Tag Archives: random topics unlikely to appear again

And now we are six . . . .

Our housemate, Shawn, and her dog Pepe moved out Wednesday night.  She lost her job about 10 days before and decided to return home to North Carolina. I’ve mentioned her departure before.  She lived with us for 17 months and it was. . . weird, helpful and okay.

I had roommates before, when I was single and childless.  This was very different.  Roomies for the single girl were like insta-friends, unless, of course, they turned out to be crazy (I had a few of those.)  This time, we rented Shawn the whole finished attic of our house.  It was like a separate apartment, except she used the same entrance as we did.  We only saw her when she went in and out.  She was always pleasant, sometimes talking a bit when she passed through.  But we didn’t hang out.  It was like the top floor of our house had been amputated, leaving only the ghost sensations of an extra 450 square feet and occasional overheard phone conversations.

Her rent money helped us to transition to John’s new, limited income job.  Before, as a commissioned real estate agent, he could potentially make $10,000 or more in a month.  The flip side was (and is, for those who still sell real estate),  potentially he could make nada in a month.  His mindset was, naturally, more on the higher earning potentialities.  It was a big shift for both of us to a specific amount in a paycheck that came every two weeks.

Shawn also helped us with child care and dog care.  Child care was part of our original deal.  For a year, Shawn took Maddie to day care each morning, since our DCP didn’t open until after both John and I needed to leave the house.  Mads loved Shawn.  Sometimes, in the evenings, they would read or do puzzles together.

Overall, it was okay.  But I had decided that in 2010, now that we have two children and are looking to add more, we needed the square footage back.  I was contemplating when would be a good time to summarily evict Shawn when she came home midmorning, unemployed.  Problem solved.

I can’t say that we miss having her around, although she was not unpleasant to have around.  I can’t say that I miss her rent money, because she was often late.  Besides, February will actually be the first month without rental income and we have reduced other expenses to compensate.  We wish her well, of course, however, there is a strange airy lightness in our home, just from the metaphysical space that is now vacant.  We haven’t even reclaimed the third floor yet.  That’s today’s project.

And we are six. . . me, hubs, Maddie, Cha Cha and the pups.


The Responsibility of Caring

I’ve been watching and listening to a lot of news reports for the past few days.  Despite the volume of information I’ve taken in, I still cannot fathom the extent of the destruction in Haiti.

I’ve only ever experienced one earthquake, even though I lived in the San Francisco Bay area for three years.  That one earthquake was in Connecticut, in the early morning.  I woke up instantly sure that the trembling was indeed an earthquake.  The tremor was small so I didn’t panic.  What strikes me is the oddity of what we think of as immovable suddenly moving.  If the very earth was not stable, what could I truly depend on?

I imagine that the above sentiment must be compounded in Haiti.  There is precious little that be counted on in a country where the majority of its citizens survive on less than a dollar a day.  What little stability and infrastructure existed is gone now.  I cannot comprehend it.

In church, we often talk about the stewardship of others.  It is easy to care for those you know and love (well, not always easy, but you get the point.)  Now we are all called up on to care for the people of Haiti.  The blogosphere is rife with calls for donations.  Make one.  We will be.  The Red Cross is always a good choice for donations:  http://www.redcross.org.

The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ






UCC Responses to Earthquake in Haiti


January 13, 2010

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.  Psalms 46:1-3 (NRSV)

Haiti earthquakeLet our prayers and generosity mount in response to the emerging news of Haiti’s devastation from a 7.0 earthquake late yesterday afternoon.


100% of all donations will be used to directly help the disaster victims. We are able to do this because of Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support.

Make the check out to MACUCC and mark in the memo portion “OGHS – Haitian Relief”.  Mail your check to the Conference office.

MACUCC  . 1 Badger  Road . Framingham, MA 01702

Individuals may also give directly on line: click here.

For more information on the disaster, and how the UCC is responding, click here.


“Nurturing local church vitality and the covenant among our churches”