Monday, October 26, 2009

An experiment for Church

We had been talking at church about how to address the many areas of violence in our neighborhood. Several of us have noticed 3 or 4 barely teenagers who have started hanging out and selling drugs on the corner. Our pastor asked how we could start interacting with them in a way that reached out to them in a way to say "we know what you are doing and if you want to talk about it let me know..." I answered, "I could make them muffins." Cause that is what I do...I bake for people...but on the other hand, I was sort of joking. Well, the group thought that was a fantastic idea. So, here is what I sent in an email as a report. This happened several weeks ago, I just want to remember it - so this is where I put that kind of stuff.

"We tried the experiment tonight. I made cookies, I figured they would be more appealing than muffins, and Jim and I went out to give them to the kids on the corner. There were two kids. To be honest, we had no idea what to say. I was thankful that we had cookies – at least we could offer the cookies – if nothing else worked. Here is how it went…

Krista: “Hi guys!”
Kids looked at us.
Jim: “Aren’t you guys a bit cold?”
Kids looked at us.
Krista: I made cookies this evening; I was wondering if you wanted some?
Kids smiled at us, and looked at each other.
Krista: I unwrapped the foil so they could see…”they are peanut butter chocolate chip”
Kids laughed and kept smiling.
Krista: “They are all yours, here you go.”
Kid #1: No thanks, maam.
Jim: “Really? You don’t want cookies, I mean I just had like 6 while they were baking…they are great!”
Kid #2: No thanks, man.
Jim: Ok – we’ll just find someone at the church to give them too..
Krista: Well, take care of yourselves tonight.

We went and dropped off the computer in the church, and I left the cookies on faith house steps in case they were watching and wanted them but didn’t want to take them from me directly. They were still there when I got back. Jim couldn’t believe that any kid would turn down cookies. Frankly, I wasn’t that surprised. I mean, you aren’t supposed to take food from strangers.

Jim wants me to mention that he thinks it would cool if we started as a church to bring them something every night, I think we will try to at least go and say hi once a week.

The story doesn’t end there, and that is what is the great part for me. So, I made these full of fat cookies (Jim’s comment was these are no Krista cookies) that we didn’t need to eat…I felt we had to give them away. I didn’t make them for me, I made them for someone else. So, we gave them to Leola, our downstairs neighbor. I was more nervous about offering them to her than I was the kids. Jim kept asking why and I really don’t know. But, I have been thinking for months I wanted to bake for my in house neighbors and just hadn’t gotten around to it. We had a nice conversation and it had nothing to do with the plumbing or the electric or anything else. That may be worth it for me – starting to develop better relationships with our neighbors so that eventually I will know those kids, and maybe they eventually will take our cookies."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Overheard during Houby Fest Parade

Overheard during Houby Fest Parade

(while a politician passes with her float the music is blaring Lady Gaga's song "Poker Face")

"It's probably not a good idea for a politicians theme song in a parade to be "Poker Face you think?"

-Jim Parker

CTA story

I keep forgetting to write about this, I thought of it this morning...and I really don't want to forget this time.

When I was coming home from the airport last week, I got on the Harrison bus at Cicero headed east. It was a red light when I got on, and while I paid and settled in to my seat. The bus driver was looking at the windows of the corner liquor store. She then asked if the two guys in the back of the bus would "go check out if the the keg size window displays are real or just cut outs." They did. "No, sorry cutouts...want us to go in the store to see if they have them inside?" "Would you?" The guys go in and now it is a green light. "The store says those are just displays."

And if that wasn't good enough a story...

During all this, it becomes clear that the little boy that is sitting across from me - probably about 6 years old, is the son of the bus driver. He is really struggling with his mom's non-attention to him - I am thankful that she was driving the bus. So, I start a conversation with him. "How was school?" He just looks at me, then his mom says - "Don't you answer her!" He looks at me, and mouths the words, "It was okay..."

I laughed.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.

- H. Jackson Brown