|Part of our daily school commute, I'm so lucky!|
|Tiny ducks have hatched!|
The down side is particularly sad given the loving care that has been tended to the appearance of the houses, park, and historic downtown where we spend most of our time. The park is PACKED every weekend, and for a large part of each day; runners, walkers, toddlers and their caregivers. But the sides of the stream are littered with plastic bags, drink bottles, and random trash. There's even a discarded Big Wheels tricycle tangled in one of the trees at the water's edge. Cigarette butts litter the gutters along the road where smokers toss them out their windows as they drive. One of my to-do list items is to buy each of the children gardening gloves so they can help take on yard-cleaning duty from all the trash that blows into our bushes from the street.
I feel like I'm living in one of those great fraternity row houses in Athens, Georgia that look beautiful, and ought to be beautiful, but have been abused by residents who don't know how to care for such a treasure.
The sight of all this trash, of the thousands of plastic bags leaving the grocery and hardware stores each day, of the styrofoam take-out containers we're handed at restaurants, has made me disheartened. Now that we're away from Marin County and I am seeing more clearly what consumption looks like in our country, and I have to admit, it has brought me down. The effort to do better is going to be a lot harder than I was accustomed to when I was part of the Marin County Kumbaya Patrol.
So the challenge is to build a set of routines that bring the new culture and our family's values into harmony. In the meantime, the setting certainly provides incentive...