Chicken with my head cut off

In a fit of utter stupidity moment of generosity last year I volunteered to help with the cooking at our church camp. The wonderful ladies who’d been doing it for years were getting burned out. I sympathized with their plight and thought that maybe if they could train me to do the shopping beforehand, that would unburden them a bit.

Well, it did. They were so grateful to be unburdened a little that they unburdened themselves entirely and gave the entire job to a friend and me.

I’m still trying to rehash the exact turn of conversation that led me to this predicament. I’m quite sure I said I wasn’t able to be in the kitchen every meal. But, delegation being one of my strong suits and all, I did suggest ideas for divvying up the work a little more evenly ….

They apparently read that to mean that I would oversee the whole shebang and you could almost see their shoulders unknot from the sudden relief of it all, and it seemed like about 12 seconds later I was handed the camp lists and grocery receipts and menus for the 10 previous years and profusely thanked, and told, oh, by the way, you have to take a food handler’s class and get a certificate. And then they RAN, leaving me there with my mouth hanging open, and as they ran off, I swear I saw the used-to-be head cook do one of those little twirling light-as-air spins that Maria does on the top of the Alps in ‘The Sound of Music’.

And now here I sit going bonkers planning twelve meals for oh, anywhere between 40 and 90 people.

I am ever so grateful that my friend is in this too. She actually took the food handler’s quiz and got us our handy dandy certificate and sat with me for hours while we planned the menus.

But I am a mite anxious that between raising 8 kids and adopting 2 more kids and writing a book and trying to get a couple weeks ahead on my Ethiopia blog and packing to go to Ethiopia in 7 or 8 weeks– oh, and breathing and sleeping every now and then — that this church camp thing might just be the cherry that broke the camel’s back. .. or the straw that cut off the chicken’s head. Or something.

See if I ever volunteer for anything ever again.

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  1. ACK! Well, it willl be FUN! Right? FUN!

    (scurrying away now…)

  2. Been there done that, and my “staff” didn’t speak any English – FUN stuff. I think perhaps I was a bit too young at 19 to be doing it as well, since when I think back on it, my menu really wasn’t ideal.

  3. Oh you poor dear! You and Karen will have to go visit a day spa for a week or two after you get done with all these duties that appeared out of nowhere!

  4. Oh Man! You give an inch an they take OFF!!!

  5. Volunteer…. to go someplace and COOK!! That’s got to me my worst nightmare!! Almost as bad as volunteering to go somplace and babysit!

    I’ve got enough of both at my own house, thankyouverymuch! When I walk out the door, even if it is to volunteer for something, it ain’t going to be for cooking or babysitting. Bleh!

    But God bless ya for doing it, kiddo. You’re much more of a woman than I am.

    Peace~ Wind

  6. Wow, and I thought I had a lot on my plate!! I hope it all goes well and smooth, and you definitely take a trip to a spa or something relaxing after it all!!

  7. Whoo, girl. That’s a lot.

    OK, not to be all pie- in -the -sky- hyper-spiritual, but if you ask for strength to do it and put on the right attitude whilst you do, you’re going to have some pretty big reward in heaven someday. Probably involving lots of dark chocolate. I would think.

  8. ((hugs)) That sounds like a lot! Can you delegate some things regarding the cooking?

  9. Oh my.

    I did this for VBS once. Determined that these children would NOT get cookies and punch for snacks ever again.

    Yeah.

  10. I don’t know how you do what you do in your normal every day life much less volunteer for outside activities! You are amazing! And here I sit with two 2yr. olds and I can’t figure out some weeks how to get the laundry done and the house clean! You’re such a super mom!!!
    Hugs-Kimberley

  11. Oh my word. I think that between the two of us you win the award of Most Over Volunteered.

    Tell you what, bring all your children ages 3-12 to VBS and volunteer your oldest ones to help me supervise groups of 3-5 year olds and you’ll have five free mornings all to yourself this month. Awesome!

  12. This sounds so much like the kind of stuff that usually happens to me. Now I run the other way when people are looking for volunteers…..

  13. At least they gave you the old menus and stuff as a starting point. That has to be some help. Good luck!

  14. Mary, Mary, Mary…….

    In the future, just remember this little mantra …

    “just say No, just say No, just say NO”.

    I know I pilfered that from an anitdrug campaign, but it works in this situation as well. I know my limits and I know when to say no, without guilt.

    It is not that I don’t volunteer, but I just chose what I can reaonably accomplish and keep my sanity, what is left of it anyway.

    Best of luck!! I hope that at least you and your friends will get the leftovers 🙂

  15. Yowsers! I sure hope that your family is among the 40-90 people! No shame in ordering pizza for one of those meals?

  16. Heh heh heh That’ll larn ya!

    Been there, came back, and going again.

    Have Fun!

  17. oh my…