"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!" - Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine
During our weekend camping trip to San Antonio Lake we found wonderful weather, warm water and a shoreline littered with glass bottles. Along fewer than 100 yards of the 64-mile shoreline we picked up more than 50 bottles, most of them vessels of alcoholic beverages. (The only exception was the club soda bottle.) With each pass along this stretch, we found more, then again more. It was as if the sand was breeding glass bottles, already filled and drained and some then coated with algae. Were we to comb the entire shoreline, might we be able to fund our weekend camping trip? If we snorkeled the lake bed, would we be able to fund a new vehicle with our recyclable take?
The girls are thrilled that they'll fatten their wallets and savings accounts, however small the increment, when we head to the recycling center Monday. We were all glad to leave the beach better than we found it. Still, I wonder about people.
On our way down to the lake the morning we left I found two more bottles. I placed them on the dock so I could pick them up on our walk back to camp. When I returned to the dock, the bottles had been placed in the water to float away. A man and a teenage boy were walking away, carrying a kayak to their pickup truck.
When you pick up after others, don't you wonder, "IS IT REALLY THAT DIFFICULT TO CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES?" When you pick up after others, do you ever feel like it's just not making any difference?
This was really a multi-day project which culminated today with the loading of a free, 16-foot trampoline in my sister-in-law's van for the trip to HER backyard.
Total? Probably 30 minutes.
One neighbor (OK...four blocks away, but you get the drift) had a trampoline he wanted to give away. A SIL wanted a trampoline for her kids. I hooked them up.
It all started with talking to the neighbor about a broken down fence and Freecycle (people on Freecycle will take ANYTHING, even broken down fence parts). He said, "Huh. I should put my trampoline on there."
EYE knew that my SIL wanted a trampoline, so I called her, texted up some photos, then let him know she was interested. Meanwhile, he was trying to clear a broken tree (thanks, wind) out of his backyard and re-landscape. Before she could get down here to pick it up, he was dismantling it, so I stopped by, helped complete the dismantling, loaded it in MY van, unloaded it into OUR garage for storage for a few more days, then hosted her overnight (come anytime, A!), helped her load up and enjoyed a nice visit before she returned home (3 hours north).
Absolutely! This helped the neighbor clean out his yard, the niece and nephews with a new toy, and gave my sister-in-law another excuse to come visit us.
Cheer on swimmers at the local high school championship meet; commiserate with another outstanding coach fired this week from the same school for which I used to coach.
An hour at the meet; an hour on the phone.
Cheering the team - because most of these kids are really great kids who I missed on deck this year. This was the season culmination for most of them.
The coach - because I was in a similar position about 6 months ago. I wanted him to know he wasn't alone, and that the pattern used to displace him (and ANOTHER successful coach at this school) was the same used on me.
Cheering - Yes. It's always nice to share time with wonderful young people.
Commiserating - Yes. I hope he didn't feel quite so singled out, quite so alone, quite so disappointed. I know it helped ME to know this is a school administration trend more than about ME. Photo courtesy Gabyu under Creative Commons license.
I love horses. I've always wanted horses. I think it would be no exaggeration to say that, while visiting my great-grandparents' farm as a kid I spent most of my waking horses on or around horses. But they're expensive little creatures to keep up, in large part due to property we don't own. (Had we the SPACE we could probably afford a horse, or two.)
Probably thanks to me, our daughters claim they want horses. The littlest one is nearly as obsessed with them as I was. So I signed them both up for horseback riding lessons. Along the way, they'll also learn about the care and feeding of the animals. Maybe once they see the work involved, they may grow out of it. Then again, if they're like me, they won't.
This week, their instructor invited me to help her out by brushing down one of her other horses. Of course I obliged. What else was I to do for the next hour? (OK...I could have read, or taken a nap, or watched the girls ride, all of which are also rewarding.
Yes. Lovely horse, easy task, plus it saved the instructor a few minutes - one less chore in her daily schedule.