Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Earnestly Seeking Input

There have been a number of things whirling through my head lately that I can't seem to get figure out. Some are big, multiple-faceted issues, some are more simple and some are probably a lot easier than I am making them. I am, however, at the point where I just keep repeating questions to myself and I'm not getting any new answers out of my own head. I have therefore decided that it is time for me to seek counsel. There are three main questions that I am going to pose, each of varying degrees of consequence.
The first question is the 'fluffiest'. It doesn't have much to do with deep reflection, tales of morality or anything like that. It's moreso about personal opinion and just brain-picking, really. The question: what sort of items would you like to see at a silent auction? You see, I volunteer with a local charity as a member of their Public Relations Committee. One of my tasks right now is to find silent auction donations for their main fundraiser this fall. I actually quite enjoy this task, however sometimes I second-guess myself and my own taste. I've already approached a hotel for a 'date night' package and some local jewelry artists for some original pieces. I'm by no means out of ideas, but I wanted to hear other peoples' ideas as well. Can you recommend somewhere or something to try for?
My next question is the one I'm probably over thinking. In fact, I'm sure I am. All the same, here's the question: how do I go about introducing myself to a neighbour? The background story on this one is that there is a little old lady who lives all by herself in a big house around the corner from us. She drives a pickup truck that she washes herself, mows her own lawn and spends her days tending to her potted plants. Now, when I say old, I'm guessing around 75 - 80. I've also never seen company at her house. It breaks my heart thinking about this lady all alone in her big old house just going through her day to day routine. I want to get to know her, but for some stupid reason I'm afraid to take the first step. Granted, if I were walking past her house one day and saw her outside it would be easy enough to strike up a conversation, however I only usually see her when I am driving past and she lives far enough away from our house that I can't necessarily contrive to be outside when she is since I can't see her house from here. At the same time, I'm afraid of weirding her out by randomly walking up to her door and introducing myself. What is the best, least-awkward way I can start an acquaintance with this lady?
This last question will have the least explanation along with it: What do you want the city you live in to look like? What's your vision for your hometown?
Please help me. Answer one, answer all, but please answer at least something for me. My head will thank you very much!

Mrs. Vander Leek ;)


  1. #1: I LOVE baskets. Movie night at home baskets, pampering baskets, children's baskets, cooking or baking baskets. They are awesome to bid on for yourself but you can also get them as pretty cheap gifts.
    #2: Bake her something and have your older son deliver them (with your help). Make it a project with him and then explain that the two of you saw her in her garden or washing her car and wanted to bring her a treat. Kids make stuff easier... sometimes ;)
    #3: N/A. haha I do not live in a city. However, I would like my town to develop into a true community, rather than just a group of people who live in the same place.
    Hope that helps!

  2. The best silent auction items are wine and cheese baskets, nights in hotels, B&B's, dinner out, cooking lessons and once John donated two weeks at his place in Maui.

    If your neighbor is over 70 then she is from a time when you did go up to a new neighbor and knock on the door with a plate of muffins and say "hi".

  3. If you could get a spa package for a silent auction, I'm sure that would be popular.

    And since you are a culinary wizard, you can do no harm by bringing your neighbor some of your delicious baking. And if you use a real plate, she'll have to see you at least once more to bring the plate back. There's a chance to invite her in for some tea! I hope your small talk skills are up to par.


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