Friday, July 24, 2015

More Growl than Purr?

At last night's blog party, I was discussing what to write next with a woman who's trying to gear up her blogging. I said I didn't know what to write and said that last week's post was kind of depressing. She suggested writing about something happy.

But I spoke too quickly about my previous post being sad. Yes, it discussed the sadness of loss but I hoped it focused on the positivity of the community response to loss. And it made me feel happy to share that community.

Now I'm watching the coverage of the Louisiana shooting. The anchor just mentioned being sick of having these conversations but the bright spot is learning about the heroes that emerge. It's the only bright spot.

Sometimes I think we should bet on the next spot a mass shooting will happen. Because it will. Anti-gun control nuts will say "Guns don't kill people" or "Knives kill people too, should we ban those?"

So I'm feeling grumpy and distressed.

But remembering the good time I had with fellow bloggers last night - I'm still a newbie to the community, I think I started in 2010 or 2011? - having wide-ranging discussions from Mickey's dogs to ruminations on the 2018 elections and being sad about Claire returning to Blighty.

Because I really only have control over my participation in my community. And that participation has been really meaningful and uplifting over the past few years.

I'm childless tonight, which means you can probably find me where you usually find me most days of the week that end in "day."

And hug your kids and tell them you love them as often as you can.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Community Caring

Yesterday (Tuesday), was a difficult day for the Running Brook community. But let me rewind a few years first.

When our daughter was a preschooler and we were thinking about sending her to Running Brook, a terrible tragedy occurred very close to the school. It made me nervous. There were other things, lower test scores, high transience, that bothered us.

Very simply, we were wrong. And we knew that within minutes of setting foot into that school. Maybe the test scores aren't the highest in Howard County and Lil did have a couple friends that left. Yes, it has a high FARMS percentage. But statistics don't matter and way too many people use those numbers to make snap judgments without even opening the schoolhouse door.

The last six years have been wonderful. For many reasons. Mainly teachers who love their students and their colleagues and a great principal who loves his school and his students. I am very sad that Lil is moving onto middle school.

Back to yesterday...

One of Lil's best friends lost her daddy. Very unexpected. Very shocking. Heartbreaking and too soon. He loved his daughter so much. He was always at school, smiling his joyful smile. It is a mark of his character that the church was so full, it wasn't even standing room only. More like fire code violation crowded. The overflow parking lot overflowed.

After the service, I saw one of Lil's teachers, Melissa Peyton, who accompanied our guardian angel, Ms. Bailey, on her first field trip at age 97 and her subsequent White House visit. I gave her a hug and thanked her for all she does to make Running Brook a special community. She is such a joyful person and is such a cheerleader for the school. (To be clear, MANY of the faculty were in attendance.)

She smiled in a regretful, kinda sad way and recalled the call to action the pastor had just made during his eulogy. He had talked about the need to be good to each other and showing joy to others. Being family and keeping up relationships.

My goal is to continue being part of the Running Brook community in some way and not leaving it behind. Because it has been such a part of Lil's growth for the past six years and MY growth too. It's a special place.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Washington Style Politics

I figured out I might as well pile on with the Susan Garber nomination for Planning Board.

You can read all about it here in the Sun, here in Julia's analysis, and Tom's take.

County Executive Kittleman has accused the County Council of playing politics with the nomination. Call me naive, but I believe it IS politics.

His petition to call for a yes-or-no vote on Garber garnered 185 votes according to his campaign page. And yes, there were more supporters that showed up in person to testify in favor of her appointment.

However, not everyone feels that she is qualified and word on the street is that the County Council has received many emails against her. And it's not just the developers that everyone loves to blame. (Also worth noting, both candidates for County Executive in 2014 received developer contributions.)

At this point, doesn't the inaction of the Council make it apparent that if it does go to an up-or-down vote, they would vote 4-1 against her?

Reading the agendas and minutes of the past council meetings indicates they have appointed dozens of the Executive's nominees. While certain constituencies may have gotten him elected, they did not overthrow the Democratic majority on the Council that may oppose those constituencies. Listen, I would prefer they just vote on it, but who knows why these things happen? ...Oh, right, POLITICS.

It reminds me of the George W. Bush nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court in 2005.That process went horribly too, for many reasons, and this one seems as inevitable.

(Full Disclosure: I am writing this as an individual, not as a Town Center Village Board Member.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Scheduling Summer

Now that school's out, I'm having a toddler-like reaction to the craziness of summer.

Ah, summer - time to schedule all those appointments - no need to worry about school! Yay!

On the very first Monday, I slammed two into one day. Unintentionally. My calendar on my computer is not synced with my phone. Lil wanted to go to the pool with her Nature Camp friends, which conflicted with her original dental appointment. Quick call - Monday, 4:15? That's PERFECT. Whew. Crisis avoided there.

Until the following day when I received a reminder from her orthodontist about her appointment at 4:50 on Monday.

So I prayed to the traffic gods that play with our lives on Rt. 29 everyday starting at, um, when does morning rush hour end? 10:30 AM? Can we make it from Atholton to Ellicott City in less than 15 minutes?

Also, who wants a dental cleaning followed by wire tightening? Irrelevant question, ok?

Luckily I showed up at the dentist at 3:45 and there had been a cancellation, so my crazy plan was accommodated.

Luckily for Lil, no tightening - just a check to see they can be removed. But then when to schedule that appointment? Oh, the day of her show at CCTA? Uh, no. She's Peter Pan in one of the scenes (there are multiple Pans so they can learn lines quickly in six days).

I choose 10:30 - put it in the phone, cc my husband, who actually never looks at what I send him, just accepts as "Tentative" - and move on.

Oh, right, I have a doctor's appointment that day that I didn't see on my phone.

Did I mention Disney is due for his annual exam next week? Which the hubby refuses to attend because he's afraid of the vet scolding us for how portly our 15 month old cat is...

I'm thinking of going back to paper.