My home is undergoing a rebirth. It’s painful, long and decidedly unpredictable.
Most people might call it a renovation. But it’s more than that. It’s a new incarnation of what was formerly four walls and a roof into a home.
The rebirth is born of necessity — a leaky roof, drafty windows and stained broadloom carpet that harbored more than I wanted to consider within its fibers…
Despite a diet of organic, holistic dog food. Despite a pesticide-free yard. Despite daily exercise and plenty of TLC, our six-year-old dog Polar was diagnosed in October with osteosarcoma, an aggressive and indiscriminate type of bone cancer that leaves little time for weighing options.
I’m so busted. By the moms at my kids’ school. My neighbors. People in passing cars.
But I couldn’t help myself. It was perfect. Exactly what I was looking for. And there for the taking.
I looked to my right. My left. All clear. Grabbed it.
My kids started school a few weeks ago. Along with new binders and some recycled paper, they took with them pencils. Despite technology’s steady advance into our lives, we still need pencils. Albeit my children’s pencils were Forest Stewardship Council–certified, meaning the wood for them came from sustainably managed forests.
How are you?
I’m asked this at least a few times a day by people ranging from the letter carrier to the grocery store clerk.
I’ll tell you how I am. I’m BUSY.
It’s a popular response. All of us are, perpetually, busy. We often make vague references to the day when we won’t be so busy. We might allude to the upcoming vacation during which we plan to do nothing but read and snooze. In the meantime, we’re…busy.
Some people ask me why I’m so passionate about “environmental issues.” Well, these “environmental issues” I’m so concerned about aren’t just about the environment. In fact, I haven’t thought about them as environmental issues for some time. They’re about everything else that’s inevitably on people’s agenda — economy, health care, politics …
Christmas might be months away, but I’m feeling awfully Grinch-like. Specifically, I find myself covering my ears and muttering about all this “Noise! Noise! Noise! NOISE!”
Although I can’t blame bamboozlers or pantookas, I’m certainly pointing the finger at leaf-blowers and cell phones.
Not to mention car horns, dogs (frequently my own) and air conditioners. Airplanes, video games and … sigh.
Something made me say yes.
It wasn’t common sense, which pointed out that I already had three dogs, two cats and a rabbit. I surely didn’t need another pet.
It wasn’t love. Despite his name, there was little about Romeo that lassoed my heart. He was enormous. And toothless. His claws seemed permanently poised to strike. His fur was dull and he had a bad case of dandruff and he reeked of a pack-a-day habit.
I’m curious when we traded common sense for convenience. I’m guessing it was around the time we stopped trusting ourselves. The same time we started believing all those claims that we could “have it all.” We can. But we pay a price for it.
My daughter loves anything that comes individually wrapped. She adores new clothes. She’s mad about electronics. And has never met a nail polish she doesn’t crave.
She takes 40-minute showers. Hot.
She groans at the prospect of riding her bike to school. Begs to go to the mall with her friends.