Saturday, July 22, 2006

My temporary stay in the land of manicured lawns, housewives driving their 2.2 kids in BMW’s and pristinely decorated four car garage houses, has opened my eyes to another world, one in which I do not belong nor feel comfortable. Last week I was told by a mother of two boys that she is glad her sons have had a chance to see how good they have it, based upon playing in the homes of their friends who don’t have basements and over-sized rooms. If this has “opened their eyes” they must have little understanding of how the rest of the world lives.

You see, for the past week I have been house sitting for dear family friends. They are generous loving people who live in the new expensive neighborhoods of my hometown. As I write this, their affectionate cat is sitting on the little of my lap that is not being taken up by my laptop and liking every inch of skin she can reach with out moving, while the dog lies lazily at my feet. The week has been for me what Bridget Jones would call “a mini-break”, filled with fun distractions that leave you momentarily forgetting that you will soon be facing real life again. A large house to my self, the family’s Passat available to me (while the Mercedes convertible sits idly in the garage) along with the rest of the entertaining options the house provides. However with all its fun potential, elegant décor and serene quietness, I feel totally out of place, like an agitated guest. I cannot live in a neighborhood where each house is devoid of personal pizzazz and its owners use riding lawn mowers to cover a pathetically under treed and extremely small yard while their kids play X-Box and talk with polite pity about their friends that don’t have basements.

My future house, if there is every to be one, will sure to be in a constant state of what I call organized-chaos. It shall scream of personal touches, interesting if not odd but working pieces of decoration. Most of all it shall be me space to be me in. People will feel warmth and not see pretentious décor upon entering. I want to live in a home where guests feel they can make tea and eat my secret stash of Oreos without having to ask and where color will lead the sense to explore the modest yet appropriately spaced rooms. I will have flowerbeds of vibrant colors with random weeds I refuse to pick just because I don’t feel like keeping up with them. Maybe this is saying more about who I want to be as a person rather then a semi-vague description of nonexistent home. But I will leave that up for you to decide…

Monday, July 10, 2006

Every once and a while there are moments, sometimes even lasting minutes, where two people usually unable to talk from their core experiences and observations, can communicate truth. That was the case tonight with a parent and myself. We sat over a meal and for some reason began a discussion about family finances, and consumption. We talked openly and with real interest and concern for what the other was saying. As we sat discussing I marveled at how easy it was for me to convey my feelings and observations. This is usually not the case. Usually I hesitate to express my true thoughts and feelings and this is not just with this parent but with many others in general. But tonight they were shared with relative easy and were equally received with such acceptance and openness.

The month of world-wide football frenzy is over. Yesterday in a match starring Italy and France the world recognized Italy as the world champions, at least until the next World Cup in four years. I personally was pleased with the results, as no doubt was the rest of the world, with the obvious exception of France and possibly Quebec.

Work has become almost fun. Last Friday afternoon was one of those days that I accomplished one of those tasks that is fun but in a trying way. My eight charges, and I were given the task of moving six picnic benches across campus. In order to do this we had to go from one end of campus to pick up a picnic bench slide it into the bed of the 1980-something monstrous truck and move it to the other side of campus that was only accessible by going through a small forest on a very narrow, windy, uneven and whole ridden trail. I did not only have to concern myself with the kids be flung around the back of the truck but the eight other kids actually working on the trial trimming and digging out rocks along the way. The trying part began once one of those rocks was discovered to be a small boulder and dug out leaving a massive whole about 3feet wide and 2 feet deep. I am happy to say that I managed to limit my time spent lodged in this whole to only two separate occasions. The first time I got the front left tire out of the whole by getting the truck, that I was sure was about to die on the trail and be left forever as a permanent accent to the trail, by gunning it and letting it role back and forth until dislodged. The second time I “put the pedal to the metal” so to speak in-order to get the back right tire out. I now feel more confident in driving a beast of a vehicle on a narrow, windy, uneven path with multiple yelling passengers.