Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The inspection on the car is expired. David brought it to be inspected and I was braced and ready to be told that we needed at least two tires. And I knew we needed a headlight. I had a figure in my head of what it was going to be, and I had done the math in my head and figured that after the car was paid for we would have enough to live on for the next two weeks and even pay a few bills.

David called and said that the tires passed. However, there is a crack in something that apparently is vital to passing inspection, and to replace this cracked thingy majingy, will cost over $400.00. Plus $200.00 for the tires to be rotated, the headlight, and an oil change. David left with a new headlight, and rearranged tires, and the crack remains. So does the expired sticker.

My girls are 8, 6, and 2. At this point in my motherhood journey, there are a few things that I have down. I have mastered the veiled threat. I know exactly which yell my children know is my warning call, and which yell makes their eyes bug out of their heads and makes them listen, quickly. I know which girl likes mustard, which girl hates cheese. Who drinks orange juice. Who despises milk. Never give Charlotte meat with even a speck of fat, or she will deem it greasy, yet watch her down a plate of bacon. Molly loves to be sung to, and Olivia likes to have private talks. Small details that we all know about our children, because they are everything.

Little things become big things to kids, and even the mention of something, even a whisper between David and I, is literally written in stone to them. If it doesn't happen, it is bad news. I have learned at this point that it is best to never tell Molly we are going to go and play with her friend Ki Ki, because if something suddenly prevents that from happening, oh the tears. The writhing on the floor. The carrying on becomes painful to watch. And listen to.

We made the mistake of telling the girls that we were going to go camping this summer. We spoke about it, out loud. I cringed as we did it, almost wanting to snap the speech bubbles around our heads back out of midair, and shove them back in our mouths. But we thought that between now, and then, we could do it and it felt exciting to talk about it. To get them excited. All of us got excited actually.

I was looking at the reservations for the sites the other night, and they are filling. Quickly. And now with the car to figure out how we are going to pay for, putting a down payment for a reservation looks impossible. At least for the next few pay cycles. But the girls don't know this yet.

And then I saw Charlotte's journal. And in it, she wrote all about our summer plans. And how excited she was to go camping. She is counting on it. And I realized, that however it has to happen, it will happen. Cracked thingy magingy, or not. We are going camping.

So if you see a woman resembling my photo pulled over and getting a ticket in the next month or so, that would be me.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Deja vu

All of a sudden it's Tuesday.

 I feel like some moments I am wondering if what I am recalling was a dream, or did it actually happen. Even songs are playing in my head...  I am unsure where I heard them. Weird.

I had been thinking we were on an upswing. Started making some plans in my mind. Not happening right now, suddenly.

 So, the painting in my minds eye gets bigger. Yet I have no paints.

It seems like I can see it all happening, but it all hasn't happened yet.

 Perhaps the dream is not of days gone by, but of days ahead.

Sounds nice, anyway.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

ham dinner

David turned 42 yesterday. (eeks!) We had a family dinner for him, and a cake. David doesn't like sweets. He rarely eats cake or cookies. Occasionally, ice cream, so I got an ice cream cake. The girls insist on the cake and candle part. They divert his attention in another room while I light the candles. This year, as they were standing in Olivia's room, Molly couldn't contain herself, and told him I was doing in the kitchen. She was beside herself,  in all her two year old cuteness, and just blurted it out.

We had a ham dinner, with green beans, and potatoes. David told me when we were dating, that was his favorite meal. I have made him this meal through the years, for birthday dinners, yet I am doubting that it actually is. He never asks for this meal. He never orders it, or craves it. I adore linguine with clam sauce, and I have perfected the recipe. I could eat it once a week. It is my favorite meal, and I make it as often as I can get away with it. Yet, this ham dinner, a detail I made a mental note of so many years ago, because I was falling in love with him, doesn't seem to really be his favorite. I have been with the man for almost 12 years, and I have seen him really be wowed by other dishes. Not so much with the ham.

When he came home, and I told him what we were having, he didn't seem overjoyed. I think I could have said a meatloaf, and he would have given the same reaction. As I was snapping the ends off the green beans, I thought that David probably remembered a meal that he had as a kid, and when we were dating, and exchanging all of our vital info with one another, he mentioned ham, green beans, and potatoes, as his favorite. This meal is now haunting him. And sweetly, he humors me, and never complains.

Because love is in the details. And you do things for the ones you love that they love. I knew I had met a truly wonderful man, during our first Christmas together. The first week of dating David, we had wondered through a store together, and I saw nesting dolls on a shelf. I have always loved nesting dolls, and wanted a set my whole life. I admired them, and we left the store together. By the time Christmas rolled around, 4 months after that fateful window shopping excursion, what do you think my Christmas gift was? You guessed it. The very nesting dolls that I casually pointed out on an August afternoon.

And that sealed my fate. And Davids. And sometimes, when David goes against my wishes, and spends money on me, for a present for Mothers Day, or my birthday, money that we can't afford to be frivolous with, I get a new nesting doll. I have a shelf of them now, and I adore them.

I am beginning to think David wished he had told me eggplant parmigiana, in those early days. Because love really is in the details, and watching him have his birthday dinner last night with a smile on his face, made that more clear to me than ever.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hope for choice for all

When I was first handed each of my girls in the hospital, wrapped up tightly in blankets, and smelling that glorious, new baby smell, I was in awe. And the first thing I recall thinking was that to make such an awesome being, it should be way more difficult of an act, than it actually is. It seemed to me that the moon should be at a particular phase, and it should be during a certain weather pattern. Maybe a time of day, or a series of days involved in the completion of making a baby. The simple act that it actually is, and let's face it, most anyone can do, just doesn't quite match the end product.

I was never one of those mother's who placed my hopes and dreams into my child. I was, and am relieved, that they are all healthy, and, I am shocked by how smart they are. My hopes for them are simple. Not for them to become what I want them to be, but who they choose to be. That their choices are never limited, and they will not be told no. I hope they will be able to go as far as their minds will allow them to.  I just want them all to reach the potential that they seemed to arrive here on Earth with.

That being said, I am fearful that my little girls futures seems so unclear. That their choices might be threatened, and that by simply being born female, options will be limited to them, and they will become victims of their own biology.

Society is sending them mixed messages. Already, I can see their confusion. I try and limit and monitor everything that I have the power to, while they are here with me. But my ability to do so ends when they board the bus. And then all I can do is hope other parents are doing the same thing we are trying to do.

But not all of them are. Olivia tells me how some of the girls she knows watch Jersey Shore. She tells me of boys calling girls "hot". The word "sexy" is thrown around daily. And she is in 3rd grade! My six year old has reported similar things! Everything seems so over-sexualized, and yet, our country, at least to me, has never seemed more sexually uptight. 

Look sexy, yet don't have sex. The message is so mixed. And the act of sex, the simple act, that seems so glorified, can lead to serious stuff for adults, and teenagers alike, who really are not ready for it.

And now, we have candidates that want to limit choices. Limit availability of tests, and birth control, pre-natal care, and even abortion. Still some of those very candidates want to limit social programs that would take care of those very babies that they want to make impossible to avoid.

Let's face it. The act of making the baby is not getting harder. And the number of people having sex isn't changing. Isn't it our own personal decision to determine our own fertility? Why do we seem to be going backwards in time? And the kind of sex I am referring to is consensual sex. I'll be damned if anyone is going to tell my girls, or any other girl, to accept the product of a rape, as a "gift". I won't even touch on that angle. It is barbaric.

I am not "pro-abortion".  And really, I don't believe anyone is. Nor am I "pro-birth control". What I am is no ones business but my own, just as everyone else is entitled to make those most personal decisions for themselves. 

But I will keep that hope, and dream for my girls that they can love who they want, without discrimination. And they can choose if and when motherhood is something they want to enter into. And they can go as far as they want, without someone else making the choice for them.

I hope for all of us, the sex we were born as, will never limit us, or determine the path we walk, despite our desires.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Looking back, and ahead

Looking back through my photos.

 Second looks, at prints I dismissed. They are from a year ago. They seem like a lifetime ago, actually.

It was so cold, and grey last winter. Nothing like this one.

This winter, the girls have played outside, nonstop. It has been amazing.

 And a little strange.

Another year older.

                                  And another year, still here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Couch revisited

When we moved here 9 years ago, we had a new baby, and a crib to put her in. I had a changing table someone gave me, and my old dresser drawers, that were mine, as a child. That was pretty much it.

Oh...and a couch.

We were given a couch, by my parents. That too was  from my childhood. It was purchased in 1975, when I was 4, and there is a photo of me sitting next to it, when it was brand new. It was 70's decor at its finest. The couch has a bamboo print on it, and is green. A bright, yellowish green. It was in our family room, along with a love seat, atop bright green shag carpeting. It was a part of my childhood, and young adulthood.

 I laid on the love seat, sick with the chicken pox, while my sister lay on the couch, with the same illness. I sat on that couch to read, because it was right next to the lamp. I sat on that couch at the holidays, when there was no room on the love seat. I laid on that couch and cried, when my high school boyfriend broke up with me. That green couch was always there. Ever present, and blindingly green.

We had nothing to sit on, when we arrived here in PA, and my mom said take the couch. It was in their bedroom then, in their new house. Gone was the living room from my childhood. The house, long sold. A room left only in my mind. We took the offer, and I quickly went out and purchased a slipcover for it. While moving it into the house, David and my Dad bumped it, and it lost a leg. We piled some books under it, and I assumed that it was temporary. I would soon be furniture shopping, and the couch would be a memory.

But here it sits. 9 years later, and two more kids added in. Bills to pay, and cars to try and repair. The furniture shopping never got done. The slipcovers have been changed out a few times, but there sits the green couch. A constant in my life. Something that has held me, and family members, no longer on this earth. Sitting quietly in my living room. I laughed to myself this past summer as I had my 40th birthday, and thought about being 4, sitting next to it in all of it's newness. All of my newness, as well. Never in a gazillion years would I have imagined my own kids lying on it, sick with fevers, and reading Harry Potter.

I put some laundry away last night, and as I opened up my pajama drawer, I was hit with a smell of time. The dressers were given to us last year. They are ancient, and were in David's grandfathers house. We lost him last year. He was 93, or 94. He never knew for sure because he was born on the kitchen table in Brooklyn, and never had a proper birth certificate.He lost track of his own age through the years, so it was a guesstimate.

We loved Grandpa Joe. My kids adored him. I was constantly blown away by my own children having such a close relationship with their great grandfather. He helped us buy this home. He gave us a chance at having a life. I miss him everyday, and welcomed some of his furniture, after he died, and the house was sold. That house was like walking into a time capsule. Nothing changed from the day him, and David's grandmother purchased, and decorated the house, all those years ago. Even the kitchen curtains remained. Pink gingham, to match the plates, and the pink tile, and believe it or not, the pink oven and stove.

When we got the dressers, I cleaned them up a bit, and found an ancient looking bobby pin, and a stamp. A ten cent stamp. Cast aside so many years ago, and living in a crevice of the drawer. But to me, it was evidence of a woman I  never had the privilege to meet. A woman who just by her presence on the earth, is the reason my own children are here. Those same children who now stand next to those pieces of furniture. She never would have imagined that, I bet.Yet here they are, in my home. Nicked, and marred from years of wear. Quiet remnants of rooms gone. People no more, but given new life.

I realize it is just a couch. Held up by books. And drawers, holding clothes. Nothing more. But even if I had the money to finally go on that furniture shopping trip that I assumed would come with being a new homeowner, I would be so sad to see that couch sitting alongside the garbage cans. And the dressers...I couldn't ask for more beautiful bedroom furniture. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Last night, I was tired.

 More tired than I can remember.

Tired of outside stuff that I can't control, controlling me.

Tired of all of that stuff taking away from my sanity. And my happiness.

Tired of thinking about it.

Tired of worrying about it.

Tired of it getting in the way of what is real.

Because it isn't real. Or positive. Or productive.

And really, it is out of my hands. And in someone else's.

To do what they wish with it.

But I am tired of being tired of it.

So last night, I let it go.

And I fell into a sleep like no other.

Each time, I woke up, I felt sleepier, and more cozy, and warm, than before.

And Molly curled herself up into me, like a cat.

And soon, our breathing was one.

And it went like that all night. Until the light crept in.

And I know what to do now.

There is nothing more that I can.

And that is what I can control.

Because there are too many things way more important.

And I have been letting that be more important than this.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Just like that.

 It came to me in a moment, and it was crystal clear.

You spend your childhood waiting to grow up. And while waiting, you wonder. Wonder what you will become.

And you spend your adulthood trying to become what you will become. Waiting for the day to arrive when you know for sure if it has really begun.

Or are you just pretending? Thinking, this must be it. This is all that I am.

But you know you are more. And you live a life you think you should be living, yet you lay in bed at night, dreaming of the life you want.

And it's that simple. The dream is it. And it is you. And to step through that doorway is easier than you think.

That gnawing feeling disappears. Small wisps, into nowhere.

And the excitement of what is about to reveal itself, is the secret that you have been pushing down. Afraid maybe someone will laugh at you, or tell you that you can't.

But you realize that isn't true. And you know, with all the certainty in your body, that the dream is here. And the moment you have been waiting for is now.

And you can't even sit still, because it is beautiful. And true. And good.

It is you.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I got an email from a producer of a website dedicated, to of all things, shoes, a month or so ago. She wanted to interview me on my thoughts regarding my old shoe budget, versus my new one.

At first I didn't think I was the right girl for the job, but after thinking about it, I thought, it would be fun. I did, many, many, moons ago, work in fashion, and during that time, I have to say, I was quite fashionable.

So, without further adieu, I give you: My brief shoe interview, and the photo of myself, that my friends sadly don't believe is me. Yes. It really is folks, and damn! why didn't I think I was a looker!!!!????

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I have always needed a carrot dangling in front of me. It really is what keeps me going. Since I was a kid. Whether it was a holiday in the distant future, or my birthday, or my parents having a party...I loved having something to look forward to. Something I can think about when I go to bed at night, to lull me to sleep. Something to plan for. I love having something in the near future to be excited about.

I have had lots of carrots through the years. Getting married, and all of it's planning and excitement was great. Being pregnant was a huge carrot. HUGE! And all of my babies milestones were carrots as well. Maybe it is the human condition. Planning for winter, planting for spring. Always looking to be ready for tomorrow, with hope, and a little bit of excitement. Not just thinking about today, but the mystery of a day, not quite here yet, and all of it's possibilities.

A few weeks back, David's best friend called him. It was after we had put the girls to bed. He was on the phone for a bit, and he was saying things like "so her name was on the list?", and, "you entered her maiden name?" When he said something about my old, childhood address, I was busting. Busting! What the heck are they talking about??? David kept putting up his finger to shush me, but I could barely stand the seconds of not knowing.

He jotted down something on a piece of paper, and FINALLY, hung the phone up. "WHAT IS IT?????" I was beside myself. " "Craig said that your name came up on one of those lists that you see in the paper, and online. Those lists regarding unclaimed money".

"Are you KIDDING ME???????????"

This kind of stuff doesn't happen to us. Ever. And if we are on a list, it is usually for an unpaid medical get the gist. Unclaimed money!!! No. That would be impossible. I would know about money coming my way. But then David said that it was from an insurance company that I had actually dealt with, from a car accident my girlfriends and I were involved in, when I was about 20. I broke my arm, and messed up my nose, and face, after we were hit by a drunk driver. We sued, and all of us got a nice settlement, which paid for my rent for a few years when I lived in NYC, as well as lots of travel, which, what else would you do with it when you were single, and young, and not planning for the future?

Unclaimed money. Holy moly! That was a big carrot. We joked, David and I, that it was probably a check for postage due, or actually, it was a bill. Then we started to hope maybe it was a tank of gas, or a weeks groceries. But, being human, and optimistic, we started to dream that maybe it was more. Maybe it was some part of the settlement I never received. A chunk of change that could really help us out right now. Maybe, it was substantial.

The carrot got bigger. And with that, so did our day dreams. Like when you purchase a lottery ticket for the giant jackpot. You dream. You hope. You think who's houses you would pay off. Who needs a car. Where could your money make a difference. What kind of business you might want to open. How amazing would it be to pay off every single one of your debts? What could some found money do for you?

We were told that the check was being processed and it would take 7-15 days. They couldn't tell us how much. So the wait began. I really did try and put it out of my mind. I truly did, because like I said, things like this just don't happen to us. But the carrot was there. It started to look more like a parsnip. David and I didn't say much about it. I guess we didn't want to jinx anything. But we checked the mail everyday, which we never do, because it is always just a pile of bills. We started looking at cabins at Jellystone Park. We are planning to take the girls there for a "vacation" this summer. We have a tent, but then I saw the cottages, and thought...what if?

Finally, it arrived. From the New York State Comptrollers office. A sealed check. I ran to the car, and casually said to David, "the check is here", still not wanting my excitement to show. David carefully ripped the small tabs from there perforations. I pretended to look through the bills, acting nonchalant. Yet, my heart was racing and I felt my stomach flip flop. I thought, maybe this is the last few seconds of being broke. Maybe, in a few moments, our story will be minus the financial stress.

David opened it, smiled, looked at me, and said, $51.02.

True story.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One small change

Since we moved here, in our bedroom, instead of curtains covering the sliding glass doors that lead out to the deck, there were dark wooden shudders that opened and closed, for privacy. They were really nice. All these years, I loved them. And then last week, the slats started falling out, and they looked terrible, and we planned to take them down, and repair them. But one day turned into the next, and still, they stood. Slat after slat, falling down. It looked awful.

Friday, we went to Target to pick up a few things. I took a detour through the curtain and drapery aisles. Let me see how much some drapes cost, I thought to myself. David and I looked through some of them. Many were gaudy. A few nice, but out of our "non-budget". Then David took out a light blue sheer. It is embroidered with a small floral pattern. It reminds me of an Indian design. They were pretty. And on clearance!

We never buy stuff to redecorate our house with. We replace as things get worn and broken, but we just don't have extra money to buy things to spruce up the place. Believe me, I stare longingly at beautiful throw pillows all of the time, but it ain't gonna happen, so I make due with what we have. These curtains were on clearance. They were $9.00 per panel. We needed two. I OK'd the purchase, in the name of replacement.

And what a difference it has made. One little change, and Voila!, our bedroom looks bigger, and oh so pretty. After we put them up, I told David to take down the matchstick blinds in the kitchen, and put them under the new curtains. It looks so nice. I kept stopping by the doorway, and pausing, to admire it. But then I thought, the room is yucky. I have to clean it from corner to corner. So, the entire day on Saturday, from morning until dinner, I vacuumed every corner. I removed everything under the bed, and got under there. And by doing so, found a big blue Tiffany box, that was from a wedding gift. And inside of that, were photos of the girls that I have not looked at in years. Years!

Some of them I had totally forgotten about. Some made me so sad. Sad how quickly time has gone by, and how some of those years, especially when Olivia was a baby, I was so stressed, and depressed. How I rushed her babyhood. Always looking for the next milestone to be reached. Never enjoying the baby before me. I found my wedding invitations. I over-ordered, and was left with so many extra. I smiled remembering the day I ordered them, and the night I addressed them. I found the portable crib under there. It is missing pieces, so out to the curb it went Monday. Along with the wooden doors.

When we pulled out of the driveway yesterday morning, there they both were, next to the cans. My heart skipped a bit. I thought of my little baby, lying in that crib. I insisted we get one, thinking we would be visiting friends and family with our newborn, and would surely need a crib, everywhere we went. Honestly, I think Liv slept in it, maybe three times. And the traveling....not so much.

Friday night, I took Olivia to her first school dance. She will be 9 in May. I watched her as we arrived. She seemed awkward, and nervous. Not many of her friends had arrived yet. But soon, one by one filed in. And she was off. Dancing for two hours straight. Her cheeks were flushed. I took some pictures of her dancing. She was smiling the entire time.

As we drove home, I told her how much I loved her. How proud I am to be her mother. What a remarkable person I think she is. I told her about my night with her in the hospital. When she was a newborn. I had a C-section, so I stayed there 4 days. The first night was a blur. After nearly 24 hours of horrendous labor, they rushed me into the operating room. I was in a bit of a morphine phase for 48 hours, but the third night, was most magical.

I felt better. I was alert. I was cleaned up, and even brushed my hair. Everyone had gone home. It was late, but I was wide awake. And so was tiny Olivia, squirming around in her swaddled blanket, laying in her clear plastic bed. I got up, and looked at her, and it was the first moment I realized she was mine. I scooped her up, and laid her on the bed. I changed her diaper, and talked to her the whole time. I wrapped her up tight, and got into bed with her. And we just stared at each other. And I know she was listening to me. I nursed her, and we both fell asleep together. She stayed in my arms all night, and each time she woke up, I felt happy to tend to her needs. I felt something I had never felt before. There isn't a word for it, really.

She was smiling in the back seat of the car, as we drove home, listening to me tell her about that night. The night I fell in love with her. The night my life began, all over again. I have pictures. And remnants of who they were. How small they started out as. But really, those things will change, each and every day. Never the same. Seeing my shudders, and that crib at the curb made me want to cry. If I could just go back in time. How one day, melts into another, and seems the same, but never is.

One small change. Yet, time is changed. And never the same.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dollars and no sense

I have to keep my wallet in the zippered side compartment of my pocketbook. It is so fat, I can no longer close it. It isn't stuffed with credit cards. We don't use those and thankfully, despite all of the debt we do have, the credit card kind is not one we owe.

It isn't full of cash either. That thought makes me chuckle. It would be nice if it were, but alas, my wallet is void of that. I do, however, have a ton of coins in the change compartment. I dump my pennies into the girls piggy banks, and keep the silver. It isn't unusual for me to pay for things with change. I used to feel silly doing it, as it is time consuming to count it all out, but money is money.

My wallet is chock full of receipts and about a bazillion gift cards. Gift cards given to me over the course of the last five or six years, that literally have just a few dollars left on each of them, but I cannot fathom throwing out. It would be the same thing as throwing out cash, in my mind.

The problem is, the carrying around of these cards. I have a JC Penny card with $1.01 left on it. A Banana Republic card with $10.77 on it, and that card was given to me when Olivia was a baby, as a Christmas present from my Mom and Dad. They wanted me to get something pretty for myself. And I did. 8 years ago!!! Presently, I cannot afford to shop at Banana Republic.

Still another card from TJ Maxx with a $3.62 balance. And a Home Depot card, given to us when we purchased our home, 9 years ago (!!!) from my in-laws that has four bucks on it. I had a Visa gift card given to me for Christmas, and I had a three dollar and change balance on it that I am proud to say I actually used some of, picking up a prescription at Rite Aid a few weeks back, but I didn't use all of it. It has less than a dollar on it, and I just can't chuck it in the garbage. I cannot throw a single red cent away, so filed in my six inch thick wallet it will sit. When am I going to whip that out, and say, " this first, there is a 16 cent balance on it"???

The receipts are another situation. I hold on to them, because let's say, I go to Target, and I buy a shirt for Molly for spring, some bananas, some printer ink, and a pair of sneakers for Olivia, because she is bursting out of her current ones. I need the receipt, because, I might need the money at a later date.

 Here is my thinking. The sneakers are a necessity. The bananas are too. We plow through them here. But the spring shirt, and the printer ink are like money in the bank to me. We need them, don't get me wrong. But I still have a little bit of black ink that will get us through until next pay day. And the spring shirt, though she will need it, doesn't have to worn right now.

In a pinch, if money gets real tight before payday...and it always does... I can take the ink back, and the shirt, leave with cash, to get what we really require, and make the same purchases a week later. Now, I have never actually done this. But it is like a little piece of security for me. Like, if things really get lean, we have an out.

The problem is, that I never part with the receipts, because I need to know that they are there, and then I forget what they are for, and the ink has been opened, and the shirt worn, and there they sit. In my wallet, tucked away with all of my loose change, and plastic cards totaling  a package of diapers, if I could divide the payment up for them between six different stores!

Really, some days, my peace of mind comes at a mind numbing cost.

Game change

Anything in the news regarding foreclosures, and irresponsible, illegal, loan practices always catches my eye. The news coverage of the proposed settlement with the five big banks has me riveted, as one of those banks is my lender. Being, presently, underwater on my home, and in the middle of a class action suit against my bank, who are trying to foreclose on my home illegally, has been interesting.

 We have had to learn everything we never wanted to know about mortgage companies, and the steps they take, to eventually lead you down a path that will end with your home being taken from you. Some may say that I sound bitter. (Guilty!) And others will say, "If you can't afford it, you shouldn't have it"...really, I'll save you the trouble. I've heard it all.

But here is the thing. This whole mess that our country is in, and the gigantic amount of folks losing their homes, isn't just coincidence. It is a domino effect that has people struggling...even people who don't own homes...because these big banks have done some terribly, irresponsible, greedy things. That's not to say that there haven't been irresponsible borrowers. There certainly has been.

Now, I could go on and on about the ins and outs of it. I could bore you to tears, using words that you never heard. Hell, I have to sit back and scratch my head half the time trying to understand it all. The bottom line is that there are an awful lot of responsible homeowners out there. People who, like my husband and I, borrowed what we could afford. Read every line of our mortgage agreement, until our eyes bled. Played by the lenders rule. Made our payments on time. Listened to them, because we thought, at the end of the day, they had our best interests at heart. (yes...please don't say it...naive...)

And when the awful downturn in our country began to effect Main Street, we listened to our bank when they offered us a life raft. We grabbed it. Through 7 months of unemployment, we still met our mortgage obligations.

Our home you see, could be anywhere. I could live in a motel room. I really could. But when you have small children who need the basic necessities, one being shelter, you have no choice but to fight to save that roof over their heads. I have no emotional attachment to this house. It is simply wood, (ok...T1-11) and nails. But I can't afford to move. I have to preserve my today, because I can't pay for tomorrow right this moment.

And they offered relief. With the stroke of a pen, we believed that we were safe. That the murky current we were swimming in would calm around us soon, and we would stay afloat. And wouldn't you know it, instead of following through with that help, they snatched that life raft out from underneath us, and high tailed it out of there. And they did it because they can. They are bigger than me. They have no face. Just letters. And lawyers. And more power than I could ever fight.

Or do they? Because apparently, these banks have been bullying lots of us. And maybe, just maybe, some of them are finally going to have to follow through with what they promised.  Clearly, they will never have to fully repair the massive extent of the havoc they have wreaked on this country. The fallout is just too great. But maybe the rules might have to apply to them. They may have to follow them.

 Because a lot of us have been.

 I think they should too.