Wednesday, January 26, 2011

not a very happy new year - so far

 It is hard to blog when going through hard times – especially hard times involving near and dear readers.  Such has been my case.

We had a little bit of fireworks here on New Year’s Day Eve after having spent a lovely day visiting and hanging out together.  The flame grew and sparks continue to fly – among mostly good, loving, well-meaning people.  Differences that divide remain unresolved and do not look toward resolution soon.

As a mother, it fills me with pain and sorrow.  I often think of Heavenly Father.  Having granted us the great gift of agency, how it must pain Him to see us make choices that separate us and hurt each other.

Sometimes I think of a scientific study I read about long ago.

As a scientist for the US government from the 1950s to the 1980s, John Calhoun was obsessed with testing the psychological effects of crowding. Out in the Maryland countryside, he created a "rodent universe": room-sized pens amply stocked with food, water and bedding. The only restriction Calhoun put on his rats and mice was space – and as they rapidly bred, the "rat utopias" turned into lab versions of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Young male rats formed gangs that preyed on females. Mothers abandoned their babies, then attacked them. Some rats mounted any animal they could. Cleaning the pens, Calhoun's assistants would find discarded rodent skins turned inside out – the creature within had been eaten whole.

Calhoun was concerned about the effects of overcrowding in urban living.  Although our symptoms of over crowding are certainly not nearly as extreme as the Calhoun rats, there have definitely been signs of stress.

For many years we had 10 people living in my house, now there are only 5.  Why is it so stressful now?  I think part of it is that in the past, 8 of those people were children.  Whole different social structure than 5 adults/young adults from what were two households.  Then you add all and each of our personal stresses.  Certainly the economy.  I have a job and I have some spouse support, but I don’t have extra and I have to be careful.  David and Teresa, of course, have been dealing with the greater stress of looking for work.  This when we used to hear that if you got a college degree, the world would beat a path to you begging you to work for them.

There is good news.

Teresa got a job last week !  Data entry for an ambulance billing company.  Very close to home, too. Over in the old army depot, I think.  After the first week while she was training, they let her pick her own start time for the year.  She works 6:30am – 3pm, so she has some afternoon time.

Also, this weekend David and Teresa met with a man about a room to rent – here in our neighborhood.  The old tenant and his mom were in the room at the time, so they didn’t see the room itself, but they saw the house and chatted with the landlord.  They seemed to like each other and are seriously considering the match.  I think they are to decide this week.  They would have a room in a 3 bedroom house shared with the landlord and his (mentally handicapped? but pleasant) brother.  It is a short block from Earl Warren Park, which would be nice. Just a few blocks from here – one block if you could just walk up the street, through the duplex complex at the end and through the fence, but you can’t.

I hope it works out – for all our sakes.

2011 has not been heavenly thus far, but I am hoping it will improve soon.

I am very grateful for my many blessings and that my trials are not worse as they are for so many.


  1. People talk about the terrible twos. Those come and go and we have the horrible threes. Then come teenage years. Nobody told me what it is like when they become young adults.

    We still worry, we still care, we just have less and less influence, or so it seems. Maybe later on they will come to appreciate us and what we do and did, as well as what we know and knew. But maybe they won't.

    I empathize for you and hope you soon find blessings unlooked for. I know your soul and you certainly deserve it.


  2. We lived with my parents for 10 years, and the only reason it worked was because my mother was at work all day and my dad kind of kept to himself quite a bit. I absolutely love my mother and father, but living with them as a married adult with children was often extremely difficult. While I have no idea what has happened at your house, I sympathize completely. There were so many times when all of us just wanted our OWN SPACE! Money stresses just add to the tension. Having our own home helped tremendously.