The Hammock is Sounding Better and Better

I have a lot to do today–laundry, clean the bathroom, get dressed, um, did I mention “get dressed”?  Okay, so it seems I don’t actually have that much to do today, but I’ll be damned if I can bring myself to do it.

We went to Home Depot yesterday to procure a sledgehammer to bring down the greenhouse before it comes down on its own.  Which it’s decided to make a good effort to do.

I’m dreaming of layouts for the garden.  Have y’all heard of this square gardening concept?

I need to get with the Professor and ask her if she wants to share the garden with us, and, if so, what kinds of stuff she wants in it.  But I have decided to be like Beth and just try a little of everything and what works will be great and what doesn’t will just be chalked up to experience.

The Butcher and I were talking about cleaning out the scrub brush between our yard and the cow pasture and I was concerned because birds clearly take cover back there, but we have decided to replace the scrub brush with raspberries.  I don’t know if we’ll get to that this year, but that’s the plan.  He also agrees with me that, whenever the backyard hackberry comes out, we’re putting an apple tree in roughly that spot.

It’s weird but nice to plan for a couple of years down the road.  I hope we can afford to do those things then.

An acquaintance of mine just learned that her whole department is being done away with.  My boss’s sister is losing her job.  She says that the unemployment rate in Elkhart, Indiana is almost one in four.  I guess no one is buying RVs.

I try not to worry about it.  I don’t want to borrow misfortune.  But it’s hard, when you’re in the restroom with someone and she’s telling you that she’s being downsized, to know what to say.  How can you say, “Oh, don’t worry.  You’ll find something.”?

It’s hard, too, in my profession because, when times are tough, the human thing is to hunker down and do what you know works.  Well, what used to work, and work well for us, doesn’t work.  If we’re going to survive–and, don’t get me wrong, this is true even if the economy were booming–we have to make some radical changes, a complete paradigm shift, if you will.  And convincing people–myself, even–that no matter how much you want to hunker down, now is the time when you have to leap, is really scary.

I think of it like this.  Say that we’re part of a trapeze team in a run-down circus.  We have our rickety platform on our side of the ring and folks like, say, Rachel, have their rickety platform on their side of the ring and each platform, even though the money to pay to fix it comes from the same till, has a different set of folks responsible for its upkeep.  Historically, we’ve both been told repeatedly, that our platforms are old and need to be replaced, that the repairs we’re doing are less and less effective.  But we, at least, on our side, imagine that Rachel’s side is actually sturdy.  And we have learned to shift our weight around on our platform just so so that our side doesn’t wiggle too much (which, from Rachel’s perspective, may look like our side is pretty sturdy).

And our task is just to jump out, grab the trapeze and swing through the air with the greatest of ease, let go, and let Rachel and her people catch us and then, there’s another trick, Rachel and her people have been tossed and caught and we are all safely back on our rickety platforms.  Tada!

Well, now, the platform is on fire.  Yes, we can still, for now, shift our weight around to keep the platform stable but we have got to get the fuck off it.  Right now.

Is Rachel ready to catch us?  Is the trapeze even in place?  We can try to time the leap, but the longer we wait, the closer the fire comes and it’s not going to matter if things are ready, we’re going to have to decide whether to die in the fire, from the collapse, or leaping spectacularly into the abyss and hoping, just hoping, someone with a firm hand grabs us and swings us to safety.

But, honestly, I don’t know if we’ve realized how dire the situation is.  I vote for leaping, but a great many folks are still voting for shifting our weight around and keeping the platform stable.  I wouldn’t mind, except, in this metaphor, we all must leap together or not at all.

I am concerned, deeply concerned, that our elected officials do not get how dire things are out here, that for them 600,000 is just a number.  Or maybe they get that 600,000 people lost their jobs last month but they’re operating under the assumption that there are, say, maybe 400,000 jobs out there for them to take, so a lot of people are out of work, but it’s not so bad.  I don’t think that they get that there are no other jobs.

Lowering taxes doesn’t matter if you don’t pay taxes  because you don’t work.

My cousin A.’s grandma, I think I told you this, used to wash and iron her Twinkie wrappers and stack them in shoeboxes in her closet.  My Grandma D. remembers a family friend who kept garbage bags full of toilet paper rolls.  In both cases, their behavior was attributed to having gone through the Depression.  It might be useful.  You might need it later, for something.

Anyway, this post is disjointed and depressing me.  I think I’ll go clean the bathroom as a pick-me-up.

8 thoughts on “The Hammock is Sounding Better and Better

  1. The economic future on a personal level is sooo scary. My sister is now afraid that she will be laid off in the next wave at her place of employment. She just notched her 15th year there. It’s not just RVs; people aren’t buying anything anymore. She goes from an anniversary date to another number – a statistic.

  2. Can I borrow your sledgehammer? Because my husband keeps saying he’ll take out the old barbecue pit but not actually doing it. Because we don’t have a sledgehammer. Actually I’m not sure that the hamer will be enough to do the job. But it must be attempted.

  3. My son is an apprentice electrician and he’s not got a lot of work right now either. With a wife who has MS, and is blind in one eye, and going blind in the other, so she can no longer work, things are getting really rough for them. He’s out looking for another job, but with all the layoffs in his area, it’s not looking good for them. I’m expecting a call any day now asking if they can come stay with us until things get better. At least we have the room for them if worst comes to worst (they’ll just have to put most of their stuff in storage until the economy gets better, if it ever does).

  4. I do want to share. But I’m a little afraid. I have visions of abundance that overwhelm me. I think we can work something out though.

  5. I garden on my teeny tiny balcony, so that square gardening thing looks kind of like what I end up doing.

    Mostly this just consists of taking all spacing requirements as advisory and fiddling around to see what works. If I had an actual yard, I’d totally be doing raised boxes/beds though. Probably not with any kind of official grid on them though.

  6. A little levity to distract from the fear we’re all feeling: That sledgehammer of yours? A GREAT cooking tool! I actually bought a little one for just this reason. Almost anything hard that you need chopped you can throw into a ziploc bag, and with a few gentle taps of the sledgehammer (hold it up near the head and just let the weight of it fall gently on the bag of stuff: Nuts, chocolate chips, meat that needs to be pounded flat… It’s GREAT. I love cooking with my sledgehammer.

  7. Then, for a little less levity, I just went to Home Depot. I can NEVER get help in Home Depot, certainly not on a weekend. Staff are few, and always busy with someone else. Today, though, there’s almost nobody in the store, and staff were falling all over themselves offering me help. The empty store was eerie.

  8. Our elected officials do not get how dire things are. They don’t have to concern themselves with such things as a $200 gas heating bill or $5.00 gas in a rush on the pumps. They’ve gotten it pretty good – hell, they can even vote themselves a raise if they want to on a whim. They’ll never solve social security or healthcare because they have theirs set up – it’s the great bargaining chip – the carrot that is continually dangled in order to inject fear into Americans to sway us to vote for them.

    I’m freaked out too. That’s why I went and got myself a part-time job. I don’t bemoan any part of that either, as I’m thankful the opportunity is there. But there is this undercurrent between the haves and have nots – that those of us who are struggling are doing so of our own making. Now, I only have me to take care of – and the cat – but what about people with families? They’re just screwed. And our elected leaders are basically fiddling while Rome burns.

    I sat late this afternoon and watched a documentary, “Maxed Out” – it deals with the credit card industry and their shady dealings. And this movie was made a few years back. At one portion of the film, one of the experts made the remark “what happens when the bills come due?” meaning there will be a time we all have to pay the piper – well, it seems that time has come. I recommend that movie to all of you… seriously.

    I don’t lead an extravagant lifestyle. Never have. I don’t go out very often – my friends joke that I’m a recluse. I’m just cheap enough to sell my aluminum cans as I figure that I deserve the money more than Nashville Metro. I eat almost every single meal here at home as it’s cheaper and I can cook better than most restaurants. I rarely drive too. Basically, I live very responsibly and have for years, so this cutting back is nothing new for me. And while I’m not a fan of watching every single penny, I’m thankful that I learned the lesson years ago and not recently.

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