And then.....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Learning Center Work October 08




This young single mom gets up at 5 everyday, has a bit of time before waking her son and then 4 days a week manages to get almost three year old dressed and fed and to a sitter or to her Dad's house, get herself to the bus stop and eventually seated at her desk at a local hotel' business office by 8 a.m.
The day we shot the above we had to wait for the light to come. It was 16 degrees.
She has her job, a good one, as a result of being a participant in an organization called CLimb Wyoming. This agency does truly amazing work of making significant life chances for young mothers possible. Life style changes, job training and placement and self esteem are the goals. I think it is a rigorous commitment on the part of the young women. No doubt those who make it through the program are those who deserve and will have a better life.





Two days a week the boy goes half day to TLC. In addition to nursery school activities, health evaluation services are provided.
Above he is getting a " finger poke", a hemoglobin test. The same we the children were given free dental exams. I was stunned to learn about caries in the very young. This seems to be particularly the case with children in very low income families.





The father in this story, the ex husband, left when the girl was 5 months pregnant. He has seen the boy twice.
Three months ago his wages were garnisheed and things are better for the two now. Still, this young woman and her little boy could not make it with the help of family. In this case, the family is her father and a sister, both of whom live here and help in untold ways.
Untold because I surely do not know all of the ways they help, however, what I was privy to see is the standing Friday morning coffee together at a local coffee shop. Because of various schedules this takes place at 6:30 in the morning - again dark, again cold. I was sincerely touched by the warmth, the goodness of this family.





Monday - Thursday the mom works from 8 - 5, taking lunch at her desk to save on hours. She has a 1 1/2 hour RT bus ride on these days. She cannot afford to take anytime off and while there is the weekend relatively free, her week day off is filled with maintaining what needs to be done - grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, washing and, something she does with great care and wisdom, being with her son.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Learning Center Work October 08




A big gap in posts because there has been no gap in time of late for posting. This is because for the past two weeks I have been shooting for The Learning Center, a local agency doing outstanding work for families in need here in Jackson. The assignment has been to show something of the lives of the families in order to demonstrate both the need for and the impact of TLC.

I have been privileged to follow 3 mothers and their families and in so doing learn a great deal about the love, the struggle and the sacrifice inherent in poverty level subsistence.

The young woman above, a single mom, whose husband left her when she was 5 months pregnant, has been particularly compelling. I have been inspired by her industry and awed by the support she receives from the center, her father and her sister. There will be more posts to come about this family.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Historic Snowstorm"





Not quite sure just what made yesterday's storm historic according to Weather.com. Perhaps it might be that all of the leaves - those glorious golds of a week ago - have been blown straight to North Dakota in one big day and night long whoosh. All that is except the one above that surely did hang tight.

Snake in Snow

video
We had what Weather.com called a historic snow storm here in Wyoming yesterday. I think the storm may have been worse in other parts of the state but here in Jackson and out on the Snake it was storm enough for mid October. Here is a BRIEF glimpse or a snowy Snake.
Only a week ago, as you can see below, we were in the midst of a golden fall.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

October 9...Alas!


Even snow lovers are saying NUTS!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

And on aspens...


As this particular spring was exalting in its beauty, the fall is equally uplifting. There is brilliance everywhere and especially in the aspens. I am ever grateful for the privilege of living in this place!

"Life is Good"



A wonderful six mile walk on what is aptly called The Aspen Trail followed by an equally wonderful dinner with dear friends.
The tee shirt is right, life is good.

All That Jazz





Not long ago I took part in a day long jazz workshop and, for the first time, played as part of a trio. Briefly, nervously but played.
It is impressive is it not to have such an opportunity in a little town in Wyoming situated in what is referred to as a hole.

On the way home....



from Friday Harbor we stopped for a night and day in Seattle. Very happy to say that, despite Seattle's rainy season being from Jan 1 - Dec 31, we had a sunny day. A high point of the brief visit was a visit to the city market. It was full of glorious flowers, trinkets, crafts and lots and lots of fresh fish.
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