Word was received this week of the continual slide into oblivion of the Mary Davis Home. They have, at present 10 kids, no cook and no programming. When I left we averaged 35-38 kids, had 2 full time cooks and some type of program for each kid.
It seems the place has come full circle: when I first started there we averaged 10 kids, we did all the cooking. Actually it is worse now than then, since we at least had a counseling program way back then. Apparently the reason is funding. Probation departments don't have the funds to place kids there, opting instead for cheaper home detention.
It is sad to see and of course, with Illinois, finding funds for such things will be hard indeed for the foreseeable future. My sympathies to the staff: I harped endlessly about how great it was to work there because where else could you truly have the opportunity to change lives. The pay wasn't too hot for the majority of years I worked there but I always got some consolation that in the 1000's of kids I came in contact with, perhaps a few may have changed their lives for the better having been with us for awhile.
I'm going to tell you a little story here. It's has a sad ending. But up until the end it is a fun one. On Fridays if I have the afternoon off, like I did last Friday, I walk an hour up to where the current Mrs. Blythe parks her car at work. It's a good walk and generally I enjoy it. After I get to the car, I drive a short distance where I pick up Norah at the Kid-A-Rama VPK school. From there we go a short distance to a Dunkin Donut where we have a treat. Norah enjoys the strawberry with sprinkles and I get a couple of glazed mini balls.
Norah always wants chocolate milk that she never finishes and I have a white milk.
The bill always comes to $5.42, which seems expensive to me for a donut and half and a couple milks. But its their shop and they can charge what they want. It's no big deal because we are having fun on a Friday afternoon.
After that we head on over to the 6 story office building to wait on the current (never more accurate than this election season) Mrs. Blythe to get off work. There we ride the elevators up and down and invade the mucky-muck office lobby's. When we have pennies we toss them down to various floor window ledges. We also like the stairwells for their spookiness. So that's what I do on Friday afternoons when I have them off, which isn't as often now that I babysit Alfred.
What is the sad part of the story? I handed the young clerk at Dunkin' Donuts $6.00 and he was unable to make change. I stood there while he fumbled with his cash drawer - picking up this and that coin - hesitant and finally he said he was sorry. He grabbed some coinage and I said just put it in the tip jar. Now I'm no math wizard but given enough time I would have come up with change amounting to .58 cents. Frankly, I doubt if I see him when I get another chance to do our Friday thing, but, gee, an education is a valuable thing.
How starving do you have to get to pick up seaweed for a snack?
Cheech and Chong
Screech and Dong
(I take full credit, or blame, for this little funny. It came to me on Saturday - and is not Facebook inspired. If you see this anywhere else, they stole it from me. I'm thinking of making T-shirts. Naturally, if you are Hillary fans or Bill fans I kind of apologize, but its more hollow than sincere.)
Can't wait till I head up to Northlandia to spend some time in my cabin in the woods.
And finally, Norah and I went swimming last Sunday morning for the first time since Winter. A bit chilly, but just fine once you got used to it. She is, I swear, half fish.
P.S. Norah wanted changed when we got to the car so I put my phone on top of it. When I got back to my Norah's place I noticed no phone and returned to the pool area and retraced my steps. Panic mode set in. Kenzie called and a nice man answered and said he saw it fall off the car and tried to wave me down but to no avail. We went into St. Pete to meet him at a Wawa where I was reunited with my phone. Note to self and others: There are still nice people around.