Tuesday, May 26, 2015

PEPCO's astonishing show of efficiency

PEPCO (our local power co) has been advertising its EnergyWise peak savings program since we've moved in.  I've received countless fliers and emails.  Each time I receive one, I think: I should enroll in this.  Twice, I've even gone to the website to see if I could enroll from there, but after three clicks, I got distracted by something else.  So, I've never enrolled.

Imagine my surprise just now when I got a phone call - which I almost didn't answer because only sales calls call our home phone - from PEPCO.  The agent said that a number of my neighbors had signed up so they'd be sending a crew to my area next week (enrolling involves installation of a new piece of equipment) and she wanted to know if I (a) knew about the program and (b) was interested in signing up.

Yes, thank you!

A shocking sign of efficiency and proactive nature from an old electric power company.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

OK. I will admit it.

I really like my house in the close-in suburbs.  There.  I've said it.

It took eight years of being a parent, three kids, and as many moves.  I realized today as I was walking from my (4 bedroom single family) house to the neighborhood park, waving at one neighbor as she pulled out of her driveway, chatting with another as he was pausing while digging out a tree ... I have a pretty nice set up going on right now.  Room in the yard for the boys to play soccer or baseball, enough space for when my mom moved in with us (well, her style is probably cramped a bit, but still - in general enough space), Wm rode his bike to school this morning - I walked home from the metro - Greg ran to the grocery store on foot this morning when we realized we were out of butter.

I even genuinely offered to host my sister's wedding, if she wanted a casual backyard affair for under 60 guests (probably best for our relationship that she did not actually take me up on this crazy offer, especially since her wedding came two weeks after a state visit when I was stressed to the max at work).

When we were living in Manila and trying to decide where to live, it was hard to give up DC.  Super hard.  I almost suffered an identity crisis (and, maybe Greg actually did and still is?).  But, facing up to the budgetary constraints of two government worker salaries -- and still wanting a home big enough to host Thanksgiving dinner (25 people) -- a decision on space had to be made.  It wasn't made lightly or without minor angst.

I admit, leaving work on time and the absolutely perfect spring evening weather probably had a large effect.  Tonight, that nag wondering if we should have gone with a smaller space in the city is gone.  It's official.  I've become a suburban mom (albeit one who travels the world every 3 yrs or so).

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Crown Thy Good In Sisterhood

It's been a year to think about sisterhood, with the debate that kicked off at my alma mater at the beginning of the school year (read NYT article here and HuffPo article on the College's resolution here).

What I read with most interest (and, I admit, a twinge of sadness) were the last few paragraphs of the NYT article, describing a conflict at the end of "America the Beautiful."

And crown thy good with "____"-hood from sea to shining sea!

I loved filling in the blank with "sister" instead of "brother."  In fact, "America the Beautiful" is part of the standard repertoire of lullabies at our house, and I've always sung it "sisterhood" to my boys.

Until recently, that is.  One night, Patch asked why the song was about sisters, since he had brothers.  Valid point.  I answered truthfully that I sang the song often with my Wellesley College sisters, so that's how I liked to sing it.  We debated what we could put in that blank, since singing "brotherhood," Patch reasoned, would make me sad since that's not how I liked to remember the song (smart cookie!).

For awhile we sang, "childhood," in honor of all children.  Then that became "personhood" to not exclude adults.  Lately, though, the preferred method is just for me to pause and each boy pick some kind of "-hood" they want to bestow upon the world.  Current favorites are "awesome-hood" (Wm) and "canine-hood" (Patch); Ian prefers a silent pause.

With the Wellesley debate tempered down after the March decision to admit trans-students but keep the pronouns in the feminine, and my own internal house debate about how to sing the song settled about the same time, I hadn't thought much about sisterhood in a few months.

Until I read in the WaPo this morning about Sweet Briar College's very likely final graduation ceremony and closing, that is.  The description and celebration of sisterhood resonated.  I hope the few remaining women's colleges open their doors to those women now searching for an institution at which to finish their studies.  And that the few women's colleges left can keep "crowning thy good with sisterhood" rather than hear the refrain of "another one bites the dust."