The peonies are in full bloom. The side table beside me holds a small green vase with one large white bloom. Satiny petals droop sensuously around the neck of the vase. A sweet, heavy scent emanates from the white curves and folds. The smooth whiteness feels cool and soothing to the touch. The full decadence of life sits in a vase, on a table, in a room, in my house.
The weather is hot and humid. It is cooler inside than it is outside. We accomplish this through several, simultaneous strategies. First, we have installed two additional roof vents, for a total of four. Next, we remove the small piece of ceiling board that covers the entrance to the attic. Since hot air rises, it can now easily escape through the opening in the ceiling and the roof vents. During the day we close all the windows, doors, and draw the drapes to prevent the heat of the sun from penetrating into the house. When the evening air cools, we open the windows and doors to allow the cooler air into the house.
This method of keeping the house cool works well, unless we have a prolonged period where the temperature does not fall significantly during the night.
Attila did not have to work today and so we accomplished much around the house. The small front deck desperately needed a paint job, now it is done. The planter in the back yard, and the pine bin where we lock the garbage away from marauding beasts got a nice coat of stain to match the deck. As I write, Attila is building a set of shelves to increase our storage space in the washroom. "The Teenager" is quite excited at this prospect, as she fills all available space with chemicals for modern beauty, as if she needs such things.
I had so much wanted to include a picture of the peonies. As usual, my lack of planning has caught me out. With great enthusiasm I waited for the evening shade to take my photographs. After several shots the batteries died. Currently I have only one set of batteries; batteries take approximately eight hours to recharge. I will be asleep eight hours from now. There will be no picture of peonies in today's journal entry.
I have been thinking about statistics, public opinion, and public sympathy. The media tells us that people on social assistance must struggle to make ends meet. Statistics tell us how many people and families are in this position; or do they? One of the houses, a very nice house, in our neighborhood was purchased by an older couple. Their daughter and two grandchildren moved in and are enjoying a very comfortable existence. The daughter receives social assistance to supplement her small income and support her family. The grandparents have provided a house, new, fashionable clothing, and cell phones for all.
It is not that I begrudge this family these luxuries. After all, the cost is very little in comparison to, say, the alcohol consumed over the course of one evening by the more affluent, absent members of parenting teams. I just do not agree that this family should be counted along with those who actually have to survive on the small amount of money provided by the state. I feel that to include this neighborhood family in the statistics is a disservice to those who truly struggle. The neighborhood family's relatively worry free and affluent lifestyle is not representative of most social service recipients. Public sympathy for the truly unfortunate is sullied by their inclusion.
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