And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just to Prove I Don't Have My Head in the Sand

I HAVE been noticing the things on the news lately. More banks are out of business, the Fed is "riding to the rescue" (yeah, right, like that is gonna work) and basically things are going down the tubes here in the good old US of A really quick.

A part of me is terrified. I drive through my town, a town not too badly hit by the housing bubble collapse because it never got involved in the whole "development craze", and see houses for sale that have been on the market for months and will most likely stay on the market for months more. I know folks who have lost their houses in this. I see rising prices for food/gas/everything else and I wonder how much longer I will be able to afford many of the minor luxuries in my life.

On the other hand, a part of me is fascinated in a completely detached way. I am living in historic times. This next presidential election will be groundbreaking, with either our first non~white President or our first female VP in office. Lifestyles will be changing, and economic conditions are already being likened to the Great Depression.

On a semi~funny side note, I used to have an elderly client who would tell me and anyone else who would listen that "what kids need these days is a Depression". Too bad she isn't alive anymore to see her get her wish, huh? Gosh, I miss her.


I am so interested to see how things fall out over the next few years. The answer is so simple and straight~forward in my mind, but so few seem to agree with me. I am not so concerned about myself or my family, because I feel confident that (barring worst WORST case scenarios) we will be alright. I know what the necessities of life are (here's a hint....cable isn't on the list) and I feel fairly confident that I and my family will be able to provide them. It may be different, and it may be difficult, but I have no fear that we won't be able to make it through.

I am worried about the rest of the country, though. Heck, I am worried about the rest of the world for that matter. It is kind of like watching the mythological Lemming Mass Suicide. There are so many people who just don't know what to do about the "State of the Union" so they just keep on doing the same old thing. They don't bother to make the simple changes in their lives that might make all the difference in the way things will turn out in their own personal story. And so, one by one, I expect they will soon be throwing themselves off the proverbial Cliffs of Doom into the Sea of Financial Ruin, Starvation, and Death by Exposure.

So. If you don't notice that I am spending all my time talking about it here it's not that I am not aware of the situation. I am just sitting back and watching to see which way the cards will fall. Will Americans as a group get their heads out of their collective backsides and start thinking for a change? Or will one of those worst WORST case scenarios become reality.

I guess it is up to all of us to decide.


Deb said...

I just recently read James Howard Kunstler's World Made By Hand. In it he offers a glimpse of what small town life may be like in the not so distant future, after the end of oil, and cheap manufactured goods, and superstores. I tend to think he's a "worst case scenario" kind of guy, but then again who knows? Anyway, there are some good things to go along with the bad in there: the rebirth of meaningful holidays, a sense of community, and musicians getting together instead of listening to recorded music.

I tend not to write about the current state of affairs because I don't know what to say. So I focus on the immediate.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Barefoot,
I'm hoping there will be a silver lining inside this dark cloud too. I'm just thankful I live in a place where I can have my own garden and have the opportunity to provide my own food supplies through gardening and hunting. I feel bad for people who can't or don't know how to do this.
I'm currently watching a DVD called "1940's House" a PBS reality show about life in Great Britain during WWII and what those people learned to do without because it just wasn't available. It's eye-opening and although we'll never get to that point (hopefully!) it shows me that we have become a people of excesses and selfish expectations (just looking in my closets and pantry reveal mine). I can sure understand why your elderly client made that statement about the Depression.

barefoot gardener said...

Deb~ I am gonna have to read that one. I, too, often don't talk too much about the current affairs because I just don't know what to say. Trying to guess how it will all turn out is a futile exercise, so it seems more appropriate to just prepare quietly for the worst possible outcome and hope for the best....

Ruthie~ I do see a silver lining to our present dark times, and I think Deb pretty much summed them up beautifully. I think pleasures and sorrows will both be more genuine when we are no longer able to keep trying to fill our lives with "stuff".

Kati said...

Hey Sweety.... I wish I could pretend to have my head in the sand sometimes. And, I guess that on my blog I do, quite frequently, pretend that. I was talking to Tay at the grocery store the other day about why I'm buying extra groceries now, and she so much as said she didn't want to hear or think about how our lives could be changing. I told her (in an ongoing conversation) at home that I think it's important to be considering how best we might manage an emergency, that way IF an emergency hits, we've got some preparations made, whether mental or actual. She just commented "Well, that's for you and Daddy to do, I don't need to!" I reminded her that Daddy doesn't like even hearing about REAL major events (Wall Street issues currently taking place, for example), much less putting enough thought into them to actually prepare for problems. That leaves ALL the strain of being prepared in ANY sense on me (and, realistically, FIL at this point, since he is also doing quite a lot of preparing, despite ridicule from MIL and refusal to see from Scott). I cannot handle being the ONLY one in the family who even thinks about how to handle hard times, much less does anything to manage them. I need help. Tay wasn't at all receptive to the thought that she could be helping me. *sigh*

Thing is, I don't think it IS something we should dwell on each and every moment of each and every day. Oh, we can be working on it a bit every day, but the real "in your face" details of the financial and ecological issues shouldn't be our sole focus. I think that being daily aware is even as simple as picking up another size of knitting needle as you pass the craft store, putting away a few extra cans of whatever goods you feel you might need while doing your grocery shopping, knitting/crocheting/sewing up a spare hat or mittens or scarf between other more major projects. Stashing a couple extra blankets found at a garage sale, along with more fun goodies. Cooking more seasonally, more often, while still splurging on oranges in February now and again. Ya know.... Small efforts that add up.

Best of wishes in the preparations you make for your family, and help them to make for themselves.