This weekend I drove to the Mississippi Gulf coast region and along with a group of like minded individuals painted a local soup kitchen that serves homeless people. The work was hard but it felt good to stretch my muscles and know that what I was doing was going to directly benefit the people of that community. While I was there I also got the privilege of helping to serve the meal. The clients had to eat picnic style at tables set up in the parking lot because we were painting the dining room. The sun was hot but the food was good and they all seemed to enjoy it. Later we sat at the tables and ate our sandwiches and sodas. We finished the project by late afternoon. I was hot, sweaty and paint speckled when we were finished but I was glad I came.
This afternoon I drove back home. When I got here I heard a loud chirring from the direction of the dumpster so after I unloaded my car I went to investigate. It turned out that a very small raccoon, hardly more than a pup, had fallen into the dumpster or more likely had jumped in to get at the scraps in the trash and was unable to get out. My presence frightened it out of the few wits it had left and it tunneled it's way beneath the trash in the corner in an attempt to hide. I could not stand the thought of it dying in there of heat, thirst and starvation so I began to try to devise a plan of rescue. First I place my broom in and leaned it in the corner hoping that the raccoon would climb it and escape. That was not a success but fortunately I remembered my step stool. It is very short but I was able to place it so that the top was only two feet below the top of the dumpster. I stood back and waited. In very short order I saw two claws grasp the edge as the raccoon made good his escape. Now he is sitting in the tree by the dumpster calling for his mother. I am confident that the family will soon be reunited and all will be well in their furry little lives for one more night. Two very different missions but they were both incredibly rewarding!