An Interview and Giveaway

Today I have something different to share with you.  As many of you know my son lost his job as a corrections officer, which paid quite well, and is struggling to make ends meet with only his wife having found a part-time job.  My son and I have not always agreed on many of the things I believe are important.  I noticed his changing views and decided to interview him and share his responses with you.   The reason for this is to show that even though our children may disagree with the lifestyle we provided for them growing up, they can change.  Keep setting the example, when faced with adversity they will fall back on what they learned from you and use that knowledge to create a better life for themselves.

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I know your goal was to live the American Dream,  and by that you wanted the big house and all the things you didn’t have growing up.  What has changed for you?

Over the last century I feel Americans have lost sight of the real American Dream which has always been freedom and in turn have turned that dream into a search for monetary possessions.  The big cars and the fancy house can be part of the American life but the true dream is freedom from oppression.  I saw myself living day-to-day trying to make ends meet in the way American society told me I was supposed to. I took out the lines of credit to be able to qualify for a home I wanted, yet here I am with that debt hanging over my head.  I was raised to never use credit. Once this is paid off I will be living a cash based life again and will never allow myself to be talked into debt.

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You were working as a corrections officer and I know you made a comfortable enough income to allow your wife to stay home with the children.  How do you feel about now living off part-time work and giving up some of those conveniences you had become used to? What have you given up as a result?

Raising a family on a lower income really shows you the importance of having people close to you and the importance of the family.  It has been a change to be able to know my kids better. For their entire lives I was working a job that demanded a lot of hours and left me with a negative view of the world and very little energy. The stress from working so many hours in a stressful environment started to affect my health rapidly in the last couple of years resulted in having a seizure at work, several hernias and problems with anxiety.

It’s a big change but at the same time I grew up with very little and until I had that job I lived on a very low income it’s a transition now but it’s a transition I’d been accustomed to in the past.  While working part-time you can’t really afford to go out anymore, buy the little things you don’t need,  the nice clothes you want. You make do with what you  have. We’ve also cut out things like cable and internet and we use cheaper phones.  At first whenever you change any part of your life, whether good or bad, it’s going to be difficult initially.  I miss some of the luxuries which can be nice but at the same time I worked so many hours I didn’t have the time to enjoy them. I think my wife misses them more than I do.  The children are at an age where they don’t seem to notice the changes as much. If they were in their teens they might have noticed it more. Especially with grandma being the matriarch the children are more into being outside and doing arts and crafts rather than worrying about how many channels we have on the TV.

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You now have the time you didn’t to write. Your latest book has just come out.  This is a huge departure from your normal horror stories.  Tell us a bit about Militia and why you wrote it.

Militia takes place in the not too distant future where basically the worst fears of a lot of people in this country are becoming realities and one town full of people initially decides to protect themselves from the national changes and finally ends up leaving to a secluded area to live unnoticed.  With the ability to train in advanced military tactics their young leader gives them, a handful of the townspeople decide to move out of their secluded area and begin to take back their nation piece by piece from the now-ruling Chinese.

Over the last decade since my service in the military I’ve seen a lot of disturbing things coning out of the US government such as a growing debt to the Chinese, spying on citizens, and using the legal system to create fear of government. So I took what I thought was a plausible worst-case scenario and used that to write a story that will hopefully will inspire people to think outside the box to view the sense of freedom our founding fathers set in motion.

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As your mother, I am very involved in environmental issues. Do you find yourself following in my footsteps as you find yourself reevaluating how your life has changed both now and for the future?

In many ways yes, but for different reasons. I am beginning to be concerned about the dependence on every thing from government to electricity. Seeing large corporations controlling consumer items leads me to believe its another way of controlling the middle class by the 1%.

All that matters now.

All that matters now.

Justin blogs at Twisted Writing of Justin Russell  you can read an excerpt from Confessions and Writings of Justin D. Russell where he shares some of his earlier stories

As you can see Justin has taken what he learned growing up and combined it with his experiences to create a life that works for him.   While he was working full-time I rarely saw him,neither did his wife or children.  When he wasn’t working he was sleeping. Now I see him several times a week and we have resumed our long philosophical discussions which were always a part of our relationship.  His children don’t want him to return to a full-time job as they enjoy having him home more.  He’s also returned to writing which gives him much pleasure and a sense of satisfaction.

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Today Justin is offering you an autographed copy of his book Militia.  If you live outside the US or Canada he can purchase a copy from Createspace and have it mailed to you or gift you a Kindle copy.   Winner will be drawn at random on Wednesday and notified by email.

To enter simply leave a comment, no strings attached, and tell us why you chose to live a simpler way of life.

63 thoughts on “An Interview and Giveaway

  1. Pingback: Minimalist Interview: Lois Field | The Simple White Rabbit

  2. When my ex husband had a work accident we lost just about everything. Lois, you know this through a poem I had posted on my Striving For Tiny blog last year. In fact, you reposted my poem to share with others, which I was grateful for. I went from riches to rags in a short matter of time. However, oddly enough, it was a blessing in disguise. Please relay to Justin that flowers can grow out of cow manure !!

  3. I enjoy many of your posts Lois, but this one is one of my favorites. Possibly because your son sounds much like my husband with his job. The long hours, stress and missing the precious time with family is why we have decided that my husband will take his early retirement next June. People think we are silly because he makes pretty good money. It will be scarey, but we do look forward to it. He will do a little part time work, but it will be more on his schedule.
    It’s ironic that how my husband and I grew up were much like your son, but we also lost some of that for a while when we started making quite a bit of money. You think you should have all these things because society tells you that you should. Then you end up in a world of debt. Been there, done that. We paid the big bulk off almost 3 years ago and that is when I came home to be with my two younger girls. We look forward to having daddy around more, selling our current place and a recreation property to buy some farm land and build our own house. Grow and raise most of our food and some to sell. No loans. We are already collecting things that others don’t want for our move like storm doors and windows (greenhouse), trees (wood), old wood (furniture) and whatever else we can get.
    My brother and his wife are also going to be joining us in our new life about a year after we move and I couldn’t be more excited. My brother is also one who has a lot of work stress. He is the only one of our immediate family still living in the Chicago suburbs and he is so ready to get down south and be close to his nieces, sisters and parents. They have no children so they love ours like their own.
    I wished I had come back to how I was raised earlier, but I think it really takes growing up for many of us. You get to a point where you realize how precious life is, and also how short it is. The things you used to think were important are no longer as important as they used to be.
    It’s funny how we end up coming back to where we were.
    Good luck to your son and his family! I know they will be just fine, because they have what is most important, and that is family.
    You did a great job Lois.

    • Dianna, I am very happy for you. You may wish you hadn’t drifted from the way you grew up, but you will appreciate your new life even more now that you have something to compare it with.

      I think it’s wonderful that your family will all be closer together. Your relationships will grow deeper when both your husband and brother leave their high stress work behind. I hope you will let me know how your move goes and how your children adjust to the new and exciting changes. Best of luck to you and your family, DIanna.

  4. It’s easy to see why you are proud of your children. It’s amazing how well we can adapt to a change in circumstance and how it can in the end change our lives for the better. We had a similar change in circumstance a few years ago and have managed to bounce back and reevaluate our wants and needs. I think we are happier for it. Now we are once again re-adjusting to an income change. I am off work and applying for long term disability, still waiting for the verdict. Hopefully it won’t take long for the decision, but our change in lifestyle will certainly make it easier to live on just the one income in the meantime. Of course, the hope is still that I will recover from my latest relapse and eventually return to work again.

    • Heidi, I am sorry. I know you wished you could have been a stay at home mom but needed the benefits and this I am sure isn’t what you had in mind. I have been wondering how you were doing and if your symptoms had gone in remission. I know you will do fine financially, you pretty much have your food bills taken care of with your garden and there is the rental income coming in from your other home. You also have a very supportive family and community of friends around you who won’t let your family go without.

      Good luck and I hope you hear soon on your disability benefits.

  5. Hi Lois! I really love this post. Not only is it a glimpse into the mind of your son, but it is such a great example of a person being able to find the silver lining in the situation. It actually sounds very hopeful and optimistic on so many levels. Sure, having extra “stuff” is nice now and then and being able to do things when you want to do them is cool–but NEVER at the expense of living a life where you work at a job that is sucking the life out of you.

    Plus, with you being so super creative (and a wonderful role model for the whole family) how can your son NOT find a transformed way to live. My husband and I have been self employed our entire lives and sure there were lean times but we never sold our souls…plus we eventually found occupations we liked, doing things that we liked, and as we got better at them and learned to offer a good service to others we have been rewarded financially. Please tell your son to stay optimistic…follow his heart… And please let us know of his ongoing life Lois…. I think his exciting future is just beginning :-) ~Kathy

    • Kathy, I agree wholeheartedly that his life was suddenly returned to him. His dream had been to write and he tried early on to do just that in his off hours, but there weren’t enough hours in his day and he became too worn down to be able to concentrate when he tried. He has so many ideas flowing now and only works a couple of hours a day at his writing so not to burn out. He has a new novel in the works and gave me the beginning to see if I thought it was any good. The only problem with this arrangement is the story is so good I am hating having to wait to read the rest of it. :-) I would love to see him be able to make enough writing to stay home. He is enrolled in school, starting in June, to become a certified electrician. He has educational funds from the military so his expenses will be paid for and he will receive monies to help support himself during that time. Hopefully between the two he will be happier than he was at the prison.

      I appreciate your belief that I can show him how to live by being creative. While I have taught him how to maintain a home and car, and how to do some remodeling when it comes to the items to fill a home it’s his wife who has been interested in learning these things from me. Between the two of them they should manage just fine.

      I am impressed that you and Thom have never given in and worked for some one else. Most of the work I did at home while raising my children I still had a boss out there.

  6. Although your son is struggling at this time, I’m glad for him at the same time. My oldest brother was laid off and ended up moving his entire family to a rural area (closer to grandparents) while he stayed behind doing contract work and living with our “baby” brother and me in our urban apartment. All three of us were living paycheck-to-paycheck, but it was also a time in which our values were re-centered.

    All three of us are so much happier and free from debt now, which is our version of the American Dream.

    • J. Balconi, thank you. That is exactly how I feel about it. My son hated his job but knew he could retire at age 50 with a full pension, which is rare nowadays. I saw what had happened to his health after only 5 years and couldn’t imagine the problems he would have after another 21.

      He is struggling financially at the moment, but he’s doing things he loves and that includes spending time with his family. He worked 3rd shift (when he wasn’t working double shifts) which meant he had to sleep during the day. The children had to try and be quiet so as not to wake daddy.

      I am partial to rural areas so see your brother’s decision to move his family closer to family and a rural area a bonus for his children, although it’s a shame he had to stay behind for work during that period. But the time you and your brother’s spent together is such a rare thing. It must have been wonderful having the adult time together.

      This situation where families are torn apart, and separated from extended family all for work is such a sad practice, one I hope ends soon as family is the building block of society, even non-traditional family situations.

  7. Hi Lois and thank you so much for the interview. I know it must be hard to try and live the American Dream only to find out that the Dream is for a select few. Justin seems to be handling it nicely though and I do hope that his children have their daddy home a lot more from now on :)

    I also loved this line: “children are more into being outside and doing arts and crafts rather than worrying about how many channels we have on the TV”…thanks to Grandma of course :)

    Thanks again Lois for allowing us to be a fly on the wall and I wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

    Take care and all the best.

    Lyle

    • Thank you, Lyle. It’s true that the children do prefer to be outdoors and can occupy themselves with the simplest things in nature whether it be a garden or a pile of dirt. Television holds very little interest for them. They do have a few movies for those days they get bored, or like now sub freezing temperatures for weeks on end.

      Justin will find his way, it’s early in the process for him at this point but both he and the children are enjoying him being home and healthy now.

      I wonder if those select few who are living the dream are truly happy the way those of us who have embraced simpler lifestyles are.

      Hope you are better soon.

  8. Your son sounds like an amazing person. I love that he has taken a seemingly rough situation and turned it around to be something wonderful … and yes, remembered the lessons that you taught him early in life. Losing a job is never fun but he has embraced his new situation and used it to get closer to his kids and write. I admire him for that … many people just let it overwhelm them. Thank you, Lois, for sharing his interview. And thanks, to both of you, for offering up a copy of his book … it looks great!

    • Small Footprints, thank you. He is happier now and more relaxed than I have seen him since he started working at the prison. It’s still a stressful time for his family as they are struggling to keep up on the bills but he will make it and if needed I am here to help where I can.

      If I could go back and live those years as a single mother over again I would still make the same choices. I had to choose between a higher paying job and my children being raised by sitters or make very little at work and take on other jobs from home to have the few extras I wanted the boys to have. I had a relationship with them instead, and know I did the right thing. I had no idea how bad things would be when they were embarking on their adult lives but seeing it now I’m glad I was able to give them an example of how to make a go of it without the high-paying, full time job.

  9. I left an overly long comment early this am but may have lost it due to sleepiness since it never appeared. I really appreciated this post as I have others, you express yourself so well. I can empathize with the demanding job of a corrections officer, when I was in practice I had many patients who were in that field. I grew up on a farm and loved the simple frugal life, as well as the closeness to the earth with the rhythm of the seasons. I choose to go into rural family medicine after experiencing the difficulties of people trying to obtain care when doctors are few and far between, but it meant working 80 to 100 hour weeks while raising 2 children. Many people expect doctors make a lot of money, but rural practice pays less, fewer people are insured or they are on medicaid which reimburses poorly (often does not even cover the expenses involved or supplies used for an office visit) and slowly (it was often 2 or more years between the date a patient was seen and when the government actually paid for that visit) plus I often was tied up at the hospital on Christmas, weekends and special days. I am not looking for sympathy, just stating facts. 10 years ago I suffered a spinal injury which disabled me from being able to work, and I now had to rely on my husband and then teenaged children to take care of me after being the caretaker myself for so long. Now our children are grown and married, and our first grandchild turned one this week. My husband and I are trying to downsize and rid ourselves of material possessions in preparation for moving to a smaller handicapped accessible home that we will have built on property we bought in NC. I want to get back to a simpler life so I can again connect to the cycles of nature and grow/provide food for our children and their families so they can be healthier. I see so many signs of approaching crises, as it sounds like your son has included in his fictional work, and I would love to read how he pictures the scenario and how his characters handle the challenges. Many preppers are concentrating on saving their own families, but it is more realistic to work with a community to spread out labor and share tasks. If you and your children survive, who will your children marry, each other? Sorry to run on, but these are topics that are constantly on my mind and your post is timely and thought provoking.

    • Mary, so sorry I found your comment had been flagged as needing approval, and I hadn’t been able to get online earlier today as it was my day with my granddaughter.

      I appreciate your comments about the stress of a corrections officer. People around here tend to laugh it off as an easy job that pays well, but it is anything but. The mandatory double shifts and the rules are one thing but then there is the necessary alertness that is required because you never know what will happen in the next moment.

      Your choice to open a rural practice makes me smile because I know how hard things are for doctors today with HMOs and the medicaid payments. My family doctor charges $50 an office call, gets a fraction of that from her medicaid payments and when a patient needs an interpreter she has to pay for it costing her $75 per visit. She’s already in the hole by $25 and then if the patient is on medicaid it’s even worse.

      It was scary to me to read how much of my deepest fears for the future my son included in his book. I can only hope they don’t come true. Good luck to you in the drawing.

      • Lois thank you, I am glad I didn’t just erase my comment. Due to my medical issues, I have not slept more than 3-4 hours a night in 10 years and on top of side effects of medications and chronic pain I sometimes do stupid things or can’t remember what I did. It is very frustrating when I was a very active organized woman who ran a medical practice, a household and raised 2 children before the injury. I used to make life and death decisions with patients and their families, now I can’t be trusted to remember if we have any eggs in the house or to call to make vet appointments for the cats. The cats don’t care, as long as they are fed, they would rather skip the vet.

  10. Thanks for sharing. I see glimmers of hope with my son but the next day he’ll go back to wanting to be a billionaire. But he is only 13 and at least he says he’s going help the homeless with his billions.

    • Christy, 13 is such a hard age. It wasn’t all that long ago my boys were there. That is part of the reason I asked my son in the midst of our conversation if I could do an interview with him for the blog. I wanted to show parents those teenage years are not the norm, but a hormonal period where they are trying to distinguish themselves from us. They pick at every little thing we chose to do that makes our lives different and want the opposite. Then the peer pressure levels off after high school and they work their way back around to find their own views and goals. In most cases they find there was very little they didn’t like about the way they were raised and incorporate much of our examples into their adult lives.

  11. How wonderful that you were able to have that dialog with your son. He has a lot of the same views as mine. Unfortunately, I can’t take in the worst case scenario as it causes me great anxiety. I try to look for the best possible outcome. There is so much going wrong, but so much also going right. Many, like your son are looking for ways to make things better. I am truly frightened when I see what’s happening but the fear doesn’t help. I want to do what I can to make things better. Simplifying life is a good start. I used to tell my first husband, (children’s father) that I wanted to work too so he didn’t have to work as hard and would have more time with his kids. They needed his influence too. He wouldn’t hear of it. Then he dropped dead at 42 and they were devastated. Your son was lucky to have the choice made for him. The bond is more important than the stuff. I ordered his book from Amazon for my son to read. I wish him every success.

    • Marlene, thank you for buying my son’s book. I hope your son enjoys it. I had trouble myself reading it because I could picture my own children and grandchildren having to live through those experiences he created and my heart broke.

      I have many of the same concerns and like you am frightened, not so much for me. I’ve lived a good, long life and have the memories of it. But to see the little ones I love so much and know I may never be able to anticipate all the possible things they may need to know and teach it to them while I am still here is what keeps me up at night.

      What a shame your first husband didn’t take you up on your offer to help out and spend that extra time with his children. My grandfather worked a lot when his kids were young and even when I was little. It wasn’t until my boys were born that he was retired and had the free time to enjoy them. It’s sad because he really loved children, they brought so much joy to him. If only we could redefine the importance of both parents in society it would be a better world. Maybe this is one of the good things that will come out of a part-time society as we are seeing happen now.

  12. Thanks Lois once again for a very honest and thought provoking post. The concept for your son’s book sounds intriguing and a possibility in the not too distant future. With regards to living a simpler life, the truth is I didn’t pick it, it picked me. I became a minimalist, environmentalist by default when I lost everything material in a very messy break up.

    Every cloud has a silver lining so it is said, and for me this has certainly been true. My children and I started again with not very much and have managed to build a very full and productive life free from the shackles of a materialist society. We have rediscovered the “make do and mend” philosophy with the help and inspiration of many bloggers such as yourself. We have created a more meaningful and thoughtful way of living that continues to give great pleasure along the way.

    I love the beautiful things in this world but now have a very different attitude to what those things are.

    • Mary, I am so sorry for how you and your daughters had to find your way. Divorce is a horrible thing, especially for the children. It sounds like you found a happier life than you had, and maybe it was waiting for you all along. Aren’t the simpler activities done with our children ones that some how connect us to them more than all the material things we could have had and scheduled classes and activities?

      I spent today with my granddaughter crafting with junk and building a bird house. The conversations, even at age 5, that we were able to have were very meaningful and I know she will remember these times, as will your daughters remember the way they are growing up with you now.

      We can appreciate the beauty in the world without having to own it.

  13. How gratifying it must be to see you son as a responsible, intelligent, caring adult. Everyone has to learn some things by experience and it looks like your son is learning well.

  14. Lois, you must be so proud. You raised your sons to develop their own thoughts and lifestyles. It is great to see little parts of us in our children and even better to see them come out with their own style.

    • Jodi, I am proud of my children, but it hasn’t always been easy. When he informed me climate change was a hoax or when he bought into a completely different political viewpoint after joining the military than he had before, I knew I had to keep quiet and let him find his own way back to what he knew deep inside as the truth. But they do grow up and find their way to their own truth and way of life and I love both my boys for that.

  15. I grew up on my grandfather’s farm where we used everything,wasted nothing, grew all our own veggies, raised a few head of dairy cattle to meet our own needs and chickens for eggs. We grew grain and hay for the cows, fed the chickens kitchen scraps, while the barn cats ate the table scraps the chickens did not. Our equipment was old but we made do. We moved after my 16th year when my grandfather died. My parents were teachers and wanted their own home. I lived with another family so I could finish my last year of high school in the district where I had spent my whole life and where I was slated to be valedictorian. Since then I became a family physician in private rural practice, married while in med school, gave birth to and raised 2 children who themselves are now married, and our first grandchild turned 1 year old this week. We have tried to provide some amount of country life for our children, but my husband is a city boy from NJ and my career did not allow enough time for raising farm animals, just a dog rescued from the humane society and cats (max number at one time 7 adults) from the humane society or found as abandoned kittens while my son the cat magnet was out running or biking. This is a long build up to my desire for a simpler life being almost genetic, reaching back to my childhood on the farm. I was born in 1960, but we lived more like an earlier generation. We didn’t have a washer other than an old wringer, dried clothes on a line. Household tap water was collected by rain gutters into a cistern, drinking water pumped by hand and carried by buckets every morning. No shower since it used too much water, tub baths weekly, the only sink was in the kitchen, where we washed our hair and brushed our teeth. There was a 2 seater outhouse (my mother youngest of 13 children had grown up in that same house) though we did have a flush toilet. Life was simpler but happy. My adult life was further complicated by a spinal injury in 2003 that led to 4 surgeries, staph osteomyelitis of the spinal requiring 6 weeks of IV antibiotics, and marked permanent disability, forcing me to give up my medical practice and leaving me dependant on my teenaged children and my husband, who had lost his job after my second surgery. We have survived, but have needed to reassess our priorities and remade our life to accommodate the drastic changes forced on us. A simpler life is healthier physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, but sometimes I think God had to hit me up side of the head to get me to slow down. I would like to shed more of our material possessions and live even more simply, though it is an ongoing negotiation with my husband. I empathize with your son’s stressful life in corrections, while I was in family practice I had many patients who were corrections officers and it is one of the most stressful and demandong jobs there are. I find the description of his latest book fascinating and would love to read it. I see many trends going on that are leading to crisises, and am trying to make what preparations we can. Too many preppers are concentrating on saving only their own family when true survival will require group/community effort. I am curious as to jow he would approach it in this fictional work. Fiction/scifi has come true over and over. Sorry for the verbal diarrhea but somehow it was very complicated communicating my desire for a simpler life!

    • Mary, what a wonderful childhood you had! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am sorry you had to give up your practice but I do hope you and your husband can negotiate a simple life that suits the both of you.

      I couldn’t agree more about connecting with the community and having those relationships in place should the worst case scenario happen. I can’t say I am set up as a prepper but I do have enough here to comfortably eat well for a couple of months, enough toilet paper and other necessities. Water I should consider. We have the community garden I started with another neighbor for those living in the apartment building so fresh food to replenish what we use isn’t a problem as long as mother nature cooperates. But I would be concerned if I didn’t have the neighbors I have now. We look out for each other and share our resources from knowledge to kitchen appliances and even small items like threads and the bounty from our own garden beds.

      The closest place to purchase things like thread and yarn is 20 miles away so it makes more sense to share what we have.

      As for sinks, I don’t understand what is wrong with only having one sink. If I were to build a home I would only have one as there is no reason to waste the money and space to add a second in the bathroom as long as the kitchen sink isn’t far away. I’m sure growing up with your grandparents you have those same thoughts going through your head I do about what is necessary and what is a want.

      • Lois, thanks for your comments. The sink thing gives me a unique perspective on one little detail of how we can come to consider luxuries necessities. I have read many tiny house stories where people say they feel having separate bathroom and kitchen sinks are a necessity when the two are only a few feet apart. Since my childhood home had been used for generations, since the early 1900s and predated indoor plumbing, we had numerous sets of ceramic pitchers/basins. If I lived in a tiny house, something similar seems the way to go. Though I can understand those who need that one little thing to feel they are at home. We all have different needs. I could not live without some kind of crafts, I never leave the house eithout a knitting project.

        • Maryalma, I too have things I can’t live without which include crafts and good books. My kitchen is only steps from my bathroom so it wouldn’t bother me to have only one sink. I grew up using the kitchen sink to wash my air and with 6 children and one bathroom brushing my teeth in the kitchen was common as well.

  16. Lois, I do not want to be included in this as I have already won a giveaway of yours but I truly wish your son all the best and encourage him in his writing. I really like the sound of his book but realise now I never got back to the link for his other! I think this story line will appeal to many, for obvious reasons. Thanks to both of you for sharing, it’s a hard time but we do survive even if we do look back and wonder how. He has such a supportive mother, I know she will be doing her best to help! xx

    • Wendy, I do try to support him and his family and will continue to as in the end family is all that is really important. I do hope the story appeals to many as we are living in unpredictable times. We in the US are again waiting on Congress to approve another debt extension or run out of money by the end of the month. We are hearing warnings of mass government layoffs, no social security checks for the seniors and no pay for the military. It’s never ending.

      No worries, if you still want to read his other story let me know I’ll see you get a copy.

      • It sounds like scary times Lois, I really feel for you guys. My son’s girlfriend’s mother (over there) has recently lost her welfare payments after having cancer, she has been unable to find work again and they are sending money from here. Just terrible. Family is all that’s important, nothing else matters if they are not ok. We hear of all this on the news, it comes up so often but what do they do about it in the meantime, to change things?! Why are they keeping their military presence overseas…when you think of the cost of all that it just doesn’t make sense!

        I will buy a copy of his other story only 99 c ! because I am thinking of buying his recent one, it sounds interesting and I would like to support him and give a review. His excerpt from his book on his blog reads well, I like his writing style :) Thanks Lois.

        • Wendy, thank you. My son would appreciate reviews which in self publishing are the way to get sales. People don’t want to buy books from an unknown author without them as they feel it could be bad and that’s why it was self published.

          I feel for your son’s girlfriend’s mother. Welfare was set up as the last opportunity to keep people off the streets. Her situation is more difficult because of her cancer.. The economy is bad, but employers don’t want to hire someone who may cost them money if they get sick again, or if they offer insurance her diagnosis would raise their premiums.

          Employers and landlords look at credit scores. If you fall behind on your bills and your credit score falls you will be denied work and even housing. It’s crazy.

          As for our bases, I don’t believe the US should be policing the world. The general opinion here is that some of our bases are important. In Japan, it is believed if we pull out China will attack Japan. In Germany it is believed if we pull out countries in that region will invade. Yet, there are many countries who would welcome our pull out. We should ask which countries want us and which don’t. As for the middle east, we should just get out of there. We’ve already done enough damage.

          But if we pulled our bases and brought back all the military personnel we would have to cut back the military and those people would find themselves in the job market competing for jobs with every one else. I can’t imagine the devastation this would cause. Our government is the largest employer, if they were to cut back (and save money) it would immediately put us into a full blown depression which is why I believe we will not pull out of these other countries.

          • It must be very difficult to look forward without a fair amount of anxiety about where things are headed Lois :( What an awful, horrible mess our “leaders” have made of the world. A follow on from that too is the aid western countries give to third world countries, without wealth here there is little there. If we can’t hold our own it’s a world wide poverty issue :(

            I had no idea America was even in Japan and Germany though Roger knew when I mentioned it to him. And of course you are right, where would those people find jobs?

            This all just makes me more aware of the need for other life skills than the average person knows and I am really pleased to see the growing swell of people learning what their grandparents knew from their own hardships…and going back to how life used to be ‘way back when’. Looking back everything is cyclic, the roaring 20’s followed by the depression, the more robust years followed by recessions but I do fear the state of things now, how we can sustain growing populations – the growth of crime when things get bad when already there is enough. Economic growth….huh!!!!

          • Wendy, there are few countries where we don’t have a military base. The most dangerous one is in South Korea, imo. My best friend’s son was stationed there and lived with constant threats by North Korea of destroying the base. Should there be an attack, especially chemical or nuclear our soldiers would never have time to respond.

            I struggle with the aid we give to countries. I know a lot of it doesn’t go to those who need it most due to corrupt governments. It’s needed, that’s a given, but it needs to reach those most in need. On the other hand, we have people here on the streets, children who come to school without having had any food since school the day before and are hungry. We spend so much money on things unnecessary, war for example, and don’t feed our own people.

            Yes, there have been circular patterns in growth and contraction but I fear those days are over. We have overreached on growth and now must pull back. I read an interesting article where a young man was quoted as saying his generation will never have the things his parents did, that they need to come up with a new dream for their way of life. He is wise and I think he is right.

          • I think he is probably right too.

            I tend to think the same as you Lois about overseas aid. Much of it never gets there and there are those struggling in our own countries.

            I had no idea how far reaching the military presence was. We have an American spy base here, in our little town! It’s been here for donkey’s years and is occasionally targeted by protesters but goes largely unnoticed, everyone just stares at it when driving past, wondering just what goes on there.

  17. I think you taught him/showed him well, growing up/now. It is interesting to hear he is re evaluating much of his growing up years, and incorporating/modifying them into his life now. I am much older (more your age), but I too find I think more and more of ways my parents/grandparents lived, and leaning towards these too.

    I think, too, he has good points about why he feels it is important to try to live more simply. Every time what accepts/uses more technology (which is almost like magic these days), one gives up privacy and part of one’s world. I read recently there is soon to be released a facial recognition app which can be downloaded to your phone. Scan any stranger in a crowd, and it will tell you who they are, and every single place they exist on the web. Track you to your home address. etc. Way too creepy.

    • Lynn, just like you I am finding that I want to live more like my grandparents did when they were younger. They had long accepted many of the conveniences by the time I was growing up but they still taught me much about their childhoods.

      Yes, I come at my environmental beliefs and passion from the lessons I learned from knowing and visiting with Native Americans and having been accepted into AIM (American Indian Movement). I see the earth as our mother and out of a hope it will be here for future generations.

      My son has started to become a bit more concerned about the damage being done, but he’s of a mind that it’s too late to change the damage done and leave a healthy planet.

      Whatever reason we find that helps us in the journey is what will work for us. The point is to care enough to do something.

      As for the facial recognition, I’ve heard about it too. I don’t think it will be much longer, the Google glasses are creepy enough for me.

  18. Beautifully composed and well-thought questions and answers, Lois. I enjoyed meeting your son here and wish him continued love and happiness as he explores these new endeavors.

    It may be difficult at times, but I believe he’ll figure it all out and see how he is blessed.

    Thank you for sharing your son with us. You must be so proud.

      • I know how you feel, Lois. I’ve had those talks with my daughters. The road is definitely long but so worth the travel when they begin to understand us and love us in that new light. There’s nothing like it.

        • Pat you are so right. It’s a circle, the love and connection we have when they are so little finally comes back around in a new relationship as they mature into adults. The teen years I would gladly leave behind. I have always said it’s not the terrible twos that are hard it’s the teen years.

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