Today, I woke up super early (for a Saturday) and drove out to the airport to a Habitat for Humanity build.  When I got there, I realized the house was already built, and they just needed us for landscaping..  It rained yesterday so, I got up close and personal with the mud. Mud is really heavy.. but we were there for a reason.   I don't have my own house and I think the former me would have been a little jealous, or at least wishing I had a house too.. but today at the dedication of the house, with the family and friends gather of the three new homeowners I was so happy to be a small part in their American dream..  

One woman was an administrative assistant who had a 9 month old daughter and I teared up as she said how happy she was to be able to have her daughter's first Christmas in their first home. Another woman was a dental assistant who was moving in with her fiance and was so overwhelmed that she could not make it through her words. And the last man was a man from the Sudan, who had just received word that his wife and daughter would get their visas on Tuesday so they can join him here from Kenya.  

A church in Cascade sponsored the project, and they gave each family four tokens towards their future. First they received a loaf of bread to symbolize that no one in the home will ever go hungry. Second, they each got salt, so that they lives will be filled with flavor. Third, they got sparkling wine (non-alcoholic womp) so that they would always have joy and levity.  Lastly, they got a dollar, so that no one in the home would ever be without money.  I felt the joy and wished those things for them too. I envisioned them all moved in with furniture, enjoying the peace of the woods behind them, and the security of a home of their own.  In a time of economic frailty, it felt really good to help someone grow their roots and achieve their dreams.  I know that I am getting one step closer to mine. 

Being Thankful for Nothing.

I must say, this whole financial madness has been quite confusing for me.  We are in a repression, going to another Great Depression, The Dow is up, the NASDAQ is down. Asian markets plummet.  I don't know what any of this really means. but I do know that for once, not having much is turning out to be a good thing! I have no stocks rising or falling, no dollars lost in the Dow or the NASDAQ, the closest I have been to the stock market is the Stock Market Game in 8th grade, where we won, but had our victory taken away because we didnt actually invest all of our money.... Well my grandma grew up in the Depression, my mother still hoards canned goods, so I didn't want to take a chance at losing all of my money in any gambling..  

I haven't checked to see if my retirement benefits have been affected, but either way I am not going to be touching that for another 20 years.    It is simply a relief to not have to worry about this.  I am so sincerely sorry for those people, especially retirees who have no idea what to do without the dividends they have been living on for 10  years. I find it shameful that so many people have been laid off from companies large and small, because of a mess that they did not have a hand in creating.   And for once I am grateful just to have a job that I know is not going anywhere... I am sincerely grateful that it is one that I love... and even if we don't get our 2.5% raise in January as expected.. I'll be glad to trade it off so that no one else finds themselves unemployed... 

PS I am also grateful that gas is under 2.50!!  Woohoo.