You know your life has turned a corner when upon visiting a new city, you embark on a pie crawl and not a bar crawl like a more youthful and resilient version of yourself might have say, oh, 15 years ago. My how time has changed me – those rounds of cherry bombs and appletinis have now turned into slices of cherry pies and apple pies.
I haven’t gone anywhere interesting since I started this blog until recently when my husband and I went to Nashville, Tennessee. The plane had barely dropped its landing gear and I was already formulating my plan of attack to find the best pie in Nashville. And find Ben Folds. But the pie would be easier. By the time we went to bed that first night, I had mapped out the top three pie stops and was eager to experience all Nashville had to offer.
“Sometimes people are layered like that. There’s something totally different underneath than what’s on the surface….Like pie is.” Joss Whedon
Pie continues to pop up in my life in unexpected ways. This latest Pie It Forward was no exception – this was a total unplanned, surprise Pie It Forward.
For years, I have been interested in volunteering with a local organization that helps homeless families who are in emergency situations by placing them in temporary housing hosted by a network of local churches and synagogues. Each time I read about it I plan to call and sign up to help. But for years, I put off calling. Because I forgot. Because my own life distracted me. Because my kid decided to stop sleeping and I was tired. Because, to be honest, I was nervous.
Last month I decided enough was enough. Poor me with my job, my house, my supportive husband and my kids who were fed and put to bed. Time to drop my selfish excuses and help already. The church we belong to was housing families and we signed up to be evening hosts. Our job was to come after dinner and help by playing with the kids, assisting with homework, and really just offer support and compassion by talking and listening.
We walked into the church that first night and my heart was racing with anticipation and nervousness. In the blink of an eye I had a baby in my arms and was chatting up a storm with M, one of the women. She was young and had come with her husband and four children ranging from five to two months old (enter the baby I scooped up in a hot minute). My mind was searching for things to talk about that wouldn’t highlight our obvious differences. And out it came – “Do you like pie?” We got to talking about sweet potato pie, holidays and memories of pie. M had never made a pie of her own, so naturally I decided to organize a major pie making endeavor for our next scheduled night to host.