For three weeks, my focus has been narrowed to hospice care, the uncertainties of life and death and the stark reality that since Friday, a new sense of normal has been planted, hoping to take root and comfort our family as we adjust to loss.
During that time, it seems like the outside world slowed to a snail’s pace, or perhaps the conversations muted temporarily, allowing focus to remain at the simple request given.
This I know: suddenly, I feel out of the loop, as if all the things that always seemed a top priority really aren’t. Instead, importance shifts to new priorities, new necessities and responsibilities, the ebb and flow of life and aging.
A new study from the Food Research and Action Center reports that 12.8 percent of Nebraska respondents to a 2014 survey, have difficulty affording enough food to feed members of their households.
In other words, one in eight Nebraskans struggles with food hardship. One in five children in rural Nebraska live in food insecure households and 41 percent live in poverty.
The problem isn’t limited to rural areas, though. Nebraska’s metro area lands at 15 percent, ranking 86th in the nation in food insecurity.
What’s the solution? Mobile food pantries? Community gardens? Education? Higher paying jobs?
No one-size-fits-all solution exists, but this type of trend needs to be monitored and viable solutions need to be examined and encouraged.
A friend reminded me that today is Celebrate Teen Readers Day and asked what novel is my favorite teen or young adult read? As a teen, I gravitated toward the classics, like “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Of Mice and Men.” As a teacher of teens, I liked books that encouraged that age group to read, whether it be the latest Harry Potter fantasy or a suspenseful Stephen King novel or a heart-wrenching autobiography, such as “Tuesdays With Morrie.”
One of my kids would prefer anything by Sue Grafton, another, the Twilight saga, and the other would say, “What do you mean, read a book?” Sigh.
I try not to text and drive. If something – or someone – important interrupts my windshield time, I pull over to respond. I cannot imagine attempting to watch video while cruising down the highway. Now, Scott would make some wisecrack about my driving skills, but seriously.
Last week, a Nebraska state patrolman stopped a semi-driver on I-80 and discovered a cell phone taped to the steering wheel. When questioned, the driver told the trooper he was watching a soccer game.
Gives a whole new meaning to distracted driving.
Today marked the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombings. This evening, we discussed the “where we were” moment. Scott couldn’t remember the events unfolding that day. I taught in the western portion of Nebraska. A radio softly lulled in the background until a breaking news alert blared. From that point, my students and I watched the tragedy unfold via cable news and wondered how something like this could happen in America.
That thought still crosses my mind.