Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, everybody. Today's guest blogger is Michelle Obama - well no, not really - but Ms. Obama inspired today's topic.

In a recent speech, Michelle Obama called on Americans to perform an act of public service in celebration of MLK Day. One of the park's residents decided that our Snowbird community should take part by cleaning our beach. So at 8:45 this morning, about two dozen of us met on the beach, equipped with disposable gloves and garbage bags, and we spent the next hour picking up all manner of things, not just in front of the park, but all the way up and down the beach, as well. The work itself renewed my respect for all those people who make their living by picking strawberries. Oy. My aching back. A couple of the women were approached by a very upset young man who was afraid they would disturb his stash, which is apparently buried out there somewhere, so they told him that if there were no litter in the area of his stash, he would have nothing to worry about. Add one more volunteer to the group. :>)

The only thing that made me nervous was picking up litter near the top of the beach, under the coconut palms. The owner of our park cuts the coconuts down, but a lot of the properties along the beach are lined with coconut palms that nobody polices. In the campground next door, apparently somebody was killed by a falling coconut a week or two ago. So I avoided the coconut palms as much as possible.

Oh, and my new Big Peeve is people who think the world is their ashtray. I picked up about three million cigarette butts. Okay, that's an exaggeration - but still.

The beach looked a lot better when we were finished. My final pickup was a fresh pile of dogshit. That was special. I felt very virtuous when I added my third bag to the pile. One of the men took our smaller bags and stuffed them into big, industrial garbage bags, piled them up, lined us up behind them, and took our picture. A local man, watering his garden, looked over at us in utter amazement. I guess it was the first time he'd seen anybody pose in the middle of a pile of garbage!

Someone suggested that "we" - though I can't include myself, because we'll be leaving on Wednesday - should do this once a month. I hope they do.

Now we are all in a state of high excitement over the inauguration. The party will start at 9 a.m. our time - though I have a feeling I'll be glued to the tv well before that, and I'll be following the events on Facebook, as well. See you there -

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