somewhere at the beginning of december Mary in the church where we cook (that would make Mary 'the church lady', wouldn't it?) mentioned that someone left a message about wanting to help cooking for nickelsville; Mary said she called back to say 'no-thank you, it's pretty much taken care of already', but handed me a pink post-it note with a name a number anyway.
on the other end of the wire i found Terry, who told me about a special person in her life, Rosemary, and about Rosemary's concern about the homeless people now living in her neighborhood in the tent city. this 10 year old girl decided to do a fundraiser of her own for nickelsville - she made a sign and stood in the entrance of a food store. in no time she raised well over $100, said Terry, and now the girl would like to put it into good use, and cook her own favorite food - macaroni and cheese, for the people in nickelsville. Terry's mission was about ironing the details: how many people need to be served, how many trays and how to accomplish it all.
soon after our conversations seattle was hit with a 2 weeks snowstorm - unusual for this part of the country, and hard on most of its inhabitants, who hardly know how to drive on icy hills in a city not prepared to deal with snow (i read somewhere that seattle has 4 snow ploughs total, usually saved for clearing the sports-fields). i was not able to drive my car at all at that time, but i wasn't worried much about nickelsville, because Natalie over at 'real change' (a paper for and by homeless people), who arranged usage of the church kitchen told Nova and i that we are getting a break from christmas till almost new year: there is a niclelsville-well-wishers crowd galore. they all are wanting to cook for the camp over the holidays; i told Terry to please coordinate with Natalie if she and Rosemary are planning to use the church kitchen, but didn't follow up to check what really happened.
when i finally was able to use my car at the end of december i drove to nickelsville and chatted with Richard, who always comes to the gate to greet me and chat about the news of the camp. he said it was rather terrible with the snow piling on and on, and how every day he pushed the snow off the tents roofs and fronts, and towards the middle of the camp, hopping that it melts down the hill. and how it didn't melt, because it was a really long cold snap. 'and how are you all guys now?', i asked, and Richard joked 'no frozen bodies has been discovered so far, so we are good'.
i asked about the food. were they all right, short of it or what? 'we were fine, and yes, your friend visited, and she said you are snow-bound'. which friend would that be, i wondered, clueless... oh, the one with a little girl, said Richard, she made us macaroni and cheese from scratch, and it was so, so, very good, and she served it right here, around the fire, for all of us'.... big smile on Richard's face while he said it - i could imagine how the camp residents appreciated the visit and company - Nova and i i hardly ever serve soup, we are usually ready with it right at the start of the camp's daily meeting at 6 PM, so we leave the soup and styrofoam cups at the table and depart...
Rosemary, would that be you, cheering and gladdening the people's hearts? Richard described how the meal came in disposable roasting trays, how they all gathered to share it and chat in a snowy landscape.
i never met Rosemary, yet. her adult friend, Terry, invited me over for a soup next week, to meet both of them. if Rosemary is NOT a figment of Richard's and my imagination i'll say to her: 'good work, and keep doing it'. i will also ask her to maybe write about her experience of cooking for nickelsville. if she does, i'll post it here.