01 November 2009

Another day in Paradise?

Hi everyone,
It's been another beautiful day in the desert. I guess it's why people live here in AZ. I was born and raised in New England, and things....life in general is really different out here than in New England, but that aside. I don't deal very well with the excessive heat of the summer months. I live for the cooler weather. Love it this time of the year.

Why do I live in AZ? I brought my Mom out here 12 years ago to escape the excessive humidity of Florida. Why didn't we go back to New England? I don't know that we ever discussed it. I knew I couldn't get home regularly to the north east states as an over the road driver, and I was already having trouble getting home to Florida for time off, so I think we chose AZ not just for the weather, but for the fact that I would be able to get home more regularly while I was driving over the road. Truck drivers (over the road) generally get home 4 days a month. Many large companies give 1 day for every 7 the driver is away from home. I was driving for a sizable organization back then.

That's the past, this is now. This summer just past, I hid in my house trying to keep cool. It wasn't that I didn't want to go out, I didn't have much reason to go out except for feeding the horses every morning and doing weekly errands. I've been unemployed since May. The job market in construction trucking had been dying a slow death for many months before I was even laid off.

The economy is so bad, here, there is nothing going on in the world where I work as a truck driver. I suppose I could have gone back over the road again, but that doesn't suit me as I much prefer to sleep in my own comfortable bed every night versus the bed in a sleeper in a big rig. There are other factors too, such as not being able to take care of my cats or my horse every day, they would miss me....and wouldn't fit well in a big rig with me. Yeah, you can chuckle. It's a reality I share with them.

Anyway, I started paying attention to what was happening inside 'the beltway' (it's where our elected legislators take care of business) and I've become a real cynic, I think. I haven't had health insurance for four years, I can't afford the monthly premiums at $300.00/month.

So, I am really interested in what the Obama White house is going to do with health care reform. When I became unemployed, I couldn't qualify for the State run Health Care Program. I made $129.00 a month too much to qualify.

Literally after taxes I take home $948.00 a month on Unemployment, and that's too much to qualify for what the state of AZ offers. On this unemployment of $948.00 a month, I'm expected to pay my rent, electric, propane, and other expenses every month, including keeping a car on the road to get around with....Ya think it's happening? Not! So, I'm a very frustrated person these days.

I've made it work this year, and my unemployment has been extended through the end of February 2010. I certainly hope I'll have another job by then. My next wishes are to not have to spend another summer sitting in my house trying to stay cool. To have decent money coming in to pay the expenses, and eventually move out of AZ. Where will I go when I leave AZ? I don't know yet. Definitely somewhere where it's cooler year round, so what if it does snow, as long as it's somewhat affordable to live with my horse and cats.

'Nuf said for today....much more later.