Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Life on Mars - A Series of Unfortunate Events

I didn't feel like writing yesterday. Just a little Blue or Unmotivated. I guess it all started a few years ago. Maybe in Texas. They say bad luck comes in 7 year stretches so I hope it's almost over.

I took a job in Texas as a lighting designer. Lets just say that the money was so good that I reached exempt for social security payments. But the owners were Mercurial and I knew I would soon be a passing fancy. My time came just as I was building my dream home, in a live oak woods, with a kitchen island and whirlpool tub overlooking the beautiful back yard. I had to walk away from that one. Unemployment in Texas was pathetic so I lived off my down-payment while job hunting.

I found a job in NY the same day my new Grandson was born, the same day as the Major power outage on the East Coast. What kind of sign was that? The owner told me he was going to do something not quite legit to save him some money, and I agreed to keep quiet. Bad Karma, I should have known better. After a few years with a maniac of a boss, there was a serious explosion between us and I was looking for work again.

I found work consulting, but it wasn't enough to make the payments so I had to sell my house. I didn't make much with all I owed and had to declare bankruptcy as well. By By good credit.

Poppy and her boyfriend bought an old house in a bad neighborhood, because it was cheap, but with my consultant income, her income, and his job, we could afford. Then the market crashed. I lost my consulting job and He lost his job.  I owed back taxes from the Retirement I had to cash in to live, and the IRS wiped out the last of my savings and my bank account was closed. Poppy was still earning, but things got really tight. Then her appendix burst.

I took the lousy Utica hospital 8 hours before they operated on her. Her lung collapsed in surgery and she almost died. Took a bit of recovery, pneumonia, but was feeling better after a month.

By this time almost everything in the old house went. We had no hot water tank and we were boiling water and using Camp shower bags to wash. The boiler went so we were heating the house with space heaters and the fireplace. Then Poppy put paper plates in the fireplace. They blew up the stack and caught the creosote on fire. That was the end of that house. With a condemned fireplace and no central heat, the city condemned the house and we were forced to abandon it. We loaded a truck with what we could fit and moved back to Cleveland in a teeny cottage owned by relatives.

It was OK. We had to leave a lot behind, but it was so much cheaper that we were OK. Then we got kicked off of Etsy, our main income. It has been really tough for us. We have no car and our income had dropped by half. We have no public transportation to even get to a job if we wanted to. We're trying.

Last week we were in fear of having our power shut off. But that worked out. We are taking a wee bit of public assistance, but that's what I payed so much taxes for in the past. And now my son needs surgery and I don't have the cash to get him here. I'm sure that will work out too.

I know the cursed period is coming to an end soon, but after working so hard for so many years, it's hard to see the sun behind the clouds. I know it's there though. And I have faith that we will all be in a better place financially soon. Just wish those damn arrogant cashiers wouldn't give me dirty looks when I have to use my food card.


vintage eye said...

As far as the cashiers go...Fuck 'em!

Pesky Cat Designs said...

I agree with vintage eye as far as the cashiers go! People always think that they will never be in that position but they are very wrong. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. So those cashiers might have to use food cards one day too.

Back in NYC I had a good paying part time job (3 days a week) that paid all my bills and I never worried about money. Since moving to Florida I am working full time on my shop. My income is not steady, I can not afford to buy a home and I worry a lot about money. I was never someone who would ever look badly at someone using food stamps but I thought I would never have to worry about money. So life changes and you never know where it might lead you.

Your honest post touched me deeply. You have been through a lot. I have faith that only good things are coming your way. I am sure of it!

Denise said...

Growing up we were often on food stamps. My father was in and out of mental hospitals (he never quite recovered from Vietnam) and it was all my mother could do to keep it together. I still don't know how she did it. There's no shame in needing help and getting it. Vintage Eye is spot on.

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