This has been a tough year for many of us. It seems as if everyone I know is being affected by the state of the economy. I have a friend who was living in NYC trying to establish himself as a respected chef (he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America) that had to move back home to his parents place this month because there was no money to be made in the area he was living in. Lucky for him, he has a very supportive family that is allowing him to stay at home without paying rent because even now, he has been working very hard at another restaurant here and hasn't been payed in three weeks as the restaurant isn't making much money.
My father too is another case. During my winter break from college, I watched him sit around for a two weeks, logging maybe seven hours per week at work due to the lack of work out there. When times are tough like that, he takes his frustration to the bottle. Don't get me wrong, he's not a loser. He's what you call a functioning alcoholic. He drinks every day (and has been cutting back) but still goes to work sober every morning. He tries his hardest to pay his bills and somehow, even with the winter being so hard on him, he manages to pay on time every month. He is a good man, my father, and it is really hard to see him drunk all day when he has no work because he doesn't want to think about the lack of money and the upcoming bills. It makes me feel very fortunate that I was able to get between 35 and 42 hours per week doing tree work.
The kicker of this is that we live on Martha's Vineyard. We are not the rich people that most people think of when they think of the Vineyard. Those people generally have a second house here. We are the locals. The people who keep things running here with our hard work when the rich people aren't here. So many people just don't know that side of the Vineyard.
Anyway, I suppose I've been rambling. Back to that first friend. Last night, him and I got together with a few other local friends and got drunk. It was nice to see them all again and drink some beers and tell stories and remember our history together and forget our present states of misery. Now I'm hung over. Meh.