After several glorious vacation weeks back in the States, having lots of fun with family and friends, I’ve been feeling … well … weird. I’ve chalked up my lack of motivation and moodiness (Nils will attest to the latter) in part to jet-lag, in part to the usual dolefulness that follows a great holiday. I’ve been singin’ the “boo hoo, poor me, so many of my friends are elsewhere, all my family members are afar blues.”
A series of events this past week, however, prevents me from any further melancholy. It’s as though someone, somewhere’s conspiring to pull me out of this funk.
So many reasons for celebration
St. Bernard wins $250,000
Back in January, we featured Guest Blogger, Donna Saady
, who shared her experiences helping to rebuild homes through the St. Bernard Project
, a nonprofit disaster recovery organization in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since then, we’ve been following St. Bernard’s work and through the month of August voted regularly for them in the “Pepsi Refresh Challenge.” Yesterday, we received confirmation that St. Bernard’s won first place and will receive $250,000. “With the money we will open another center for wellness and mental health in Lower St. Bernard Parish to help those affected by the oil spill. …” Woo hoo!
Wesley finds a home
Daphne adopted 07/25/2010
In week 29, in July, while visiting the Washington DC area, I had the luck to work with a friend on a home visit and a rescue transport for Lab Rescue of the LRCP. I got to see first hand and participate in how this 100% volunteer organization works to “rescue, foster and place homeless, abused or abandoned Labradors” (and Golden Retriever – Lab mixes). Nils and I have been happy to continue to support Lab Rescue by voting for them and encouraging friends to do the same in a NOVADog magazine competition for dog food. Result: Lab Rescue won! And, in the generous spirit that they represent, they shared the winnings with all the other finalists. Yay!
Wesley adopted this week.
But, I couldn’t get Lab Rescue out of my mind. You see, during transport of Daphne (see above), I had crossed paths with a 9-year-old graying fellow named Wesley (I’ve always been attracted to older men). He had just come from a very long transport in the back of a van and when we met, he was exhausted and trembling with fear. Crouched on my knees on the parking lot asphalt, I slowly offered the back of my hand in friendship. Wesley stretched forward tentatively, gave me the customary sniff and, to my delight, approached for more lovin’. That was it. My heart melted. But since July, I hadn’t heard news on Wesley. As an “older guy” with possible leg and joint problems, I worried that others might not see his gentle nature and affectionate way. But, day before yesterday, I got word from my friend that Wesley has been adopted. I’m over the moon!
$1.3 million for California school projects
In our week 17 blog
, in April, we featured DonorsChoose
, an online charitable organization that lists thousands of requests by teachers across the U.S. to help fund equipment or activities including books or whiteboards, microscopes or even paper. Nils and I participated by donating toward a reading project in South Carolina
. Earlier this week, while perusing the news online, I came across an article about DonorsChoose in the SF Chronicle
. The Claire Giannini Fund has donated $1.3 million (U.S.) to fund all projects in the state of California — that’s 2,233 school projects fulfilled, an equal number of school teachers made happy, impacting 67,000 children! So many winners!
Back in week 14, I took a very hesitant Nils to his first blood donation at the Red Cross. Though a bit of a “trypanophobic” (one with a fear of needles), he was a real trooper and took to the Impact effort with aplomb — so much so that early this week, he announced that he and several of his office mates are in discussion on when (not if) they will all go together and donate blood. Yesssss!
I have suggested to him that if he would NOT refer to the procedure as “bloodletting”, he might succeed in getting even more participation.
A start toward bans on plastic
Nils and I have been users for some time. Cloth carry bag users, that is. Nils pretty much grew up with cloth bags; in my case, I had to change my habit. But, the changeover from plastic to cloth has required minuscule effort. And, by participating in fakeplasticfish’s plastic challenge week, we became that much more aware of the negative impact our plastics have on our planet. So, when we read about California’s proposal to ban plastic bags, removing carryout plastic bags from supermarkets, drug stores and convenience shops, we gave California a big Huzzah! and figured it a shoo-in to pass. When the bill failed last Tuesday, we were shocked. Boo! on the 20 California senators who voted nay! (how much did the chemical companies pay you?)
There is, however, good news on this front. Just last week, putting California lawmakers to shame, American Samoa passed a ban making it illegal for stores to provide plastic bags to customers as of February 23, 2011. Gov. Togiola Tulafono said the measure would help preserve the environment for future generations. ”I believe this bill … is a step in the right direction toward protecting the natural beauty of our islands and our native land and sea creatures.” Thumbs UP to American Samoans! An example to follow!
And, these are just a few examples why I’m having a difficult time maintaining my woebegone state. There are so many reasons for celebration and so many more projects to work on.
Hm, but you know, I can’t help but look at these a little as personal successes — projects, people and animals that have become a part of us … a part of me. Maybe it is, indeed, a little about ME?
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