It is difficult to enjoy our pleasant life with all that is going on in New Orleans and the Gulf coast. As always it is the poorest of the poor who are hit the hardest by a natural tragedy. That is not to say that the richest of the rich have not suffered terrible losses also. The only difference is that the rich usually have friends with resources, so that they can get out of town, afford a good motel room, and know they will survive economically when the crisis is over. For the poor who survive, they may never recover. On the other hand, they may get a fresh start and be better off than ever before.
All over America prayers are going up for the stranded, the bereaved, the rescue workers, and for the generous people of Texas and Tallahassee, and other areas where people are sharing homes, money, food, time, and effort to alleviate the awful suffering. May God guide the American people through this time of despair where people who are still in shock from the hurricane and flooding are being asked to cope with uncivilized circumstances.
I finally got to one of Geri Ann's softball games this afternoon. The weather was hot but soon a gentle breeze made it quite comfortable. People were very aware of the crisis in our nation, and as they watched the chldren play a game and cheered them on, the conversation would revert to the Gulf coast, worries about relatives not heard from, and what they were donating to help out.
Samuel has his friend Josh out to spend the night. I was here at the computer with all the lights in the room blazing, but they were so caught up in their bionicals and play that they did not realize when they came into the kids' "art room" that I was around the corner from them. I did not realize they didn't realize until almost the end, but it was fun overhearing their unedited conversations and play.
It was also fun picking up a Marion Daily Republican and reading Dixie Terry's interview about my book Down on the Farm and then going to the Illinois Centre Mall this afternoon and seeing my book on the shelf at Waldenbooks. I knew how much effort Gina Horton and Shawna had put into getting the book ordered and into the store, so that made it extra nice. Tomorrow I will have my first book signing at the Crab Orchard Public Library in the village of Crab Orchard.
I never see our library without remembering the ten years we spent as a Reading Center affiliated with the Shawnee Library System. Volunteers would go a few hours a week and sit in the old school building (now destroyed and replaced by beautiful new facility)and freeze to death in cold weather and burn up in summer. I can remember wearing three pair of sox and climbing very slick steps to get into the Reading Center room and not a patron would show up all Saturday morning. No one had the the library habit in those beginning days. (However, Jean McCamish always encouraged us by letting us know that even if we did not have patrons some days that the school library and students all had some great benefits from the Shawnee System because of our presence in the old school building next door. That encouragment was all that kept me volunteering sometimes.) Now thanks to fantastic efforts of our director Lola Morris, the other librarians there, the volunteer board, and the taxpayers, we have a beautiful comfortable building, a constant flow of patrons, activities for preschool children, and a community that definitely has the library habit.
Catching up - It has been a crazy couple of weeks of deliveries, unpacking product, bar coding, pricing, breaking down boxes, watering plants, writing orders, filling ...
3 months ago