It's a lot easier to comb now, but I do miss his Kramer fro. It was unique...even if it couldn't be styled. Oh well, when his hair grows out, it'll grow out evenly this time. That is, if he doesn't try to mop the floor with his forehead again.
Labor Day weekend we went down to Ladysmith to my parents' "summer house". Man, it's peaceful down there. And we needed the vacation. Hopefully one day we'll actually be able to go out of state on vacation. I have a feeling we will. Steve and I have plans, it's just implementing them that can be hard sometimes.
We enjoyed a nice, quiet, long weekend just outside of Richmond. Traffic going south on 95 wasn't that bad, and we got to chill out and have fun. Little Man ran through the whole house, Steve got to relax, and I got to read and scrapbook. We even took Little Man swimming down at the lake. They have a nice beach there, and he liked it so much we took him twice. It felt so good, watching him run up and down the beach, screaming with joy. He even stopped to "talk" to people. Well, he would just pick out a cute woman and go sit in her lap. Folks were totally enamored of him.
My little Beach Baby!
We all had so much fun...
We came back Monday afternoon, and it wasn't too much longer before reality set in. By Wednesday my landlord was trying to evict us over $53 dollars, an amount we didn't dispute, but an amount that should have been paid back in July. All I wanted to know was, firstly what the fee was, and when they finally told me, why it wasn't charged back in July. Their bookkeeper made a mistake, and rather than admit that, she and her managers chose to be degrading.
They've been a bit upset with me, because I keep pointing out that they use "the increasing cost of goods and services" as their excuse to raise the rent, but if you are an old tenant, your apartment just gets shabbier and shabbier. Because the problems are not ones that endanger health and saftey (by their standards...my son can get into the hall closet, climb the shelves, and get to the medicine if he doesn't fall first because the door is broken!), they do not get addressed. It is at the point now where it would be cheaper to pay a mortgage and the bills that come with it than to pay rent. I've actually found houses that are twice as large as our apartment for half the price. Now if only we could get a home loan. It'll happen. God is preparing the perfect house for us. I feel that within myself.
This past week has been extremely stressful for me. I'm beginning to understand just what type of caste system really exists in this country. Many of those who have money choose to look down on those who don't. The poor are "lazy", "ignorant", or just looking for a handout. We're all uneducated, we all choose not to better ourselves. I fully understand that poverty in the United States is nothing like poverty in other countries. For that I am truly grateful. But that doesn't mean that it's not hard.
Obviously I can get in contact with others via the internet. We pay our bills, we used part of our school refund check to get a better computer, as both Steve and I study online (and I've finally narrowed down the concentration within my major, more on that later). We pay the rent. We manage to feed ourselves and clothe little man. Clothing for the big people only comes when something has completely worn out, or the money fairy pays us a visit (perhaps once a year). Wal-mart is my best friend. I'm so psyched that they're building a Super Wal-Mart down the street, I LOOOOVE their grocery store. I doubt I'll shop anywhere else. I'm all about saving what pennies we have. :-)
Still...it hits home at least once a day what we can't do, especially for Little Man because we are considered "under the poverty level". We do our best to be resourceful, I give thanks for our blessings, but it is still hard. I sometimes feel like we just can't stretch our resources any further, and wonder just what we did wrong in this situation. Maybe we did nothing wrong.
But I see more clearly how the poor are viewed, now that we are considered that. At the same time, I realize the blessing of being considered "poor" in America. That's rich somewhere else. I remind myself of that when my friends are travelling the globe and wearing nice things. My son is happy. He has no idea what his parents are going through. He has his needs met. Heck, he dresses better than we do, and I see nothing wrong with that. Those $4 tops and bottoms at Target are cute! We find ways to go and do things as a family that don't break the bank. We eat well, even if it's the same thing every month. At least we can afford to get fat. The boy never runs out of his whole milk, and there are plenty of diapers for him to pee through (and boy does he). Whenever we can get away and the Green Goblin (our car) can get us going South, there's always Mom's place. Scrapbooking isn't that expensive. We've learned to want less.
Still, we look forward to the day when we can own our own home. Steve qualifies for a VA home loan. We're looking but we can't buy yet. Still....one day, my son will have a backyard to play in, and any sisters or brothers he might have coming after him will have a room of their own. If something breaks, we'll be able to fix it.
I'm dreaming of that white picket (or chain link) fence.