|Ross Anthony, M.Ed. (A Los Angeles Creative)|
After a warm spell that set the bougainvilleas abloom, a chilling breeze blew in, the blue sky disappeared behind billowing clouds of white and black and every gray in between. With certain confidence all weather reports forecasted rain for the later afternoon and evening. Having heard those reports the day before, I took a trip to the grocery and stocked up on my favorite chili ingredients.
Cooking up chili was fun and relaxing, but I let it cook just a little too long. The chili turned out fine, but I got a work out cleaning the bottom of the pot.
As I've been focusing far more on video production than book marketing these days, I wasn't inspired to publicize the event, so I sponsored it myself this time. Not that it's ever been huge, but it was quite cozy this time. I used a smaller pot. I couldn't find the Styrofoam cups, so I used some jars we had in the lower cabinet. Everyone has jars in the lower cabinet don't they? I'm glad I used them, it always seems like such a waste to toss them -- even in recycling. Plus, I've been wanting to move away from the Styrofoam. And one would think homeless could make use of the jars as well. In any case, necessity is always the mother of invention. Is that because it's necessary to have a mother? But I digress.
So, it felt good to get up on Chili and ride the streets looking for homeless. However, last year's spot where people were living on an un-used field in make-shift (cardboard and discarded wood) shelters had since been repurposed. This huge patch of empty land - easily a square block - now bustled with work - mostly storage of crates and pallets. But, no homeless.
As the clouds darkened, and no homeless in site, I waxed philosophic while riding. Just the intention of it all is still a good thing. Even if I end up indulging myself, by eating all the chili, it was still a beautiful thing that I intended it for others on the street on a cold day. Right? It made me feel good to think that the universe appreciated that. And maybe the universe did. But, before I could know for sure, I spotted a couple of gentleman, one on a bicycle, the other on foot -- both somewhat ruffled.
I pulled over and shouted a question: "Want some chili?"
"I've got some warm, homemade chili. Want some?" I parked, took my helmet off, and pulled a couple of jars out from Chili's little trunk.
"Sure!" They responded, "Are you like training to be a food vendor or something?"
I laughed, "Nope, once a year, myself and usually others help cover the costs to cook up the chili for the homeless and I have the pleasure of delivering it."
"Oh, that's really really cool. Thanks."
We talked about the old homeless spot being gone and they told me of a new spot, which I couldn't quite find, despite driving around behind several businesses near a highway ramp. Probably it was that one place I didn't check.
Anyway, I enjoyed the third jar by myself. I rationalized that a first person experience might help me evaluate the worth of using jars for the next go round. Seemed fine to me. Thanks for reading! Put Chili4homeless on your calendar for next January. Contact me then about participating! In the meantime, what good intentions can you set in motion? The universe likes to be grateful.
PS: Sorry no Pics this time.
© 2015 photos, text, art, music copyright Ross Anthony. Thank you to all those who have participated in chil4homeless! (My Readers! My Friends! My Family! Misc. Strangers! Kocanda, Galati, Rand, Keszek, and many many more!