Most days, after trying to string some words together here, I go to MCSA, where I raise money and publicity for those in need in Muscatine County. MCSA is the nonprofit organization that provides emergency and temporary shelter, basic health care, educational and support services for both the homeless and victims of domestic abuse in Muscatine, Iowa, a Mississippi River city of 23,000 people.
As deputy director, when I’m not working on a fundraiser or applying for grants, I write a monthly column in the local newspaper, co-host a twice-monthly program on the local radio station (please tune in and listen at 9 a.m. today), oversee MCSA’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, give tours and make presentations in the community.
That is how I found myself eating lunch Wednesday in a very nice Muscatine home and speaking to the 20 or so members of the MM-OE PEO chapters. As soon as I saw the table and place settings, it was obvious this was much better than the typical stop on the rubber-chicken circuit. The meal was very good. The company was even better.
But the books are what really made the initial impression. Near the dining table were three large bookshelves filled with books. Wooden block letters on two shelves in the bookcases spelled out: NOT YET.
Those shelves contain the books her husband has not yet read, the hostess said. She said he has organized all of the books and knows exactly where each one goes. I’m pretty sure she said they own more than 1,000 books.
She took me to a room that could best be described as the perfect man cave. More books lined one of the walls. On the other side of the room, framed art filled the wall. Two desks were placed back to back in the middle of the room. This was a comfortable home office where you could really do a lot of work if you wanted to. I can only image how much better this blog would be if I got to write in that office every day. But if I had an office like it at home, I’m not sure I would ever want to leave to work elsewhere.
As we walked through the house and back upstairs, I noticed at least one other room filled with books and an overstuffed chair.
So, yeah, some days are better than others and Wednesday will be difficult for a while to top. I ate a great meal in the company of a great group of ladies. I got to speak at length about MCSA. They asked really good questions.
Best of all, I did these things in a comfortable home surrounded by books, which would have likely appealed to the Roman philosopher and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero, who said: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
An aside: If you’d ever like to have me speak about MCSA, this blog or anything else at your church or a meeting of your organization, please contact me. I’m always happy to do it.