Dining for Women


Don’t you just love this picture?  I had to grab it off Facebook for myself.  It goes along with being kind to yourself, gentle and compassionate.  If you’re hard on yourself, it’s going to spill over to everyone else too.

Calli looking for dolphins from North Jetty

Calli looking for dolphins from North Jetty

The Texans left yesterday afternoon.  It’s always hard to see them go but this time wasn’t so awful.  We’ll be at their house in a little over a week.  We’re spending both weekends before surgery with the Littles.  Then we won’t see them until late April when (hopefully) I’ll be well on the road to recovery from surgery.

A few beach pictures from their last day on the beach.  We went to the beach at North Jetty.  Lana wanted a shell beach.  Calli wanted sand for sand castles.  We found the perfect place.  The three kids were busy all day running a “sand construction company”.  They used their sand shovels for phones and called each other to request sand castles, moats, volcanos and houses.  They ordered pails of sand to be delivered (Declan’s job) and discussed new construction areas (too near other people’s blankets…Erin made them move)  It was hilarious to watch them.  Declan hired me to dig a moat and when I “took a break” after I finished, he wasn’t happy.  “But you’re my helper, ” he said. “You work for me.  I’m paying you two shells.”

Lana is learning to make drip castles

Lana is learning to make drip castles

So they’re gone and our main focus from now on is clean up from the invasion and pack for the trip to Texas.

Last night I got together with friends …a group called Dining for Women.  It’s a national organization with local chapters. The purpose of the group is to fund projects for women in third world countries, the poorest of the poor.  Each month there is a designated recipient who has applied for a grant.  We may be helping to provide education for girls in Cambodia or sewing machines for women in the Sudan or cook stoves for families in a  village in Mexico.  We get together and bring food…best pot luck you can imagine.  We visit with each other and learn about the project that month.  Then after dinner, each one of us writes a check for about what we would have spent if we had all gone OUT to dinner.

This month’s project is funding to support women in a  village in Nepal.  A young American woman backpacking in the area fell in love with the children in this village, did some fundraising and started a shelter and school.  The next step was to help their moms.  Here’ a shocking statistic…the leading cause of death in Nepal for women between the ages of 15 to 50 is suicide.  Chilling.

This month’s meeting was especially wonderful for me because I haven’t been to a gathering since October. …so good to see old friends and meet some wonderful new ones.  And four of the women had just returned from a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia and had a slide show of their trip.  It was so clear how moved they were by what they saw….they KNOW our money makes a difference.

Women in a village in Nepal

Women in a village in Nepal

I love Dining for Women.  God bless Deirdre Christman and Linda Underwood for starting the Venice Chapter.  I love what it stands for and how it works.  I also love the people I met at these gatherings. Some of my very closest friends in Venice are Dining for Women people.  No big surprise…like minded people who are bothered by the poverty and injustice in our world and want to do at least one small thing to make it better.  if you want to know more about DFW, google it.  It’s a great group.

Time to get moving.  Beds to make.  Toys to put away.  And I need a nap.  Heading to Sarasota tonight to the West Coast Black Theater.  I can’t stay up past 8:00 unless I have a nap.  (I know, I know…ridiculous)  I went to yoga this morning. It was FREEZING.  But I’m tough and I stayed…along with 100 other people who aren’t afraid of a little wind and cold.  1888757_625389347514155_1360123959_n


13 thoughts on “Dining for Women

  1. So wonderful to meet you last night. You are a true inspiration.

  2. All systems sound like “go” for you, along with happy memories and a shot of energy from the littles. I am so impressed with the enthusiasm that shines through in your writing (the need for a nap now and then doesn’t even show). Sand castles – – Ahhhh. 🙂 Love, Barb G.

  3. Love, love, love your opening picture.
    Wow you work for two shells. Is that minimum wage in Florida?
    Don’t you just love that your grandchildren get along so well together? When we have a family gathering and all my sons are there I love to sit back and watch the fun they have together yucking it up and laughing. It’s a mother’s greatest joy.

  4. Sounds like you have the perfect “pre-surgical” therapy planned!! I love the sand construction company, wish I could have overheard that dialog!
    Thanks for the info on DFW. I’m gonna check that out.

    And you can’t complain about the cold. It was 19 degrees and windy here this AM!!!

  5. Trevina & I well-represented those wimps!  We’ll make it tomorrow but you should rest after your adventures tonight.

    Jerri 521 Cedarwood Lane Venice, FL 34293 941-445-4118

    “People are like bicycles.  They can keep their balance only as long as they keep moving.”  Albert Einstein

  6. I should get to Dining For Women more often! Thanks for the reminder

  7. You are truly amazing. It is wonderful how much one person can influence others. Sometimes, I get so down with all that is going on here and I read your comments and feel uplifted. Thank you!

  8. Linda Underwood

    Mary, thank you for the free advertising for DFW! You have made our group of women just that much more special. It was so great to see you and how well you look and what a gift you have given us all. I feel like the “Big C” isn’t quite as scary after learning so much about it and treatments from you. Now we will look forward to your continuing recovery in the months ahead.

  9. Wendie Highsmith

    Mary-What a rich and full time you have had before you head back to Texas. Nourishment and nurture to prepare you for the next leg of your journey. I love Daclon’s talk to the worker. Come on, he’s paying you two shells! Wendie


  10. I have to say, Mary, you are a bundle of energy. You seem to recover amazingly fast and bounce back renewed. Perhaps you give so much joy and purpose to life that your positive energy comes back to you. Late April is but a blink away even if so much happens between now and then. All signs are that you will again bounce back in no time to start anew.

  11. You had me until yoga freezing on the beach! Girl, you have lost your temperature perspective!!!! Current Longmeadow temp is 12 with a feels like temp of 2!!!
    So glad you all had a wonderful time with Erin and her family! It all sounds so fun!

  12. Deirdre Christman

    Mary, you were the star of the show last night! Everyone was thrilled to see you so healthy and energetic. Hmmm, that’s not it. They wanted to believe in the power of positive thinking, and no one demonstrates that the way you do. Thanks for the detailed and heartfelt description of DFW. You’re the best ambassador we could ever have. Our trip was wonderful, but if you could have joined us, it would have been twice as meaningful!

  13. You certainly had a bunch of fun with your grandkids…and to think you were hired for construction!
    Your ladies group sounds fantastic…it is always great to see friends and share the same goal.
    Not a good beach day today but I’m sure you’re busying yourself…always lots to do when company leaves.
    We’re running out of time but I do hope to see you before you return to Texas.know if we don’t get together that I’m thinking and praying for you my friend. Happy St Paddy’s day! Pam G

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