Tom: Date #4

People from several countries come to this cannery- It's famous!

People from several countries come to this cannery- It’s famous!

I know. I know. Date #3 was Tom. But so is date #4.

In fact, I met this Tom through that Tom. I was telling my friend, Melanie, about it today and she started laughing because I’m going out with her friend next week and his name is Thomas. In her words, “This is my date, Tom, and my other date, Tom, and my other date, Tom.” So, to differentiate, date #3 was with Tom M. and date #4 was with Tom E. (Tom E… Not Tommy. That’s a rock opera by The Who and an entirely different matter. )

Tom E. was a really awesome guy. He had just been through something pretty major a couple of days previous to our date, but he still wanted to help me out on this goal. If our positions were reversed, I think I might be tempted to retreat inwardly and be consumed with my own sadness, but Tom turned outward. In fact, he had planned an evening of service at the cannery and let me tag along.

Tom E. wielding his hose of cannery justice.

Tom E. wielding his hose of cannery justice.

A word about the cannery. I was imagining going in there, putting on a hair net, and sitting around with old ladies as we used water baths to seal jars of preserves. It wasn’t like that at all. There were huge rooms with huge machinery and no old ladies in sight. And we didn’t even do any canning, which is probably good, because I have no clue about how that stuff works.

Instead, they handed us hoses and said, “Just make sure you get all of the yellow stuff in the drains.” I didn’t like the sound of that, but the yellow stuff turned out to be corn that they wanted us to clean up from the floors and machines in the cannery. I should mention that this is AWESOME to me, because it involves two things I really love: service and getting drenched with my clothes on. It is possible to do the job without getting wet- Tom actually managed that nicely- but where’s the fun in that, I ask you?

So, maybe I sprayed myself in the face by accident.

So, maybe I sprayed myself in the face by accident.

After cleaning up, laughing a lot, and making some new cannery friends,  Tom took me to a restaurant  for some of the best bread pudding and creme brulee I’ve ever had (we shared). We had a long talk there and I learned a lot about this very successful, yet very humble man. Tom was very open and it was really easy to feel comfortable in his presence. We talked about his family, his business (he’s a real estate appraiser), his mission to Honduras, his travels, and more. Afterwards, he took me by his house and I was impressed that he had done a lot of remodeling and electrical work on it himself. We spent some time there and he showed me some things from his travels and then drove me home.

I had a great time with Tom, and appreciated that he was willing to take me out when he was going through such a difficult time. I also appreciated what a good man he is.  We’re only four dates into this experience, but so far, so good.


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