We had news late last night of a friend's suicide. GM worker who was already losing his home to foreclosure. At the time I heard of his foreclosure I felt no pity. Bloody fool wallowing in debt while making big bucks. But tonight I grieve for his family, especially his children, ages 10, 14 and 19. Their lives will be forever marked by these events. Sadly, there will be more of this.
It's had me thinking all day about how much pain we're all in store for. God, I've had terrible visions going through my mind. It's easy to sit here and think we're somewhat insulated. You know how those thoughts go. "Well, we've been stocking up." And, "we're so broke we already know what poverty is." But really, we're going through our own challenges already, especially with Sweetie's health. And then, when more people around us (say within a 100 mile range)lose their jobs and their homes and the lines at the food pantries get longer, and people get more desperate and depressed, IT WILL affect us. No doubt about it.
We've noticed subtle changes already and that's even more remarkable because we so seldom leave here. Monday, on the way home from Sweetie's doctor appointment, we stopped at the corner store five miles from us. The police were there to investigate a a call about an angry panhandler. Poor guy hadn't come in and robbed them; he came in and begged for food! I'm glad I wasn't behind the counter because on the one hand I would have been scared; on the other hand I would have been torn between buying him a slice of pizza or trying to get make arrangements to drop off some food from our storage. Then today, our mail lady told us the same man had stopped her when she pulled up to a mailbox. She too felt torn but, wanting to keep her job, she had to be polite and try to extricate herself while he begged and cried!
Tonight the news was full of stories about Paulson's latest plan to stimulate lending, etc. Just what we need, more debt. Tonight, one of the commentators actually said that on TV! But if the economy isn't stimulated some of us cheer and point out that the pain will be worse later; better to get on with it now. Others think a few more magic tricks from Uncle Same and Associates and life will get back to "normal." No matter whicb way we go from here there's more misery on the horizaon.
Our local news tonight showed long lines at food banks and soup kitchens and told of busy signals at the unemployment office. Meanwhile a farmer's field in Platteville, Colorado was picked clean. It reminded me of The Grapes of Wrath.
Hard times are already here, and yes, a lot of it is our fault. Most of us have lived on credit and shopping and mimicking magazine pages and TV ads. A few of us have coveted and strived for well stocked pantries, prolific gardens, livestock, sheering sheep, bee keeping, soap making, weaving, gunsmithing, barn building, alternative housing and food co-ops. One view thinks life is one big lottery ticket and the other recognizes that achieving worthwhile dreams requires hard work and well thought out plans and saving/conserving.
The snowball has gained momentum and there's no stopping it. As one commentator said today, "change" is here folks.
Give this recession/depression/financial fiasco another six months and today will look like we really do have a lot to be thankful for.