Monday, September 15, 2008

Trying to Hang-In there

We're having a rough time of things right now. We left our house yesterday after having one of the most miserable days of our lives. Both daughters are sick with a stomach virus and have been throwing up for a couple days. The hurricane knocked our fence down, cut down a few trees--one of which is sitting on top of our house right now--and cut off our power. The power company has said that it will probably be 2-4 weeks before power is restored. Hard to imagine.

These are the times that try a parent. My job says that we'll be back in business on Wednesday (I can't imagine) and I have to make sure that everything is as balanced as it can be.

So we spent the day in the heat and humidity, listening to trees crack and break all around us, the girls throwing up. My wife is 19 weeks pregnant and has a very bad cold which sounds like it's turning into an infection. Our house was too wretched and smelly to stay in, so we left to my sister's house in Austin. Our insurance deductible is too high to deal with, so we'll have to figure things out ourselves--but I don't know when. The house is unlivable; if you haven't spent a September in Houston, you may have no idea what I'm talking about. Summer doesn't end in September but sometime in late November.

But I don't post just to vent. Ours is not so sad a story as so many others.

I turned on the news today and saw that the hurricane in Houston was the second story today, just behind some bank closure. After everything we've seen there, all the people we've seen on the road, and knowing that even amoung our neighbors we got off lucky, I find that fact very depressing. We live in a socially constructed world, and within that construction, the issue of the economy means more than the issue of human suffering. The importance of money has more impact than an account of an experience with the power of nature.

Over the last few days, we've wathced our neighbors. We've seen how a place that has the meaning of "home" can be turned into a useless object; a pile of debris or a useless rotting shell. Our home will be of use again soon, but many people are homeless for good.

I think that it's a good time for us to examine our priorities. It's a good time for a mental shift in what we feel is important as a society. We see money as a measure of us, as a part of us, as an expression of us. It just doesn't seem right. I hope that our children are more free than we are to see people as people. To see our nation's happiness as something other than a spending report.

In the meantime, let's just hang-in there.

5 comments:

Maddog said...

Wow. I've been sitting here trying to figure out what to say. My co-worker is from Iowa and when he hears someone whining about their life he says;

"What if you had real problems?"

Sending Hopes and Prayers as you recover.

Hot Flashin' Momma said...

same story here, can't go home cause of the darn tree. everyone else in the office is complaining about the power outtage, telling stories of their block parties grilling all the food they have, while I sit and wish that no electricity was my issue too.

Nicki said...

I think the economic issues are not unlike Ike - far-reaching and ruining families and lives to their core. And I'm not talking about the lives of the CEOs and investors. I'm talking about families (like me) whose homes were taken, whose jobs were taken. The impact very much resembles the losses from Ike except we can work out in our yard to clean up Ike's devastation. 18 months after the economy hit our family we are STILL working to overcome that. With Ike, FEMA sucks but the community is rising up, companies are stepping up to help out and lend a hand, people are pulling together. With the economy, not so much. Just the opposite. Having lived through both I can tell you I'd suffer Ike's wrath again any day. At least you HAVE a job to try to straddle.

Sol Smith said...

Nicki-
Between the two storms--Ike and the economy--certainly the latter has hit us harder. I have a job, and a good one, but we are far behind on all of our bills. And to take the job, we had to leave a house that has been for sale for a year now and is going to be foreclosed on next month.

When I saw that news report, it was the first time I had seen broadcast television for six months or so. I'm always shocked at the way the news media stokes the fire of fear when it comes to the economy. Stories like yours and like many of my neighbors' touch me deeply and reveal the true cost of the economic disaster we are facing.

I try to keep politics out of my blog as much as possible, but I really do hope that with the upcoming election, we can see past the senseless slander and vote in the administration that is more committed to solving our shared problem.

Dwayne Charrington said...

Wow, that's hard to hear. I hope things pick up for you soon enough. No doubt they will.