A landslide in Oso (this weekend, 8 confirmed dead, dozens more missing), an airliner missing and presumed down with all lives lost after two weeks, car- and suicide-bombers, slaughter of civilians and “enemy” prisoners… If I had all the money in the world, I could not fix the disasters that thousands of people are facing, whether caused by man or sad twists of natural events. What could we do to avert/avoid/amend some of these?
For the landslide (really a hill slide — half of the hill over the river looks like it gave way): have geologists look at topography before allowing construction, perhaps move people who are already in danger zones… a similar event happened a number of years ago in our county when an area that was (from topography) clearly prone to slides let go, destroying many homes. It wouldn’t avoid all such disasters, but perhaps we can at least side-step some of the worst ones.
For airliners, perhaps make it so that pilots and crew cannot disable tracking systems, and — we have the technology now at least — set it up so that the minute a plane deviates more than an amount (a mile? a degree of rotation) from the approved flight plan there is an automatic alert or secondary tracking via GPS? Planes would still have problems, crash or be diverted, but we might find them sooner and rescue survivors; at the least families would know sooner…
Bombings? Random mass murders by military, para-military and wannabes? Teach our children to love. Teach them to treat others with kindness. Teach them that the “other” is not automatically an enemy. But also teach them to stand up for themselves and for those who are not as strong. We won’t avoid all aggression, but we can make our communities and the world a little more safe.
What can we do when the world is broken? We can fix what we can, and we can be prudent about our choices in the future.
For those who have lost loved ones, homes, employment and the sense of security they used to have, I grieve with you.
I did not get a single picture of Grant when we were at IKEA today looking at the components and ordering the parts for his wardrobe: not quite “built in” but very very nice, and easily reconfigured and (hopefully) moved to a new place when he is ready. We had a wonderful day, despite my headcold.
But yesterday… This is what greeted me when I drove up to the house. Well, not actually, but… this is what it looked like after I pulled in!
One year ago today I went to teach on a beautiful, sunny day. I left early, telling Lucky I would be home and we would go for a walk in the evening if it was nice. Tom was still asleep. So was Grant.
It was a lovely, sunny, warm day.
A few hours later, Lucky was gone. So were the birds. The house was uninhabitable. Family heirlooms destroyed and damaged. The accumulations of four lives smudged out. Grant was covered in soot and being brave, having come home to discover the house in flames…
Today was gray and cool. I left the apartment early to go work at the school, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I dropped Grant off at the college for his yoga class. I didn’t teach today because of conference scheduling, so I went to a dentist appointment before I met with parents, and spent the rest of the work day either organizing files (much needed) or in meetings.
Today, instead of my parents meeting me at the door of my classroom when the children left for the day, I called and went to visit after I left school. Just a quiet afternoon, looking at magazines of house things and dreaming about how the new house will function. Feeling so very very tired…
I want my home back. My yard, my gardens, my books, my child’s sense of security. Some things will eventually recover. Other things are going to develop a “new normal.” And some things just will never feel right again.
But in the grand scheme of things, the loss of a house, the loss of “things” is so small. In the grand scheme of things, I have my best friend to share my life with, my children, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my students and a world of possibilities that still extend for years in every direction. In the grand scheme of things, I have hope.
My wish is that everyone could have hope for a brighter future. It’s why I teach. And it’s why I plant trees as well as vegetables.
It makes the world go ’round.
Yesterday when we were out at the house I worked pretty hard on the sink. Although I had a chair to sit in, the bending over and such was pretty hard on the joints. So today I am sitting in the living room with a hot water bottle and a cup of tea… and the computer. Deciding on drawer pulls and finalizing the door hardware. Started last night, but was pretty tired!
So here is a picture of the sink front before I started on it (remember, it has been outside for 14 years!), showing the lovely patina that moss and fungus were able to develop.
I have decided to keep the light that I had been thinking about for the hallway but forgot to cancel. I will put it in my office as a third light, with bright fluorescents over the actual work spaces. And there is a solatube in the center of the south-facing room, so in the middle of the day no additional light will be needed.
We figured out how to turn on the living room fan this evening: the wall switch needs to be on, then use the remote! 🙂 Just like in my parents’ home.
We ordered a very pretty fixture for the master bedroom light, too:
Other decisions were basic lights for the two utility areas (bedroom and utility room), three closets and final placement for solatubes in the house.
And I cleaned the kitchen sink, too, with Tom’s help. A little extra TLC on some dings it has sustained over the years (60? 70?) and it will be ready for installation in a month or so. Pictures of that tomorrow…
Well, a small explanation perhaps: the white cabinets go on the island under the pendant lights. The very dark cabinet is one of the bathroom vanities. We are getting a 30-inch stove, there are two 9-inch cabinets on either side in case someday we can afford to and want to upgrade to a wider stove. All these cabinets were installed today… and in the interest of getting pics “up” I haven’t cut them down to size or annotated any of them.
I am SO ready for this kitchen!!!