Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Night Owl

Here is our little night owl, in pig tails. With daylight savings time, M has been up late late late -- I gave always joked that she and I are the family night owls, because we stay up reading well past bedtime. She likes to read or play in bed. She has read all the Little House on the Prairie books up through Little Town on the Prairie. She can polish off one of those books in a few days.

Well, itI have spent a lot of time on volunteer work lately. Tonight I had a PTA meeting -- we voted to give $500 to a single parent whose apartment was destroyed in a fire, and who didn't have any renters' insurance. I'm also signed up to talk to the administration about the fact that the heat keeps going off in the building -- resulting in cancelled classes. Apparently they've had a contractor in to repair the thing every day in the past two weeks, which can't be cheap.

Last night I had a meeting here at the house to organize a neighborhood block party with some other folks in the neighborhood. Looks like we're on for May 17, rain or shine. We've still got to obtain a permit, but we have the Zephyr Valley String Band lined up already. Those of us organizing this are way too maxed out to be spending too much time on a block party, but on the other hand, our kids are all getting to the wandering around the neighborhood age, and it would be good to be more connected to the neighbors.

Before that we attended an Italian dinner at the kids' school. This wouldn't count as volunteering except that the food at this dinner is truly the most awful stuff I have ever tasted. The Erkinder kids (7-8 grade) make the meal, which is spaghetti. As S pointed out, pasta is about the hardest thing to get right when you're feeding a crowd. It has to be served immediately, which, sadly, this stuff wasn't. In fact, they served it directly from a crock pot of hot water. Yes, the noodles were just swimming there in a crock pot, a slow cooker, full of water. Ladled up without being drained first. So now I have a thin paper plate with very overcooked white spaghetti sitting in a pool of hot water that dribbles down my arms. Next comes the sauce, which could be more accurately described as a rather thin tomato soup. This was followed by an offer to sprinkle Italian seasoning on top, and an offer of overcooked green beans (again from a crock pot, undrained). For a spaghetti fanatic like me, it was a sad, sad, sad sight.

On the other hand, the Erkinder kids were very sweet and very cute serving the dinner -- so earnest and hopeful. Who could complain to the seventh-grade boy who shyly asks you whether you would like dry oregeno and basil leaves heaped on your pasty noodles? Also, M and B sang three Italian songs, which made them very happy.

And then yesterday morning I had a two hour meeting at church in our ongoing effort to completely revamp our approach to faith formation.

I actually don't really have time for any of this, but I'm apparently an inveterate volunteerer. If I could volunteer as a profession, I probably would. I have that entrepreneurial spirit, you know, except for the making money part. . . .