Saturday, December 06, 2008

Times are tough, but life is good

The holiday season is a joyful time of year. It can also be a stressful time of year. As the Christmas tree goes up and the light in the eyes of my children is as bright as ever I can't help but feel a warm glow inside.

This year is a tough one though. It's an understatement to say that the economy is a mess right now. I worry about my Mom who works in the auto-industry. Obviously, there is great concern for the American auto-makers though it appears that they are going to be helped out by the government. This relieves me for my Mom's sake though concerns me for the country. I hope they use this opportunity to catch up with the eco-friendly, ultra fuel efficient cars they are competing with and create something new and exciting to revolutionize the auto industry.

In the Seattle area where I live, the Boeing employees are finally done with the strike. That devastated our local economy but it didn't start or end there. My friends wife was just layed off after 21 years working for Bank of America. She is now and suddenly thrown into the job market with thousands of other bank employees recently layed off by locally ran Washington Mutual.

There are brand new houses a block away from my house that last year wouldn't have stayed on the market for a month. They've been there nearly a year now unoccupied even as the prices go down and down.

I've always said that photography feeds my soul but offered the disclaimer that the restaurant industry feeds my family. Restaurants are being hit hard and the restaurant I run is no exception. Guest counts are down, those that are coming in are spending less, wages are going up shortly and the outlook is pretty bleak right now.

That being said, it isn't important. What is important is friends, family and life. A good friend of our family died suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday shocking us all. He was on the way home from visiting his adopted family in California who loved him very much. Grandpa Bob as my girls enjoyed calling him was traveling home on a 2 day train ride when he became ill. They stopped the train for him and brought him to a hotel where he was found dead the next morning. It is heartbreaking for those of us left here on Earth though he had tremendous and inspiring faith in God and I know that he is now in a better place. His death reminds me of our mortality and our short and precious every day is. No matter how difficult life may seem at times, every day is a gift and I intend to live each and every one I can accordingly. I hope that you do the same.


Anonymous said...

Very Appropriate blog, well done. I think some higher power told you to write that for just the right people to read at the right time. I was one of them I think, retail is scary right now. Thanks for the perspective. ps: can I live in your basement?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mat for inspiring me everyday. I am sorry to hear about your friend and know he will be missed greatly. Thank you again for sharing his story with us. mp