Monday, Jul. 21, 2008
Dear Diary:

In 1982 the Canadian economy melted down, much as the U.S. economy is melting down right now.

We went through a "credit crunch". A casualty of that credit crunch was the small factory where the spousal unit worked. One moment he had a job with a future. The next moment, he didn't.

There we were with a tiny child, our only income the spousal unit's pitiful unemployment insurance cheque. No one was hiring. It was a recession.

We were lucky in that we didn't have a mortgage�our modest home was a build as we could afford it project. Living in the country, we had enough land to put in a veggie garden. With 25 acres of wood lot, we didn't have to pay heating bills because we harvested wood from our land for firewood.

For a year, our only protein was beans and lentils. Gradually, as word got out that the spousal unit was available to do small carpentry jobs, a new source of income, a shaky source of income, appeared. We painted houses. I gardened for people.

Very tough times.

The spousal unit and I will always live close to the line. It's the price we pay for living in a beautiful but isolated place with few steady sources of employment. It's a trade-off we're willing to make. We buy our clothes at thrift shops, we buy used vehicles and drive them into the ground. When the staples of life go on sale, we stock up. We are careful.

That said, I don't feel poor at all because I get to live in this extraordinary place with someone who loves me. I have what I need. But I'll always remember that year when everything we counted on evaporated, and we came achingly close to losing everything.

Sondra is in that place right now. Both her husband and she have lost their jobs in a collapsing economy. She's on the cusp of drowning. Reading her words, I'm brought back to 1982. It's a terrible place to be.

This spring, out of the blue, two random, senseless drive-by acts of kindness were bestowed upon me. Moose gave me some lilies. One of my three loyal readers, Anne S., gave me a very generous Amazon gift card for my birthday.

I've decided to pay the gift card forward to my daughter as a birthday gift to her. It's far more money than the spousal unit or I could ever give her, and I wanted to do something special to mark her 30th birthday. How do I thank the universe for Moose's lilies, though?

I've paid something forward to Sondra. If any of you want to perform your own random, senseless, drive-by act of kindness, she could use your help.

Oh, and speaking of random, senseless drive-by acts of kindness, here's what the first of those lilies look like:

Kindness in colour

That picture doesn't begin to do them justice. Those lilies are so beautiful that they shimmer. I wish I could claim that I understood how stunning that deep carmine red would look against the scarlet of the beebalm and the white of the Shasta daisies. I wish I could say that I planned for those big double red poppies in the foreground to appear with them, but I didn't.

Last year, the poppies were about eight feet away in another part of the flower bed. They self-sow, and this year they materialized right in front of the lilies. I could tell you I meant to do this, but I would be lying.

Yep, the most beautiful thing to have ever happened in my garden is an accident.

So much for my mad gardening skillz, eh?


Mileage on the Marnometer: 249.61 miles.

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2008: 500 miles

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She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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