Last night I had an
time at the church's chili cook off, my first time attending.
There were four different entrées, two kinds of cornbread, shredded cheese and rice for those who wanted to add them to their bowl, a variety of cookies,
sweet and unsweet tea, and soda (diet, yea!), and more.
I was told that normally everyone contributes a dollar and gets a raffle type ticket. On the back of the ticket they write the number of the chili they liked best. That winner
usually won $10.00-$12.00 and second place maybe $4.00, depending on attendance.
It seemed unfair to me that third and fourth would receive nothing for their efforts so since I was collecting the money and giving out the tickets I quietly added money so first place received $20.00, second $10.00, and third and fourth $5.00 each. When the results and their prize amounts were announced, people clapped and cheered and made loud comments about "Wow, $20.00."
So all who spent time cooking received something for their time and none of them were embarrassed by receiving nothing. It was a positive contribution and made people happy. The pastor didn't tell who donated the extra money, simply that someone had.
But this story isn't about me or the money I gave but about us looking for unusual ways we can reach out to others and make them smile and be happy.
Plus, I had a long talk with a man from Colorado who sadly was in town to settle his deceased mother's estate. We learned that both moms had their "good" scissors that we had better not touch,
that both dads were in the Navy
and had their collection of miscellaneous screws, bolts, and washers that never seemed to be used, just collected, and that both mothers loved to sew and make quilts for babies.
We shared many other comparisons and stories making for a very enjoyable conversation.
And, several of us talked about cats because the others knew from previous dinners about the colony of feral cats I feed and water and the three I adopted from that group
. A fourth is very likely to be added to my herd, and a fifth one likely. Oh, my, the cat food bill!.
I hadn't planned on going to this dinner because I had a lot of pain in my back and legs. Sometimes, though, we need to step outside of our comfort zone and break up our routines. When we do, we may meet interesting people, have stimulating conversations, and perhaps even eat our fill of chili, too,