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Friday, January 30, 2009

Signs of Hard Times...

Well I have been looking to find a deal on a furnace, also we will need a professional to hook up the ac if we get central air--which I hope we can find a way to do that as the climate here makes that almost a necessity. I took a very quick look on Craigslist and found a professional hvac company that will do work on a bartering basis, as well as some folks trying to sell heatpumps and ac units for much less than have seen them before.

I was a little taken back by the work for barter thing. However, now that I think of it, I know of a lady at one the library branches I've worked at whose hubby is an hvac guy that has already been out of work for a long time. Maybe this will cost us less than we had thought.

I am sad to see that things are at the point they are though--but I am glad there are alternatives for folks who don't have money to get things done.

I'd been thinking about bartering increasing as a sign of the times. When I wrote that I thought this all might bring main street back I had some thoughts in mind. I mean if you cannot afford to pay what you used to for things --well you still need those things done. Who will do them?

What skills are needed? What tools?

I think we have a great variety of skills and tools in our family, and with all our unemployed young folks living at home--we also have some muscle.

Who knows where things will be a few months from now. My job is not certain, my husband's job is 'ok so far' but we know we are going to make alot less than we had thought. As time goes by it would not surprise either of us if his job were cut. That was something we talked about often when we began to look for an alternative way to buy a home--a way that didn't involve borrowing money. We have been through unemployment before. In a better economy than this one is it took us several years to get back on our feet again, what would it take now? Kind of scarey to ponder.

I've always advocated learning skills and buying tools if you buy anything. That way you are a useful person no matter what happens. Maybe the time will come when very small home businesses and bartering are very common--maybe more in some areas than in others.

Here in this part of the south, they are not strangers to hard times. When you leave the big city areas you find that many many people have been eking out a subsistence type of living for a long time. They may barely notice that the economy is worse because for them --that's pretty much the norm.

I've already been thinking I need to landscape and garden without spending money. This means networking with folks and trading plant cuttings and seeds and perenial starts. Gardeners are generous folks and usually if you meet someone who gardens there will be trading, sharing and gifting involved. One good gardener could literally cover her neighborhood with plants in a few years time.

Well, we've been through times in the past when our family saw to it various neighbors had help getting cars started and things done. At one time we had a neighbor--a single mom whose electric was shut off and we ran an extension cord to her house. Another friend's well died and they came to our house for buckets of water. Perhaps this all will be a way that folks get to know each other and the world shrinks a little--who knows?

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