well we made it through the event, (move it, dig it, do it: the science of machines) and it was a blast!! things turned out very well, even if the numbers weren't anywhere i hoped they'd be. everyone that attended was happy and really enjoyed the event! yay!
mary ellen and i worked our butts off on that event and we are already gearing up for another! looking into one for the spring that will include an egg hunt. that gives us 6 months to plan and we are still fired up from the success of move it!
but i must still get my house in order...slowly but surely...and get back on a schedule for homeschooling. its still difficult to walk around here since everything is a total wreck from the week or so of neglect while i worked on the event furiously in the final moments. all those last minute things makes life crazy!
today we have to go pick up the tables we borrowed from st paul's and take them back...and start working through the mess in the barn (we just piled everything back into the barn after the event, to go over later.)
but i'm feeling very proud of all we did! it helps make living here tolerable, to be making a difference in things. the discovery center needed help and mary ellen and i stepped up and took it on. we are helping to bring attention back to it. we are not doing it alone, so don't think that i think i'm single handedly or even double handedly (w/mary ellen) doing all this. we couldn't possibly do it alone. but it feels good to be the fire that is lit under those that are working with us and to be the organization that is needed for something like this to happen.
i learned a lot from the 6 years i helped organize (and in the final years, solely organized) the babyfest. this event, however, was very different and i learned even more from it, i think. it was an event focused on fun for kids, not education for parents. totally different focus. and i have to say, MORE FUN! so we are talking about taking the best of babyfest and combining with the best of move it, and making a spring event (we're tossing around the name "springfest") we need vendors to help pay for it, and we need the fun to draw all the people with their kiddos! :)
anyway, i was just reading a thing about this controversial mural in the tower district, and it led to something about the controversy of the thing that talked about fresno being dumb. just got me thinking because i wasn't entirely surprised by that thing. not that i put any major stock in it, but there's a lot of ignorance and uneducated people here. hell, there are everywhere. i'm not saying there's not fantabulous people here as well...i know a heckuva a lot of them. i know a LOT of people in fresno, believe me. i'm actually shocked by how many i know sometimes and how many know me that i've forgotten. lol! what with my website and all my mommy group connections, things i've led, things i've started, things i've done...i do truly know a lot of the good in fresno. but like i said in another post, there's good people everywhere. i can say that because i have lived a LOT of places. (grew up in the military, went to 9 schools in 13 years of school, if that's any indication...grew up literally all over the world). and i just truly believe there is a lot of good in the world. everywhere.
so why do i struggle so much with my intense dislike of where i'm living now? its not that there's no good people here...i guess its just that it gets so very hard to overlook all the ugly here. i suppose i need to figure out how to better shut it out. but that is difficult when crime is rampant, grafitti has even hit my own house, neighbors scream nastily at their children waking us up in the morning occasionally, a drive-by shooting occurred on my street that led to the death of someone, there's very little high quality educational things to do with your children such as museums and such (there isn't a children's museum in fresno! that still blows me away! visalia and oakhurst both have them...and really good ones too! but they are 45min away). the only real nature you have to travel to get to (i'm sorry, woodward park doesn't cut it...even lost lake mostly sucks because people have graffiti'd and trashed it...it just depresses me) yes i know we are close to yosemite...but its far enough that we've still not made it there. i know, our fault. but i long to live in the foothills where it is beautiful...but i've heard of a KKK influence there that was confirmed by a friend that used to live there...things like gang fights happen right next to the children's play place at the mall a block from my house (a friend of mine was there for it and saw the knife)...i can't even watch the news because it scares me to know all the bad stuff happening around here...the other night there were helicopters over our house and my daughter watched, with her father, out her bedroom window, as about 12 cop cars took over our neighborhood and went into our neighbors yards directly across the street with dogs to find a fugitive in their backyard...she saw them walking a guy in handcuffs down the street afterwards!! out her bedroom window!!
so is it any wonder i don't like living here? is it any wonder i don't feel safe in my own neighborhood. yes, i could move (if we had the money, which we don't) to a safer neighborhood...but that doesn't change what's still going on all over town. and it still doesn't change that there are not enough trees, and not enough green space (hell, that is evident when the parks & rec are drooling to get their hands back on the discovery center property because they say there isn't enough green space!!) not enough beauty. yes, there's beauty here. if i want to feel good about where i live, i go to parts of the tower district, or fig garden, where its pretty...and there are neighborhoods that have the kind of tree-lined streets that feel wonderful to drive through. ashlan has a whole strip that i regularly drive on our way to our friend's house on margaret hudson's property...who's property, by the way is a green oasis in this concrete town.
but its not enough. there is so much more i want for myself and my kids that is missing here, or not in enough abundance. i want more opportunities for green, for tall trees, for kids places like museums and play places that are full of ever changing fun and educational opportunities...for a lower crime rate (i know you cannot get away from crime comepletely, but a more tolerable level, please!) i want a place that doesn't have people driving down my street at all hours with their offensive gangster rap music vibrating the pictures off my walls...where being "gangsta" isn't "hip", even in the non-gang bangers...where an organization like FCASH doesn't have to fight so hard to make visible the cultural opportunities that are here but are overshadowed by the ugly...i just want so much...i guess it just gets to me sometimes.
but here i am. and here i'm stuck, maybe forever. so i must make the best of where i am and not instill on my children the feelings i have about where they are growing up. but i'll be damned if i'll raise them to not ever see all the wonderful and beautiful things that are out there that some natives of this city seem oblivious to. i WILL find a way to take my children to other parts of this state, this nation, and the world...somehow...i WILL expose them to all the wonderful things that i was exposed to as a child that helped me to see that this big world is full of SO MUCH BEAUTY. they won't get to live in sicily and live on a volcano like i did at my daughter's age...but they will get to visit, dammit. somehow i'm going to make it happen at some point. and before their childhood is over, dammit. they are not going to grow up only knowing this town and nothing of the wonderful world around them. i do not want them using this city as a measuring stick for everything else. i have to find a way to get them out of here even for short visits. i have to.