Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hooray for Wednesdays!

It's the only day that I can guarantee I will make time to do a little writing and, like an addict, I admit that I miss writing so much. I realize that I must do this in the morning when my brain is sharp and I'm full on. By the time I get home from work at night I am at a ground zero energy level.  If I manage to get my walk in I feel completely full of myself!

I probably read 15 to 20 book blogs a day just to remain in the loop and I'm amazed at how many of them generate comments and how few I get. Am I not controversial enough? I wouldn't have thought that was a problem! No opinions out there regarding the books I write about? Can't believe it! So today, since I'm smack dab in the middle of four books, maybe I'll write about the strange week I've had and the mixed bag of feelings that are percolating inside me, which are, I suspect, going to stir up some debate.

A week ago I had the honor of attending the annual luncheon at Grandezza Country Club where the Susan Komen Foundation awards their annual grants. I admit to often feeling out of place at events like this where the majority of participants are high-rolling, diamond draped, grand dames of society who do important charity work and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research and care, but who would likely walk by one of their charity recipients on the street and not give them a moment's notice. Harsh? Probably. But true? More than likely.

Nevertheless, the organization that I recently became affiliated with as secretary, Lymphedema Resources, Inc. received a large grant from the Komen foundation. This organization provides exercise, education and garments for low income, under or uninsured patients who suffer from the pain and discomfort of lymphedema, a common occurance after surgery that removes some or all of the lymph nodes. They and the other nine organizations that received grants last week are filling a need that shouldn't even be there in the twenty first century in the much touted richest country in the world.

Saturday I participated in a very different event, the 84th anniversary of the development of the Charleston Park neighborhood on the far border of Lee County, an area that has been ignored and disrespected by the powers that be for far too long. Once a haven for black on black crime and misdemeanor drug offenses, this neighborhood, under that outstanding leadership of one of its long time residents and preachers, Mrs. Alice Washington, Charleston Park has renewed its sense of pride and purpose and is activating to be included in basic county services like, most important, public transportation. How I wish that I could find folks like the ones I met at Grandezza, with the money, time and energy to take on this project.

How it can even be allowed that these tax paying citizens, mostly elderly and unwell, can be denied access to Lee Tran to get to doctor's appointments, go grocery shopping, and maybe get to a library, is beyond my comprehension. Thankfully, Don and I had the opportunity to chat with members of the Dunbar community, Mr.'s Willie Green and Battle and learned that a feasibility or needs study is in the works. But these things take too much time. Another organization is pushing to speed things up and we will do what we can to help. To his credit, Commissioner Frank Mann was there as was Pete Burkert who is running for the state senate.

Years ago when I worked on the Bookmobile, we regularly drove out to Charleston Park bringing books to the few kids who live out there. Sure, it was probably a big expenditure in gas and time but hey, isn't that our mission? They have no access to the Riverdale library which is more than 10 miles away and cannot participate in after school activities as they have no way to get home. Don has been volunteering his time at the Charleston Park Community Center creating a computer lab so that, with the help of other volunteers, people there can apply for jobs, unemployment and food stamps. Now I'll be agitating to get the Bookmobile back out there one evening every couple of weeks or at least to set up a deposit collection so that these bright, articulate kids can get a step up.

The bottom line? How does one go from feeling inferior and insecure in a country club setting on one day to feeling ashamed of one's wealth of riches in a different setting just two days later? These uncomfortable, schizophrenic emotions plague me sometimes as I try to bridge the gap between being a have and a have not and living in both worlds. Perhaps I should return to playing the lottery on the outside chance of winning enough to put my money where my mouth is. In the meantime, I write.


dschirtzfl said...

I am reading your blogs religiously, but have seldom commented. So here is my comment - you are way ahead of me. I try to read much of what you recommend, but can't keep up with you!!! I do love much of what you are reading. I will make an effort to be a commenter from now on.
I shared your blog with one of my reading groups and they were delighted. Of course many of them are on the way north for the summer, so I won't know the response until November.
Keep up the good work; I depend on you to open windows for me.

Sallyb said...

Hi Dorothy,
What a lovely comment. I scarcely know what to say as I value your opinion so highly and always have.
Thank you for reading. It's fulfilling to know that one's opinions aren't just dangling out there in a void!