 volunteers! There would not be enough trash and debris for that many to share.

In the past, when there were approximately twenty of us, at least two of us participated annually. There were more typically three or four of us. That is a minimum of %10.

Perhaps one of the few disadvantages to the many advantages of several of us procuring employment and housing, and some of us relocating to do so, is that there are not quite so many of us to participate in events such as the Coastal Cleanup Day.

An Uneventful Week

There is not much to write about today. The weather has been warm, but for those of us who live outside, pleasantly mild at night. None of us are in need of anything that can not be readily procured from our collective resources. The Community is as supportive as it always is. Some of us have been spending a bit more time at odd jobs. We should enjoy the calm while we can.

One from our group has been in Montana for work for at least two months. He must be doing well there, or he would have returned already, as expected. Perhaps one temporary assignment led to another. Someone else is in Santa Cruz for temporary work, but should return on Monday or so. It is unfortunate that some must leave the area for work, but it is better than nothing.

During this next week, another one from our group will likely be interviewing for regular (not temporary) part time employment, which could develop into full time employment. The work is within walking distance from town. The schedule is flexible. It is not the most lucrative sort of employment, but involves benefits that would be useful to someone who has been unemployed.

This is the time of year that the few of us who live outside should start to prepare for autumn. There is a 39% chance of rain early Monday morning, which is not much to be concerned with, but there will eventually be more. It will be increasingly difficult for those lacking adequate shelter to stay dry. We are fortunate that this is such a mild climate, without snow or hard frost.

Here in Felton and the San Lorenzo Valley, we are also very fortunate to be part of such an extremely compassionate, supportive and generous Community.