12 January 2008

Sign of the times?

The media and ptb have been insisting that there is no recession and we are just fine. The auto-makers are posting record losses and closing plants down. Airlines are posting record losses and asking for government bailout bucks. The housing market is in shambles. Although not all of them. I saw today that Bank of America is buying Countrywide for a tax loss (which means that they get a huge tax break and we get to offset it). The hearth industry (among many others) had it's worst year ever last year, and way too many manufacturers, distributors, and dealers have fallen or are on the brink of falling. Oil prices are skyrocketing again. The dollar devalues by the day.
I used to think we in New England were slightly shielded from the impact of the above happenings. Our house prices were holding steady and moving at a 'normal' rate. We had record low unemployment and had difficulty finding new hires. This week I stepped outside of my comfortable rose colored world and saw a taste of an alternative view.
We were driving up through Manchester the other day to a uniform store where Art could get an emt jacket. It is located in probably the worst neighborhood they have up there. The weather has been very unseasonably warm this week so I casually commented how many people were out walking around (thinking what a great place that people are so active on foot) DH popped my bubble when he suggested that they probably didn't have enough money to buy a car or gas in this neighborhood. Then you look a little closer and see that some people had eight of nine layers on and they probably hadn't showered in days much less slept on a cushy bed in a warm home. We drove a little further on through the littered streets with dilapitated homes that had bars on the windows and doors when we both spied a large and beautiful old brick house on the corner with a newly updated roof. "That is a gorgeous house", Art said. My turn to ruin the fantasy. "It probably belongs to the church across the street", I said. Sure enough as we drove past we saw a sign out front that said Parish offices. Shaking our heads we quickly and quietly did our business and got out of there fast! The lady asked us if we wanted them to embroider it there and we could pick it up later in the week. "NO!", said Art,"but thank you for the offer." Later he said he did not want to go through that again. I am so greatful that I have a home, a family, a job, and food in my pantry.

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