It's been a while. I've been kinda off-line lately because sometimes I like to rebel against the machines. Not like desert-island rebel (yet), but a cut-down for sure. I've been in and out. I guess FB is good for that. My cell phone gets on my nerves, too. I really hate the image of people walking around texting, or unable to do anything without their heads down, thumbing at their phones. Not that I don't too, but I get self conscious about it and ignore the cell phone for long stretches. I feel that way about the computer too sometimes. But I miss my friends, and a good number of you live right here in the internet!
So, our SAMO girls basketball team made it to the 3rd round of the state playoffs and went down in a heart breaker against Clovis West, a team out of Fresno. We lost by 4 in a back and forth battle. We shut down their 6'3", 250lb center, but we could not contain their star guard who played out of her gourd. She dropped 39 points on us out her team's 61. She bombed threes, drove on three girls at a time and dove on the floor for many balls. She said after in an interview, "I never wanted anything more. I wasn't going to lose." And you have to respect when one's ability matches their drive. She was amazing.
Mina just finished her Y league. They lost today in the championship game. She's a superstar though. Her natural athleticism is pretty phenomenal. Here is the other star, Cloe, also 10. This was the team's one-two punch. While Cloe grabbed a defensive rebound, Mina would have already bolted to the other end. Cloe would cock back her arm and rocket a pass to Mina, who was the only one able to catch a pass like that, and would usually finish with a lay up. This happened about five times a game. Can you beat the stance of these girls? Is there anything more beautiful?
I went to a volunteer orientation on Saturday for the Upward Bound House, which is a transitional housing program for homeless families in my neighborhood. I pass the main facility all the time and I looked it up online last year. I just now got around to committing a small amount of time to volunteering. I've wanted to do it for so long. I told UBH I was willing to work in the food pantry which means stocking the food donated by the Westside Food Bank in a makeshift store where families can come and "shop" twice a week. They are able to fill up a box for free. There is a thrift store too for clothing needs. Each UBH apartment is decorated with unique touches -- plants and paintings -- and filled with pots and pans, towels, toiletries, etc. When the family moves on to permanent housing, they are able to take with them the pots and pans and dishes and plants -- everything but the big furniture -- so they don't have to start all over again in the new place. The program is amazing because it is a real catapult into a thriving life. Families can stay for up to a year. Parents take mandatory financial planning classes and three elective life classes are chosen too; classes in resume writing, interviewing, parenting classes and other life skills. After the year, another year of aftercare is available to them where they can utilize the food pantry and thrift store. The program is entirely supported by the community through many volunteers and contributions from many local businesses because the philosophy is that a strong community helps our people most in need, and not just with the very barest of essentials but with a strong leg up. We don't send them off downtown or to struggling neighborhoods; we embrace them and get them on their feet. I mean, exactly, right? So, I went to the orientation and I got to talking to the coordinators and the next thing I know I'm going to teach and demo a baking class for the Kids Club on Thursday night. I'm not sure if I'll teach the class every Thursday, but I am this week. We're going to make Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. We're talking about a healthful cooking class for the parents too. I'll keep you posted. I am overwhelmed that something so right is succeeding in my neighborhood and I can't wait to lend my hand too.