Yesterday, after doing an early morning "whine" about how busy I was, i was reminded that there is more to life than being chained to a computer all day long. Here's a peek at where I was:
Our local Lions Club purchased an eye-screening device so that we could work with the Children's Eye Center at Vanderbilt. For many years, they have run a project called KidSight Outreach, which tries to check the vision of every pre-schooler in Tennessee. The goal is simple. If we can detect vision problems early enough, they can be corrected before a child's education suffers from poor eyesight. This "camera" never touches the child. It simply reads a picture of the child's eyes and returns a report showing visual acuity, the degree of astigmatism, and any sign that one eye is much stronger or weaker than the other. We visit pre-schools and daycare facilities, and, with the parents' permission, check every child we can. Then a printout of the reading goes to Vanderbilt to be interpreted by a professional. Parents are notified by Vanderbilt if a problem exists. Then Vanderbilt and the local Lions Club work together to make sure the child gets proper treatment.
That's me, recording the readings, while my husband operates the camera. The child is sitting on the lap of his pre-school teacher, who is simply steadying his head too make sure we get a clear reading. Just look at the next three children waiting for their turns. They are so little, and so wonderfully well-behaved. One of them might have a condition known as "lazy eye." If left untreated until the child is seven, he could suffer permanent blindness in that eye. If we catch it now, it can be completely cured.
That's where I was yesterday morning. What could be more important? The book manuscript was still waiting for me in the afternoon when I got home. Not much editing time lost, but a great uplift to my spirits.