I had the blessing of working right smack in the middle of it back in the fall of 1981 in a little town called Porterville.
In between college and graduate school, I really didn't know what I wanted to do for a living, so I took a year off doing low paid volunteer work through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps – similar to the Peace Corps and VISTA.
How special it was to drive 30 miles every day to Porterville with Robbie, another volunteer, from Tulare, CA - where we and six other volunteers resided doing all kinds of human services outreach.
While we have had some bad fog at times during the year in Louisiana around Baton Rouge and over the Bonnet Carre Spillway, I experienced the super thick “Tule Fog” a few times, where you literally could not see more than a few feet in front of you, if at all, at times!
My work was involved with a mental health agency and was focused on outreach to homebound and nursing home elderly in need of counseling and contact.
Roger, my supervisor, let me use his Vespa Scooter every day for my travels, since “It Never Rains In California,” as noted by that song! So I had real fun making visits to seniors.
It happened that the Porterville Senior Center that I would visit weekly had a presentation on “gleaning,” a biblical term that I'd heard of but didn't know much about being a city slicker from N'Awlins.
Besides doing some cool crop gleaning to share food with the disadvantaged, it was also a treat to get the chance to glean some overstocked products like Chanel No. 5 Perfume that the Senior Center had access to.
Thanksgiving to God for all gleaned blessings – especially bountiful, aromatic love shared with one another!