August was supposed to be a month of relaxed enjoyment: napping, sitting in my Adirondack chair under the grapes in the garden, reading at least four books and four magazines, relishing the beautiful weather that is our Seattle summer.
Except I had made a promise to my friend Lisa Campbell, who heads up the Do Your Part disaster relief effort at a refugee camp in Oinofyta, Greece. My husband Art and I spent a month there in late March and early April. Art did the errand running and food shopping and meal preparation for volunteers. I worked on the accounting for DYP and, for the two weeks Lisa was in the States on a speaking tour, sat in her chair at camp.
As we were leaving at the end of our month, I said, "Lisa, Art and I will come back if you need us."
Between April and last week, we did our summer thing here in Seattle - interrupted by Art's kidney stone surgery and follow up, and Art's two cataract surgeries and follow up. Very few social plans, lots of reading and relaxing.
Then, last Friday, Lisa called. "I need you to come the first week in August, for a month."
So, we're going back to Greece. Next week. Several of the camp's long-term volunteers are leaving, and Lisa is going to visit her family in the States. Again, I will sit in her chair for two weeks. Well, actually, not much sitting. Mostly doing, with a dozen volunteers and 500 residents of the camp. And listening. Whatever comes along.
I had planned on finishing our income taxes in August. On spending three days with my son and my granddaughters. On maybe flying to Colorado to visit a friend for a few days.
It's a tiny change in plans.
I am hoping our luggage will not get lost, like last time. That Art's pacemaker will not beep, like last time. That we won't hit the curb in our rental car and pay for damages, like last time. And that we'll be able to be tourists for the last week, not like last time when we flew home early to treat a kidney stone.
Until last summer, I had never done this kind of thing. Now I have. It is still unbelievable to me that I have taken this on. But I'm sure it's something I'm supposed to do.
You just never know what will happen when you say yes.
A return to the back 40, the 2017 edition
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