30 November 2008

Wing Nuts, Epoxy and the Economy

Ever do something without thinking about it just because you are used to doing it all the time? I know there are some single women out there who will identify with what I am about to say. When you are single you learn to do a lot of things yourself and you don't think twice about it. There is no one to go pick up the dry cleaning for you, no one to take the garbage out and if the toilet seat needs to be replaced, you replace it. You fall into the patterns and cycles of life doing what you can until something upsets your life, like getting old or having emergency surgery.

I found myself in the local Lowe's looking for a new toilet seat for my guest bathroom. Lowe's is like a candy store to me. I get to ooooh and aaaahh over the new appliances and get lots of ideas about what I can do to my home. I was staring at a wall of various sizes and shapes of toilet seats asking myself, "What constitutes a good toilet seat? How do I know? Do I have a comfort preference?" Did you know toilet seats range in price from $6.97 - $50.00? I picked a moderately priced replacement and then went down my list of other things to buy-an air filter for my central heat and some bird seed for the wild birds who visit my yard. Knowing exactly where these products are kept, I headed for the bird food next.

Without thinking I grabbed the large forty pound sack of mixed feed and went to sling it into the shopping cart. About half way through the process my abdomen reminded me that I was recovering from an emergency hernia repair. I had forgotten. My body had not. It hurt and I felt stupid. I had a pretty horrible night but I think I am going to be fine. I had visions of calling the doctor who did my surgery and asking him if wouldn't mind meeting me at the ER for a little reunion of sorts. Two things became apparent to me. 1) I need to rebuild some abdominal muscles before I lift anything and 2) I am getting old and probably cannot do a fireman's carry anymore. My brain will have to stop thinking I am a woman in my thirties. Sure, I used to be able to buck a 150 bale of alfalfa...but those days are over. I can probably get back into shape and handle the bird food for a few more years...but I do need to heal and rebuild some muscles first.

I came home pouting. I told myself that all was not lost. I should be able to regain some muscle tone but I will have to work at it. I tried to console myself by being productive and changing out the toilet seat. This was a mistake. The previous homeowner has used some sort of glue or epoxy to hold the wing nuts that are on the bolts that affix the toilet seat to the toilet. I have a 40% disability in my hands. This means even without the epoxy the cracked toilet seat had a 60% chance of never coming off. The odds of my being able to remove the offending seat while the wing nuts are epoxied on the bolts are stacked against me. So much for feeling productive.

While I was frustrating myself trying to unscrew the wing nuts, I was having big thoughts about the economy. I had invited my sister to help me go jump start the economy yesterday by doing some shopping. We both have some furniture purchases we need to make. We had fun going to a great old furniture store. It is in an old building that takes lots of twists and turns. I saw one dining set that I would have considered but there was a flaw in the way it was assembled. A screw had been tightened too far and had lifted up the veneer on the opposite side. Screws, bolts and wing nuts are all evil. The sales person said that the mass produced and assembled furniture that comes from China is often in need of repair by the time it arrives. As I was tinkering with the toilet seat and recalling this conversation, something occurred to me. We have all heard so much about "Black Friday" and how the economy is plummeting but that folks were out there shopping and there had been a 3% increase in sales. Retailers are dropping prices like mad in order to get shoppers in to buy.... but... if they are selling products made in China... aren't we bolstering the Chinese economy more than we are bolstering our own? Sure the retailers are making some profit and they are paying some salaries... but .... wouldn't we have more jobs if we were buying American made products?

Have we Wal*Marted ourselves into this precarious economic position over the past 30 years? Were my grandparents right to insist on buying American? Is our desire to save a buck here and there costing us more than we realize? It is awful convenient to blame the Republican and/or Democrat politicians, but what about the consequences of our own retail habits?

Just some thoughts. I wonder what will pop into my head when I change my air filter.

Sidebar! These verses have been my prayer.

Psalm 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to Thee, O LORD, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Thy lovingkindness, answer me with Thy saving truth.

Psalm 69:16-18
16 Answer me, O LORD, for Thy lovingkindness is good; according to the greatness of Thy compassion, turn to me,
17 And do not hide Thy face from Thy servant, for I am in distress; answer me quickly.
18 Oh draw near to my soul {and} redeem it; ransom me because of my enemies!( NAS)

No comments: