If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Here are our September WWK interviews:

September 5: Marilyn Levinson/Allison Brooke, Read and Gone

September 12: Libby Klein, Midnight Snacks Are Murder

September 19: Annette Dashofy, Cry Wolf

September 26: Judy Penz Sheluk


Our September Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 9/1--Peter Hayes, 9/8--Wendy Tyson, 9/29--Catherine Bruns. Margaret S. Hamilton blogs on 9/15, and Kait Carson blogs on 9/22.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

KM Rockwood's new short story, "Map to Oblivion," has been included the anthology Shhhh...Murder! edited by Andrew MacRae and published by Darkhouse Books. It was released on Sept. 12.

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/


Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming."

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)


Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:


Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

GIVING BACK BY DELIVERING MOBILE MEALS

Not Robert but looks like I remember him.



       A Visit with Robert

He was waiting for me on his porch when I arrived
You were late yesterday, I couldn’t wait for you.
I had a doctor’s appointment, he said.
I don’t deliver meals on Wednesday. I told him.
He looked a little confused.
I only deliver every other Thursday.
Knowing from past conversations how
he enjoys morning walks in his woods,
I asked if he’d been out walking that morning.
He smiled and said only as far as the burn pile.
I told him I’d walked that morning with my collie.
He asked where I lived, and I told him,
although I’d told him before about my small farm.
He told me again about this house he lived in,
the seventy-two acres he’d bought after WWII
where he and his wife had raised their five children.
how he’d fixed the house, the animals they’d had,
and the vegetable gardens over the years.
Then he told me again about how he’d tried to join
the Navy in World War II and been rejected three times
because of his false front teeth from playing football.
The third time he sneaked into the accepted line
and served in the Navy for three years.
All these stories he’s told me before, but I listened,
nodded and smiled as if each story were new.
Robert is ninety-three years old and lives alone.
He’s told me he gets lonely; rarely sees his children.
I have four more stops to make on my route,
but I figure they won’t starve if I spend a little time
listening to Robert tell me his stories again.
Someday I may be the one telling my stories over and over.
I hope someone will be kind enough to listen to me.

 Robert is no longer getting Mobile Meals. His sons put him in a nursing home. I haven’t read his obituary so I assume he’s still alive.
These are not my Girl Scouts. I couldn't find their pictures.

I’ve been donating my time doing things for quite a few years and only stopped when I started teaching third grade in 1987. I was too busy then to volunteer for other things. Before that time I was a den mother for Cub Scouts for three years. And then I started a Brownie group which became my Girl Scout troop. I had them from the time they were in 2nd grade until 12th grade. Some dropped out and some new ones joined. I took them to Scout Camp in the summer,, and sometimes to a cabin in the winter. I took them on hiking trips and to Niagara Falls and Washington D.C. and lots of other places. By the time they were seniors they were busy doing other things, and I had started college so we disbanded then.
Also when my children were younger I taught CCD at my church. I didn’t stop that until my son got cancer and I needed to be with him at the Cleveland Clinic or at home.

As a teacher I didn’t have time to volunteer for anything else, but I always planned to volunteer for something once I retired. I thought about Habitat for Humanity. I had worked hard on the old house I’d bought by whacking out walls so my son could rewire the house and put up new walls, but I didn’t like the idea that on hot summer days I might be working outside. So I decided to sign up for Mobile Meals and I thoroughly enjoy this. Because I have other things going on, too, I only deliver every other Thursday and sometimes fill in for someone else who can’t do my route their day.
My old Ford Focus

When I was first taken on the route I would have, I was told not to spend too much time talking and get on with it so the clients would get their meals when the hot meals were still warm. For the first few years I had a long route with quite a few clients. At one house I often had a problem because the old woman who had been widowed the summer before would allow her dogs to run loose, and one seemed quite vicious. I must not have been the only one who had a problem with them because eventually her daughter would come to the Mobile Meals place to pick up her mother’s meals and take them to her on her lunch hour.

In spite of the fact that I wasn’t to waste time talking to my clients I still did. So many of them were lonely and a conversation seemed more important to them than the food. I always brought it into their home except for Rose who only wanted it in a box on the front porch. Sometimes I’d find a poem on a post card in the box. She often had a small dog tied to the front steps, but he was a nice dog. When the dog was there I’d knock on the door and she’d open the door and take the meal. One day she opened it a crack and said to come to the side door. She opened the door and asked me to come in. She wanted to give me one of her post cards with a poem she had written on it. I found out she wrote poetry. I started to share some of my poems with her, too. I was very sad when she passed on.

My grandmother and not Freda.

I had a woman who seemed rather spry and not so old. She had several cars she drove, and lived alone. She loved to talk and called me Sunshine. She never invited me in but was always at the door waiting for me. She was a heavy smoker so I didn’t mind standing on the back steps talking to her. She was a widow who had never had children, but she did have a stepson or two. She always gave me a Christmas present, too. Not much but sweet. I often gave my clients Christmas gifts, too. If they were diabetic it was sugar free candy, or maybe it was a Christmas tree ornament. One early summer day she told me she was going to Wisconsin to visit her stepson and would be back later. She never returned and I have no idea if she’s still alive or not.





Another woman, Freda, now lived with her brother. It was her house, but he’d moved in with her. She was quite old but spry and funny, too. If it was snowy she always swept off the steps before I came. She was a farm woman at one time and loved to talk to me while her brother sat in the other room in his recliner chair watching TV. One fall day when I came to her back door I jokingly commented on her beautiful flowers by the front porch (they were all plastic artificial flowers) She looked a little startled at first and then burst out laughing and said “would you like some seeds from them?” I laughed all the way to my next stop.
As time went on I could tell she was losing her mind a little. On cold winter days she was in her bare feet and sometimes looked at me as if she wondered who I was. Eventually, she was put into a nursing home because of Alzheimer’s disease.

This looks like one of my new clients.

Right now my route has shrunk. I only had four or five stops to make last week. There are a few more on my route, but not many and some are labeled Do Not Deliver. Maybe they’ve got a doctor appointment. One I really enjoyed visiting with because she never had visitors except for those who delivered meals, and she wanted to talk politics with me because her sister-in-law who would take her to doctor’s appointments voted for someone other than she and I did for the president in 2016. She had oxygen tubes in her nose with long thin tubes going across the floor to her oxygen tank. She hasn’t been on my route for over a month now. I heard she’d had some serious breathing problems and the person who delivered that day had to call for an ambulance.

David Doll is my client I’ve had the longest now. He lives in a small apartment behind his son and daughter-in-law’s garage which is below their large house. They take good care of him and every time I deliver his meal, he’s lying on a couch/bed in the back room watching a western movie on TV. I bring him a newspaper that’s published in Youngstown instead of Warren. He’s either a few months younger than me or a few months older. We joke about it sometimes. He’s the last one on my route, and we enjoy talking and joking.
Years and years ago one of my sisters was taking a philosophy course and said there is no true altruism. When we do good deeds for others it’s because it makes us feel good and boosts our ego. I argued with her at the time. Now I don’t consider it a boost to my ego, but rather something I enjoy doing that makes me feel good.

 Note:: I don't take pictures of my clients, but except for my grandmother the others were downloaded free from online.

What things have you done giving back?

10 comments:

Margaret Turkevich said...

I interview students for college and grad school scholarships and write their letters of endorsement. It's tricky, making an accomplished young woman "come alive" in one or two pages while providing a complete dossier of her accomplishments.

I also coach the candidates for scholarship interviews and edit their personal statements.

KM Rockwood said...

What a busy and full life you have, Gloria. I know your life has had its sorrows, and it makes you more attuned to other people's problems. You always manage to come through and continue to help other people. How blessed the world is to have people like you.

Julie Tollefson said...

I'll echo what KM said - people like you make the world a better place. Thank you for all you do.

Gloria Alden said...

Margaret that has to be a very interesting way to give back> I've never heard of that way to help young people. What a great way to give back.

Thank you, Kathleen. In addition to sorrow, I feel so lucky to have so many special family members and friends, too. Also, so far I'm in reasonably good health which makes me feel lucky. too.

Gloria Alden said...

Julie, you popped in while I was answering Margaret and KM. Thank you for your sweet comment.

Warren Bull said...

Fantastic. My experience is that giving results in getting back more than I gave.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I agree with you. I always feel happy after I finish visiting with my clients as I head back to the place where I leave my containers that hold both the bagged lunches and the hot meals.
Happy not because I'm done, but happy because of my visits with them. As a Girl Scout leader I had as much fun as my Scouts. Somewhere I'm sure I have photographs of them although I didn't take as many pictures back then.

Shari Randall said...

Gloria, KM said it well - your community is lucky to have you. The world needs more people like you.
When my girls were little I did a lot of volunteering at their schools, room mom, library volunteer, and Girl Scout leader. Now
I volunteer at my library. I stock a community Book Nook once a month and also do other volunteer stuff for them when I have time: bake sales, helping with programs, etc. Like you, I've found that the more I give, the happier I am.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Gloria,
You definitely have made a difference -- whether teaching, delivering meals, being a GS leader or so many other things.

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, I think you're doing more than I am right now.

Debra, even though I don't live in the county where I taught, I still get comments from some
of the parents or those grown kids now how much they loved having me as a teacher. I wonder
if I could still be that kind of teacher today with all the changes that are made.