Monday, April 21, 2008

California Avocados! Hand-picked by movie stars! Did I get enough of 'em? No, I actually didn't even sample a smidgen of the green, bolus-pitted fruit. Why not? Let's just say that I couldn't bring myself to reckon with the avocado ice cream and avocado cupcakes.

Well, Mrs. Ditchman is the smartest of the Ditchmans. (I believe I come in third, unless you count the cat.) The Avocado Festival came in full force, and my wife duly prepared for it by making a hearty dinner in the slow cooker. When we arrived home last night with brains turned to mush (nay, guacamole), we opened the front door to the warm, spiced, welcoming scent of homemade chili. Yes, chili is one of those Fair foods, but we were glad to come home to it all the same.

In the interest of hastening the family's bedtime, we put the two-year-old in the shower and couldn't get her out. She likes it! And who wouldn't? After a day hawking wares at an Avocado Festival, you really need a good strong shower to spray off the carnival grime that sticks to your psyche like bacon grease in an oven vent. (I had it in mind to pressure spray myself with the LANDA 2300!) How'd we do at the festival? Mmmm, not too bad I suppose. You never know with these things. They bring hope, though, that there is work to be done out there and people willing to pay you for it.

The family in the booth next to us was selling beach chairs. Nice, folding beach chairs that had an aluminum frame, ripstop fabric, and a little sunshade that popped out overhead when you sat in them. They folded into a backpack! All colors! How much? Low, low, price of $59.95! Not kidding: they sold a few hundred of them. You do the math.

The rest of the weekend was spent fielding all manner of email and phone calls from fine folks interested in helping out our friends, the Lindens. You may have been following the story over at the Dawg Run, which has been a touching series of late. Family Ditchman is heading up an operation to rally the troops and lend some order to the chaos of emotions that's been evident from the blog. The wave of interest in helping some friends, (and in many cases, strangers) is truly inspiring. Our blogspot is here, if you'd like to take a look, lend some assistance, or are just curious.

Studies show that people who help others tend to be happier. I, for one, believe it. Helping others takes your mind off your own needs for a while, gets smiles out of everyone, and just all around feels good. There's been an enthusiastic response to Annabelle's Circle, and this set of givers strikes me as a happy set of people, people who are pleasure to be around -which is no surprise given the Linden family's own friendly countenance. The enthusiasm is cheerful and lends hope, but there have been some real donations of time and money that are jaw-dropping in their selflessness. It is all inordinately profound, and yet perfectly normal and not unexpected. Most people like to help! It's a wonder and a joy and a blessed miracle of life to be in the company of such folk. I look forward to my donation of back pain -predicted soreness from the ditch-digging and hauling. (I also look forward to everyone else's!) It'll surely be a Memorial Day in 2008.