I belong to a list serve that announces events and classes that of interest to me. Today is a listing for a class on growing mushrooms. The $25.00 includes all of the supplies needed to grow three logs of shitakes which is actually quite a lot of mushrooms. I have already taken the class as has Bruce and it’s quite good. Yesterday, I went to sewing circle and finally learned how to put together the pattern for slippers that I have struggled with for the past year. The experienced sewers didn’t charge for their services and there were several machines available as well as fabric and notions. This center is free. On Friday, I worked at a nursery where one can exchange labor for plant credit. The owner teaches as you work and I learned quite a bit about growing bamboo as well as getting some plants I really wanted for my day’s labor.

I think that most places offer this kind of opportunity for learning new skills. In the coming years, the skills necessary to do things you may have traditionally hired someone else to do and the ability to reuse, repair or recycle things you used to replace will be critical. Those skills exist and our task is finding the experts and learning from them. Networking is a new word for the old habit of asking around. Schools, churches, community centers and service clubs usually have bulletin boards with this kind of information. If you don’t see what you want then post a “looking for” notice.

So what do you do? Knit, sew, bake bread or make yogurt, Ill bet there is someone out there who wants to learn what you have to teach. Maybe you could start the group that shares skills and talents. As an aside, mot people aren’t that fussy. I finished Phoebe’s slippers and they pretty mush look like a first time attempt of a blind monkey but I know how the pattern works and the next pair will be better. I was so grateful to have someone willing to walk me through it that I was certainly not critical of the results. Next up is having a  woman come to teach a class on maintaining our machines. We will all pitch in a couple of bucks for her gas and time and walk away knowing how to clean and oil our machines and fix the small problems that always seem to come up.

I am off to the dentist this morning for my 6 month cleaning. I keep up on this stuff. I plan to die with all my teeth while dancing a jitterbug with a devastatingly handsome gentleman at my great, great, granddaughter’s wedding.