April 9th, 2009


A Sad, Bad Day...

Sister Sue suzy_qp took her running car in for an oil change -- then had it go belly up while grocery shopping. Triple AAA took her home, but she has no clue what to do now. The man who towed her said he couldn't speak about the place she'd gone to, but implied it wasn't trustworthy -- so there's good reason to believe they did something to make the car act up. It just got worse and worse after being in their shop.

Sue (and family -- daughter Candy and granddaughter Nicole) have no money to get it fixed, so she'll probably lose her car. It's a rough thing when you no longer have wheels to get around... I was just on the phone with her and they had to call the home of the little boy they ferry to school each day (along with Nicole), as they can't do that today. (Nicole was already staying home, as she's sick -- and burning up with fever.)

Speaking of, there's just so much illness going around recently. Marilyn mistressmarilyn had her terrible bout, Mandy was out with it, Carol was sick, Peter was sick, Sara was sick, Laura's out now, Christie is out now and I'm sure I'm forgetting others... Oh, yeah, Ron had it, too. But he doesn't work regularly in our office.

Local company Joe's (which was formerly G.I. Joe's -- you can read history about the original store HERE) has gone bankrupt and will be LIQUIDATED. (Marilyn heard on the news this morning that if you have a Joe's gift card, you have TODAY to use it. Period.) They've been around since 1951 (meaning before I was born). I just can't get over them going away...

And now we've found out The Columbian newspaper (of Vancouver, Washington) is considering bankruptcy. How sad! They've always been a tremendous supporter of the festival. And back when Dad was alive (and lived and worked in Vancouver), he just loved that paper. It makes me sick to think of it gone.

In less important news (far less), Marilyn and I decided last night to skip our scheduled Vegas trip this month (to see Britney in concert). This hardly seems like a good time to be throwing money around, frankly. We'll get a refund on the tickets and hotel and simply stay home. We've got plenty of work to keep us busy and can save money for other more important things.

The interesting thing? Neither one of us feel bad about it, believe it or not. We're not that big on traveling and being away from home, anyway. I guess the closer the trip got, the less we really wanted to go. (And how thoughtless would it be to spend that much $$$ when our sister is losing her car? I mean, come on...)

Last week Marilyn had a meeting with a friend who was crying when he told her he was going to lose his house. And hardly a day goes by that we don't hear about yet another friend who has lost their job.

People may be avoiding discussing The Great Depression (I firmly believe the government is trying to avoid panic by this avoidance), but I remember the stories my parents told me. They were both kids/teens during the Depression, and it had a lifelong impact on how they viewed money and the world. (Dad would hoard the most crazy things -- but little wonder when you think about everything they did without during those years...)

But we know we're blessed by all we have. Our new plan for the festival this year is to Pledge to be Positive, in spite of all these negative things. (I have that as my signature for both my work and home emails now -- and Marilyn's been using it for ages!)

In the hardest times people show what they're really made of. I believe that. (Life isn't about our things, anyway...)

I look at our worn (and torn) furniture and just shrug. What the hell. If people don't get it, that's tough. It doesn't keep us from hosting others in our home, you'd better believe that.

It reminds me that not having nice things never kept our parents from opening their home to friends. What the hell, it's not about the furniture (and furnishing), anyway.

It must be nice not to worry about money, though -- no doubt about it. But we don't dwell on it. We've always been positive people -- and we'll remain positive people.

I feel bad for Sue, of course. I'd hate her to be without a car, as it means seeing less of her. She's close by if you have a car, but without a car she's a long way off. (It's not a simple commute with public transportation, in other words.)

Well, Marilyn had to be at work by 7:00 a.m. today, which is why I've been up blogging. The weather has changed (also sad), and when I took the last of the garbage and recycling out last night, it was raining. We hadn't turned up the heat in several days, but this morning the house was 65° -- so it's back on right now! (brr) It figures that Marilyn has to be at an outside event in the rain and cold! (She's still coughing, so I hope she doesn't get sick again.)

I have piles of work to tackle, so I need to get to it. I hadn't planned on a long entry. I guess my thoughts got the best of me.

We were considering postponing our next Writer's Group meeting, but it's still on for next Monday. I'm not as happy with my story this month as last, but it's okay. And at least it's done. Marilyn's story? Amazing. I love it. I cried reading it over. It really moved me. She's probably going to expand it a bit and use it for the contest we hope to enter before April 20. I need to decide what I'm entering, too.

And on that note, to work! I'd planned to be in the office today, but will get more done being at home. That means I will be in the office tomorrow, though, hopefully getting more IT-related things taken care of... (And my home inbox -- which is my 'To Do' list for many work-related projects -- is now up to 40!)

church window (stained glass)

Maundy Thursday

Earlier I posted about being SAD. I hadn't even considered that this is Holy Week and today is Maundy Thursday. I remember how hard it was attending Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, with the altar covered in black and everything gloomy and dark.

Sadness was the order of the day, in other words, in preparation for the Glory of Easter.

Of course, sometimes we're supposed to be sad. There's nothing at all wrong with it. It helps us to better appreciate good and happy times.

By the way, my feeling sad doesn't keep me from being happy for you, should you have cause to be happy. (It's not all about me, in other words... smile...)

The usual focus on Maundy Thursday is on the Last Supper -- and those moments of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (prior to Jesus' arrest).

Years ago our Aunt Dorothy used to bring us a piece of palm on Palm Sunday -- and it went up on the wall for the entire year. Later, after Aunt Dorothy was dead, Mom converted and was the one to bring us that piece of palm. I still have some of the old pieces from years ago...

At least Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I do observe Lent, as we've always done our entire lives. I don't pretend to be a really religious person (because I'm not), but my faith is important to me, even so.

Without Maundy Thursday and Good Friday -- and saddness -- we can't have the JOY of Easter.

There's an important message to us for our daily lives, and it has nothing to do with religion!

Sadness is a part of the balance of life. We aren't meant to be happy -- or even content -- all the time. Only with a balance that includes sadness can we really appreciate happiness.

On that note, back to work!