Autumn’s first snow blessed the morning as I loaded up the truck for the
soup kitchen today. Thankfully, Gerry
and Brian were there to meet me and help unload the veggies that were shared by
the garden from Resurrection Lutheran Church, and then we transferred the huge
pile of card board boxes to Gerry’s truck for him to take on to recycle. Darlene stood at the door, disgruntled as
usual, and I asked her what was wrong.
“I have to wait until 9:00 for the door to open.” “It’s after nine, Dear.” Her response was one of her favorite
expletives, but I was not deterred by her countenance and went in to be greeted
by many warm smiles. In my arm was the
memorial plaque that carries the names of the Loaves and Fishes deceased
volunteers. “Is Glenn’s name on there?”
a young woman asked. “Yes, it’s here,” I
responded, recalling the long wake line I stood in last week.
Glenn Leary volunteered at Loaves and Fishes every Tuesday morning for
the past three years. His friends told
me that he gave up many a golf game and luncheon with the guys because he would
not miss working at the soup kitchen. At
the young age of 59, Glenn passed in his sleep from a heart attack. He will be sorely missed by many people he
worked with and served over the years.
God speed, gentle Glenn.
Tina Sipula on the Clare House porch
surrounded by kids and books.
Rosalie Riegle came to visit us for a few
days this summer to kick off her book-signing tour across the United
States. Rosalie opened the Catholic
Worker in Saginaw, Michigan and has written extensively about the Catholic
Worker and most recently, about those involved with civil disobedience
actions. Her two latest books can be
found on Amazon and are: Crossing the
Line: Non-Violent Resisters Speak Out
for Peace and Doing Time for Peace: Resistance, Family and Community.
The founder of the Little Free Library Project, Todd Bol,
came to visit us in mid-August and donated two more free libraries to local
food pantries. He spoke at Holy Trinity
Parish Center and showed a short film about the history of his wonderful
project that has expanded across the globe.
The Free Little Library project is one of the most fun things we have
ever done here at Clare House. Bill
Tolone collects books for children each week and when I go to check our library
it always has a new collection in it.
One day, a woman hopped off the bus just to see what it was and was
delighted to discover a free library in her neighborhood.
Our Catholic Worker friends, Chris
Dunn, Elizabeth Russell and their daughter, Siobhan, came to visit us for an
overnight from Rock Island. We had some
great talks, walks, and shared meals around the table and wish we had more time
to visit and share our love of music.
Many thanks to all who
shared their garden produce with us this summer and fall. It was a bumper crop for peppers, tomatoes
and especially, apples this year. Many
times our porch was laden with fresh delectable items that disappeared quickly. I had fun one morning trying to explain, in
Spanish, how to make zucchini bread.
Eventually I ended up going into the house and getting all the
ingredients and writing out the amounts to the gathered women.
Bless all of
you who help in any way – those who bag groceries, those who haul in food,
collect food, those who help at the soup kitchen, help with the newsletter, fix
our plumbing and doors and walls, those who grow food for the poor, and for all
who remember us in prayer. It is a time
of Thanksgiving and we are ever so grateful for all of you!