The Quicksand Story

Our story through the quicksand of our own financial crisis

Archive for the tag “government”

Best Darn Meal I Ever Had

I guess to know me is to understand that I love food. I love the whole dining experience. The service, the ambiance. I love the way wine can be paired with cheese. I love the way a filet minion can taste wrapped in a little piece of bacon. I have eaten in some of the best restaurants in Manhattan, Miami, LA and Paris. I have spent over $700 on dinner for two. I will remember them, and talk about them for the rest of my life.

I was completely out of work and money. The only thing we were doing was working with a company called Melaleuca. We were trying to make it big there. But it was hard. I didn’t know it then but the people we were trying to get involved saw our desperation. I don’t know if they knew what they saw or just saw that something was off. Normally our checks were $20-30 dollars. I went to mailbox before I had to pick up the boys at school and saw the oversize envelope from Melaleuca. I knew it was money and a sense of relief swept over me. I figured I could get about a week’s worth of Pasta and Milk for $20. I opened the envelope and found a check for $405.00 dollars. Seems a couple of the people underneath us had introduced some new customers. It was awesome. I sat in my truck and cried. We had food. I called Karen and she jumped in our Excursion and ran and got the boys. We rarely used that truck because it was a V10 and expensive to run. Probably looking back on it now it probably wasn’t insured and the registration was suspended. I took the check and ran to the pawn shop. I couldn’t take it to our bank for two reasons. One it was an out of state check and it would take 4 days to clear and two we were over drawn by the same amount, so if I deposited it the check would be gone. So I would cash it at the pawn shop and pay 1.5% and get cash. I cashed the check then I immediately went to Burger King because it was close. I went to the drive in and ordered a Whopper meal with a Coke. I paid the cashier and pulled away. I didn’t even put the truck into park I tore open the wrapper and bit into the sandwich. I was awesome. The “special sauce” squeezed out the backside of the sandwich all down my shirt. I really didn’t care. To this day I can still taste the fresh crispy onion. I drank the coke like it was just given to me by Jesus Christ himself during his Last Supper. Just last week I went to a different BK and got a Whopper meal. I flashed back to that day. It tasted just as good as it did that day. Out of all the places that I have eaten, of all the delicacies I have dined on none of them tasted as good as that Whopper Did that day.

Advertisements

Perspective

There are so many reasons to write this story. Life experiences make us better people. As a former police officer I am often asked if I liked the work. My answer is always, ‘Yes I did like the work. There are times that I miss it. The experiences have shaped the person sitting in front of you today.’ My time in law enforcement taught me a lot about people and what drives us to do what we do. Most importantly I learned how to talk myself into and out of difficult situations. I convey that experience and knowledge to my children every day. I want them to learn how to make decisions without being in law enforcement. I don’t want my children to see what I have seen or do what I have done; I show them from a safe perspective. It is the same reason I want to tell my family’s story.

As a police officer I learned to hear what people were saying; sometimes what we say and what others hear is different. We can say, “I am having a tough time” when we really mean, “We’re filing for bankruptcy. My wife left me and I drink too much.”  Telling our story will help others learn what not to do or how to climb out of a tough situation.

When I was growing up and well into adulthood I never understood why people I perceived as poor were poor. As far as I was concerned it really didn’t matter. They are poor and I am rich. I used to think others were poor because they were lazy and I was rich because I worked hard. That’s just not the case. We all make choices.

Health Insurance??

We had a bit of a scare last week.  My 10 year old son got bitten by a bug and it got infected.  It is bothering him but he waits a week to tell me.  It is high on the back of his leg and he is embarrassed, I can understand.  BUT…… we ended up with an issue.  By the time I saw it, it was a yucky blob of infection so I took him to the doctor.  I am thankful that we have health insurance but I know many families out there do not.

We got him on antibiotics because the the infection was a little too aggressive and the following day we ended up with 1/4 inch bleeding hole where the bug bite had been the day before.  It is almost gone now a week later but we found out over the weekend that it was a MRSA infection.  MRSA is an antibiotic resistant strain of staph.  It can be really bad and scary.  I have known people to be seriously disfigured from MRSA infections.

After this experience I began to think about what I would have done without health insurance.  How many times do kids get bumps and scrapes where we as parents shrug it off as just a kid thing?  We are lucky to have health insurance, but more so we are lucky to budget $500 per child for emergencies.  When we lived without health insurance, I used to live in fear that something would happen.  I relate to the tons of Americans out there who do not have it.  If you are one of the people out there who do not have it I would recommend you set aside approx. $500 per child for emergencies.  Stash it in your house if you need to.  Start small, but grow it, because how valuable is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can afford to take your child to the doctor if you need to.

I do not want to think about what could have happened if we did not get treatment for my son when we did.

RELATED ARTICLES

 

Loyalty

I have grown up believing that loyalty is a great thing to have.  And I agree.  But I also believe that it has been manipulated on us for to help those who have perceived power over us as people.  Be loyal to your job even though they cut your pay, decrease your benefits and increase your workload….  Don’t go and work on a business in your own time that will increase your wealth and not theirs.  Or this thought,  I can’t start a direct sales job on my own time, it is against company policy.  Who cares that that policy doesn’t give a hoot about you or your family.

I think it is time to redefine loyalty and who we give it to.  Be loyal to your family, your immediate family.  Your wife and children family.  Be loyal to yourself.  If you feel badly about doing something you are asked to do, don’t do it.  You have to sleep with yourself and your family at night not your employer.  You would think this is commons sense.

How about when it applies to your bills and mortgage.  It is not so clear cut.  You are underwater on your house so you can’t sell it yet your credit cards are calling you 5 and 6 times a day and you need to feed your family.  I know how it is to have trouble letting go of a house from loyalty, I also know how difficult it is to receive those call from our friend, BILL.  Ultimately be loyal to your family and yourself.  Look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  The greatest responsibility is to feed and cloth our families and put a roof over their heads.

There is no shame in Bankruptcy or short sales if it allows you to care for yourself and your family.  Don’t lose hope, there is always a way through the quicksand.

No Matter How Good It Is

So, Paul and I have been doing well the past year since moving out of Connecticut.  He has a good job, the kids are happy, I am happy.  No matter how good things are there are always mistakes.

Last year Paul got a ticket in Pratt County Kansas.  By the time paperwork caught up to us it was May 2011.  We wrote a check to the court for the ticket because obviously Paul was not going to fly back there to go to court.    We did our Civic Duty, Paid our fine and moved on with our lives.

Flash forward to yesterday…

We go to change car insurance to find a lower rate. (This is something everyone should do at regular intervals.) We get an email from the insurance company to call them.  So we do.  Come to find out Paul’s license is suspended.  As we investigate why it is suspended. We find out it is for this ticket in Pratt County.  Wait. We paid that!!!  Well apparently Paul’s information was never updated on the system and his license was suspended.  We would never have known about it if we didn’t re-evaluate our car insurance.  Thank goodness we did, because how bad could that have been…

This leaves me with one question:  How is it that we as citizens are held accountable for our actions (which we should be) yet the government, politicians, and their employees are not?  We did our duty and someone else did not yet we are penalized for it. What is wrong with that?

Post Navigation