Barely making ends meet?

Generally, I stay positive from day-to-day, with permission for an occasional pity party, but today things have gotten to me.  The economic news is bleak and though I do not usually subscribe to the mass hypnosis of the media on the state of the economy, now that I need a dental crown and my car is in the shop, I am finding it hard to keep myself from crying.

Fortunately, I have a job.  I am not in love with this job, and I am grossly underpaid, but it’s a job just the same.  Nearly 10% of the population would trade places with me in a New York minute, so I keep the belly-aching inside my head.  Still, it’s challenging to get fired up enough to shower, dress, and drive to the store where I work.  Since it’s retail, I have the “pleasure” of dealing with the public-the joy of which has been experienced by my fellow public servant, Jet Blue flight attendant, Steven Slater.  For the record, I was a stewardess for United Airlines, back in the day when the traveling public dressed in their Sunday finest, and being a “stew” was considered a glamorous job .  A little part of me applauded Mr. Slater for his actions, knowing only too well that after years of being abused, like the elephant who has been tortured for decades and finally snaps and says…ENOUGH…Steve exited with great aplomb.

But, I digress.  My fractured bicuspid needs a crown to the tune of $1475.  Speechless, I told the office manager that it was only one tooth that needed capping, to which she offered me a paltry 10% discount.  Thanks lady, but I don’t have dental insurance, nor do I have $1400 sitting around.  I, like so many of my fellow Americans, live paycheck to paycheck.

My beloved 2002 PT Cruiser, with 118,000 miles, all put on the odometer by me, said she’d had enough of the relentless and brutal heat of Phoenix summers, and just would not start, as if  saying…I need a vacation!  She was towed off like a sick person in an ambulance to the “hospital” for tests.  Right now, I await for results of her “illness,” with my fingers crossed that it’s something simple.  I live paycheck to paycheck.

At the moment I am also waiting for my Dad to die.  That may sound cold and callous to some of you reading this, but he has been dying for over a year…maybe even longer than that.  He has lost over 50 pounds, comes and goes mentally, gets skin tears that bleed nearly every day, and has a deep wound on his left foot that will never heal.  Add to that the catheter he’s worn for over 4 years, the recurring prostate cancer, even though his prostate was removed in 1996, increasing pain levels, and heart issues…there is just no way around the fact that he would NOT want to be living like this…if he were aware!  It is excruciating for me and my family and probably not a picnic for him.

My house is still my house.  I so appreciate that fact.  I was one of the fortunate ones who actually succeeded in modifying the loan.  Not something I was thrilled to do at my age, but it was the only wise decision I could make at that moment.  It does not help the fact that I owe $125,000 MORE than the house is worth by today’s market values.  I remain one of the original owners in my neighborhood.

So after writing all of this, I guess I’ll just allow myself a short pity party this afternoon before I go pick up my car.  By the way…it was the battery!

Country Pride

There are stations with trash cans and plastic bags all along the path I walk every morning with Rosie, yet each day I see the “evidence” from many different dogs.  People…how hard is it to grab a bag, bend over, scoop up the poop, and toss it into the trash can?  I mean everything has been provided for you…all you have to do is pick it up.  This truly irritates me.

I usually pass by, shaking my head in disgust, and wonder who leaves this stuff behind?  Yesterday morning I got bags and picked up after five different dogs.  To their owners…You’re welcome! 

Today’s walk included another path along the canal and not only was there evidence of many dogs having stopped to do their business, but there were broken bottles and trash strewn around too.  I find this interesting since the city provides HUGE cans in which to throw all garbage…another for recyclables…so there is no reason to dump trash in the public areas of our community.

Have we all just given up?  Has the current economic situation caused people not to care?  Isn’t it bad enough that our home values have plummeted and many homes in each neighborhood are empty?  Were some of the people who are tossing trash over their fences considerate about their surroundings at one time, or have they always been pigs?

Behind my development there is a large strip of desert owned by the city.  People have dumped dead trees and other vegetation, old tires, large piles of dog poop, dirty diapers, empty boxes, and various other things that clearly go into ones OWN trash can for the city to dispose of properly.  But apparently, some of my neighbors believe this piece of land is their personal dump.

I live in a neighborhood that wasn’t even on Mapquest or Google until about nine months ago, so it’s not an established area, and all of the houses are fairly new (mine is only two years old).  I would think that people who live in new houses would want to keep their property and the area in which they live, clean.  I would be wrong.

So what puzzles me is how far from the city do I have to move, not to be surrounded by other people’s trash?

I don’t believe it matters what socio-economic group you fall into, but unless you’re too old to do it, or too sick to care, taking pride in your neighborhood reflects on your city, your state, and your country.  With all the flags flying, support our troops car magnets, and enormous interest in this election, doens’t it seem a simple thing to at least keep pick up after your dog?