Sunday, February 25, 2024

Like-minded Friends

I got an email from the urban farm I donate to. An exclusive invitation to a potluck for a "small portion of their dedicated supporters." This is not a fundraiser, it said. We want to spend time with you and like-minded friends. Our only ask is that you bring a dish to share. 

Immediately, I was skeptical. How did I make the cut? I don't give this farm a ton of money. I'm not one of their volunteers. I wasn't born yesterday! (I assume they sent this email to everyone on their donation list and only want to make it seem like it's an exclusive thing.) And were they really not asking for money? Everyone is asking for money. I ignored the email. 

A few weeks went by, and I got a reminder that I hadn't responded, and they'd love to see me at the potluck. I can't stress enough how suspicious I am as a person. But also, I am very curious. I replied that I would attend.

In the meantime I got a phone call from a friend who reads this blog. She said, did you send out an email asking for money? 

No, I said. She read the email to me. It came from Substack and basically said something along the lines of Act now to upgrade your subscription to PAID and get exclusive content! 

I don't have any exclusive content, I said. (I'm not knocking Substack. They're hosting my blog for free. I guess they want to make some money off it. But I wish they'd asked me first before sending out that email. I don't think of my blog as a money-making venture.) It's just this. Me, writing once a week, whatever thoughts are pinballing around in my head, 

how the world is broken and how the world is beautiful. And sometimes there's a recipe or a dog or a book review or interesting interactions I have at the library or tips and tricks about writing or gardening or how does it feel to have a goat jump on your back and what the hell is going on with the weather. (For the record it snowed two inches yesterday and tomorrow it's supposed to be 60 degrees.)

The potluck with the farm people was fun. I brought my husband along, and my potluck dish: Coconut Lentils over Rice with Roasted Sweet Potatoes. This is a recipe that my daughter-in-law shared with me, and it was a crowd favorite, nearly all of it gobbled up despite the abundant, delicious competition.  

While we ate, my husband and I chatted with the other dedicated supporters, who all wanted to know how we were friends of the farm, and I got to tell them the story of the farm's zoom cooking class I'd stumbled onto in 2020 and how it was one of the highlights of my year and even now it makes me laugh and yearn (momentarily) for that scary time, a perfect example of beauty in our broken world. 

After dinner, I was gearing up for the fundraising pitch, but it never came. Instead, the farm people set out dessert and we all chatted a bit more before saying our goodbyes. The next day I filled out an application to volunteer. It's a farm! I love gardening! Why am I not out there helping them plant vegetables? 

And then I ate the very small bit of leftover coconut lentils, sprinkled with fresh cilantro picked from the farm. If you’d like to know more about this lovely place (not to make a donation, but just to see all of the amazing things they’re up to lately), see here.

If you're a reader of my blog, thank you! We've all got a million things competing for our attention and the fact that you're here, reading my words, whether you've popped in for today or are a regular subscriber, I am grateful for the connection. No requests for money ever, but if you're so inclined, feel free to share with a like-minded friend. 

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