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sending books to guys in prison, again

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sending books to guys in prison, again

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Went to Books to Prisoners on Tuesday, for my third time at the new site, in a garage behind a house in the city where seven (I think) people live.

I arrived around eight, because I opted to leave late and then took a wrong turn (it's a simple trek, so I think I pretty much have it now).

There wasn't too much to do: we did not have a restriction list with us (there is a database, listing all the different rules for what can be sent to prisoners at each of the different facilities), and very few letters had been checked previously, so most of what there was to do, for me, was to open and read letters in order to make the reference notes on the outside of the envelopes of what was being requested in each letter by the writer, and then to sort books from the boxes into the general categories. 

Part of the agreement for us to use the garage was that we would not pester the folks who live there and are graciously letting us use their space; however, we did take a group potty break inside the house, and one of the guys with us had made a vegan stew and was allowed to heat it on the household stove - it had celery, onions and 13 kinds of beans!!  It was pretty good; though it needed salt added, I tend to think of the ability to season to taste as a feature rather than a defect.  There were also Krispy Kremes, of which I had one.  Then we went back to work.

I did get to fill a couple of requests; S. J. had some that had been checked and could be filled, and on two of them she couldn't figure out what they were requesting.  For one, I made an educated guess that the titles were likely sword-and-sorcery; for the other, I knew the author - Terry Goodkind; the poor guy wanted to read the Sword of Truth novels.  Darned good choice for prison reading - if you don't know, what he was requesting is that size of book, very common to the fantasy genre, that the bindings ALWAYS crack because the logistics of thousand page paperbacks are iffy at best.  I was quite pleased with myself, because I did manage to get him one Terry Goodkind book, Debt of Bones.  Best I could do, and it is related to the series.  It's a shame that it's so short, barely longer than novella length, but you do what you can.  Hope he hasn't read that one already.

I decided to leave just before ten, as things were winding down, and I was somewhat eager to get home.  I was slightly delayed in my departure, though: just outside the gate, I met a cat - with a collar and a tag, and so very clearly a housecat, clean and hungry for lovin' - far from the skittishness you see in a cat that's been stray for any real length of time, he approached me, asked for head skritchies, and then stood up on his back legs and put his paws on my stomach.  Very cute.  I decided to delay my leaving in order to be be a good cat lovin' gal, and called the number on his tag on my cellphone... only to realize, when I asked where they lived so that I could bring him home, that I was calling the house, ten yards away, that belonged to the garage I'd been hanging out in that night.  I felt like an utter goose, especially since I knew they had a cat.  In my defense, though, I'd never seen him, didn't know his name, which wasn't the same thing his tag said anyway, and I thought the cat they had was strictly indoors.  Anyway, I did get the info that we need to keep the gate closed to keep him inside the yard, so there was a benefit to it.

Headed out, made one wrong turn getting on the highway, and ran into an unexpected traffic jam - realized the next morning that these are the off-peak hour pavement repairs referred to in the signs.  They reduced three lanes to one, and the resulting 20-minute wait within three minutes of the house made me grumpyish, but not enough to really make a difference.  Got home and ditched my plan of writing email; crashed instead at the very early hour of 10:30.

Darned good night, for one that included driving into the city by myself.

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