It’s a golden sunrise day. The snow is melting (finally) and today will actually be in the 50s! Even though a lot of the ground is still covered by many inches of snow, there is a “Welcome, Spring!” feeling to it all!

Today, there is lots going on here! It is recycle day! Yea! I have missed the last two, so I am very ready for that.

It is also Penny Social Day! (Another yea!) You may be saying: “Huh? What’s a penny social?” That was me, the first weekend I was here when I had the chance to experience my very first penny social. A penny social is a really fun event that organizations use to raise money. It is like a garage sale without leftovers — with a little bit of the lottery thrown in. This penny social benefits the youth group, and it’s the third one they’ve had and the third one I’ve gone to. Here’s how it goes: People have been saving up their “junk” (well, OK, “items to give away”) and brought those to “the hall” last night, or they’ve left stuff at the church for a few weeks now. The only rules about that (that I can figure out) is (1) no clothes and (2) no broken stuff. [BTW — “the hall” is the community hall that is right next to the church.] Last night the youth and adults gathered to set it all up. The set up is 4 or 5 rows of tables that run the length of the hall. Going down each side of each table are little piles of stuff with a cup next to each pile. There are hundreds of those little piles. One pile might be a sewing machine with accessories. Another pile might be 4 paperback books and a stuffed animal. Another pile might be a waffle iron, a vase and a collection of key rings in a zip-lock bag.

Tonight, doors open at 6:00. People from the church and from the community will arrive over the next hour and a half. When I get there, I will plunk down a dollar for each envelop I want. Each envelop is numbered (say, with the number 53) and contains 100 little tickets with the number 53 on them. (In reality, I will get about 5 of those envelopes — or maybe more — it IS for youth!). I will then browse through the hall and figure out what I can’t live without! I will put some tickets in the cup beside any pile of things I want to leave with — more tickets beside things I really want to leave with! At the first penny social, I put about $5.00 of tickets beside a brand new down comforter and went home with it! After I distribute all my tickets among things that I am interested in, I could buy a hot dog, chips and Coke to snack on. Sometimes there are raffle items (new, donated items), and chances can be bought for $1.00 each.

At 7:30, the drawing begins. The youth will go down each table and, at each pile, they will pour that cup of tickets into a big coffee can to mix and call out a number. The number is the winner of that stuff. All of the “used” tickets go into a very big can to be drawn for new items that are door prizes. So, at the end, all the stuff belongs to someone and is taken out. The youth get the money for their fund.

I was over at the hall last night while they got set up. So I got to look over the stuff, although it could change slightly before tonight! I saw a couple of plants that looked appealing and I wondered if the waffle iron works, since ours no longer does. I always think there is nothing that I will find there, and there are always a few things that really appeal to me. I have gotten crocheted doilies that I really love and some little lamps that I really like and some children’s books that included Big Bird’s Red Book which I think is a classic, and I had lost ours somewhere along the way. Mostly, it’s just fun!

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