While an influx of work is at least temporarily helping my personal economy, it is encroaching on my writing time. This piece is from August of last year...
My car is not the only area of my life suffering from neglect. I’ve taken to wearing hats whenever I leave the house so as not to expose the two inches of gray roots seeping from my scalp. As luck would have it, I live in a rural area where cowboy hats are considered acceptable attire everywhere. Sometimes I throw on a baseball cap just to change things up a bit. I do have to say I’m happy to see that torn jeans are considered high fashion at the moment because that’s pretty much the condition of all of mine and I fully expect to be mistaken for Cameron Diaz any day now.
Fortunately, I’ve never required an abundance of food. We have chickens on the farm where I live and they provide a steady supply of eggs. There’s a veggie garden, too, and several fruit trees. What we don’t grow here is easily pilfered from the lands of surrounding farmers, but except for the occasional splurge on a jar of Bacon Bits, meat is a thing of the past.
Being single has some financial advantages in these lean times. Nobody on Facebook cares if I shave my legs, so I save on razors. Also, the bushes growing on my limbs keep me warm in the winter when I can’t afford heat, and I’ve discovered that underarm hairs can be plucked.
Like most animal lovers, my dog’s needs come before mine. If Dixie has a hang nail I rush her to the vet. I, on the other hand, have to be scraped off the front of a truck before I’ll see a doctor. Not that I don’t have insurance. I do. But if I use it, they’ll raise my rates. Which seems reasonable. Those executive-owned mansions don’t come cheap.
I will never be able to retire. I feel sorry for all those who worked hard their whole lives and scrimped to save for their golden years only to have lost those savings in the market downturn. Now they’re just like me, only I never saved a dime. Life as a freelance writer rarely offered such an opportunity, plus I squandered a lot of it, too. I do have a job, so I’m ahead of many in that respect, but work has slowed recently while, conversely, the monthly bills only seem to know one direction -- up. Funny how that works. To those who say “money can’t buy happiness,” I say if you have money and you’re not happy, you’re just not trying.
So, how’s the economy treating you?
Christmas, 1982 by Sarah Elizabeth Turner
17 hours ago