Several years ago, our son was running track for a private school.  This school was populated by students who learn differently.  Each student had his individual needs and classes were very small.  Garrett maxed out as to what he could accomplish there and is now in public vocational school.  For many, this does not happen; they graduate and some even go on to college.  For some, the goals are totally different.

1-pics from garrett's camera, glenn and lee 311

There’s Garrett at the starting line, #335.  We were in the area of Lake Marion in SC at a beautiful park where they participated in a meet with several other schools.  They competed with small schools in this part of the state.  Before attending this school, Garrett participated in Special Olympics.

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Garrett has never had any trouble being a Special Olympian, but his private school wanted nothing to do with that program.

After the meet, most of the team and parents went to a kind of famous little barbeque place in Lone Star.

lone star

This place has even been on the Food Network.  I don’t think this food was as good as other places in Orangeburg CountyBarbeque should be a pure experience:  shredded pork, rice and hash, cole slaw and tea only.  This place in Lone Star serves a much bigger menu.  Depends on what you are used to.

interior lone star

We sat in this room, four parents and three students at our table.   In conversation, I realized that each of these boys had a sibling twice their age.  At least sixteen years older.  Totally anecdotal, but very interesting to contemplate.


So it is difficult to stay in the Middle Class these days, although through Paul Fussell‘s definition, I am an “X”.  Love that.   Read his book, “Class”.  Sometimes it seems like the 99% are trying to kill us off so we won’t mate and create more useless “unconnected persons”.  This American family is arguing, arguing, and it feels like we are at the wrong age at the wrong time.

Having recently won a battle over the healthcare of a disabled child, we are definitely on an upswing.  Spending retirement money on his anger episodes, including violence to us, seemed unfair.  Or, we almost had to.  Karma swept in and we had applied for  TEFRA Medicaid just within the correct time period (we had no idea) where the government took care of $12,000 of emergency room bills for a violent child (two visits) retroactively.  And we recently got a pair of glasses for him at no charge (only a few frame choices were available).  But that is ok.  It is absolutely amazing to have this help.

I assume all know about the deep, textural, heavily layered health care argument.  It is my belief that if we were a single-payer country, and all could actually HAVE healthcare, it would be good for all of us.  Problems could be headed off at the pass, expenses would be less for all.  People would be healthy and could work.

The unbelievable realization came to me last night at a fundraiser, that a friend who recently died of colon cancer had been a Christian Scientist, the ultimate opposite of head-it-off-at-the-pass healthcare.  This fact displays one of the varied objections to universal healthcare.  It seems we also disagree as to what type of care is appropriate for those problems.

In recent times in this country, there were health problems that were deemed by (some evil genius) to be “real” problems needing coverage, and those that were not; as in eyes, ears, teeth.  And mental health.  Sure some policies are getting better in these respects, but at the other end of the scale, more and more people do not have insurance at all, or have simple bare bones coverage, where there is no provision for these johnny-come-lately “real” health problems.

I have never had that kind of coverage.  Bought my last pair of contact lenses after an eye check in late 2010.  Almost three years ago.  Lost one two nights ago, and we looked for it in the evening, and then the next morning.  Tried to get my prescription from the provider, and was told it was illegal to give it to me.  It was older than a year.  I was a hostage.  Who does this benefit?  Follow the money.  In my sixth decade, my eyes are not changing.  I could see these rules for a child, or even when we get to be forty-something and the almost automatic far-sightedness kicks in.  But now, for me, prepare to dig down and spend 400 dollars for an appointment and new hard contacts.  Not fair.

We won again.  The next morning, after sleeping all night with that damn lens clinging to me somewhere, I went to our bathroom to get a towel and then use the outdoor shower.  Came in, returned the towel to its antler, looked down on the white tile floor and saw my blue orb.

I WON!  Now we can spend that 400 bucks on food or something.