Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sharin' the burrito lovin'

So I decided to "pay it forward" today, when I saw a homeless man with his hand-scrawled cardboard sign saying, "Anything will help. God bless" standing outside on the coldest night of the year. It has been between -15 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit for the last few days in Concord, and it is bitterly cold.

He stood bundled up in the coats he had, at a busy traffic intersection by a strip mall. I did not have any cash - I rarely do anymore, now that most places take a credit/debit card. I rustled through the car looking for my pregnancy snacks - which at this point, consist of a mostly-eaten bag of trail mix, a frozen solid granola bar, and a few frozen water bottles. Not exactly helpful. I thought, "Do I hand him my emergency pair of socks or Dad's IOWA sweatshirt to keep warm?" What is the right thing to do in these situations - I never know. I do know that doing nothing is rarely an option, and I would rather err on the side of gullible and taken advantage of than cold-hearted and blind to the suffering around me.

So you give a 'bum' $20 and he spends it on alcohol. Well, what if he spends it on food to feed his freezing children who are huddled under the bridge in a cardboard box, and likely will not make it through this cold night? That's a chance I am willing to take.

This man is my community, my neighbor, in my town. He is 'my people.' And there are plenty of homeless folks in Concord, all quite chilly tonight. There are a few homeless shelters, and yes, not everyone takes advantage of them. It is statistically true that many homeless people suffer from various forms of mental illness. Does this make them not worthy of warmth, shelter, clothes on their back or food in their bellies? If their pride or insanity keeps them from going to a shelter, does this mean that freezing to death is justified?

So what I did, misdirected or not, was swing around the block, get Scott's and my dinner at Boloco as planned, and pick up a $10 Boloco gift card for the homeless man. I thought, burrito: sustaining rice, fresh vegetables, hearty meat - hot meal that can be eaten with the hands and without utensils (or pretense)...what's not to love? This whole process took about 5 minutes.

I drove back through the previous intersection, snow piled high on both sides, and he was gone. This has happened to me before, and I don't know (karmically) what it means.

But now I drive around town with my Boloco gift card, ready to be handed out the window the next time I see one of my Concord neighbors suffering in this blistering cold winter weather. I encourage you to do the same.

burrito gift card: $10. minutes spent getting a gift card: 5. saving a life (or just warming a heart for a minute, showing someone you care about their existence in this world): priceless.

Pass it on.


p.s. Tonight we tried the Bangkok Thai burrito with chicken and the Classic Mexican with pork - yummmmm-tastic! Scott wanted to drive back to town to get more, though he was full! He especially loved the Thai, and so did I.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Boloco, or, my favorite new mid-morning stop

Thanks, BOLOCO!

Mama got a wicked craving today at yes, 9:15 a.m., a mere two hours into my workday.

Must. Have. Burrito. NOW.

Where can one find a burrito, or any Mexican food, in Concord at that time of the morning? Well, FYI, nowhere...except the kind-hearted goodness of the chefs at Boloco on Fort Eddy Road (see link above).

I know because I googled every Mexican joint in a ten mile radius. And they all open at 11 a.m., or 4 p.m., or some other ridiculous, not-friendly-to-preggos times of the day. Except for Boloco, which opens at 10.

So at 9:15 I called. He picked up. I said, "Here's the situation: I am pregnant and I need me some Mexican food RIGHT NOW. I know you don't open until 10, but you think you could make me a burrito...pleeeease?" And the response I got was: "When could you get here?" "Fifteen minutes." "I think we can make that happen."

Oh how I love you..... (I think I might have even said that out loud.)

When I arrived, they had unlocked the doors for me (nice touch). I walked in. He said, "What size?" "Uh...LARGE!" And within moments, I had a piping hot, beautifully prepared Classic Mexican burrito with chicken. Oh YUMMMMM. And some blue corn chips and plenty of sour cream for the side.


Ne'er has a burrito tasted so delightful, so full of love, so gracious, so "ay mami, mi amore!"

Thank you!!


"We try to help out in any way we can," said the cook/manager. Well you did, and I will be back. Gracias~!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the most perfect last two lines e'er written in a poem

Her First Calf
by Wendell Berry

Her fate seizes her and brings her
down. She is heavy with it. It
wrings her. The great weight
is heaved out of her. It eases.
She moves into what she has become,
ure in her fate now
as a fish free in the current.
She turns to the calf who has broken
out of the womb's water and its veil.
He breathes. She licks his wet hair.
He gathers his legs under him
and rises. He stands, and his legs
wobble. After the months
of his pursuit of her, now
they meet face to face.
From the beginnings of the world
his arrival and her welcome
have been prepared. They have always
known each other.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snapshot of Today

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, January 10, 2011

Outside My Window...is that perfect blue night-approaching sky, the color you can only see between dusk and darkness. The world is illuminated in beauty and possibility.

I am thinking...that many of you may not know yet that I am pregnant. And happy to be so. And finally content.

I am thankful for...having a job and going into my second year there. My boss is wonderful and I have learned so much in the past year.

From the kitchen...I really ought to be making something tonight. I have done so little cooking, as I have been sooooo tired. I think tonight will be taco night, with a side of rice with corn in it.

I am wearing...one of the few pairs of pants I can still fit into. They are stretchy.
Oh, the power of the drawstring.

I am creating...human life, as I like to remind Scott. ;) Well, I am merely the vessel. But it is pretty amazing to think of a real living being inside me, akin to Sigourney Weaver in "Alien"...or maybe something more beautiful than that.

I am going...to really purge this house of unneeded stuff. We gotta make room for another person in this life of ours, not to mention this condo. I have too many knick-knacks (yes, Laurel), and books, old clothes that don't fit and bags of projects I might do SOMEday. When IS this someday and how on earth will I have time for all those projects??

I am reading...

well, I WAS reading "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," by Dave Eggers, when the news hit and the hormones came on, full force. And then I hibernated for three months. And here we are, week 14, and I am getting a semblance of energy back, ever so slowly, and now all I can seem to read is "Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy" and "What to Expect When You're Expecting"! So cliche. But, mama's gotta conserve her energy. And Dave Eggers isn't gonna tell me what the hell a tilted uterus is! But I really do need to get back to that book...

I am hoping...that Michele will know how much I love and respect her and not have to stop talking to me because I got pregnant (though I would totally understand if that is the case. We have both been through the ringer...).

I am hearing...ick, and SMELLING, the cat going potty in the catbox. Damn supersonic sense of smell!

Around the house...I still have my Christmas decorations up, and this weekend - yes - they really are getting packed away until next year.

One of my favorite things...is spending time with friends, and I really, really miss them all. So many dear ones too far away. I need some girl time, some coffee time, some gay best friend time, some walk and talk time, some drinks after work and laughing our heads off time.

A few plans for the rest of the week...include some horrible dental work - expensive and painful. Good times. Me on Wednesday and Scott too, on Friday. But then a hopefully relaxing three day weekend with Martin Luther King Jr's Bday on Monday.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

cranberry bog

flowers in Kashmir
(both photos from the Web)

And there you have it, my Simple Woman's Daybook. View other entries at
The Simple Woman's Daybook. Try writing one yourself if you feel inspired.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

something to look forward to

At Twenty-Three Weeks She Can No Longer See Anything South of Her Belly
I'm painting my wife's toes
In Revlon Super Color Forty Nine.
I've no idea what I'm doing.
She asked me to get the bottle,
then crashed on our bed,
muscle-sore, pelvis-aching.
Lifting the brush, I skim
the excess polish across the glass,
daub a smidgen on her nail,
push it out in streaks
over the perfect surface
to the cuticle's edge.
I'm painting my wife's toes.
I've no idea what I'm doing.
The smell of fresh enamel
intoxicates. Each nail I glaze
is a tulip, a lobster,
a scarlet room where women
sit and talk, their sleek,
tinctured fingers sparking the air.
~Thom Ward

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

New Year's quote from my darling aunt Doris:

"Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats." ~