Smile, it’s amazon

Confession: One of the things I have shifted toward a lot in the last two years is buying online. My husband makes so many purchases for his business that it’s decidedly worth it for us to pay for Amazon Prime – which includes free two-day shipping on countless items.

I have many friends who shop this way too.

Our family recently had a complex argument about whether it was more fuel-and-energy efficient to buy online or in stores. (This was after I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Kingsolver, and was thinking more about the energy costs associated with getting things to my house.) Our argument went something like this:

  1. You save gas if you stay home.
  2. But someone has to deliver the items to your house. Same diff, right?
  3. But if he didn’t deliver them to your house, he would deliver them to the stores, right? And then you would go get them – twice the gas.
  4. But he is bringing them to you in small sets, as often as once a day, not with boxes and boxes at a time like an efficient shopping run (you) or a big store delivery (them).
  5. But he is making his round of deliveries around town anyway, and you are on the way.
  6. But seriously – stopping at every house to make individual deliveries?

Okay, I’m convinced. I think it is less energy efficient to have everyone stay home while several trucks run around town delivering things. No wait. That sounds like a GOOD plan. Gaaahhhhh! Meanwhile my husband and my oldest son, who are both smarter than I, are convinced that the difference is either negligible or in favor of home delivery. I hate when they do that.

What do you think?

Alternately, we could do both – run around town making errands and sit at home shopping online.

Yeah, that would work. Efficiency shmiciency.

Okay, I am sorry to disappoint you but that is not the point of this post. That whole discussion was a bunny trail from my real point, which was this:

What I’m about to say may be old hat to you, but I must be sure. Did you know that when you make purchases on Amazon.com, you can make them via Amazon Smile, which donates money to a nonprofit of your choice? The nonprofit must be registered with Amazon Smile, but you can then choose it from a list of charities, schools, and other organizations. My choice is Faith Builders Educational Programs, which runs the Christian day school my children attend. That means every time I make a purchase, a small percentage of my total is earmarked as a donation and given to them. It’s not a lot, about half a percent, but it adds up when many people do it.

Amazing!

The nice thing is that it’s not a different store, or a different way of shopping. It’s just a different way of accessing the Amazon site. I have Amazon Smile pinned to the taskbar of my computer, so each time I open Amazon I’m already set to go, and all my purchases count. I don’t have to do anything extra.

And no, I do not make ADDITIONAL purchases just to donate. I’m not that stupid, er, devoted, or whatever you want to call it.

In a nutshell, if you’re an Amazon shopper, please check into it. There are many good places registered there, such as Fair Play Camp School, Bald Eagle Boys Camp, Christian Aid Ministries, Amish Mennonite Aid, Samaritan’s Purse, Open Hands, crisis pregnancy centers, and many more. If you don’t already have a non-profit of choice, you are cordially invited to pick Faith Builders as well. We would not mind.

Good hunting,

Shari

PS – Unfortunately, no one is paying me for this pitch.

The corn people

Held in warmth and darkness, the embryos await the light

Grow whole and plump out of the broken

Push their rumpled heads out of the night

 

The babies tremble in the springtime wind

Their tender jade hands patting at the raindrops, their bodies

Stretching slowly toward the sun

 

The children dance in line in the furrows, grow like weeds

And reach to touch hands

Their rippling arms sway above their heads as they play

 

The teenagers are robust, thick-stalked and firm

Tousle-haired, energetic, virile

Eager to be full grown, productive

 

The mature are thirsty, reach their parched hands high

A silent shriek for answers that do not come and

For the life of the young borne against their bodies, for strength

 

The fruitful stand erect, yield produce of excellence and delight

And spent, bereft, but self-respecting

Wait in silence for the end. The good seed will go on

 

The aged shrivel into themselves, pointing crooked fingers

Against the clouded evening sky

Accusing, eerie, alone

 

Held in warmth and darkness, the embryos await the light

Psalm 23 reloaded

This post is a zinger, but I want you to know the person I am speaking about: myself. These words grew out of a recent conversation with my husband, in which I realized I have trouble giving myself permission to do three things: take up space in the world, have needs, and make mistakes. Out of this clarity I wrote what I sometimes live. May God have mercy on his child in need of grace, and if you could have mercy on me too I’d sure appreciate it.


The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not have needs

He maketh me to be just fine, thank you, and I have it covered

What you said did not hurt me and what you did does not make me angry

But I have a friend you could pray for, she is really having a hard time

 

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not desire

I am content with the status quo and to admit hunger would mean to become incomplete

I am perfect in spirit, I drag along a body till I leave this old world and it obeys me better if I don’t listen

God’s way is best I will not murmur, hallelujah

 

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not struggle

Those people out there do not have him, poor souls, but here in the fold we are good

And always put our best hoof forward. Our sins, supposing we had any, are under the blood

There is no looking back and we’re never in mental turmoil, praise the Lord

 

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want

It’s been a while since I heard his voice but my wool is still squeaky clean. When he says

He comforts me I’m not sure what that means. As far as I know I have peace with God

And my fellowman so I don’t have any enemies. What does it mean to restore a soul?

Summer

Watermelon, fireworks, new barbecue sauce, a child’s wagon, homegrown tomatoes, rose petals

Day lilies, cantaloupe, orange dream on a stick, campfire coals, a shocking sunset, ripe peaches

Sunlight on my skin, black-eyed susan, sea shells, the heart of a daisy, full moon, buttered cobs of corn

Fresh mown lawn, leaves making merry, mossy rocks by the streambed, bits of sea glass, grass stains

Rows of denim jeans against the wind, still water, a robin’s eggshell fallen, open sky

Bright bunting wings here and gone again, blueberries, iridescent dragonfly wings, hydrangea clusters

Concord grapes, ruffled fuchsia blooms, bruised bare knees, black raspberry ice cream, twilight

Giveaway results

Thanks for joining our giveaway for the Boredom Jar! I’m happy to say that Dorcas S is the winner – the “mean mom” who doesn’t allow her children to use a lot of devices. And no, I did not pick her for that reason. Random.org picked her, for its own inscrutable reasons.

If you’re interested in buying the Boredom Buster set, please contact Linette Horst by sending an email to randyandlinette@aol.com. Put “Boredom Jar” or something similar in the subject line. The price is $10 for a package that includes everything but the glass jar itself:

  • Thirteen colorful pages with over 300 activities
  • A supplies list for items you might not have on hand
  • An adorable vinyl decal to put on your own jar (“Mom I’m Bored” as pictured)
  • Free shipping to anywhere in the United States

Again, thanks for joining the fun.

Happy Thursday!
Shari