I have been ignoring this blog space and I apologize. The last few weeks have been filled with truck repair and inspection, settling into a new – although temporary – place, and looking for work in Montpelier.
I have also worked to meet people and become a part of the community. Recently I met a city official, who told me about one of her pet projects, the Onion River Exchange Program. The program encourages service exchanges between community members, with hours as the currency. So, each member’s hour of service to others is worth as much as the next member.
Well, you know how I love barter – see the Trading up for Ireland page – so I signed up! The exchanges were so interesting and varied. One single father asked for home-cooked dinners for his two boys and himself; a pet owner needed her dog’s nails clipped, another asked for help with guitar lessons. Others offered such services as web site development, or plumbing work, or yoga lessons.
My first hour of service was for the Onion River Exchange Project’s office. The girls who ran the project were busy moving from one location to another, due to a fire. So they were up to their exchanges in boxes. I was asked to deliver fliers about the project to downtown businesses. It was a perfect opportunity to get to know the downtown area. I spent an hour tacking up fliers, and at the end felt a sense of accomplishment as well as feeling as if I were a part of the Montpelier community.
The weather was fair that day, as were the few days before, and much of the snow had melted away from the parking lots and medians. When I parked behind Main Street and started to put my money in the meter, I noticed there were three gloves of different types lying at the base of the meter. Several other meters along the line had gloves at the base. I could envision what had happened. During the winter, it snows regularly here, and shoppers had to take off one of their gloves to handle the coins they needed to operate the meters. The gloves dropped from their hands and were buried by the continuing snowfall. So now, there they were lying there – a singles club for gloves with a 2 hour limit.
I thought about all those people who wondered what happened to that lone glove; wondering if it had been lost in that same great big black hole as socks from the dryer. I wondered if there was a place that would offer mismatched gloves to solve the problem, just like the place that sells mismatched socks.
I found this cool site where you can send in a lovelorn single glove to find a new mate. I read about one man’s quest to collect pictures of poor little lost handwear.
But the best glove-related site I found was a story about a man who honored his father’s legacy of giving by offering gloves to the homeless.
Next time I’m in Montpelier, I’m going to take some time to pick up those single gloves that are hanging out at the meters, wash them, and take them to a homeless shelter. They might not be new, or matched, but they can certainly warm a hand – or two.