This has been ‘the winter that was’ for our family, one we’ll always remember. After surviving an as yet unnamed virus that laid me low for the entire summer and fall, it could only get better. Or so I thought. Then came reality. My youngest brother suffered multiple heart attacks, requiring some hospital time, an angioplasty and stent. A couple weeks later, my hubby had the same procedure for the same reason. Three days after that, I had surgery for a hernia and torn abdominal wall, apparently caused by all the retching and heaving during my prior illness. Almost immediately after I returned home, my older brother’s wife came down with what she thought was the flu. Ha! When she started upchucking black bile, off to the hospital she was taken.
During emergency surgery, a growth was found, growing from her appendix. This growth had twisted her intestines so that nothing could pass through. The surgeon removed the growth and appendix and all was well. Or so we thought. She developed breathing difficulties due to a rapid fluid build-up on her lungs, and her condition was not good at all. Their daughter, a nurse who lives in Illinois, made a quick trip to Iowa to check on her Mom. Once here, she started deep breathing exercises at once, which the hospital had been remiss in starting immediately after her surgery. What a difference those exercises made! Sister-in-law was finally able to come home the day before Christmas and is doing well. Today our grandson had hernia surgery and is doing fine.
Needless to say, we will gladly bid adieu to 2008! It has been a year of loss on many fronts, from the death of loved ones to the demise of some relationships along the way. Although we enter 2009 with very little in the way of expectations, hope is still very much alive. As The Greater Depression comes to pass, we try to make intelligent decisions in changing our spending habits. Purchasing big ticket items has been put on the back burner for now. Even allowing for the huge price cuts, that new Ford 150 will not be coming home with us just yet. Instead, we will be using any budget surplus to pay down debt and build our emergency fund.
Given the current news, and assuming you all understand that our economy is in seriously deep kimchi, it would probably be redundant for me to keep posting about The Great Depression of the 30’s. It’s enough to state that the parallels are astoundingly similar, right down to the fact that Wall Street, Mortgage Brokers and Bankers were at the center of that storm, too. Be careful who you read and/or listen to and take advice from. Don’t panic and try to not get depressed, even though your retirement account has probably taken a huge hit. We’re all in this together and together we’ll survive it. It’s a great opportunity for an economics lesson for your families, and it’s a lesson that’s been needed for a very long time. Who amongst us hasn’t squandered resources we shouldn’t have? It’s time to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. God is still on His throne, and the sun still rises in the east and sets in the west.
‘Till we meet again, I wish you a Happy, Healthy New Year! I'll be back next year!