The news on the radio is mixed, too. Housing sales were better than expected, but most houses sold for a lot less money. Layoffs continue. The news seems bad, but nobody is sure how bad.
The same is true in our house. We're trying to refinance to bring down our montly payment, but worry that our house has lost so much value we won't be able to. We don't think this will be the case, but won't know until after the appraisal, which cost us almost $400.00. Last week, both cars had to have a total of almost $3000 worth of work. Addie's old school and new school are both wanting deposits for summer and fall classes. Eric's work is announcing layoffs again, and he's been coming home from work, grumpy, early, with nothing to do. At my work, furloughs are on the horizon. We seem to be hemorrhaging money every week, and our financial future looks very uncertain most of the time. I remind myself that my job, today, is to breathe in and out. The absence of anxiety is faith. I try to have faith, and to remember the dozens of moments of grace that greet me every day. "These are creative times," the minister reminds me. I tell myself that a dozen times a day.
Yesterday I was driving down the road, a fast and winding one, and about a block up a lady walking her dog began to chase a plastic bag into the street. I slowed down, maybe to ten miles an hour, just being defensive. Sure enough, she popped right back out into the road as I approached her, and like a scene out of a movie I slammed on the breaks in time to come within inches of hitting her. She fell over on the road, disoriented from the sheer closeness of the call and who knows what else, then jumped up and began chasing the bag again, down the busy street. Lady, let it go, I told her, grabbing her arm, hugging her living breathing body to me. You don't have to pick up the dog poop today, I said. You get a pass. Okay, she said, okay. Sorry, sorry, I didn't know how far in the street I was.
So these are the new beginnings, the new opportunities for grace. I lift my glass to them, welcome the lads in. Fits and starts, but forward movements anyway. Here's to them.