So I figured that I’d better post something about why I’ve not been updating and probably won’t be updating regularly for awhile. You know, you’d have thought that the last year was a big enough financial slap in the face to most of the people in America, but no, it really does get worse, right?
Let me preface this by saying that when I walk to the post office or to get a newspaper out of the one machine in the town, I tend to smile and wave at anyone I see, whether I know them or not because I live in such a small place that it’s common to do so. Let me also preface this by saying that our roof over our kids’ room is bad—really bad. We know it’s bad, and we know that it desperately needs replaced. We also know that we don’t have the money to do it at the moment. Two years ago when we had the money (when it was first starting to become an issue), Eric’s mom died. Now what was I supposed to do? Tell him, “Gee, honey, sorry about your mom. That really bites. Now get your ass out there and fix the roof!”
So last year (it was leaking during rain pretty badly), we had the time as Eric was laid off for a couple weeks here and there, but no money. None.
Anyway, out of the blue, one of my neighbors stops in a month or two ago and offers to help us out by giving us roofing (they’d just finished roofing her shed) and that she’d help putting it up. I was shocked, and my gut reaction was to tell her that we’d get it ourselves, but you know, I have kids, and they’re the most important people in the world to me, and my pride isn’t nearly as important to me as they are, so I said a grateful, “yes”.
Then I didn’t hear from her again. I could’ve called her, I suppose, but again, the pride thing, and I kept thinking, ‘how would that sound? By the way, weren’t you going to fix my roof?’
Now, we’re talking about a twenty foot by ten foot square that direly needs replaced, and it’s going to cost us around $400.00 (or less) to actually get all the materials and do it, but …
But the woman and her husband had a guy staying with them whose wife had kicked him out and gotten a restraining order against him. Despite the restraining order that she asked for, she calls over to the woman’s house constantly, harassing her estranged husband to come over and fix this and that and what have you. What does this have to do with me? Well, I’m getting to that.
So on the day before my birthday, I get a letter in the mail indicating that we’re currently under investigation by the welfare department because of OUR ROOF. That’s right; our roof. That damned project that the economy screwed us on. Now, the social worker claims that she doesn’t have any intention of taking my kids, but hell … maybe I’m just sadistic or something, but I can’t help thinking ‘what if …?’ …
I ended up calling the woman who had offered to help in the first place to tell her that I didn’t appreciate her coming over here and saying she wants to help, only to get a good look at our house and the water damage in the kids’ room so that she could turn us in. It turns out that she didn’t, but she knew who did because she was bragging about it to her husband because he’d offered to help the woman put our roof on which meant he wouldn’t be able to fix whatever his estrange wife wanted fixed at the drop of a hat for … what? Three days at most, as long as it took to complete our roof. She’s also turned in half of the town I live in because they’re “nice” to her estranged husband, for everything from having a few pieces of siding down on their houses to having a hole in the yard where they’d excavated a tree trunk last summer.
Like any of that matters. All I know is that I am sitting here, worrying that my kids are going to be taken away because of some woman’s ignorant show of jealousy and four hundred frigging dollars that seems like a mountain ahead of us.
Anyway, I’ll update when I can or when I feel settled enough to actually sit down to put a string of words together, and I’m sorry if that’s not good enough. It really is the best I can do.