Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The New Year is Right Around the Corner

I think I've said before that I'm not much for New Year's resolutions, and that's still true. I think we all should try to lead our best lives all the time, and though I'm not always successful, I do try. However, spending Christmas Eve down at the local homeless shelter brought home to me that I don't do near enough. I remember reading somewhere once that most of us are just one paycheck away from being homeless ourselves, and visiting with the people at the shelter made that very real for me. There were mothers with newborn babies- one of the moms had eight children ranging from early teens to an infant. That could've easily been me. I was lucky. I had the support of friends and family, and if I had ever ended up without a home, I had generous people in my life who, I'm sure, would have taken me in. One father stood on the sidelines, watching his kids play games with our group- a sort of sad smile on his face. One mom asked her son if she could take the gifts we gave him and wrap them so that he would have something to unwrap in the morning. Another young teen was overheard saying he was going to put the skateboard he'd gotten as a gift outside another younger boy's door because he had heard the boy saying how much he wished he'd gotten a skateboard. Here's this kid with just the clothes on his back willing to give away his gift to make another child happy! The generosity of that touched me to my core. I got to come home to my big warm house, and these children were spending the night in the family section of SAMM's Shelter, an emergency shelter where they are expected to get up and leave in the morning. A new shelter called Haven for Hope is in the process of being built, and it's a place where all the services a homeless, jobless person might need will be housed together- places to sleep, a medical clinic, classes, job counseling, psychiatric counseling- everything. And I'm planning to find out what I can do there to help. Watching these little children was heartbreaking, and nobody deserves to be in their situation. Seeing their parents doing the best they can under their circumstances - well, it made me think about those who are against health care reform, those who want to criminalize the poor, those who think they're "better than" because they are wealthy- those who will never understand. So I am making a few New Year's resolutions this year- to DO instead of just talk- to HELP instead of shake my head at the sadness - to BE that best person I can be every day to the best of my ability.

May your new year be the best ever, and may we all be grateful for what we have.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A busy month!

December began with a trip to Virginia for Sofia's fourth birthday. My only granddaughter, she is just adorable! It was a great trip, visiting with Kristinn and Tim and Sofia's big brother, Gabriel, who is 6. We left San Antonio amid reports of a very possible snow in San Antonio, which of course is very rare, and didn't happen- of course. But, the day after it was supposed to snow at home, it actually did snow in Virginia! It was lovely, and just enough to enjoy without getting stranded or stuck. We had Fia's birthday party at Chucky Cheese, with a great time had by all. She was definitely the princess of the party, crown and all! Despite the cold weather, we all got out to the Native American Museum and the Botanical Center, all decked out for the holidays. We also were able to just relax, which is always nice when on vacation. Gabe read to me and is doing very well with that and school in general. He has a very funny sense of humor- so does Sofia for that matter!

Upon returning home, it was back to work to get ready for our Chanukah play- a short revue using 40's music with Chanukah-ish lyrics. With only a few rehearsals, we were able to pull that off at the Latke Cook-off and then were asked for an encore performance at the Chanukah dinner at Temple. It's a pretty silly little show, but we had fun, and the audiences enjoyed it- that's good enough for me.

Eli's high school bowling team remains undefeated, and the biggest news there is that during a match against MacArthur High School, Eli bowled a perfect game- a 300! I'd never seen that happen before, and I have to say, it was pretty exciting. Everyone cheered- even the other team and their coach, and their were hugs all around. Just today at Eli's Saturday youth league, his team got their first place trophies for the first bowling season, and now they have two weeks off until they begin anew. At this moment, he's at the award party for his travel league, and I believe there's another award party on Monday night for the scholarship league. Yes, I spend a lot of time in bowling alleys!

I've got the annual holiday poem finished but am waiting for Alan to add the pictures, so I can send it out. Looking forward to a great year. Happy holidays everyone!