The past few days have been busy but great! I had parent-teacher conferences on Thursday evening and it always fun to go and hear how wonderful my children are.
Though the teachers of one child agree with me that I have a child that could do much better, but doesn't show any drive to be better. They just do the minimum required.
For an extremely driven person such as I; I find it difficult to understand why you would settle for mediocrity when you can have and do so much more.
Now understand, I am not advocating fanatical, perfectionism where a person doesn't even accomplish a lot because everything they do has to be so perfect. Companies have employees that have that problem and I address it in my training.
There has to be a middle ground, a balance, where you do a job well and with excellence, but you do it quickly and efficiently.
At the P-T conferences, I had taken a copy of a letter I had written to inform the teachers and administrators that we would be pulling our children out of school early to go to New York for Tony's graduation from West Point.
I left the schools completely buoyed up and pleased with the response. I thought they would be mumbling about having to give the semester tests early or attendance issues, but the overwhelming response was go! And go for the whole graduation week, not just for graduation day.
West Point has many activities planned for the families for the whole week. Tony is in Glee Club and is performing several times that week. He wanted us to come out early, but I told him that I could not take the younger ones out of school so early.
But after the conferences, I have decided that we will go early.
The other dilemma that we were faced with, was motels that week.
I spent two afternoons last week looking at travel websites, Googling and calling hotel chains, chamber of commerces in the different towns in the Hudson Valley, and so forth.
One gentleman from the chamber in one town even physically went to a small motel for me to check and see if it was clean.
I looked down in Jersey, checked out the state parks, tried private camp grounds, etc. Every single facility was either full or they definitely knew it was graduation week and had their prices tripled. A motel chain that is usually $50 per night, wanted $139 a night (and we will need two rooms as there will be 8 or 9 of us)) and they were an hour away.
Well, at P-T conferences. I mentioned this to a teacher and she suggested we try Craigslist. We use Craigslist all the time to find, sell, and buy things.
Friday morning, I woke up at 5 am and went to the computer. I posted an ad on the Hudson Valley Craigslist.
I put the following:
Date: 2011-04-01, 8:17AM EDT
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! Our son is graduating from West Point on May 21st. We have nine children and some, plus Grandma are coming out for graduation. The hotels are more than we can afford.
Does someone have an empty house or apartment we can rent for a week? We can sleep on the floor in sleeping bags, bring our own towels, and so forth. My website is organizeworkorhome.com
You can check us out and see that we are legitimate and we are clean.
Please help us if you can. Call Dr. Tammy Sagastizado at 405-387-2775 or email me. Thank you for any help.
By the time I got back home from work in the afternoon, I had received several replies, either through phone calls or emails.
A teacher from West Point has offered to host us, although she really doesn't have the room.
Another kind gentleman called and emailed and told me that his wife works at West Point and we are welcome to stay with them. They are further away (40 minutes) but were very insistent and even worried about what we would eat the whole week.
Another woman who owns real estate in the area called and was willing to let us have a home or apartment that she has empty at the time, but after talking on the phone for awhile she told me, "This isn't about business anymore, this is universal. I just feel that I need to help you and want to meet you and your family. I want you to stay with us."
She then went on to explain where we could put Grandma, where the boys would sleep, the girls, Fito and I, and so forth. She also said, "That way, when we go to Oklahoma, we will have a place to stay."
Now this is America! And I must add, this doesn't just happen in America, this is Universal! There are good people in all parts of the world that still trust people, that still extend a helping hand, that are friendly and go out of their way to serve.
I have received more offers, too.
Some want some money, but they have asked for very reasonable amounts.
This is so incredible, because even though I have been working, because of contract negotiations, I still have not been paid for two jobs. Also with gas, the prices going up and having to take two cars, our trip has become even more expensive.
I just had to add, that I mentioned to the woman that after graduation, I wanted to spend one day touring New York City (I haven't even seen what the tours cost) then go to Palmyra, New York, where our church has some historical sites, then on to Niagara Falls, then home.
She said, I think I know someone near Niagara Falls where you can stay.
What does this say about they type of person she is, that she can recommend a friend to a stranger (though, I don't see us as strangers, anymore).
She, like me, tend to operate on intuition (hopefully the spirit) and go with what our gut is telling us.
What an incredible experience! What hope and confidence such experiences give one, that there are still so many good people present in the world.