Tuesday, September 20, 2005

This is not your =insert male relative='s Oldsmobile

This is just one of those things that women HAVE to share...

We recently bought a used minivan to aid in getting the whole family plus stroller plus groceries into the same vehicle. As luck (or some other intervention) would have it, we found a very nice used van - in our price range, no less - at the local Saturn dealership where we took our itty-bitty sedan for routine maintenance.

There’s a really neat computer in the van that has a digital compass, outside thermometer, and tells you how many miles you can go on the current tank of gas, your average speed, how many gallons you’ve used so far, etc. I’m still convinced there’s a way to use it to contact Mars. Anyway, Oldsmobile refers to it in the owner’s manual as the Driver Information Center.

Yep, you got it: DIC.

So when Husby told me he was jealous of all the neat toys and gadgets I’d get to play with in the van, I couldn’t help myself...

Me: You’re jealous of my DIC?
Husby: Um...
Me: You have DIC envy?
Husby: Uh...
Me: You want to play with my DIC too?
Husby: (making strangling sounds)
Me: You’re sad you don’t have a DIC and I do?
Husby: (shaking his head)
Me: You want a DIC like mine?
Husby: (burying his head in his hands)
Me: Would you play with your DIC if you had one?

I can tell this is going to be a source of laughter (at least on my part) for quite some time...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Is it safe to come out now?

I’m finally venturing out after a week of illness (Husby brought the darn virus home, gave it to the kids, who then demonstrated their newfound ability to share by giving it to me), and trying to recover from a screaming migraine. I sincerely hope my chiropractor will help.

Lots of interesting things have been going on that I plan to write about when the pain subsides and the jackhammer stops pounding in my head:

  • Did the Geek Squad go too far this time?
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into a 2-year-old’s nightmares
  • Recreational reading books on my nightstand (and end table)
  • Are there really differing theological perspectives to the much-maligned psychological reality of perfectionism? And if so, why does it matter?
  • Update on As in Days of Old – the second book in the Rabbi David Cohen series
  • Preparing for the High Holy Days

More soon, I hope!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My problems seem insignificant

I keep seeing these pictures my head. On the news last week, reporters filmed a young mother panic-stricken and sobbing over her dehydrated baby, who was cradled in her arms, listless and pale.

Before Katrina even hit, a woman told another reporter that she, her boyfriend, and her three-year-old daughter were going to wait out the storm on their boat. On their boat?

A third mother was separated from her two children – a toddler and an infant – when they were taken by bus to safety in an unknown location while she had been pushed to the ground by others who desperately wanted to get on the bus and didn’t think about what pain they were causing by tearing a mother from her children.

I want so badly to know that these three families survived intact. I want a follow-up show on the news to track these three mothers down and show them relieved and safe and together with their fully-recovered children. But I know the reality is that even if these three families made it through safely, hundreds or thousands more did not. For every baby who was given water or formula just in time, many other people never felt relief, never woke to find that the immediate nightmare was over.

And then I am ashamed that life goes on for the rest of us.

My husband and children have been sick with a chest cold for the past week, and medicine for them is easy to find. Water is available when we turn on the faucet. Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable soup (now certified kosher by the OU!) is at the local well-stocked grocery store.

Our biggest recent stress was refinancing the house, enabling us to get away from a contender for the Worst Mortgage Company Ever in Existence. And while I was stressed about whether this would happen or not, I was constantly aware that at least I had a house.

I donated what I could to relief efforts. There isn’t much more I can do, and I hate that feeling of helplessness.

The truth is that we have an obligation to survive, to continue on. We can – and should – give wherever and whatever possible, but we can’t let our own families, communities, or ourselves come to harm. Bills still must be paid, medicine bought and administered, food cooked, even houses refinanced and Bad Evil Mortgage Companies avoided.

My heart goes out to the people who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The pictures I’ve seen tear at my emotions and break my heart. I don’t want to imagine what I would do in their situation. I can’t bear the thought of being separated from my children, or losing family members. I think of the victims and survivors often. I pray.

And even though I know our lives must go on, it’s hard not to feel conflicted – both grateful and pained – when I give my family medicine and tuck my children safely in their beds.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Nechama responds to Hurricane Katrina with "Operation Miriam"

From Nechama's web site:

Nechama launches “Operation Miriam” to help victims of Hurricane Katrina

Nechama is participating with all Minnesota Jewish Agencies to support the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

Operation Miriam will purchase and equip several disaster response tool trailers, complete with the equipment required for Storm, Flood and Tornado clean up. These trailers will be indefinitely relocated to the Gulf Coast area.

Our deployment for the clean up and recovery stage of this disaster will commence as soon as conditions allow. Please let us know if you are able to join Nechama in the physical recovery process along with our deployment of disaster managers.

Please donate to this essential cause by either clicking the button below or sending your check to Nechama at 4330 South Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park, MN 55416