the austerity program, day twenty-six–still wishing and hoping and praying

The saying goes that no news is good news, but to those of us with a strong sense of reality, no news can just be bad news put on hold. Still no word from the people my husband interviewed with for a job. And nothing else has come close to surfacing. It’s unusual to even get a ding letter these days, as most prospective employers are overwhelmed with applications and resumes and don’t even bother–or don’t have the time or resources–to get back to everyone.

So we wait.

In the meantime, I’m trying to keep our expenses down. I had to fill both vehicles with gasoline last week, but I’m garaging the gas guzzler except on occasion. And I’ve been able to keep our grocery bill down to around $70 to $80 a week. I did have to pay for my son’s college tuition the other day, which will set us back, and my husband had to see the doctor for a bad cough (it turned out to be bronchitis, which required a couple prescriptions, an over-the-counter drug, and an X-ray to analyze and treat). Now I’m sick, but I’m trying to fight it with OTC meds unless my sinuses feel ready to explode. It’s not easy looking at every trip to the store (or doctor) as a grab at your pocketbook, but that’s how it’s going to be for a while.

Yesterday, I talked with my friend whose husband lost his job recently. He’s applying all over the West Coast, trying to land anything he can, even if that means his having to move away from the family and getting an apartment in another city. That scenario has crossed my mind too, as there appear to be more jobs in certain cities for my husband. San Francisco, for one, which, ironically, is where we lived when he launched his career. I wouldn’t mind living there again, but moving no longer means packing up a diaper bag and a few boxes and small pieces of furniture and vacating one rental home for another. Owning a house, having adult children who have settled into homes in this city, having another child in college here and yet another in middle school, whose entire life has developed inside this house, is a whole ‘nother story. Add into that two elderly parents who need attention and one of whom has no other family in town, and things get even more complicated. I’m sure our friends feel the same way. They’ve moved around more than we have, but that was when the kids were not yet born or were just little ones, when the roots to friends, schools, and activities hadn’t yet taken hold.

I don’t know how things will turn out for us (or for them), but not knowing is so difficult. No news may mean that there is still hope, but that doesn’t make the wait any less painful.

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