Saturday, September 24, 2005

Weekend Work Ethic and The View From My Neighborhood

Kev is on midnights again, and he's working midnight-12's this weekend. He didn't sleep long enough yesterday... he always says, "I couldn't sleep any longer." Then he took Sam to the football game. Got home around 9:45 pm, which was not long enough to get some more sleep before he had to leave the house around 11:00 pm, but long enough that he fell asleep in an awkward position on the sofa. Poor man. Got home this morning around 8:00 am very tired, and proceeded to watch the news on Rita back & forth with hunting shows until about 9:30 am. At which time I woke him up to go to bed. Insult to injury is that he's downstairs in the basement sleeping on one of the sofas because supposedly the kids and I are going to be very, very busy upstairs doing noisy housework.

We've decided to refinance again to get a lower interest rate and wrap in the funds we need to put in an outside wood stove/hot water heating system (which costs about ten grand, but should pay for itself easily within 3 or 4 years). And so we have to get the ol' dusty house ready for an appraisal on Monday. Yuk.

But here I am reading blogs and blogging, and the kids are watching a tape of the season premier of CSI Miami from last Monday. Somehow when Kev is home and sleeping, our drive to get any kind of work done drops to nearly nil. When Kev's home and working (if Kev is home & up and around, he's usually getting something done), it makes me work harder.

I spent too much time watching the TV news on Rita, like Katrina. I feel so bad for the folks whose homes, lives, families have been so thrashed. My best friend lives in Dallas, and she called this morning to let me know she finally was able to have a phone conversation with a good friend of hers that lives near Houston. This whole thing lately is just crazy. Everywhere I turn are relief efforts donation requests, and I think that's admirable. But I admitted to my best friend that I haven't donated one dime to Katrina, nor will I to Rita. Sounds heartless, but it isn't. Not to me. So many, many people are stepping up to the plate and donating for those disasters, but I & my husband made a decision two years ago that any extra funds we have for charitable contributions will all be directed to our local school district, specifically the elementary school our son currently attends. We live in a very rural area, and our district has 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school and the high school. We get less funding from the state per student than our richer, in-town neighboring districts. Our elementary school didn't have enough money last year to purchase all the supplies they needed, and were rationing copy paper at the end of the year. Much of our elementary school's population are children from lower income families. We've decided to take care of our own backyard first. We don't have enough money to spread it around the world. I'm truly glad there are people that do, and I'm proud of America's response to the disasters. Those children are getting help. I want to help the kids that live in my neighborhood.

We live close to a pretty wealthy, upscale city. Not a huge city, but a lot of money in that town. Most of those people have no idea of the squallor that so many kids live in out here in the country. At our elementary school, they can get a new backpack, clean clothes, a warm coat, boots that fit, shoes without holes, shampoo and combs, even a haircut. Makes a big difference in their daily lives. When they are wearing a pretty new shirt and a cool new pair of jeans, they feel better about themselves. I love that. I love being a part of that.

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