Last month, the day before my mother and Jim arrived, Charlie began a daily subscription to the newspaper because Jim does the crossword every day and loves to read the sports section.
I think I've mentioned before that since we've had children, we are a bit out of tune with the world. Or at least, I am out of tune with the world. I never watch the news, don't read the paper, and hardly ever listen to the radio. Charlie on the other hand, listens to NPR whenever he commutes to work, so he is the one that clued me in recently that we are scheduled to elect a new President this year.
There was once a time in my life I had a subscription to the Christian Science Monitor and would voraciously read it from cover-to-cover. I could discuss intelligibly, anything from human rights violations in Syria to the status of health care initiatives in Congress. These days, I voraciously read Dr. Seuss and can discuss intelligibly the ins-and-outs of potty training and nursing a toddler.
My focus has changed a bit.
But now that we are receiving the newspaper everyday, once every fourth day or so, I actually peruse the headlines. And it feels like I am waking up from a long slumber to see that our country is in really bad shape. As if the foreclosure signs popping up all over our neighborhood, dropping stock market, and soaring gas prices didn't give me a good indication.
Two weeks ago, following our flat tire incident, I had to immediately drive over to a tire store and have our tire replaced. Or, all four tires as the case turned out to be. It was just me and the four children and we had a three hour wait. Thankfully, the Gods of Good Grace smiled upon me and within walking distance of the tire repair store was a Chuck E Cheese's.
As we took a five minute walk over to this children's play paradise, we passed no less than 10 homeless people. I don't know what their circumstances were, but in my own life, I know a few people that have been homeless, and a few more that are currently one pay check away from losing their home.
When I tried to explain to our children that the people we saw have no homes and no place to sleep at night, they were perplexed. They couldn't understand why they didn't have homes. Where do they sleep at night? Don't they get cold? Don't they need a bed? What if they are sick? What if they are hungry?
Can they come and live with us?
Three hours later, as we were walking back to pick up our van with $800.00 worth of new tires, we stopped by In-N-Out Burger and purchased a few meals for the homeless people that we would pass on the way back to the tire store. Two weeks later, our children are still thinking and talking about how we fed the "hungwy people" that didn't have beds. And I am thinking about the doctor invoice I recently received for $400.00 while we were in Boston to take our children to see a Pediatrician that wasn't covered by our insurance.
What if I didn't have the means to pay this invoice - especially after buying four new tires?
What if our children had re-occuring medical issues that we were financially responsible for?
How thick is the buffer separating us from the street?
These are just some of the thoughts that now keep me awake at night.
Along with thoughts surrounding global conflicts that are brewing in North Korea and Russia and Georgia. An ongoing war in the Middle East and over 4,100 American casualties. The nose-diving value of the dollar. The nose-diving stock market. Drastic budget cuts at public schools. Global warming. Our country's huge dependence on oil and WHY IS IT that we have the technology to clone an animal but we are not capable of driving cars that run on salt water?
What kind of world are our children going to inherit?
Now, there is a new political race on and a new President to elect. A new President that will hopefully turn the state of our nation around and facilitate our country making a positive impact on the world.
When I received this link from my friend Tracy a few weeks ago, I laughed so hard I darn near cried. Since then, I've watched the video at least 20 times and I've shown it to everyone who has come to our house. Try as I might, I cannot get the image of Obama on the unicorn soaring over the rainbow out of my mind. It gets funnier every time I see it.
I'm thinking that our country really needs some good magic.
But I'm also thinking that Switzerland looks like a very nice place to live.