Thursday, November 17, 2011

And There Was Pie

    Last week, on Veteran’s Day, the entire school system turned out to celebrate service men and women in our rural community. Every student in the county, plus all the teachers, principals and aides paraded down Main Street to honor those who have protected our freedoms. The senior class spent several days after school constructing a replica of Iwo Jima on a haywagon. The sixth graders spent their own money on flags to hand out to the watching crowd. The band marched, the kindergarteners dressed in historical costumes, the fourth grade rode a red white and blue float waving flags and hand painted signs in honor of the soldiers. The other students paraded behind homemade banners and highly decorated three- quarter ton pick up trucks. It was a day that no one will forget.
     On Wednesday evenings, several local churches coordinate an after-school program for children in grades K to 12. This program concludes with a meal cooked by three women who volunteer in the kitchen after working all day at other jobs. Each Wednesday, they whip up supper for forty to fifty eager eaters and then stay late to clean up. They eat their own meal standing up . Suppers are always home-made. For many children, this may be the only sit down family style meal of the week so these kitchen angels take their job very seriously. Home-made pizza, fried chicken, meatloaf. The meal last week was an early celebration of Thanksgiving. It involved two roasted turkeys, twenty pounds of potatoes mashed and smothered in gravy, huge bowls of stuffing bursting with celery and onions and sausage, home-made whole wheat rolls and pie. Pie with hand made crusts. Pie that was flaky and piled high with hand cut apple slices or filled to the brim with creamy pumpkin custard. No frozen crusts or canned apples in sight. Pie that said, “I love you.”
     Tonight, one of our community leaders with a passion for mission work, spent her fourth evening in the back room of the local church collecting shoe boxes full of goodies for children for Operation Christmas Child. She and her sister-in-law are aiming to collect five hundred boxes from our community of 2500 people. That’s one box for every five people. They’ve canvassed the elementary school WRE program, the county 4H program, the high school National Honor Society and every member of every church in every valley. So far over two hundred fifty boxes have been packed into bigger boxes for a trip to Charlotte, NC. The two women will follow these shoe boxes south and spend three long days helping pack hundreds of thousands of boxes for transport overseas. They won’t get paid for this and in fact will spend their own money to travel and stay in the area so they can work.

Pie. It’s all pie. Pie piled high with hand cut apple slices. Pie with home-made crusts. Pie that says, “I love you.”


  1. Our church gathers the shoe boxes too,many people don`t realize that some of our own children in this country get these boxes of love too,they are always so fun to pack.
    I saw your article & blog in Grit & decided to drop by to say hi,phyllis in Pa

  2. Phyllis, thanks for commenting. My friend ended up with 350 boxes. How many did you all do?