Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Charitable occasion

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in the Bay area. We're been in a steady rhythm of fog in the morning, clearing midday and then fog again mid's actually been very nice. The daytime sunshine is bright and the skies so crisp and clear. I was invited to a special event on behalf of a PR client...a graduation ceremony honoring new guide dogs and companions, at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael. It's a very special organization that began after WW2 to train and provide companion dogs for blinded servicemen coming home from war. It's grown today to one of the largest in the country, and today they breed, raise, train and pair the dogs with partners for life, or at least until the dogs are ready to retire back to the organization in a foster home for seniors.

As I watched, bathed in sunshine, watching the puppies in training frolic as the proud graduates stood on stage looking confident and regal, I wondered what the blind must see. I'm sure they can feel the warmth of the sun on their faces...does it resemble lightness? Without our sense of sight, what else might we smell, and hear and otherwise sense? The new person graduates spoke about trust, and the level of connection it requires to put your faith in a dog to guide you through obstacles. Their three-week stay on campus working with the dogs was just a precursor to the true test...their first outings alone as a team.

I suppose that anticipation of unchartered waters is top of mind for many at this time of year. My Sophie has taken yet another big step toward achieving her dreams. Heading off confidently to college in a new town, thankfully with one of her besties in tow! I am so grateful and incredulous to see this young beautiful woman take on all that life has to offer. Sophie, I hope your experiences are plentiful, your intellect sufficiently stimulated, and that your body continues to grow in its expression of your enormous talent and passion.

Who can't recall the preparations for a new school year? Parey's favorite day of every year I think was school supply shopping day! She would shop for hours to select just the right collection of notebooks, pens, pencil box and back pack. What I wouldn't give to be heading off again for just one more day to North Avondale, or Cincinnati Waldorf School. But, then again, seeing both of my girls as they are today, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

So think about the sun the next time you're in it. Close your eyes and feel the warm glow across your face. Be grateful for it's light, and for the grace to see it. Share it with your loved ones today...both furry and non-furry. I will, each and every day.

Wag more. Bark less.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Unexpected fortune

Walking in neighborhoods every day is interesting to me. I get to see many service people, like myself, and watch progress on home additions, painting, landscaping projects, etc. If you've ever been to Berkeley, particularly in the hills, you know that the streets can be narrow, and very hilly. Since service people rarely park in clients' drives, the narrow and often precarious streets are jammed with trucks and autos of all kinds by 9 a.m. An unfortunate drywall delivery truck person for one particular home learned these troubles firsthand the other day. I was walking one of my little darlings with a full schedule for the day. When I finished and walked back to where my car was parked, I realized the drywall truck (completely loaded) was blocking me in. The poor guys had just finished assembling the walk-on ramp to prepare for unloading. As soon as they realized I was the owner of the car they needed to block for an optimum delivery...they immediately called some others out to clear the way for my exit. I apologized and told them it wouldn't matter but I was working, so rearranging my schedule wasn't an option. I realized they would lose at least 15 minutes to repack, move and then re-unpack the truck. I felt empathy for them, but what really surprised me was their cheerful and sweet attitude about it all. They even stopped traffic in both directions to allow me to safely extract myself from the precarious spot I was in.

So...and here's where I may drift into a bit of a rant...why can't we all go about our business in this way? Why can't more people be tolerant of those doing an honest day's work and slow the hell down once in a while to treat them like human beings. And, why can't more service people show the respect and pride in their service as these guys did? Am I alone in being bothered that today's postal delivery persons walk around with headphones stuck in their ears ignoring everyone around them? Or, even worse, with a bluetooth on so they can talk on the phone? No, mailperson...I am not interested in hearing you bitch to your girlfriend about your man and your kids. What happened to the days when a neighborhood was a neighborhood, and you knew my name and greeted me with hello and how are you? I'm sure it's not the same everywhere, but out here, the postal workers don't even wear uniforms...just a shirt with jeans or whatever they want. Somehow it's just not right.

Okay, I've digressed. I'm barking. And, I should be wagging. Have a good day, and please, be kind in your neighborhood.