Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gritting My Teeth

In case you're living in Siberia and didn't know this...

the stock market took another header today.

Leaving all those 'bargains' I thought I'd picked up in the past few weeks --

well, they're less so now.

Husband reminded me we're really in not-bad shape:

*We have no large outstanding bills

*Our car is completely paid for. Ditto the house. Ditto any large appliances. (I think we still owe about $200 on a laptop, but that will finish off in a month or so.)

*We have no medical bills -- or serious health problems at present.

*We haven't had to tap our 401Ks...and have a little money still left in the emergency fund. (Not much -- roof expenses are taking their toll.)

*Our freezer is stuffed with peaches, meat and other goodies...more than enough to live on for the next 3-4 months, even if I didn't buy another thing.

*Our pantry has at least 50 quarts of home-canned tomatoes and at least 100 cans of everything from stew to saurkraut. We could live just fine, food-wise, with buying only milk and eggs.

And Husband got a raise! It wasn't much...50 cents an hour...but he has a chance at another trainer's position in the school district, which could mean as much as $2-3 more per hour.
And most people are just struggling to hang onto the jobs they've got.

I see strained faces in our church congregation -- I hear the worry in many women's voices when they mention they've gotten a part-time job "to help out," instead of staying home with the kids. Two-thirds of my piano/voice students will be 'paying' for lessons from now on by having their moms work for Brickworks now and then. (We can always use the help.)

Colorado is not the easiest place to live in. Food prices tend to be high here, especially for fresh fruits and vegetables. A bushel of apples that goes for $24-30 in Michigan is at least double the price here.

Rent and mortgages are high -- utilities can skyrocket fast -- and gas...actually, that's lower right now, at a munificent $2.70 a gallon! (I never thought I'd think of less than $3 a gallon as a bargain.)

Nonetheless, my home state is better off than some -- our unemployment rate is much lower here. There's still work, even if it pays less. And there are still (sort of) affordable places to live.

What can you do?

Well, not worry for one thing. It won't help a bit.

Next, remind yourself of the priorities that are most important: family and friends who are still there, and need you. A warm house. (An intact roof!!) Food. A job. A strong mind. Chances that still remain to read, research, think.

Take a look here, too, at a relevant Washington Post article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/18/AR2008101800824.html?hpid=artslot

We are going to get through this.

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