Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Thank Goodness for the Bird
Yesterday I went to Dunedin to pick up two pieces which didn't sell in the show. One piece did sell but it wasn't Mrs. Peanut so she has come back to live with me and I'm happy about that. The piece which sold was my opposing waves vase. It's the vase where I put texture on the inside and outside. I'll have to do that more often.
I met with Clara Ann Yarian, one of the instructors there, and she gave me a tour of the Dunedin Fine Art Center main campus which is in the process of doubling their space and under construction. This is the handbuilding room. There's another room for throwing, a glaze area, outdoor raku kinls, and an indoor kiln room. What a wonderful clay facility they have. There are classrooms for other media, a children's museum, several galleries, a cafe, a gift shop, and much more. There are also two other locations, the Stirling Gallery and the Cottage. I wish I lived closer, I'd take a workshop and I'd be closer to attend guild meetings and go to shows and art fairs.
Dunedin is 80 miles from here and it took two hours to drive one way, not to mention the cost of fuel. My leg was killing me last night from driving four hours. This morning we're reviewing our health insurance costs since it's up for renewal and it's increasing from $5200 to $6400 a year with the same $10,000 deductible before they pay even a dime.
We tried getting quotes for a lesser cost insurance on the computer and had to put in our phone number. Now health insurance computers from all over the country are calling leaving us messages. Yes computers are leaving messages, not people. The new healthcare won't help our situation, insurance companies have said costs will still increase not decrease. Food, fuel and other necessities are rising astronomically and will continue to do so. I hate to be pessimistic, but I think government and most laws passed nowadays actually benefit big business and not individuals.
With costs rising we really can't afford to keep our home, we need to move to a lesser priced place just to stay afloat. Just when we're all settled and I've got a good space for my clay work we really will need to move one of these days. I think we were fooling ourselves when we moved here. I wasn't thinking clearly back then because I wasn't doing well. Until I reach 66 my health insurance will cost me an arm and a leg and the cost will continue to rise along with everything else. Five more years and I keep thinking we'll be living under a bridge by then.
Gary has VA insurance but they 'recommend' keeping a supplemental insurance because if we were in an auto wreck they might be very slow to pay for the bills. I'd like to live closer to a bigger city, but Gary hates cities. But if we lived closer to services, fuel costs would be less to travel and there'd be more job opportunities. When we left California we downsized from there, but costs keep going up, the phone keeps ringing, and I feel powerless. We've been downsizing our possessions, and liquidating assets, in preparation for the eventual. I try to stay on the positive side, but sometimes that's not easy. Why does so much boil down to money or the lack of it?
The other day reading Meredith's blog about her sister Lee learning she has cancer makes me feel even more powerless against big business. My heart goes out to Lee and Meredith and Mark and Leslie. Seems much of America is in the same boat, costs for everything keep rising and income keeps going down. There are so many inter-related and convoluted variables to contend with in life nowadays. The huge metal sculpture above, which hangs near the gift shop at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, epitomizes all the variables I'm thinking of today.
If you missed Meredith's post you can go here to read about Lee's bird. Just when I was crying in my soup this morning, I looked out the window and saw this pileated woodpecker and was so happy to see him. I took the photo through the window. He was peck, peck, pecking on that stump in the ground. The bird being a woodpecker, well, how appropriate I thought. This morning all I can say is thank goodness for the bird.