Friday, October 26, 2012

treasure and people and (really good) pies

he first year Rebekah and I were dating we agreed to put pennies, nickels, dimes and (occasionally) quarters in the brown ceramic-frog savings bank on the bookshelf in my dorm room. The idea was that if we were still dating a year later we’d empty the frog and go to dinner to celebrate the occasion.
If it turned out to be just a few dollars, the plan was to go out for a hamburger; if there was more then we’d up the class of the venue accordingly.
similar frog from ebay site
STILL STUFFING THE FROG! Sometimes, knitting together a career as a freelance writer feels a lot like stuffing a frog with nickels and dimes. You know, a few dollars here and a few dollars there and then wondering what the score might add up to at the end of each month!
I’ve already worn out the joke about the key element in the word “FREE”-lance, but the other side of that coin turns out to be all the jobs that only pay $35, $30, $25, and sometimes $50.
However, my work also happens to be priceless, because I get to meet so many good people who I would never even know if it wasn’t for the fact that I tracked them down to listen to their story.
And this is true even when I’m simply doing a “stick to the facts” news piece.
Village Inn Pie
NEWS: A couple of days ago, for example, my editor at the Osprey Observer asked me to do a short piece on the Village Inn and their holiday pies. So I contacted the regional manager for Florida – Dean LaFollette – and we ended up meeting for coffee at the Brandon location.
I didn’t ask the in-depth questions I use when I’m doing a profile piece, but we also didn’t waste our conversation on trivia. It turns out that the regional manager is a great guy who has put down roots here and believes in the community. Plus, and this always gives me hope for the world, he is genuinely excited about his product and firmly committed to the future.
When we shook hands at the close of the conversation, I knew I had made an honest and valuable connection with a good human being.
And how many dollars did I earn by the time I finished taking photographs and writing up the news story? It really doesn’t matter, does it? That’s the kind of detail that, too often, gets in the way of what matters in this life.
For where your treasure is – Jesus explained to those with the ears to hear – that’s where your heart will be also… – Matthew 6:21
“Always on the journey” – DEREK
That’s a boatload of pies!

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