Showing posts with label poverty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poverty. Show all posts

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Don't Wish to Be Normal or Average


                I always thought I was unique about seeing faces in patterns or saying a certain vegetable or color that is not the same one that everybody else thinks of.  Jenna has watched a lot of "Brain Games" and as I have watched it with her, I have discovered that I fall into the norm.  What?!  I don't want to be normal.  I want to embrace my differentness.  What differentness?

                Last night Roland and I were watching 20/20 (found here and here) in which Diane Sawyer interviewed a number of people and took us into a piece of their lives and I cried about the struggles of the average American working hard for so little - holding multiple jobs just to stay afloat.  And that is what most of us are doing - just staying afloat.

                My parents weren't the wealthiest of couples, but my dad was GREAT at math and budgeting. With the help of clipping coupons and knowing where to find the great bargains, mom and dad made it work.  They gave us everything with what little they had.  Every year my family would go on a vacation together.  Every year.  The one year that we couldn't afford to go on vacation, we spent each day doing family outings.  (see here and here)

                I had wanted to do that with my family whenever I had one.  I didn't know I would be so dirt poor that just going to the movies would break us.  I know there are many who are better off than we are (financially anyway) but apparently we're still doing better than average.  And that's scary.  What kind of a nation are we living in that people are donating their plasma to make ends meet or try to provide their child with a birthday gift or sleeping in their cars during the day so that they can taxi other workers home at day's end?




                Why is a firefighter doubling as a paramedic not getting paid a decent salary?  Firefighters put their lives on the line for us and they're only getting minimum wage?  What kind of crock is that? Why are so many educators working second and third jobs?  Why are so many people spending so many hours apart from those they are trying to support?

                This morning we were watching a documentary on the roots of Joseph Smith - how his father had been cheated out of a sale made, how the family moved from place to place and continued to struggle.  Evidently, we stand in good company.

                We have always had a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear.  Currently, Roland does not have to travel to work which saves for gas money and wear and tear on the car.  He hasn't had to spend 2-6 hours on the road to get to McDonald's just to make ends meet.  We have been blessed.  

                I still would like to take our entire family on vacation.  I'd like for all of us to go to Disneyland in October.  That is when mom and dad were married, and that is where they spent their honeymoon.  It would be hurtful to go at the expense of somebody else - struggling just to put food on the table.  It makes me sad.  It would be truly amazing if Trump could single-handedly turn us around.  Six more days.  Kayla's birthday.  What a thrill getting a new president inaugurated every four birthdays.  LOL


Saturday, October 22, 2016

We're Not Financially Rich - We Are Richly Blessed



It's been raining almost non-stop for a week now.  Many cities have been affected by the storm and knocked down trees at least 37,000 people have been without power in at least seven different counties.  How fortunate or blessed we have been that Douglas County has not been affected in that way.


Our youngest son, Randy, used to spend time with a friend whose family was more well off than we.  By allowing Randy to stay overnight and hang out with his friend's family as much as he did, Randy was given opportunities to some finer things that we, ourselves, could not provide.


When we lived in West Valley, many of Jenna's friends referred to her as Rich - believing her parents had money - as though we would have purposely chosen that neighborhood if we were financially well off.  But we did live in a house.  Most of Jenna's friends from West Valley lived in condos and apartments.  Jenna did have her own trampoline while many of her friends shared community playgrounds.  They also had access to a pool which Jenna thought gave them an advantage. 



Jenna's best friend in Oregon (this post) doesn't even have an apartment.  There are five family members living in a camper/trailer that would fit in our front room.  They have lived in at least five locations just since school started and continue to pull the trailer around as their finances sink even deeper.  




Roland and I have struggled financially most of our marriage.  His ex-wife saw to that.  How blessed we have been that we have always had a roof over our heads to protect us from the elements. I worry about Annett's family in this current weather.  Already the car  has broken down - which has made it more difficult to move.




Aside from already having been burned by trying to assist others, we're not in a position to help them escape their burdens.  We have had Annett stay with us at times.  She has had the opportunity to enjoy some "finer" things that she does not get at her home.  The situation reminds me a bit of when Randy had spent time with his friend - only what Annett may consider "rich" for me is rather simple.

It's all a matter of perspective.