Dear People Who Burn Leaves Instead of Bagging Them,
Stop. Just stop. The air has been hazy with smoke for weeks now. I know there's a legal burning season, and that this is it, but, why not just pay a couple of bucks for the lawn bags at Ace Hardware, fill them, and put them on the curb? The yard waste collection service here is pretty efficient, and you'll be surprised at how much those bags hold! And, heck, given the money we'd save by avoiding the ER and asthma-related hospitalizations, I'll even buy the bags for you.
I contemplated enlarging this and hanging copies of it all over town, but then I decided it would be too mortifying for my kids and we don't want to move again any time soon.
Dear Local Church with Your Stupid Bonfire (Alternate title: How Can You Have "Life" in Your Name When You Tried to Kill My Sister?),
As your close neighbors to the east, my family and I have appreciated the many different ways you've engaged with our community. The various events you host each year seem intent out reaching out to a wide audience, and as a fellow Christian and church-goer, I appreciate your church's clear commitment to making a positive difference.
Today I write to ask that you reconsider your use of bonfires during your various fall events given the church's close proximity to a residential neighborhood. The bonfire you had on Sunday filled our yard, and even our garage, with a thick layer of smoke that triggered an asthmatic reaction in my 7 year-old daughter that will most likely result in an ER visit and possibly a hospital stay. I get that bonfires are exciting and fun, not to mention warm on a cold fall evening, but they also make it nearly impossible for children like my daughter to breathe. In the future, we hope that you will think about foregoing the bonfire or at least holding in on the opposite side of your campus so that houses like ours aren't so heavily impacted by the smoke.
Thank you for your consideration,
This one, I actually did send, last Monday, when Pink was starting to look like she might be on the downhill slide. I haven't heard back from them. I hope they respond because Sky just can't abide by the irony that a Christian organization would do something to harm people in its community, and I'm getting tired of hearing about it.
Dear Second Grade Teacher,
I think it's great that your class will be singing for an all school assembly for Veteran's Day, I really do! But, I wonder if you might be able to send a note home about this next time? In it, I'd love it if you could tell me ahead of time that my daughter will need to wear something that is red, white, and blue, AND that has pockets. When I get a text about this at 8 p.m. the night before, I'm kind of stuck, especially in November when it's hard to buy patriotic cold weather wear. I mean, we have a couple of great red, white, and blue sundresses left over from the Fourth of July holiday that still kind of fit, and one of them even has stars on it. They don't have pockets, though, and apparently that's a deal breaker since Pink needs to be able to pull out a streamer and wave it at the end. When you put me on the spot like this, our options are limited: I could send Pink to school in her blue and red Japanese national soccer team jersey (though I don't know how the WWII veterans will feel about the Japanese flag placed prominently on the front of it). Or, I could send her in this (spoiler alert--I DID send her in this):
You could argue that a patriotic Hello Kitty isn't much better than the national soccer jersey for a former war enemy, but at least I didn't send her in hot pink as a close approximation to red (like we debated doing). Hopefully in the future, school-home communication won't depend on those last-minute mass text messages!
Oh, and I do love patriotic music, but it creeps me out every time I hear my little girl sing--
If tomorrow all the things were gone
I worked for all my life
And I had to start again
With just my children and my wife
I actually really love the kids' school, so I didn't send this letter. Given the stress of the past month or so, though, I couldn't resist writing it in my head (and then feeling compelled to put it on the blog).