Our family and business have faced some pretty healthy challenges this past year or so. We are trying to remain positive and hopeful and be wise in facing our future. I know that most people in this country are facing some kind of challenge. They may be minor or major, but remain a challenge, none the less. It's how we each approach them, that is a huge part of how they will work out or how we will work through them. Some challenges are fixable, and some not so much. If we can fix it, then fix it we will. If not then we have to find a way through it and return to the light of day with a smile, and a sense of accomplishment. This is called survival.
We live and learn, and become deeply thankful for where we are in the moment. Some of us are in more precarious points than others, but there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for... ALWAYS!
Our family has seen the years speed by. We have worked hard and in the midst of our busy days, we have found age, or maybe I should say, age has found us! It snuck up on us when we weren't looking.. going to art fairs, running our little brick and mortar, planting gardens, making cool things for people to enjoy, holding events to up lift and enrich folks.... and then ..... WHAM! There is age! Achy bones, gray hair, lost energy and a tiny Social Security allotment, that, for most folks would not get them through a month of bills, let alone any extras, all staring us in our surprised and shocked faces.
It began, our realization of time gone and age creeping in, with the tearing down of our sign in October of 2015 and continued with a scary chimney fire in January of this year. These two major wake up calls has pushed us against the wall.
Add that to a cold letter we received from a neighbor, telling us we were not to violate their property by trespassing. Threatening us of future trespass, was a blindsided huge blow to our morale and positive out look.
We can only surmise where our neighbors begrudging thought came from, we have been friends for over 27 years, other than our May Day Celebration in 2016, that was a benefit for the local Women's Resource Center Safe House. An event we have held here for 13 years.
A band member was caught on their driveway. We put up do 'not enter', and 'private drive' signs on that driveway, but when you are holding an event with several hundred people involved, there is bound to be one who oversteps a boundary. We had no volunteers to control that driveway, we trusted/hoped the signs would work. We also hoped for a little lenience, considering the event was a benefit. It was also our last one. There was no damage done to anything, it was one band member who had to leave early for health reasons and the neighbors had to wait for the exiting car, before they could go back to their home. Wow!
OK... so there. There you have my diatribe of, 'oh, woe is me' crap. I/we are moving on now. I unfriended that neighbor on Face Book, and have no plans of any further communication with them. The 27 years of friendship is best left to memories and cool civilities at this point.
So now our family is facing survival on a financial basis. We have trimmed our living expenses to dry bone levels. We will maintain our little shop, and offer what we make in our our studio and not purchase inventory from outside sources. We are still alive!
Our home is the next challenge. With the loss of our chimney, goes the ability to use our wood stove. How will we heat our home this coming winter? We don't have the monthly income to cover the high expense of propane. We are looking into a pellet stove that vents out the side of the house. There are challenges with that too, like storage space for the pellets, we can't stack the bags up like we did with the wood. We are thinking the front porch may work.
There is another heat source we were told about, but it may be out of our affordability. It's called a Fujitsu Heater and Conditioner. I am still researching the cost of that. At least we have options to pursue, and a few months before winter sets in. That is all good stuff.
So with my need to get the negative off my chest, I have done so and am moving on. I have also breached my absence here and will return with happier events and tales. Hope your life is wonderful and full of all things good and fulfilling.
One final thought to leave you with....
......When I find my heart is heavy with worry and burdens, I go outside and breathe deep and smell the sweet scent of the Earth. I look at the sky, at the clouds or the stars. I allow the immenseness, the awesomeness, the beauty beyond words to fill my spirit. I feel the cool grass on my bare feet, and the fragrant breeze on my cheeks and know that this is my home, my blessing. A sense of deep profound comfort overwhelms me. My mind and mundane thoughts are taken away from dwelling in a harsh society and political discourse ...and then, ever so quickly, do I remember what is truly important to each of us Earthlings. These things are important! This sky, this breeze, this scent, this beauty is crucial to our wellness. Knowing that sweet life is precious beyond all other. Nothing else matters!