Saturday, July 30, 2011

What are you worrying about?

A bright note amidst worries: Jordan and Jacob playing with  a rapidly-growing Sophie.
Two big things worry me these days. One is the continuing drought and heat wave. Today was predicted to be "only" 99 (I haven't checked, but it usually goes higher) but by next Wed. it is to be 107. Sometimes I wish we didn't have forecasts--I'm sure it's helpful to many people to be able to plan ahead, but I simply find it depressing.I feel trapped by this monster heat, and I bless my a/c which has so far chugged steadily along. My bill was high, like everyone else's, but I notice the system doesn't run all the time so I guess it's not straining. But lawns, gardens, and more important, pastures and stock tanks and lakes are drying up. People are losing their livelihoods to the weather, so it's much bigger than my personal dread of a day of 107 degrees. And there's simply no end in sight, nothing for us to look forward to and hope for. No, it's not 1980 all over again, but it's headed that way.
The other big thing that worries me is the inability of politicians to raise the debt ceiling. It seems to me, on both sides, all posturing and bluster, but, hey, folks, we're getting down to a deadline here. I read today that President Reagan raised the debt ceiling lots of times (I don't recall how many) and George W. Bush raised it 18 times. Where was all the fuss? And why pass a bill that dictates we'd have to revisit the issue--and go through all this agony again?--in six months. My partisanship comes out here: that seems a clear ploy to defeat Obama. I think throughout Obama has shown himself to be thoughtful, intelligent, and willing to compromise--he's given in more than I would have but I see the significance of the impending disaster. I'm even, reluctantly and slowly, coming to respect John Boehner. I think he really wants a solution, and he's embarrassed that he can't control the new far-right members of his delegation. To my mind, they--okay, let's call a spade a spade, the Tea Partiers--don't understand enough about how Washington works (compromise) nor do they understand the international consequences if the US defaults.
For me personally I understand all too well. I am not one of those who depend totally on social security, and I worry about those people. I worry about the elderly who won't get care, and the children will go hungry. Me? I 'll lose about a third of my income and have to curtail my lifestyle a great deal--no more lunches out, no more entertaining and cooking for guests. I'll become a hermit because that's all I can afford without decimating my savings. I realize many people will suffer a far worse fate, and I promise not to whine. But come one, guys--can't we fix this one? Between now and Tuesday?
The difference between these two worries is significant: we can't do a darn thing about the weather, except pray, do rain dances, and, if we're inclined, study weather charts though they're awfully depressing. It's a problem in God's hand. But the debt debate is in men's hands (generic men, thank you--I sitll believe in the generic pronoun) and rational men, who we've elected to lead our country, sure ought to be able to solve it.  I guess I should pray about that one too.

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