Volunteer finds ways to feed spirit

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Idealism and a great sense of humor helps Gail McGhee through life's ups and downs. She loves peace and quiet, candles and contemplation. McGhee also enjoys being active, especially working in her garden. "I love to work in the yard, it's my passion. I also love books, I love to read. I just started 'Water For Elephants' last night."

Her upbeat attitude constantly helps in her work as the Blue Mountain Action Council Food Distribution Manager, assisting local food banks and clients needing food.

A long-term resident, she's lived here since the age of 12. Her family came here from the Salt Lake City area. She has children and grandchildren in the area and her father is nearby, so she has family to adore close at hand.

Early jobs included bartending and working at the Teepee cafe in Milton-Freewater.

"Then I worked in the warehouse for Kmart when it first opened. After that I worked at St. Mary's as a ward clerk."

She's involved with area service organizations helping the community and she spends time with her family.

"I'm a member of The Eagles, I'm a Lioness and I'm also a grandma," she said. "I'm so fortunate all my kids live here." She has three children and three grandchildren.

In addition to all her other activities, she enjoys watching television shows involving crime solving, cold cases and forensics as well as some comedies. She had two years of studying criminal justice so she's fascinated by the process used to solve complex and sometimes very old, cases.

Staying active is very important to her, she balances relaxing with activity. "I'm not going to just sit at home," she said.

"I would love to travel some, I dream of doing an Alaskan cruise at some point. We'll see what the future brings. Actually, I'm going to do that, I don't care if I'm 90," she said. Closer to home, she also loves going to the Oregon coast.

McGhee loves dogs and other animals, but especially dogs. Her seven year-old poodle-Shih Tzu named "Sammijo," is a big part of the family.

"She's just spoiled rotten," McGhee explained.

Keeping her attitude positive helps her be appreciative of everything in her life. McGhee is frustrated by the way people often treat each other. She doesn't like meanness, anger and all the frustration she sees in so many.

"I don't have time or room in my heart for that," she said.

Gardening is her special passion. She's healthy and happy being outside, working in her garden.

"I love it. I just lose myself out there, and I don't take my phone with me. My son comes out and reminds me it's time to quit."

She's already got several water features in the garden, "Two little bird ponds." Her son got her another water feature, which will be a waterfall leading into rocks.

"I'm so excited, I can hardly wait to get out there. I love the sound of water running." She likes to be peaceful, comfortable and thankful for everything in her life.

The world is changing and change is very challenging to most people. McGhee adapts to change but it's not her favorite thing, by a long shot.

Although, she said, some change would be welcome to transform the world. According to McGhee, some beneficial changes would be: "No hunger. No one homeless. I don't want to see that anymore. There's just too many people hungry and homeless."

In this magnificent world with all that we have, that there are people who are doing without the basic necessities, is shocking, according to McGhee.

"The sad thing about hunger is that you don't see it. In this line of work, I've seen folks come in that I never would have thought were hungry," she said.

"I'd also like to see less anger and hatred in people."

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