Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Everybody's Got What's Going Around

A couple of weeks ago I went shopping, went to Sam's and Penn Dutch and Walmart. Places where people go to be careful with their money.

For quite a while, I've known the economy was tanking. Surely this ought to be second nature to me; it was the environment of my profession, back when I worked, and the signs are always very clear to us. Otherwise we could not have done our jobs.

Lots of people, though, stay in denial about it while it's ramping up. Politicians make good use of this. People like me, the true contrarians, get labeled as doomsayers and treated like party poopers. And unpatriotic to boot! heh!

So I tend to keep these thoughts to myself.

But that doesn't mean I'm not aware of what's happening to people's lives. I believe I understand as well as anyone else could. When you make a living seizing commercial buildings and other assets, collateral for business loans and big commercial mortgages and even the occasional house, you get very up-close and personal experience with the terrible damage economic disasters cause human beings.

There's a cycle to it. It's always the same in some ways, always different in some ways. One thing that tends to repeat? That sense of tipping over, of an avalanche, when the burden of knowledge of the damage is finally accepted by the general population.

You can feel it, if you watch and wait. You can sense it. The air vibrates with the change.

People suddenly become scared, and suddenly admit it. Denial time is over.

That's what I felt in the air when I went out shopping, a couple of weeks back.

People are being very brave, too, this time. It doesn't always happen that way. There are a lot of stiff upper lips, of holding shoulders high, of saying *I know that job will come; it'll just take a little longer this time.* Or, *It's surprising how these things can actually work out for the best, sometimes.* Or, *It's not much of one but at least I have a job for now.* Folks are telling their kids, *This Christmas all you get is one video game.* And it seems most parents and most kids are being brave about that, too.

That's a good thing, there, that bravery under fire. I hope this positive attitude holds true. But it may not last, because the depth of this disaster is astounding. It's not nearly over. In fact, it's only just begun.

Most of you know there are times when I don't post much, when I'm too sick or too involved in dealing with my life's issues or without a computer. This time I also didn't go around reading my fellow blogger's posts.

I miss you all when that happens.

Going around trying to catch up a little, I have to say that the downside of this economic disaster seems to be hitting everyone in our little corner of the 'sphere, too. Lost jobs everywhere, and no new ones to hire up. Homes in foreclosure. Checks bouncing, cars getting repossessed. Medical problems heightened. Yes, of course our health gets worse when the economy does a major tank like this. Much worse.

Me, I'll keep on acting a bit childish, whining and complaining here and there, and indulging in fun animal pix and pretty flower pix and general silliness other times. I have to say, it may look a little schizoid here and there. Some really awful things are going on in my life, and I'll combat the downside any way I can. If acting crazy does it, hey, that's cool by me.

I'm here. If anyone wants to email me and complain about all the bad stuff happening to them, I'll answer you. There's a good *crying shoulder* on this battered up body, and besides, it's only fair.

We're all in this together. We WILL make it through to the other side. I really do know what I'm talking about, and I promise you that. We'll come through, and see that wonderful rebirth when the economy starts to turn, and people go back to work and stuff gets made and people earn money and buy things, all that.

It's like spring coming after winter. A bad winter never seems to end...until it does, and spring comes, and the sun melts the ice and the flowers burst forth and the animals come out to play and raise new families and suddenly you don't need a coat any more.

See? That's how I know we'll make it through.

We always do.

Friday, December 12, 2008

When things are going so hard, I stop and remember why I'm here...

Life is love. It's love that created this beauty, and love that sustains us all. It surrounds me, out here in my yard. My simple plants and flowers, growing and thriving and putting out this incredible graceful joy for us all to behold.

No matter what happens in our lives, nothing can ever take these visions away from us. Until our days are over, we share in all this every single second of our lives. We're part of it too, we're completely and entirely a part of that life force.

I remember to come outside in the midst of all the difficult, urgent, scary issues I must attend to. When I see these plants and flowers I remember what really matters; it gives my strength back to me.

So many of us are living, these days, with serious misfortune. In the midst of that we may have some great good fortune as well. It doesn't get canceled when things get rough.

I see this beauty, it humbles me and makes me profoundly glad. I hope everyone reading this who's having it rough can feel the blessings of their own good fortune too. They're almost always there, those good-fortune bits. Sometimes we have to set aside our pain and grief and fear in order to look for the good that remains. But why not? When things are going badly anyway, what do we have to lose by taking a deep breath and a half hour to forget it all?

Here and there in my life - not often - I've received a sneer or two for this *stop and smell the roses* bit. Well, screw 'em all for that. I'd much rather be in my shoes than theirs. Their roseless shoes, the poor fools. They could be blessed with a wealth of free, sweet beauty, and they choose instead to indulge in valueless games like *Who's the Most Cool?*

Choose sterility, or riches beyond measure? That's an easy answer for me.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

FABULOUS News! Walter Failed His DOT Physical!

And even better than that: he's found a local disability doctor who has already acknowledged, in writing, that he can't work as a commercial driver.

She's also perfectly willing to say so, and to stand up for him in that onerous process of filing and documenting claims.

Walter's employer, as of a couple days ago, has adamantly refused to reinstate his Worker's Comp claim. They sent the disability insurance paperwork to his new doctor yesterday, so we hope to get it processed soon. Once that's safe, we'll sic our Worker's Comp lawyer on them. What they did is outrageous.

I'll post on the details as soon as I can. And, I'll try to keep you all updated better than I've been.

I'm afraid this series of events knocked the wind out of me. A lot has been going on, and it seemed like the new troubles just wouldn't stop coming. Having a doctor on Walter's side now has settled me down.

I know lots of people are in the same boat these days. I hope they can find a piece of strength to hang on to, like that new doctor for Walter.

Meanwhile, we have no income, and haven't had any for several weeks now. The Nov. 1 mortgage payment was made; my mother, bless her, lent most of it to us. She has no more to spare.

We need to pay around $150 for our meds, and get some food and such. It's hard for me to ask for help. But we need it now, and badly. If any of you can spare even a small amount right now, we would greatly appreciate it.

And I promise you, we'll send it back around to others as soon as we can.