Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wow, that was lucky!

I would attribute a lot of my life to the luck of the draw.  That and along the way I have learned to take a flashlight with me.
   My first bit of luck was that my parents weren't from Somalia and left me to fend for myself in the dessert.
I was born in a wood framed hospital in a small town of 46,000 people in America, in Oregon, about as far West as one can go without leaving the mainland.
    There were no gangs in my town unless you count my best friend.  The two of us hung out together, rode our bicycles everywhere and walked along the creek back into the hills.  The creek that goes through this whole town.  I never knew violence or fear.  Experiences that I have never had.
   I grew up in a small college town, that was the main industry and like growing up in a Mill town where you would be expected to eventually work that job, it was just expected that I would go to college.  Lucky that too!
   The '60's and Vietnam, the Cold War with Russia, the ever increasing mega bombs, the creation of the Hippies, abstract art and beat poetry changed everything forever.  50,000 Americans and God knows how many Vietnamese died in that war.  It was on television every night.  We could eat TV dinners and watch the evening news!  Lucky there too, I never went but a lot of my friends did and some never came home.
   It was during this time that I realized the Human Race has a propensity for insanity.  Difficult to believe it now but there were protests.  Some people were actually for this war!
   Sometimes it is just lucky that History doesn't take a certain course, a road we are definitely on somehow gets disrupted.
   I grew up and raised my family under different times, better times than now.  You can't choose when you are born that was luck too.  Jobs were easier to get and there were always raises or different jobs.  Better jobs.  Almost anybody could buy a house and they cost about 25% of your wages.  The better job one had the bigger house you could get.  And you could always "trade up", build up equity in your house and trade that for the house of your dreams.
   Times are changing now, quickly and everything is slower too.  Reminds me of the saying, "if I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all"!
   I think we are in for hard times and I think they will be with us for awhile, maybe for a very long time.
A part of it we can blame on others.  Somebody should have done something different.  Congress won't cooperate and you may not like our President.  It is always easiest to put the blame on someone else.  Some of it might be bad luck or no luck at all.
   And some of it is clearly our own fault.
   In the 1970's I could build a "ding bat house", a small house, maybe 1200 sq. feet with a simple roof line and nothing too fancy in ten days.  That was it, from building permit to turning over the keys, ten days, two weeks.  It cost the new homeowner about 25% of his wages and he had to put in his own landscaping, plant his own trees and put in the lawn, build his own fence and make it a home.
   We want more and we want it now.  These kind of houses are no longer being built because they wouldn't sell.  We want granite counter tops and the latest in kitchen engineering, the fence already built and underground sprinklers installed.  We want the big flat screened TV. And the double car garage for our new cars.
   It takes two incomes now to buy a house and what was once a haven to come home to has become an albatross.  We have become slaves.  Slaves to our desires.
   It is like the game "Monopoly," I have said that before.  When the bank runs out of money or one player has it all the game is over.
   Sometimes I feel that with our present political situation, all the disagreements and infighting, we might be playing a game of Chess?  Stalemate!


Barbra Joan said...

I grew up pretty much the same Jerry, just a bit before you and it was even better.
My Dad was a welder for Bethlehem
Steel in a shipyard, and bought a small 2 bedroom house the house costs $250K imagine that !! I grew up in a cookie cutter house on Bryson Ave. on Staten Island N.Y.. (" a northerner by birth, a southerner by the grace of God ")as we say here in the South.
We played outside til dark, roller skating, bike riding, baseball, no wonder I was skinny as a stick, we never stopped moving, the ice cream man came around every night., we caught fireflies in jars, no adults allowed in that childrens world,, It WAS a much simpler time.
Not any more. .. ok, so progress, good yes, but today if a woman doesn't have granite countertops, cappucino maker and an 'appliance garage' on THAT granite countertop to put them all into., and the guy doesn't have a media room , an SUV to haul the kids to soccer, dance lessons, drama, and 'play dates', as they call them now it is a crime .
I'm sooo glad I grew up when I did. Heck ,, I'm still thrilled to see a rainbow.!! BJ

Barbra Joan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl said...

Jerry, I believe history will show that we were truly blessed to have grown up during the 60's. I wonder if it will also show that we were the generation that allowed current changes to take place.
Being part of the global market certainly brings with it many challenges.
Seems we are all in for a rough ride and I wonder about our preparedness...

stonepost said...

Yes, different times, safer, the best toy was a ball and you could chase it anywhere!

Clipped Wings said...

I grew up in a small town of maybe 2000, but there also was a navy base next door with probably another 2000 living in their civilian housing there. Dad worked at the base and we always had a roof over our head and plenty of food, but we had less when it came to what we wore and how the home was furnished. Dad had good retirement, so they actually lived better after he retired and none of us were living at home anymore. In my twenties living in the city, we looked into buying a home, but paying over $1000 a month wasn't in our budget, so I never owned a home until Tennessee. I guess it just depended on where one lived as to how affordable life was. Life usually was much simpler then, but I always remember people wanting the marble countertops and all the gadgets even back then. We still live fairly simple compared to many, but we haven't lost our home, have no debt, still have our jobs, so simple living isn't all that bad. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Tiffiny said...

Life sounds so much better then. Times are definitely hard and will probably get harder, I worry about the young people just starting out. The education system failed them, there are no jobs, and the jobs they can find don't pay enough to live on. Can't help but wonder where we will end up. Hopefully luck will lend a hand, as you said history often gets disrupted for a better course.

Dan Kent said...

We live in interesting times - the Chinese curse. But I am not nostalgic for the old days. I love the computer, and the cell phone, and the connections forged across wires. The question is will the good things hold. I am concerned. I understand that if the Euro collapses, which it very well may, then it will have a dramatic downward effect on the global economy. We have zero job creation this month. Zero. Anything that happens that is bad, will drive us into a deeper recession. A depression? No one says the "d" word. But I think the possibility looms. We live in interesting times.

AutumnLeaves said...

Hear freaking hear, Jerry!