Yesterday I did some work with my (AKA Major Betty Israel, aka "YELM"), my Aunt Susan, and my Uncle Bill at Otis Air National Guard Base. I kind of acted as an apprentice to my uncle in constructing some chest-high freestanding walls for a safe childrens play corner (the idea is that it will be a monitored "dropoff point" for children as adults go to the services booths set up for the various agencies, both governmental (Social Services, IRS, etc) and volunteer (Salvation Army).) With all those organizations and the military, there are some tremendous communication and chain-of-command challenges, but things seem to be sorting themselves out.
Forgive the following cliches, but...the chance to be near NOLA displacees in person did "bring things home" for me, and acted as a reminder of how many lives have been completely disrupted, and to such a degree. I saw the TV and web reports, but...well, that's just the TV and web I guess, even for an online child like me.
There was a nice moment near the end of our time there, my Uncle and I kneeling in the parking lot over the drilling of the last wall panels-- it was the start of a beautiful sunset over some literal "amber waves of grain" (or something similar...I'm not much of a farmer...), and in the distance I could hear a church service for and by the folks from New Orleans...some really joyful gospel music and some enthusiastic preaching. Couldn't make out the words, but I think there's something amazing in being able to count blessings and live hope and faith even through a time of disaster and displacement.
Also by apprenticing for my Uncle I learned a few things about construction and using tools...and not just "I still don't have much of an instict for this", even though that's true.
Oh, and a collective sigh of relief for another uneventful September 11th. I'm sure it's a time when Jihadists are itching to remind us of their capabilities to cause destruction and harm.
Targeted Link of the Moment
Just for Lex: The Ten Stupidest Utopias. Hope this takes your mind off your sexed-up cat, yo.