Foggy Memories

Clarity in reflection

Lately, I’m beginning to think that some of the organizations we’ve made donations to have a problem with their memory. Don’t get me wrong, they know who we are, where we live, our email addresses and our phone numbers. I’m pretty sure they know we’ve made a donation. However, our donations seem to be triggers for more requests for money.

It seems to go like this:

Charity: “Can you give us some money?”

Dan: “Yes, yes I can.”

Charity: “Thank you for your recent gift. Can you give us some more money?”

I have come to expect this behavior from Sammy the Squirrel, but he’s a squirrel. He’s living outside and he was orphaned when his mother was hit by a car. “Yes, Sammy, we have more nuts for you.” But, “No, college-from-which-I-graduated I don’t have more money for you!” And, “NO! college from which our daughter graduated, we don’t have more money for you. We gave you enough. Remember, you called it tuition.

While it’s not the most recent example, a clear candidate to win the 2017 ‘worst Thank You ever’ award came from a college I did attend:

Thank you for your overwhelming support of the (some famous guy I never heard of) Endowed Fund! We are grateful for your generosity and are excited to share that we reached our goal of $10,000 within the first month of our campaign. These funds will help future students through scholarships, access to professional development opportunities, study abroad support, and much more.

We are increasing our goal to $15,000, however, the campaign closes at midnight on Friday, December 8.”

How about simply ending with: “thanks for helping us reach our goal, you’re awesome!”

The candidates for the 2018 award are flowing in early. Over the New Year’s weekend, I started hacking away at my cable bill. Little by little, I plan to get that thing down to a reasonable amount. I could write an entire post about that, but not today. Later, maybe, if I’m successful. Today, it’s merely a way to further illustrate a sore subject.

More sore than a cable bill?


One of the things I cut was the DVR option. It was almost $20 a month, and most of what I DVRed I can find online. I’ll explain in that future post, but one of the ways I can find stuff online is through PBS Passport. “Give us $60, become a member and get access to Passport.”

I did that. I gave them $60, but they still keep asking for money. They didn’t send me a “Thank you, here’s how to get Passport” email, but they’ve sent multiple emails and a real piece-of-paper-in-an-envelope request for more money. After the fourth email request for more money, I replied to their Membership Department. I pointed out two things: 1) I gave $60 almost a month ago and I’m still waiting for access to Passport, and 2) I live almost equal-distance between two PBS stations, and I’m considering seeing if I have better luck with the other one.

That got their attention.

We woke to a nice foggy day today. Maybe that’s the problem with these groups. Maybe it’s foggy where they are.


  1. My complaint is that there are businesses that provide the fund-raising services for these charities and only a small percentage of what is raised actually goes to the charity. So really, I’m just giving them money to support their efforts to keep trying to pick my pocket.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Well the only organization I ever gave to and fully trusted was and will remain St Jude’s. When I was expectin my first son, I lived in a small mobile home park in Louisiana and next door to me lived a woman and her son. The Dad was a trucker and rarely home. Little andy was four, had a beautiful smile, and leukemia. She and that lovely child spent many months up at St. Jude’s and they never ever asked her for money. When he had to go for treatments they stayed at the Ronald McDonald House across the street-again for free. I gave toSt Jude’s for years, until we ran onto much leaner times and eventually stopped. They always sent the same little envelope with the same three choices and never solicited for more. They also always sent me those great little retrun address labels that I used when we actually paid bills by mail, sent them even after I was unabke to donte any longer.
    Yeah…we cut the cod on satellite and canle when we made this last move. He nought some little box where we get the major stations and some other channels that play old shows and reruns. It works. We have our BlueRay box for Netflix and Hulu. It is so rare that I actually WATCH anyway. Good luck with your choices.
    That frozen reflection reminds me of a portal….

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Cheryl. We have gotten way more selective in who we support, and, as I mentioned to Joanne, I want to make sure that the organization is getting the money. I gave directly to this PBS station, via their website, but the soliciting hasn’t missed a beat.

      I am getting very selective in what I pay for from the cable company. That has just gotten ridiculous. I’m not done chopping, but I’ve pruned a nice hunk of the monthly fee away.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maddie surely loves her life. You are an adventurer, a lover of nature and of your family. All of that is the reason I enjoy your stories.

    Charity? For the most part, I give close to home, there and to a hospital that extended my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Maddie does like the life she has.

      We mostly give to local organizations, but usually not through their paid fundraising efforts. I do give to the schools I attended. I stay in the Alumni Association and I give to the school once a year. That’s it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lois. Seriously, you took tuition for four years and now you want more? I’m not the alumni.

      I was about 1/4 mile away from the train. I missed a better shot. I paused before I realized it was moving away from me. I was hoping to catch it as it emerged from the fog. I do like this one, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. LOVE your response to PBS! I’ve been giving to my church and one or two local organizations, so I don’t get many requests for more money. Maybe they know the size of my bank account…

    The only org that repeatedly calls me is the Community Blood Center. But giving blood is a different story and something I don’t mind giving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We try to stay local with donations. I like to give back to the community I live in. I give to NPR/PBS because I do listen/watch, but the beat you to death asking for more money. I really think the squirrels are better, Eventually, they’re like: “I’ve had enough for today.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I give zero to anyone who calls on the phone. I’ve stopped giving to high school and college fund raisers because I’m sorry but how many years do they expect to keep getting donations. Fog is thick here today as well. Now, I’d really like to read how you get that cable bill down because it is highway robbery and it only goes up. Apparently, they don’t remember Block Buster because I think that is what is eventually going to happen to them. I just wish it would be sooner than later. :-) So, did Maddie get the toast?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 5G – That will bring actual wireless competition to every cable provider’s front door, Judy. I don’t think they’re going to budge an inch until then. Our bill rose almost $50 last year and I didn’t change anything. The last change put me on a mission. If I’m successful, I’ll let you know what I did. I don’t think it will be a complete cord-cutting event, but scaling back , for sure.

      Maddie was content to sit and wait for the “last bite” on the three previous pieces of toast. When she realized there was only one piece left, she stepped up her game. We split that piece – she got the part with the most butter.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Here, here on the college asking for more money comments! I put those requests in the spam folder. Love the fog pictures, especially the reflections in the puddles. Reminds me of one of those Renaissance painters from the Netherlands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • More and more are heading into the spam bucket these days. I’m always amazed when I notice how the reflected image is somehow more clear. I guess without the backdrop of the fog. I do like the fog too. I’m glad you liked both.


  7. Organizations are constantly soliciting donations. It’s obscene. We give locally, when we can. If you phone us or solicit via mail, you are out of luck.

    As for cable, all we carry is their basic package. We get the major stations and some others. Nothing to write home about, but it’s enough for us. I sit in front of the TV reading and hubby is sleeping in his recliner with the remote glued in his hand!

    Photos today are incredible! My first thought was that you cleared a portion of a window to take the shot! Lol. Then I laughed out loud when you mentioned that in your blog.

    Great post Dan. You may have to start a Go Fund Me account to raise money to donate to every organization trying to get their hand in your pocket. Wait….that won’t won’t work either! Then you’re the dreaded solicitor!! Bummer.

    Happy to see Maddie and MiMi. They make even a Monday fun! Who got the toast? You or Maddie?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. Yeah, if you call me, you are out of luck. I think we are heading toward the basic package, I can augment that with a subscription service for less that I am paying the cable company.

      Maddie got half of that piece. She also isn’t saying that she got a bite of the previous three pieces. She’s not starving.

      I like you comment about the little reflection – great minds, I think :)


  8. LOL! Love the post! Mom gave to a lot of charities, and got what she called Gimme-Money letters from all those and more. Every year, she got a HUGE stack of calendars from places angling for money. She was happy to get them, because she gave them to anybody who needed one. But still. And my grandfather still gets Gimme-Money letters. I mean, what part of “Deceased” do these people not understand?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hate the way they target the elderly, especially now that I’m closing in on that designation. And they keep coming back. I just got an email today, talking about the “second annual day of giving” on February something. The first “annual” day of giving was in October 2017. I can see why they don’t understand “Deceased” they don’t know how many months are in a year.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Cable charges are ridiculous! I’d be fine without any but the locals, but the mister loves his golf channel, so we have to get whatever package that’s on. … Your photos of the fog are wonderful! We don’t get a lot here, I suppose because it’s so dry where we are, so fog is a favorite to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like the fog. Thanks. I had been moved into an extra $12 / mo. package so I could keep the Science Channel. When they moved that back to the normal extended level, they kept me in the other package which increased in price. It just gets worse and worse each year.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Classic Dan! Funny as hell, ROFL and great way to start the week! I agree with you about charitable contributions; gave a nice annual gift in December and next month after a thank you are more mails requesting donations. Seems to me that a great portion of the donation is budgeted to the mailings and postage which leads me to question, do I want to donate so they have more funds to send me more requests? It’s not only annoying but it almost defeats the purpose of giving when you want the donation to go to help. Thanks for posting your thoughts on this as I have been thinking the same and maybe I’ll use Sammy the Squirrel as an example when I decide to write back to the charitable organizations…maybe I’ll have to tell them that I received X amount of mails and estimate that cost and say I’m reducing my donation by that amount and continue to do so until the reduction reaches zero donation, that might get their attention, too.
    Also, enjoyed you photos of the fog and reflections and Maddie and the cat!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m with you, Dan, especially with regard to “paying the darn tuition was enough” scenario (been there, done that). You’d think that someone like me, who doesn’t make charitable donations (mostly due to lack of available cash), would be exempted from those mailings. But no. Don’t forget – I adopted my last 2 dogs from the SPCA. Now I get solicitation letters constantly from the SPCA – wouldn’t you think adopting the dog, paying for food & medical bills (and chewed up shoes and furniture) would be enough? Sure, I’d like to help save every other poor neglected animal in the world, but I can only do one at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would think that adopting a dog would give you a positive balance for life. Plus, SPCA National doesn’t share with local pounds so you wouldn’t be helping the right people anyway.

      I figure we’re keeping Maddie out of a pound do that’s enough. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I guess they do it because it works. Our local public broadcasting station gets the bulk of our charitable giving (and even more when we die – yay!), but they keep sending requests for more… which I keep ignoring. I wish there was a way to opt-out but, so far, I haven’t seen one. Your response to your local station was excellent… I’m glad it worked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Manja. It gets so frustrating when they keep asking. My alma matre sponsored a “Day of Giving” which I thought would be to encourage us to give to our communities – it was a day to give to them! It’s out of control.

      I’m glad you liked the fog pictures. That means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m with you (again), Dan. The university can take a hike as well as Red Cross, Salvation Army and a host of other collection agencies. I gifted our daughter’s university and guess what? Lean thank you and continued requests. I wonder what the guys who give millions do. Stop looking at e-mail I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your humor to reality ratio was spot on in this post! I chuckled so hard over the squirrel and then covered my mouth with a gasp and then laughed again!
    I negotiate our cable and internet bills every year. It’s my gig. The Mister gets violent, so I have to do it. Hours of my life I’ll never get back. Oy.
    I love, love, love the photos of the fog and reflections. We had some beautiful fog Saturday evening, but we had to go places to people and we passed no place pretty to photograph said fog. I appreciate yours even more :)
    The FOP has our cell numbers now. How?!?! I’m angry. I told them so. I told them if they call my cell again, I’ll never give them another donation. It’s only been about a week, so we’ll see.
    I give to Ball State annually, and have most years since I graduated. I’m not too keen on donating MORE. They want MORE. I expect Sassy may go there, and she goes there for music every summer, and partial scholarship for music means partially our monies… so I feel, in the words of my kids, “Nah, I’m good, Fam.”
    I personally prefer to give to people in person. Causes are great, but I like the smiles. It warms my heart. Selfish, not selfish. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m reading this early Tuesday, and it’s the bright spot in my snow-shovelly-nasty-commute day. Thank you so much!

      I love fog. I worry about driving in it (I worry about others driving in it) but I do stop for pictures if it’s safe. We saw a puffy blanket of fog sitting on the CT river, but we saw it from I-91 bridge and coundn’t stop.

      We give directly to our local police. That’s it. The folks who fundraise for them take way to big a scrape. When they call, I ask “how much of my donation goes to my police department, or to any police department?” If they won’t answer, no money. If they do answer, no money cause the amount isn’t enough. So, basically, no money. And I never give money over the phone. I don’t think your way is selfish – it’s your money :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting. I will ask them that question. Thanks for the tip.

        I’m glad you enjoyed my comment, and it’s a shame you had a nasty commute! I hope the rest of the day was better for you.


  15. Love the foggy shots, Dan. We support a number of groups monthly and quite a lot more periodically, so we get tons of requests for money. Somewhere our name/s have gotten sold, because we get many requests from groups to which we’ve never contributed. In fact, when we moved from Cleveland to Illinois, I only updated the mailing address for those groups we choose to support. But somehow, the others found out about it, too. Now I’m calling groups we don’t want to support and asking to be removed from their mailing lists. I tell them that we think what they’re doing is great, but we can only support so many groups, and we’d like them to put the money for mailings to better use. All but one have been very nice about it. There are a couple I don’t think have removed us, so I may follow up. But we’re getting less requests now.

    The good news is that from at least some of our groups, we get periodic calls thanking us for our support. That’s unexpected, but always appreciated.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment Janet. I have no doubt these groups sell our info, even when we check the box that says not to.

      One thing that really bothers me is when we get a mailing/email that starts with “Thank you for your support in the past…” when I know we’ve never given to them before. If you’re going to start with a lie, I’m not giving you any money.

      I have had some luck getting people to stop asking, but not much. I could go for one of those “Hey, just want to say thanks” calls.


  16. Wow i didn’t know there are so many businesses related to donation until now. We begin to see some charity campaign here in China as wechat’s platform is becoming more popular and more mobile apps coming onto the market. Hope the money all go to the right place….. Another great post from you Dan! Love it how you integrated the foggy weather into the subject. You are a gifted writer! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks JoLynn. One would think that if you say thank you and mean it, the persone will likely give again at some point in the future. But if I had options to give you more money than I did, when I gave a few weeks ago, don’t you think I would have given more if I could have? I don’t think these people think about anything.


  17. We’re inundated with charities wanting us to contribute to them. It amazes me, and frustrates me. I want to say to them, put your money into your charity, not a letter begging me to give you money. Also, once I do give you some money, then shut up already… until next year. Too much noise, not enough signal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your first point is very good. Your second point should be in chapter one of the how-to-run-a-charity handbook! If the state can manage to keep track of me for Jury Duty, a charity should be able to ignore me for 11 months at a clip.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. ooooo – keep us posted on the PBS thing
    and my pet peeve is this ongoing asking….
    I could write a lot- but want to just note that your point about the more more more
    is maybe what Billy Idol was sorta getting at – kidding

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Love the foggy bridge, and portal images Dan!

    We give locally, and to a favorite wildlife sanctuary out of state. The cable bill…I’ve been wanting to cut the cord, but He-Man says trim don’t cut…yet.

    We trimmed it a little in November, and today I was reading in the news to be on the alert about a charge that I may not have signed up for. I’m planning to scour my bills to see if I’ve been hit with that unwanted/unneeded charge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked those pictures, Deborah. I love fog. At first, I didn’t realize the train was traveling away from me. I was waiting for it to emerge from the fog, when I noticed that it was going the other way,

      I started trimming the cable, as opposed to cutting. I think I am going to make another round of snips this month and then add back with a streaming service. I have a goal, but I’m not sure it’s attainable.

      Our bill went up almost $50 during 2017 and we didn’t make any changes that we were aware of.

      Liked by 1 person

          • Right now, I don’t complain about the Internet portion of our bill, but T.V. something that’s been around for more than 50 yrs, and free with an antenna for majority of my life. That’s a different kettle of fish.
            We still have our antenna on the roof. I’m so ready to go back to that for the few times I actually want to watch local T.V. Jeopardy, and PBS are the only things I watch on local T.V. now.

            Netflix, Streampix, Amazon, and YouTube are what I watch the most nowadays. I’m hanging onto HBO for Game of Thrones. When that’s over if they haven’t got another amazing series that sucks me in I’m dropping it. I’m the only one in the family that watches anything on HBO and it’s only been their series programs of late that I’ve watched. Deadwood, Rome, and Game of Thrones.
            If I could get Game of Thrones in real time somewhere else for less money I’d go.


            • My daughter has a basic HD antenna inside her apartment and she gets very nice quality on local stations. I think I’m going to drop back to the basic package from the cable folks and add Netflix and YouTube TV. Combined, it appears to be considerably less than I’m paying now. Our cable company has a 1TB per month limit, (before extra fees) but that should be more than enough for what we watch.

              You can stream HBO for about $8 a month. That less than cable because that’s one of the services I dropped. I never watched it and I never ordered it. It was “free” with something I had to order two years ago to keep BBC.


  20. I was very unhappy when January came and I had paid for five calendars the different fund raising disease organizations collected my money for sending me unsolicited labels and note cards. I don’t like to send such things back nor do I feel I should use them “free” of charge. So, this month I received 2018 cards that say to give more to show I support them this year, too. I tore these up. I tried not to feel guilty.
    I give my grown kids the calendars, Felicia loves the mouth and foot painted desk calendar, which I pay more for. They look so beautiful and have great quotes for her to read each month. 🌟
    We don’t donate to her college yet, still owe thousands, but BGSU gets a certain amount each year for my memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I no longer have any guilty feelings. These people could send me a car, and I’d drive it without a thought. When I give an “Annual” subscription amount and they send me a request a week later and three within the first month, I have no compassion for their cause any longer.


      • I would definitely be thrilled for any windfall and although my level of giving is not so generous, it does add up over the years. Rich and I used to go to BGSU homecoming tents and collect food, drinks and then desserts. I’m not sure but possibly we threw each of us, $5 into the donation box. (Go Falcons!)

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh dear! I meant to say I loved the atmospheric foggy photographs, Dan. It is puzzling and amazing to see the reflections’ clarity. I also think Maddie is cute on her belly eating from her bowl. MiMi is precious. If it is MuMu, please don’t tell her I got this wrong. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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