Most people only want to read positive and upbeat blog posts. No one wants to hear the real truth. Life isn't always positive. If I put my head and heart in the sand and don't tell the truth who will I be? This is part one of a two part post, please read both so you aren't left feeling my life is all negative.
We sold our home by the skin of our teeth. Before we sold our home, we sold Gary's Mazda pickup to pay off the loan to get a car we could pay cash for to lower our insurance and eliminate the payment. We thought we'd be OK. Then our three year old refrigerator broke and wasn't fixable. We lost two refrigerator and freezer fulls of food trying to get it fixed and covered under the warranty and it wasn't covered. We bought a new refrigerator on a 'no payments and no interest for a year' plan. Then our riding lawn mower broke and it wasn't fixable. Our house was for sale so we had to keep the lawn mowed and looking good so we had to buy a new lawn mower.
Late last year Gary's employer cut his hours back two hours a day and his salary back by one third. Meanwhile I was looking for a job and couldn't seem to get one and much of the time my back was too bad to work anyway. If we didn't sell our home right away or in the next month, we'd have to cancel our health insurance to make the payment, utilities, pay for food, etc.
A couple of months ago Gary heard rumors at work the deductible was going to be raised $1000 but then I got a statement it went from $2500 per year to $6000 per year for each of us. I only found out by reading a statement from Blue Shield, Gary's employer has yet to let anyone know their deductible was raised. Everyone found out coincidentally. When asked the employer said "times are tough and we had to raise the deductible". We're already paying $450 per month for the premium.
Gary's employer cut every ones wages and salaries at his company and laid off half of the employees, saying all the while, "times are tough and I'm loosing money". This same employer bought a new car for his wife and paid cash; then bought a new car for his 17 year old daughter with a lift kit and big tires and paid cash; then bought a new truck for himself, then bought a new skip loader and paid cash; then bought two landfills (which make huge profits) and then bought... etc etc. How do I know all this? It's a small town everyone knows every one's business. I don't care how they spend their money, it's theirs to spend, but when they don't pay their employees a living wage and rub it in their face every day saying "times are tough", it's a bit much to take.
Next we tried to sell some of our tangible assets to get a little bit of money ahead and no one would give us even one tenth of what anything we were selling was worth. We were liquidating any of the assets we had to pay our bills. I understood why most didn't buy anything, they were all in the same boat we were. The poorest people never quibbled about our prices, they knew a good bargain when they saw one and just paid us.
Then there was someone who drove up in an $80,000 Mercedes - offering us 1/4 of what was already 1/2 of what an item was worth. They told us they couldn't afford any more, and that we could take it or leave it. I knew these people and knew they had high paying jobs in this county. A couple of other people wanted to know if we would donate to their charity for a write-off. I told them I would love to donate the item, but I needed the money for bills. In the end what we couldn't sell and couldn't fit in our moving van we did donate or give away.
Once we had an accepted offer on our home, we needed money for tires for our "moving van", for moving boxes, and for some code compliance repairs for our house. During that time the stress of thinking our home might not close was killing us a minute at a time. But we were just a little bit better off than many others in our situation. We happened to have some money saved before my back got really bad, and before Gary's hours and salary were cut. We had bought our "moving van" and motorhome in hopes we sold our home.
Before we actually sold our home we did try to sell the motorhome for over six months, but no one would buy it. The economy by that time had gotten so bad no one was buying anything unless it was practically given to them. Since our motorhome didn't sell, we thought if we didn't sell our home, at least we had a place to live and somewhere to store our stuff if we lost our home. Besides going through all the financial stress, the last couple of months I've been feeling really bad about all the people in America who've lost their homes, lost their jobs, lost everything, and don't have a motorhome to live in or a moving van to store their belongings.
You might wonder why I never mentioned anything about this before. I was selfish, I didn't want anyone to know how desperate we were to sell our assets or our home because they might offer us even less than they did. Lots of folks who came to our yard sale assumed our home was being foreclosed upon when it wasn't. Others said, "Gee, I hope you didn't sell it too low, that will lower the value of my home". I guess I'm not the only one who is selfish.
I'm not telling you this for you to feel sorry for Gary or me. We are the lucky ones. I am telling you this for everyone else around us who might be going through the same thing. Your next door neighbor might be at their wits end, at the end of their rope, at the doorstep of homelessness and you might not know it. Please look around you and look for the signs. I've been feeling so bad, feeling so guilty because we sold our home when there are so many people around us who want to sell their homes, who need to sell their homes, and they haven't been able to sell them.
Gary and I plan to rest for a while to regain our stamina and energies and see where we will go from here. I did take a few clay pieces to another studio to be bisque fired and I'll be glazing them later this week, so hopefully I'll have some clay pieces to show you. Thanks for listening and thank goodness for blogging and clay.