Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I'm documenting my volunteer work and travels through a series of letters to family and friends while on the road. I hope you can stay a while - make yourself at home. 

Mom - 7,456 miles, 372 hours

Mom - 7,456 miles, 372 hours

Dear Mom,

Now that I'm in San Francisco I'm working each day at the SF-Marin Food Bank. This stint on my sabbatical also has me at a desk each day, and recently I picked up a new habit. Each morning I head into the kitchen at the food bank, and make myself a cup of Lipton tea. It's far too hot for me to drink right away, so I find myself adding some half and half from the fridge to cool it down.

Each time I watch the cream hit the tea to create a tan colored swirl, I am almost immediately reminded of Gram. As I'm sure you remember, she was quite fond of the exact same drink. Thinking about all of the times I retrieved a cold cup from her room to heat back up in the microwave brings a smile to my face; I sure do miss her. She was a pretty simple lady back in those days - all she needed was her family, solitaire, baseball, and tea - and I think I'm starting to understand why. 

Here on my sabbatical, I also don't have too much, especially when it comes to physical belongings. Bens just brought me a new long sleeve shirt which finally gives me more than one shirt for each day of the week. Imagine all the possibilities now! 

What I lack in fashion, I am so grateful to make up for in friends. In SF I'll be staying with Mal and Hannah, and am amazed by their care and hospitality. Mal frequently texts me just to check in and make sure I have something fun to do each night, and Hannah is the hostess with the mostess, always making sure my bed and living space is all set up and tidy. There's more tea to be had with the ladies, but is instead accompanied with long talks full of hearty laughs, that sometime go into the late hours of the night. 

Outside of home base, I'm almost concerned I won't have enough time in SF to see everyone and do all the things I'd like. Highlights are sure to include Mitch taking me under his wing and teaching me how to surf in the wee hours of the morning, Rob carting me around to the best eats and concert venues in the city, and the inevitable outdoor camping trip with Little V. While all the activities here in the city are fun to partake in, I'm actually just more excited to catch up with old friends and see how everyone has been.

On the day-to-day I'll be working with the policy and advocacy team at the food bank, to help them with their strategy related to California's SNAP program, CalFresh. As I mentioned I'm back behind this desk, but this time not doing any technical work. Instead I'll be doing policy and advocacy research related to the systems that support the program - similar to the same ones I worked on in Wisconsin. The work is right in my wheelhouse, and it's been really fun so far to take a look at these systems from a different perspective, that being one of an advocate not directly working for the state. I think I have a great opportunity to learn more about the industry I work in back at Deloitte, and hopefully I'll be able to provide some valuable insight to their team as well. 

While Gram was living with us back at home, she always took the time each day to let us know how much she loved us. I'm lucky to have grown up in a family where you do the same, and I want you to know that even though I may not be the best at communicating it, I too love you and think of you each and every day. Thanks for always being there for me momma - I surely do not take it for granted.

All the Love,

Jonathan

Zack - 7,484 miles, 388 hours

Zack - 7,484 miles, 388 hours

Reid - 7,344 miles, 344 hours

Reid - 7,344 miles, 344 hours