Last Saturday, I joined my daughters and daughters-in-law for our annual baking day. The next day, when I told a friend of all that we made and about going to the Christmas party in Nashua sponsored by the Lucky Clover 4-H Club, I was asked why I do all these things.
As I was putting away a few groceries, I asked myself the same question.
The baking day is a chance for me to spend a day with my daughters, daughters-in-law and some of my grandchildren. This year I taught a granddaughter how to make the filling for the Croatian nut roll that is a tradition I carry on from my mother and the women who came before her in my family. As my granddaughter was grinding the black walnuts in the food processor, she said, "Grandma, when I smell the black walnuts, I know it really is baking day." Teaching her how to make the filling is part of preserving family history and traditions.
Attending the Christmas party acknowledged the work that the 4-H club put in decorating a Christmas tree in the Nashua Lions Park and serving hot cider, coffee and cookies afterwards. By being at the party it encouraged club members to do more community projects.
Going to a school basketball game shows support for the team and the school. It also tells the students on the team that you are proud of them and the time and work they put in to becoming athletes.
When taking time to go to a fundraising event, it says to the community you are willing to help others in whatever way you can.
Being at meetings of school boards, parish councils and organizations shows you are taking an interest in your entire community. It gives you the opportunity to have a part and a say in the way issues are handled.
And when young people see you becoming involved in everything, they begin to take an interest in what you are doing and will soon follow your lead.
So my answer as to why I do so many things is many fold. For one, baking day and family get togethers, stories told, and memories shared continue family traditions and history. Another reason is I like to be around people. By being a member of a nonprofit organization, I feel I am helping people and my community. Serving on the parish council of my church gives me the chance to ensure I am doing all I can to keep our parish viable.
The time I spend attending community events expresses my appreciation to the people who give of their time and talents to organize them.
The way I see it is I can sit in my recliner, do nothing, and go nowhere – which benefits no one, especially myself – or I can be involved in helping others through going to events, writing letters, making phone calls, or even baking cookies and surprising someone with a treat.