As part of our CSA retention effort, we decided to offer last year’s members a complementary pie if they signed up again by mid-December. The idea, initially lobbed by Polly, was met with overwhelming enthusiasm by the Sand Risers. We need early CSA members to afford the expense of another growing season, member retention is easier than member recruitment, and besides, isn’t the idea of pie just so awfully pleasant?
Pleasant though it may be, the pie idea wasted no time in settling comfortably into the realm of inaction, nestled conveniently below the level of conscious concern or commitment on any of our parts. There it lived for months, enjoying the vibrant company of so many of our best ideas. Finally, its bliss was interrupted by the inquiry of some members at our Local Food Fair booth. “Hey, so did I miss my pie or what? I haven’t heard anything and was just wondering…” Once back on Polly’s radar, pie action was imminent, and we received an email last Friday to the effect that 12 glorious pies were waiting fragrantly on Polly’s countertop, ready for pie delivery.
Having received the message, I felt obliged pitch in and supplement Polly’s efforts. Plus, every consecutive moment of pie oxidation was just one moment too many, and the weight grew heavier with each passing minute. Thus, at 3:30 on Friday afternoon, my wife and I set out in our Corolla with five pies, a 1-hour timeframe, and a list of unknown houses to find.
Fanni drove; I navigated and made calls, working out my script through the first couple of no-answers as we wound the wooded channels around the greater Stevens Point area. “(Take a quick right) Hi, this is Lee from Rising Sand Organics, and yeah, we’re actually delivering pies today, so I’m just letting you know that we’ll be dropping off a fresh pie at your place within the next twenty minutes or so. Hope this works, bye!”
Finally, I got an answer and went into my schpeel. I was met with equal parts confusion and excitement by the clueless young guy on the other end of the line. “… Uhhhh, well I don’t think that should be a problem, and… uhhhh, my mom’s in the shower so I can’t really confirm but yeah, I think you should probably drop off the pie.”
Others were equally amenable. “Oh, that’s simply wonderful! We may be going out for a walk, but if we miss you, just leave it on the front step. Oh, how wonderful!”
For one beautiful hour my wife and I ran this hilarious route, delivering pie happiness to the people and reaping the rewards of gratitude, giddy and true. All of this good vibery was countered, however, by one seriously inhospitable encounter. We bombed down Stanley Street on our second-to-last stop, scoping the house numbers frantically in heavy traffic. Finally, I panicked and made a snap decision. “Pull in here!”
“Here,” however, there was a man standing at the end of his driveway. As we pulled in, his jaw dropped visibly and his face froze in a glare of the purest hatred. Having no choice, I rolled down my window.
“What the fuck!?”
“Uhhh,” I responded lamely, “Is this 1421?”
I rolled up the window and we backed sheepishly to the road, waiting awkwardly for traffic to clear. Finally, we backed up and bombed out, desperately avoiding a glance back into the death glare that followed us down the road.
Two doors down, however, the family of 1421 Stanley Street waited expectantly in their kitchen for the greeting and celebration of the Pie. I knocked and walked in, met by the gleeful chatter of wife and children as the patriarch met me at the door. He shook my hand fervently as I handed him the pie, looking me straight in the eye. “We’re really excited about this.”
“Yeah,” I responded. “We’re really excited too…” Though in retrospect this response made very little sense, it was graciously folded into the fabric of this warm and welcoming young family, emphatic and ecstatic in their final moments of pie anticipation. This heartwarming community moment was brought to you by Polly Dalton and the rest of us at Rising Sand Organics. Your continued support is always appreciated, and occasionally incentivized.