Thursday, May 22, 2014

Putting it into Perspective

Last week, Carrick chose to spend his $5.00 Fun Dollars at his school's Summer Bash. They have a bouncy house, a bouncy slide, face painting and hair color spraying. The $5.00 gets each child a pass to do all of that. They serve fro-yo and pizza, shaved ice and popcorn for purchase. And in the gym, they set up booths for parents to visit and sign their children up for summer activities. (We are doing swim lessons for sure, and karate is in discussion.)

Carrick ran around, playing with all of his friends from school. I followed Lily around as she was too small for either bouncy experience. And I hung out with my mama friends. (This was literally right after the clothing swap, so most of them just headed right over after the party.) 

I had stashed my last $20.00 Fun Dollars in my back pocket before getting out of the car to go into the Summer Bash. I had debated about whether or not to even bring it with me. I had already spent the rest of my Fun Dollars on refreshments for the clothing swap, and if I spent too much more at the Bash, it would be another 11 days through the pay cycle before I would get a new installment. But I decided to bring it, just in case Carrick got hungry and wanted pizza or a snack. 

Thankfully, Corey joined us, and generously bought us all pizza with his own Fun Dollars. When I got back to the car after the Bash was over, I checked in my pocket for my $20.00 so that I could put it back in my secret "no spending" spot in my car. It was not in any of my pockets. I checked my purse, I even had Carrick check his own pockets, nothing. It wasn't even in the stroller. I felt a sick, sinking feeling in my gut. Darn it! $20.00 just gone! Well, I hope that whoever found it enjoyed it. Fun Dollars for somebody else.

When I got home, I told Corey about it. He said the same thing I did, "You gotta look at it like this: you made some one else very happy." Yeah, but small comfort, ya know? We had to run out and grab something for dinner at the store, so we all went together after dropping off Corey's car at home. When we arrived in the parking lot at Basha's, he pulled out a $20.00 from his wallet and said, "Don't spend it all in one place."

What a sweet guy, sharing his own Fun Dollars. I gave him one of the bottles of wine that we didn't drink at the party later that week as a thank you. 

So this week, I took the kids up to Flagstaff on a Fun Day trip. I had to get the radiator flushed at the Toyota Dealership, and they love going there with me. They have cookies, popcorn, chips, crackers, and a play area for kids. It's basically another Summer Bash as far as they're concerned. I also decided to take them to the Dollar Tree to pick out some summer activities for outside play. We picked up sidewalk chalk, bubbles, washable markers, Carrick insisted on getting a plastic dolphin so that it could play with his sharks. (I tried to talk him into a squirt gun, but he wouldn't have it. The dolphin had to be his!) Each kiddo also got a sand bucket with a shovel to dig in the yard too. 

I also picked up a couple essentials for me as well. I needed a lighter for candles and incense, as well as mini bottles of hand sanitizer. (The small bottle I had been refilling got lost in the move and I don't like being with out it.) All said, I spent $8.00 Fun Dollars at Dollar Tree.

After that, we enjoyed ourselves at the dealership, then headed home. As we were driving through the canyon on 89A, I stopped to get water at the "watering hole", and marveled at the view as I twisted and wound my way towards Sedona. It is easy to take something for granted when it's there all the time, so I make a point to look and enjoy the views in the canyon every time I cruise through there. It's a good thing too. As we approached the city limits of Sedona, we pulled over to let a fire truck go by. It never dawned on me that what I saw on my way back home would be the last time I would look upon it with its natural beauty still in tact. 

Sadly, a fire started at Slide Rock Sate Park. It grew from 400+ acres on Tuesday to 4500+ acres this morning. Some friends of ours had to evacuate their home in the canyon. I sent her clothes for one of her boys as well as the clothes left over from the clothing swap. My heart is just broken over the devastation that has been caused by one little spark. People forced to flee their homes, leaving much if not everything behind. Animals' habitats threatened and destroyed. And the most beautiful and magical places I have ever seen, places that have sung to my soul, now blackened and burned. These wondrous parts of creation won't look the way they did as I remember them for thousands of years, after Mother Nature has grown new trees and the forest reclaims its ground. 

Kinda puts $20.00 into perspective. 

Next Monday, when we get new Fun Dollars, I want to find out what is still needed by way of help for the residents who were displaced, for the fire fighters courageously battling the inferno, and for the city of Seodna as a whole. What can I do? How can I be of service? How can my Fun Dollars make a difference?

Right now, as an immediate action, you can drop off cases of bottled water, sports drinks and granola/protein bars at the Sedona Fire station located in West Sedona. I took some supplies there yesterday (using grocery money) and the women there accepting the donations were so grateful. I also asked the manager at Basha's to set out a donation bin for customers to place purchased goods that can be taken to the fire station.  I do feel like I have done something to help. It's a good start, but I want to continue to do what I can. I love Sedona, and I feel her pain as she undergoes this metamorphosis. What does it mean for tourism? For the economy? For the natural beauty she once had? Only time will tell.

$8.00 for Summer Goodies at Dollar Tree

Balance this pay cycle- $12.00

Happy Spending.

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