A few warm days of lounging in warm California sun have just zipped by me so quickly. The sky is clouding over and rain is forecast for tomorrow evening. The misses is in Hawaii a couple more days while I baby sit the dogs and beach house. It is hard to crawl back to work so early on a Monday morning after this weekend of pure sun. I arose at 5am to let the dogs have a little trot outdoors before they return to their cages for several hours.
After two cups of coffee I am awake to make the hour-long commute to the building where I live my life two days out of seven. Some retirement calculating last week tells me I have only months left, perhaps seven, before I can be released from the corporate life once and for all. Twenty-nine years as a technical writer, plus another ten or so of doing other kinds of working, including nursing assistant and fork-truck driver, has kept me fed clothed, and housed, with enough savings to enjoy a few easy years.
Santa Cruz County has been a retirement destiny for years, although the high cost of living has kept away many more. It has also driven away young people who want to settle down and own a home and have a career. Come to think of it, the size of the middle class has diminished, what with the plight of our economy. When I look at others, I have to ask myself just who are these people that surround me. How have they managed to thrive here? Others must be facing similar uncertainties throughout the land.
I have wondered for years how other people living in the magnificent homes here were able to afford them. It seems that many extended their credit way beyond reason and sense, at a time when prices sky-rocketed, and now many of these fine luxury homes are empty and have foreclosure signs hanging in front of them. What were people thinking when they signed up for failure?
Yesterday America watched the super bowl. I did not. I lay in the sun scanning a few Kindle favorites, hardly thinking about the game, but noticing how empty the beach was for such a pretty day. I knew one team would win. I just knew it. A friend whose home I have visited several times to watch this game with told me he really enjoys the commercials and half-time performance. One commercial apparently had to do with a Chevrolet truck driver surviving the mythical 2012 Mayan prediction of an apocalypse. With his shiny new truck in a ruined world he is supposedly a rugged survivor. After emptying the first tank of gasoline he would need to park the new truck and join the new reality others would be facing. Oh well, the fantasies of TV commercials are such an insult to human intelligence.