Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hodgepodge: Of Allowance, Ancestry, and Audience

Hello, again, and welcome to Volume 89 of  the...

                                            with your hostess, Joyce, and me, Zoanna, your friendly
Joyce's questions this week got me thinking, but not too hard, which is fine because my thinker is on strike, rebelling at all the back to school signs around town.  I know I'm a teacher and everything and should be excited to go back, but I'm not yet. Still loving the lazy hazy days of summer.

1. I included this quote (attributed to William H. Danforth) in my blog post yesterday... "The best cure for a sluggish mind is to disturb it's routine." When was the last time you 'disturbed your routine' and how'd you do it?
Yesterday I disturbed my routine by sitting down to the piano to just play music from my head and heart. To see if the song that I know is deep within me would come out. It's on my 101 List to write a song, and ever since I went to a songwriter's circle (for wannabes) a few weekends ago, I can't shake the feeling that there is a song waiting to be written. 
Seems everything I  create while sitting at the piano comes out as a cross between a hymn and a movie soundtrack.   O For A Thousand and 76 Trombones ....

Never mind.

2. What's your favorite fried food indulgence?
About once or twice a year I get a hankering for Kentucky Fried Chicken.  And when I go to a fair or carnival or beach, I love funnel cake. Again, that happens maybe once a year.

3. Did you have an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it? Do you give your own kids an allowance?
My parents started giving us allowance when we were in seventh grade. It was six dollars paid to us every two weeks when Daddy got paid. With it, we had to buy whatever clothes we didn't get at the beginning of the school year,  plus pantyhose (we went to Christian school where hose were mandatory for girls), stationery, soda, gas for the vehicle when we drove it,   movie tickets, and so on. Basically everything that  wasn't room, board, and tuition!  I spent all of it except what I tithed (thirty cents a week). 
My husband and I  were inconsistent about allowance  and had a hard time figuring out what to outright give our kids versus make them pitch in  for "because you live here"/ "because you're a member of the family" and what jobs were above the norm that they could earn money for.  I think we decided that there was a list of routine jobs they had to perform every day satisfactorily, and we gave them them three bucks a week.  We made them set up three jars, though: tithing, saving, spending. Tithing and saving each had to be a minimun of 10% of their earnings.  We modeled it in real life for them, so they knew we weren't making them do something we didn't require of ourselves. To this day, all our kids have good financial habits.  They have savings, they spend frugally on themselves and generously on others, they don't go into debt, and they are faithful tithers.

So, despite our inconsistent measures and confusion about "the right way" or the "best way" to do allowance, the principles of the three jars stuck with them for life.  That makes me smile.

4. What's something you wish you knew more about?
Everything! Oh, my goodness, how can I pick just one something?  I can't, so off the top of my head, here's a random list.   1)  my late in-laws'  lives   2) my parents' childhoods   3) songwriting priniciples  4) how to draw people out of their shells   5) how to do many different art techniques  5) basics of automechanics  6) genetics  7)  simple technology  8) astronomy   and 9) how certain decisions are made and the true motives behind them, especially decisions that rock my world . 

5. Is there anything you feel too old to do anymore? If so, what?
Yes. Ice skate.  My balance, joints, and resilience are well past their prime, so a fall on my blessed assurance wouldn't be pretty. Pretty hilarious for onlookers, yes, but I think it could mean weeks of traction and therapy of various sorts. Not worth it.

6. What's a song you think has a great first line?
"It is Well with my Soul."  The first line goes. "When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll...whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 'It is well, it is well, with my soul.'"   

7. Who are you writing to/for when you create a blog post? In other words...as you write, who is the audience in your head?
Great question.  The answer to that has changed over the past seven years since I started blogging in January of 2005. Back then, I wasn't really aware of the world wide web wideness  when I wrote. My audience seemed to be mainly people in my circle of friends, mostly locals in my church. They were the only commenters and seldom comment any more, for reasons unknown to me.   Waaa.
But when Hurricane Katrina hit in August of 2005 and I wanted to do something from home to help in a practical way, I discovered the world's wideness!   I simply asked if others would like to help me sew drawstring bags and fill them with toiletries and toys for victims because my parents had a connection with a Messianic pastor down in Texas.  I figured two or three ladies from church who like to sew would join the club. Well, a young woman in France, who has an international sewing blog, happened providentially to read my post, and --as one thing led to another-- women from 14 countries as well as women from my own church, sewed 269 bags which I filled using donors' money.  That's when I realized my audience was much bigger in reality than the five or six people I "saw" in my head as I typed.
Nowadays, even though I know the audience is bigger than in my head (because some people never comment but let me know they read it daily or every now and then), I think the audience I write for are mainly the women who read this blog and comment. But I am always vaguely aware that anyone could read it (my principal, my students, my neighbors, my pastors, my extended family) so I have become a bit more vague about certain things I write, and not as self-disclosing, and not as opinionated lest I alienate readers who might otherwise enjoy or be served by something here.
My, my, that was certainly a long answer to  a short question! Maybe I should have tried to limit my words to eight like I did last week!
That said, when my posts get really long and I am tempted to say, "People hate long posts! They will see it and click right off," then I remind myself I am writing for myself. This is my journal and I am probably the only one who will revisit posts anyway, so they can be however long it takes me to get my words out of my system! Which explains why I am still tapping along after seven years!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My second son got a great birthday present: a job offer for the school year at the branch of the company where he is currently an intern.  Not only that, when he told his current boss, she and HER boss both told him to be sure to check back with them in April or May because they might have something lined up for him next summer!  I am so happy for him. And I must say, he looks mighty handsome leaving home in his professional clothes in the morning, and coming home looking like  a man who enjoys his life and work, because he does!


Joyce said...

That's great news for your son! Jobs are a blessing, especially right now.

I deleted the incorrect link for you...happy Wednesday!

Marla said...

It certainly is interesting to see a child turn into a working person - clothes and all! I learned my daughter FINALLY got it and realized that people keep work hours. Early to bed, early to rise. Very different than college hours!

Veronica and Daniel said...

GREAT song for #6! Congrats to your son on his job!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your son....jobs are hard come by and jobs you like nearly non existent....good work lad.

Susan Kane said...

Wisdom fortunately takes over when it knows our bodies should not do some dangerous thing!
That is one of my favorite songs. I cry everytime it is sung at church.

Laurie said...

Thank you for continuing to write! I like to read what you write! Blessings!