Friday, February 05, 2010

Will We Always Be Poor?

That was the question posed by Gracie to her grandmother while on the way to voice lessons yesterday.  I cringed on hearing the question Gracie wanted answers to.  You see, in growing up mom and step-dad would always cry poor mouth.   We're poor! they'd cry.   Never enough money.  I wore hand-me-down clothes.  While in Alaska (one of step dad's get rich schemes thinking that money grew on trees there) there was a steady diet of salmon . . . cheap, easy commodity to come by . . . salmon burgers, salmon meatloaf....grrrr, to this day I cannot eat salmon.  And all the while there was money for beer and cigarettes.  Need I say more?

I got pissed off and at the age of eight I began selling newspapers on the streets of Anchorage just so I would have my own money.  Once back in the states I continued making my own money through paper routes.  What was earned I used to buy my own clothes so as not to wear my cousins hand-me-downs.  How I hated wearing someone else's clothes.  Once old enough and at age 14 I sorted returnable bottles at the neighborhood supermarket and later was promoted to boxboy, then checker, then at age 17, night manager of the market.  All in the name of escaping the WE'RE POOR! sense of living life.  It was never going to happen to me.

I promised myself at eight years of age that I'd never live like "them" and never ever not have enough money to do what I wanted in this life.  That happened.  Now I have a grandchild in the same predictament.  Parents who make a fair amount of money but can't manage it.  It could be said that they piss it away. 

Grace will never be poor.  Never.  We've seen to that.  If she uses the college education that we're providing for her Grace will be better than gainfully employed and making hand over fist dollars.  I am confident that we've given her the good sense, the spiritual background, the logic, the kindness, the look over your shoulder street savy and a knowledged of business/how to handle your money, that she'll do well in her life.

But for a seven year old kid it's hard to understand why her immediate family (mom, step dad, step sister and her two half brothers - - - yes, this is the new definition of nuclear family) is "poor".

Poor is not having a roof over your head.  Poor can be thought of as the homeless people here and there - - - Africa, Haiti.  Going without anything to eat for days at a time is poor.   Poor is being a member of the working poor - - - that's a whole other concept - - -  but poor is not being able to manage your money when there's enough.   Thinking you're poor when you are not is being stupid about what counts in life .   . . . and not looking ahead.

I could go on.  You get the point.  I think you did anyway.  Sometimes I leave things out or not complete a thought here.   Bob's buttons were pushed.  How I hated the "We're poor!" comments by my parents which has never ever been uttered in my household.  Never.

Okay, on to something else.    The picture posted here.  Our oldest dog Zoe (prounouced Zooey or Zooie - long O).  Zoe is wearing the harness she wears when riding in the car or truck.  It's attached to a seat belt for her safety.   Zoe is showing signs of aging.  Like she is going on 13, maybe fourteen.  There are good days.  There are bad.  On the bad days she goes around the house talking to herself.  Yes, talking to herself.  Making all sorts of sounds, Zoe creates a real disturance in the house.  For a four and a half pound dog she can really raise a ruckus.

At first we thought Zoe had been hurt.  She has a couple of disks in the spine that have slipped.  So we treated that.  Didn't work.  Zoe still made lots of sounds - - - growling, yelping, barking.  After months of trying this and doing that, we've concluded with the help of her vet that in old age she has periods of agitation.  Zoe's on medication to adjust her moods which does help most of the time.  Still, Zoe has days that she's all jacked up and there's nothing that can stop it.  She;s in fine health for her age.  It's just that her mind is going south.

Others would have put Zoe down.  She's a member of our family and there's no putting our girl down.  Wifey supports this and for that I am happy for Bob is aging, too.  It's nice to know that I won't be put down when the mind goes south and I start wondering around aimlessly all the while muttering, yelping, barking and growling. 


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weeder said...

Your dedication to Zoe is admirable. It doesn't sound to me like she's in great distress. But when her health does decline substantially, you may have to revisit this stance of euthanasia. We had a dog that had bad hips and bad kidneys. She was unable to walk, was in excruciating pain (howled whenever you touched or moved her). Her legs and kidneys both gave out around the same time, and then she started peeing blood. Yes we loved her, but the love didn't overshadow our wisdom in knowing when to make the right choice.

DNA said...

“In this world it is not what you take up but what you give up that makes you rich.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Anonymous said...

Thank you Hot Bob for saying it out loud. My cat, Tabitha, is 19, and she too, talks ALOT. Sometimes it gets loud and annoying, but I figure when I'm that old, I want to be loud and annoying too.

Putting her down is not an option. According to the vet, other than a thyroid condition (easily treated with daily meds), she is very healthy.

When the time comes, then I'll make the decision, but for now, she's my remaining baby, and woe to those who cruelly suggest, "just put her down already". Those douches had best make peace with whichever God is theirs, if they make that statement again.

You rock, Hot Bob!

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