My 23-year-old granddaughter graduated with honors from UC Berkeley last month. Pause for applause for her and for those who paid her tuition. She is a person who--since she first realized she actually was alive--has always wanted to understand how life and the world works. I was thinking of her the other day, remembering a conversation we had when she was about 4. She was visiting us in Los Angeles and Ed had promised to do something particular with her when he got home from work at the end of the day. Five o'clock came and went and right before six, she came to me with a worried look on her face. She reminded me that Grandpa Ed had promised to do whatever it was when he got home from work and he got home from work at five, but now it was almost six. What did I think about this?
"Oh," I replied, in the tiresome manner of adults everywhere, "He'll be here soon, I imagine. Just be patient."
She looked at me with concern and, in the way of a child experienced in preschool, said, "I guess he hasn't got his work done. Is he," and here her voice became absolutely pained, "maybe a little....slow? Or, maybe nobody helped him with his work?"
Fortunately, he showed up within minutes and we never had to seriously face whether he might be "a little slow" or without friends to help him.
I was thinking about this because the "Stand and Be Counted" totals are indeed a little slow coming in, although we do have 170 as of today and after almost 6 weeks. But still. We are a community of 1300 people/permanent residents and at least 800 of those adults are surely around here in June. And surely almost every one of them could afford to contribute $20 to a new library. And then, while I was thinking this, Hosanna!, came into my hands an envelope with a check for $140. Pat and Michael Birchall, who live here, had sent their $40 in the first week of May. Now, they had rounded up 7 twenties from extended family members in Texas and Oklahoma who, Pat says, were happy to be helping build a library up here, because, "everybody needs a good library and sometimes they also need a little help to get there." A couple of brothers-in-law are yet to be heard from, says Pat, but they'll come around eventually.
As will all of us, I imagine. Because, why wouldn't we?