Commodore has a great take on the tragedy of the south. This tri family will do it's part as well. Of course with donations to relief agencies, of course with prayers. Hyphen Girl just had her birthday and was planning to take some friends to a local amusement park for her "kid" party. She decided that she would prefer to have a party where kids brought donations for the victims. We are hoping to find a way to send care packages to displaced kids in Houston or some of the other shelters. More on that later. Was I proud of my 12 year old for volunteering to give up her birthday? You better believe it.
We are also limiting our driving to essentials and walking as often as we can. We live within blocks of the grocery store, Target etc. It's good excercise and the kids inevitably pretend we are pilgrams or settlers or some sort of thing. I imagine that is because Buck Nacked Boy rides in the little red wagon and it sounds like a covered wagon as we clang along. You have no idea the workout pulling that thing up and down the hills around our house.
You can call me a romantic, but I personally like the idea of our culture being forced to slow down a little. I hope the high gas prices compell parents to reduce the number of sports and activities that kids are involved in. There is a PSA running now that explains some day in September is set aside for a "night at home for dinner night". Have we digressed so far that families can only manage one night home for dinner a month? I can't imagine not meeting for dinner regularly. Granted, my kids don't really have a choice, they are too young to drive anywhere. But we really enjoy our dinner hour. Each night the table is set, the candles are lit, the meal is passed, a prayer of thanks is said and we eat. We talk about our days. Two years ago we began a habit of passing some item a kid has picked out one to another. When you have the item you have the floor. You talk about your day for a few minutes and then entertain questions or comments. We've listened and laughed and cried and laughed some more.
I think that living a life of sacrifice and want builds character. I've informed my kids that some of our eating habits are going to change because it is going to cost more to live now. No more McDonalds?! Oh, angst! They'll see the golden arches again, just not on a weekly basis as they are accustomed to doing.
I've also decided to take the governments advice, finally, and put an emergency locker in our basement. Water, dry food, waterproof matches, blankets, a radio, batteries, first aide etc. Given what we've seen on tv, a .357 or 9mm will probably be in the offing as well. (yes we will keep it locked away-no the kids won't know we have it, yes we will take firearms safety, yes we will go to a shooting range regularly to ensure we know how to use it, yes it will only be for emergencies, no we won't conceal and carry-I think I've covered it)
We are diligent in our preparation for races that have virtually no consequence to our daily lives (with the obvious exception of mental character, physical health etc) working hard to train for control of as many of the variables as possible. It just makes sense to me to do the same for my family. Some day my kids might laugh at mom's emergency locker, much like we view the relics of bomb shelters in our neighborhood, I certainly hope so.