An Empty House

Jenni’s gone home.  We had a very nice two weeks, including 6 fabulous days in the Bahamas, and I’m always blue when she goes home.  She’s a very poised young woman, and I know she’ll accomplish much in her life.  She starts college in just 6 weeks.

Now, it’s back to just the two of us.  It seems very quiet, even though Jen is no trouble at all.  Last night, we had 12 for dinner, and it was a blast.  But I like the quiet times, too.

Tomorrow starts the summer pledge drive … and we’re really at a point where the individual contributions are more important than ever.  Budget cuts are affecting a lot of things, and the sluggish economy has forced some layoffs and other schedule adjustments at the station, and some program changes as well.  Property tax cuts have meant either flat funding or cuts from state and local public sources.  There’s going to be some pain.  I hope that the economy at least flattens out soon.  We’d been pretty heavily dependent on underwriting from real estate firms for the last couple of years, but that’s dried up almost completely.  It’s affected the newspaper as well.  The real estate section on Saturday has gone from 6 sections to about 6 pages.  And the related industries are pulling back on their advertising and underwriting as well.

All this means that, as we’ve said so often before, the individual contributions are the most reliable source of funding for the station.  The good news is, people seem to get that, and when times are bad, more people give.  They understand we really depend on them.

The good news is, I’ll be so busy I won’t have time to worry about Jenni not being here.  With pledge going on, and a First  Coast Forum Thursday night, I’ll have plenty to keep me occupied for the next week.  Work therapy rather than retail therapy … thought I may engage in a little of that as well.

Then, Saturday I head to Indiana to say goodbye to the house we grew up in … as well as KenRay lake.  Once mom moves down here in a month or so, I expect I won’t have much of any reason to go back there again.  There might be one final trip before everything is closed up, but it won’t be much.

I have very mixed feelings about all that.  The house in Indiana has always been something of an anchor, though it hasn’t felt like home for many years.  I’ve only been back there every couple of years in the last 20 or so, and every time I go back, all I can think of is how much things are different than when we were growing up.  I don’t sleep in “my” room any more, and couldn’t if I wanted to.  It’d been turned into storage after Niklas moved out.  This time will be more strange than normal, as Mom’s in the midst of packing to move out … going through things and trying to decide what to bring to Florida.  It’s only going to be for a couple of days, but they’ll be kinda stressful, I’m sure.

August is also filling up quickly.  Lots going on to keep myself occupied, and It looks like I’ll be traveling to LA in September on business.  No wonder the years fly by so quickly.

I’m hoping to spend less time in airports after the LA trip.

So, back to the salt mine, as they say.  It’s been a wonderful vacation.  I guess I need to keep buying lottery tickets.

Now if Scott can just come up with a place for improv rehearsal tomorrow …



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Filed under Indiana, Public Radio, Thoughts

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