Waiting out the Storm

Tropical Storm Colin may be hitting us this week. We’ve already had some pretty big electrical storms and rains this week, including some we’ve driven through and the one that hit and knocked out the power for a while this afternoon. Fortunately today’s storm arrived after I made it safely home.

In a sense, I feel we’ve been waiting out a storm for a while, though – the financial $hit storm that hit when my ex-husband lost his job and had to very much scale back child support payments. The good news is that he starts a new job next week, and that he will make more money at that job. The bad news? It will take a month for him to get paid, and during that time he will lose his unemployment, so I’m not sure when he’ll make the next payment.

The dark voices in my head tell me that it’s pretty sad that over 50% of our household income is from child support. Even though the costs of raising the children exceeds the amount of child support I receive, that little judgmental voice whispers that I should be independent of the ex, and that I am somehow “less than” for struggling. I keep telling that voice to shut the f#ck up, because I do work full time, and sometimes even work overtime, and I do a lot of other work-type but not-paid stuff, too.

So, the struggle should ease soon, but hanging in there and battening down the hatches is still difficult, because I’m still struggling to come up with funds for car payments on one of our vehicles, outrageous cell phone bills from times when our cable was off due to not being able to pay the bills on time, and gas, gas, gas and more gas for the 100 mile a day + round trips we’re making every day. When the kids finish school, that will be cut down to five days a week instead of seven, except when I still have to go to Gainesville to take my daughter to appointments.

Our chickens are growing, and in a matter of months the eleven or twelve hens (we have two or three roosters in our flock of fourteen) will probably start laying. Hopefully the raspberries and grapes, peppers and tomatoes we planted will grow, blossom, and bear fruit as well. As we have more income, we’re planning to plant more, get the chickens settled outside (right now they are wrecking an unfinished room in the back of the house) and maybe, in a year or two, get some teeny tiny dairy goats.

So we’re living “in the country, on a farm.”

That hundred mile round trip? Yes, it can be a nuisance waking up before six in the morning to drive to work. Yes, it costs a minor fortune in gasoline. But there is something about watching the sun rise over fields of green with oak trees, cows, and horses interspersed that makes me happy.

When I drive Adam’s car with its built in GPS, some days I take “alternate” routes home and find different roads.

One of these days (over the summer?) when I’m not carpooling with any kids I plan to bring my camera, and I’m going to make some stops. Not to capture the sunrise – I simply don’t wake up early enough for that – but to photograph some of the abandoned structures along the way, and some of the farms, and random things that beg to be photographed.

The clouds are clearing, and the sun will come out soon.

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