A couple nights ago the phone rang at 10:30 pm – not a good sign. It was the young woman who we’ve been helping through her pregnancy, marriage, and miscellaneous needs. She said she, her husband, and 4-month-old baby needed an emergency place to live for a short time. They discovered that the place they were staying was no longer a healthy environment. (I’ll leave the details to your imagination.) Could they stay with us? Hmmmm. On one hand I’m an extrovert and love company (mostly friends and relatives for a short time). On the other hand, Jim and I have settled into a quite pleasant empty-nest routine where our time is ours to control (mostly). Yes we do a lot of volunteer work and service but it’s on our own terms – not someone else’s schedule. Besides, having been a social worker I am too well aware of how a two week stay can morph into months. So the photo does not mean I’m giving away this cute little baby,  but rather giving away space and control of my lifestyle for awhile.
At first I felt compelled to report giving away seven tangible things each week, but today I know that giving away space, privacy, control, and time may be the biggest challenge of this year.