Friday, November 02, 2007

Everything Happens for a Reason

So they say.

Blogging? No time for that lately. Because of an exhausting trip last weekend, an injured dog, a crushing amount of work at the office, and other job-related issues explained more fully below, I’ve been absent. Absent-minded. Yeah, that’s it. I would need an alarm clock to wake me after a fourteen-hour stretch of sleep.

It will feel good to get into my old blogging style again but I can’t count it happening soon. Time Warner was here today because we have a problem outside causing an intermittent lost connection. I’ll be on pins and needles for three or four days before they can get out here and give me some service.

After Time Warner left today Michael lifted the desk, where I am now, to cozy it back against the wall. The hutch tumbled over, spewing phone books, lamps, golf knickknacks, and photo frames to the floor. Four keys on the lap top cracked and flew away. I was just stunned…my jaw tightened. Then it happened again. The crash. It was a horrible end to a horrible week, but for now, I plan to get a post published!

American business culture can be ruthless. As a valued employee, you are there one day and gone the next and no one in that distant corporate office gives a damn.

My husband, along with all of his colleagues in administration and a large crew of electricians including my daughter’s boyfriend Billy, were given a one-hour notice this week. Their company filed Chapter 7 – no warning, you are paid for today but not tomorrow, pack up your stuff losers, no vacation pay, no severance pay, no pay in any form, good luck and good-bye. A young woman in the office sat at her desk and cried, one day after settling on a new home. We moved to Charlotte for a good opportunity with a great company. Don’t ever feel so secure…business conditions change like the wind.

The night hours magnify my worries. I went to bed that evening wondering if I should get to the Food Lion and sign up for a free Thanksgiving turkey. Otherwise, might we enjoy fancy hot dogs on the table or spaghetti with Ragu sauce? Oh, and I need a night cream. Good-bye Lancome, hello Oil of Olay. Then I had visions of the young employees with big mortgages and little children to feed. Oh, I was so unworthy of worry.

News travels fast in the electrical construction industry. In less than a day, Michael received a few job offers. Billy, an apprentice, was hired to start on Monday. Michael interviewed a few times yesterday and has been hired to start on Monday, too. Both of them have fine reputations and for that, I am so grateful. Good men.

After I received the initial call from Michael, who was packing up his office, I prepared a mediocre dinner and took myself outdoors, hoping my head would stop spinning.

A visit from on of our Cooper’s Hawks is what I needed. I can’t take my eyes off them.


It landed on its perch after flying above my head with lightning speed. I thought I heard it soar.

It spun around quickly. I wonder why it stands on one leg and holds the other close to its chest?

Surveying… The feeder birds were so silent. The sound of the pond waterfall and my camera zooming and focusing is all that I heard.

A 360 degree visual tour,

to see all, at every angle. Patiently waiting for a meal.

Back again, to see that irritating woman at the bottom of the hill.

Had enough of me and the quiet. Gone in a flash.

Bella, the streak, can run 200 mph and pivot on a dime to snag a runaway hula hoop. On Tuesday evening, she raised her right front leg and hobbled on the other three for almost two days. I could not stand it, so off we went to see Dr. Mark.

I think I know where I’m g-g-going. Uh oh.

I can see the s-s-sky.
We should all look upwards...when feeling down.

After a few days of quiet and beef-flavored anti-inflammatory tablets, she’ll be streaking again. Dr. Mark suggested “quiet” for three days. We both laughed about such a ludicrous prescription!

Job security may come and go and life may go awry, but beauty remains.
And a sense of humor can really heal.

I’ve shown pond lilies many times but this might be one of the last to show since frost is attacking the last few signs of summer.

It’s time for a glass of wine to warm up my cold and sleepy self. Have a wonderful weekend.


thailandchani said...

Glad you posted the pictures at the end. My blood pressure nearly reached stroke level at your description of "American corporate culture". Sorry to say I can't see it as sad. It just makes me furious.

cat59 said...

Hi Mary. I am so sorry to hear about your husband's sudden unemployment and equally glad that he found something so quickly. What a cold slap in the face. I can imagine how that kind of news gets you thinking about ways of cutting back very quickly. DH and I are doing some of the same thinking, but in a planned and positive way in anticipation of his retirement.

I am mesmerized by your photos of the hawk and enjoyed the water lily. So pretty. I'm glad you got to post. Good luck with TW!

KGMom said...

My goodness, Mary--talk about closing doors and opening windows. That's an expression I grew up hearing: When a door closes, God opens a window.
I'm with Chani--my reaction--oh, no, both Michael & Billy. All I could think of was Gina & Billy and their new house!
WOW and wow again--finding new jobs within the week. Hope the young woman who bought a new house finds one equally quickly.
Thank goodness for the wonder of a Cooper's hawk, and the absolute beauty of a waterlily.

LauraHinNJ said...

Beautiful photos - glad you're still able to see the pretty and wondrous things despite all the crap of every day.

You have your family and your dogs and your birds and your sense of wonder - the rest is just BS! Don't fret over it!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Mary, I am so glad that you could end your horrible week with a sigh of relief. The Coopers was definitely sent to raise your spirits, to bring joy and the water lily is a lovely exclamation point. I do hope you can enjoy the weekend.

Mary C said...

Oh Mary. I'm so glad things turned out for you and your family as quickly as they did. Magnificent photos of a magnificent looking bird. I loved your water lily photo, too. Now, enjoy your weekend and look forward to next week - it's bound to be better.

Mary C said...

Oh, I forgot! I hope Bella is feeling better, too.

Annie in Austin said...

Oh Mary, a sudden crash is right! I'm glad your husband's skills are so transferable - it's a different story when they're extremely specialized.

The hawk photos were great, but after the excitement of reading your post I might need a little muscle relaxer myself.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

David said...

Wow, Mary. What a week. I'll pray for you (and I'll try not to yell at God this time!)

Susan Gets Native said...

Well, shit, Mary.

Geoff and I are one of those "Young families with children". I haven't posted about our worries for a lot of reasons. But the world of business is scary.

*(By the way, hawks {and other birds too} stand on one foot to rest. They don't have butts to sit on so they let their legs take turns. That's my scientific explanation)*

Unknown said...

Mary, I'm so sorry about your husband's company. What a relief that he and Billy were hired at new places so quickly. I was worried you'd say you were relocating again. Hope things settle down!

RuthieJ said...

Wow Mary, that just sucks about Michael's company....I sure am glad that he and Billy were able to find something else quickly.

Your Cooper's Hawk pictures are fantastic. I wish mine would sit around somewhere in the open so I could have more time to look at it, but will just enjoy yours in the meantime.

Poor Bella....hopefully she will recover quickly. Give her a kiss for me!

LostRoses said...

Job insecurity is what most of us live with nowadays, isn't it? No matter how firmly entrenched you feel, there's no guarantees. I'm so glad there was a happy ending for your husband and your daughter's boyfriend, but you had my heart in my throat for a few minutes there! Oh, and I've been married to a construction electrician for 40 years. Ups and downs, for sure.

Glad you were able to look up and see that fabulous hawk! And that you won't be hanging out in the Oil of Olay aisle.

The Quacks of Life said...

i once walked into the office to be made redundant and have to pack my desk straight away.

Most things happen for the best I guess.

Good luck to you.

Unknown said...

Mary, I have been reading a few blogs right along like yours but just staying quiet and getting back to work in the studio. I had to respond to this one. For almost a year now we have been waiting for the company that Don works for close the door. The owners could care less how they have put the workers on an emotional roller coaster. My husband decided to stay till the very end and now we will know on monday the outcome. I finally had to tell myself it will be alright in the end. We have each other and keep moving forward. All the things that fell can be picked up again.
Isn't nice to know you can go out to your back yard and see nature in every little corner. It does wonders for the soul and your blessed. Beautiful Coopers Hawk!

Chrissie said...

Dear Mary, what a week you have had. I am pleased your husband has found another position so quickly, it is a credit to him and you! I guess job insecurity is a problem for us all, we should not take things for granted. My father was made redundant three times with the closure of railways, factories and timber yards. I remember how hard it was. But, like you, he always looked forward and moved on. Your cooper's hawk is magnificient, and the photos are so clear. Relax a while and enjoy your weekend :-)

NatureWoman said...

Getting laid off totally sucks, I know from personal experience of losing my job to overseas people, but I am so happy for Michael and Billy that they got jobs so quickly - good for them and for you and your daughter, phew.
Wow, Mary, what *great* photos! You rock, for sure!

Carol Michel said...

My week had its ups and downs, but nothing quite so down as yours. But it looks like it will work out with new jobs so quickly.

Love the hawk pictures and your narrative.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Jayne said...

Wow Mary... I am so sorry to hear about Michael and Billy's jobs, but happy to hear that they were picked up by other companies so quickly. There truly does not seem to be any corporate loyalty these days. Our neighbor across the street was "let go" in downsizing and, at age 60, is having to move further south for a new job in order to have health coverage until he is able to retire. It's sad.

Love your Cooper's that came to visit and let you know that all will be well. Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

WOW, you have been busy (with everything)! Poor puppy and love the coopers hawk picture!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Never a dull moment at your house!
Wow! Up, down, up, down.....lordy, lordy!
Michael and Billy are "good men"! So glad they found jobs quickly.
Oh, dear, sweet Bella, baby! My goodness what a week you had!
Your photos of Cooper's Hawk are amazing. Such a cool bird.
Never you worry about making the blog rounds. Every one understands. Glad you were able to post. Relax and rest and enjoy the Autumn. Water lilly is beautiful....
Sending sweet, relaxing, soothing, all is well, blessings.

entoto said...

WOW! Things never seem to settle. What a week. I am glad it has turned out so well. I hope Ms. Bella feels better, too.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Mary, I am so glad that you could end your week well!

I am glad that Bella is well, too!

Great photos of the Cooper’s Hawks! How he stays freeze and still like that? You are a magician photographer!

Mary said...

Chani, American corporate culture makes my blood boil, too. This case, in particular, is the worst scenario.

Cathie, when you are suddenly dumped on the roadside, you immediately - right away - this about what you will give up. You are planning well.

Donna, we are fortunate. I worry about the women who were let go. It's more of a challenge for women to find employment - particularly ones my age.

Laura, yes, it's all BC. A good attitude gets you through - and a gorgeous hawk :o)

Lisa, it's good to get to know you. Here, you'll hear a lot of ups and downs. Hope you can stand it.

Mary C, Bella is getting better, slowly... Next week MUST be better!

Annie, LOL! Last night I had three muscle relaxers!

David, no yelling at God! Oh, I should practice what I preach. You can yell all you want.

Susan, yes, I thought of people like you and the wonderful little girls you have, plus the menagerie of pets you feed. I'd work part-time on top of full-time to feed the birds, fish, and dogs. May this NEVER happen to you! And, I completely agree with the tired Cooper's leg...I haven't been thinking well lately.

Liza Lee, a third relocation in five years would kill me. He did receive a call from Dallas. I don't wear Stetsens (Stetsons?). Cowboy hats.

Ruthie, I might see the Coopers sit on that perch a few times a month. It's the perfect spot! Far away, though. I want to get a photo of one in flight. Maybe next camera...

Mary (Lost Roses), Oil of Olay is good. Lancome makes me feel...worth it?

Pete, most people on earth experience something similar on the job. I am waiting to hear about something good resulting from this.

Toni, you have my BEST WISHES for Don. Twice during the last few decades, Michael hung on until the end. Don is loyal and the rewards for that will be great. My fingers are crossed for a good outcome... Keep yourself immersed in your artwork. You will make it through.

Chris, your father faced rough times and made it. In some professions, families plan for such ordeals. Very sad. I am ready for a good weekend!

Pam, oh, losing jobs to foreigners REALLY sucks. Thanks for your nice comments on the Cooper photos. They are awesome, aren't they? Just glad I didn't see a dove take a hit.

Carol, oooh...bad week? I'll be by later.

Jayne, oh, that poor man - so close to retirement. I have heard of this way too often. Corporate downsizing takes the highly-paid upper management and dumps them. I cringe.

Monarch, yeah, it's been a wild week. I regret not being able to visit your wonderful blog and so many others. I'll catch up soon.

Sherry, I just watch your videos when I need my BP lowered. Thanks, dear.

Trixie, when I was young and Gina was little, I thought life was too hectic and looked forward to a slow-down in my fifties. Not happenin' !

Sonya, if the light is good and you have time, a Hawk will perch motionless for minutes on end. They're easy. I'm no magician.

Alyssa said...

Mary you have surely been on a roller coaster of events these past weeks! I read Steve your blog and he was shocked about the turn of events for your husband and Billy. What a relief that they both were hired so quickly. I hope the rest of their co-workers are able to find work soon. How extremely terrible. Big business today is fickle to say the least. Steve and I work at the same company, so we are hoping that it can hang in there for 5 more years - then we both retire. Poor Bella - she was having sympathy pains for her Mom and Dad. Good thing she's feeling better. The water lily is beautiful and the hawk regal. I'm sure next week will be much better than the last few . . .

Larry said...

Not only is that a beautiful photo of the hawk itself, but I also love the texture of the tree and blue sky in background! Glad your husband could bounce back so quickly.-Some people stay unemployed for months or even longer before getting another job.

Susie said...

That sounds like such a difficult week. So glad your husband was able to find a job quickly. When the shipyard closed in our town thousands were left jobless and our town really suffered.
It does all happen for a reason I suppose, but sometimes when one is in the thick of it, it's hard to get past the anger and fear.
Love all your pictures, especially that beautiful water lily!

Anonymous said...

Mary. I was so shocked to hear about your Michael's experience. What a horrible way to treat employees - not to give them any kind of notice. My heart aches for that woman who'd just bought a house. Thank God many have found new jobs. I hope she does too.

On another note, your pond lily is beautiful beyond words. Such an intense glow. Thank you for capturing it and sharing with us.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Oh, May- I would have been a wreck in your shoes. Job security is so important but like others have said, I'm so relieved that Michael and Billy were hired on to new positions so quickly. I hope they aren't totally discouraged by the lay-offs. I think I would be. I Bella OK?

I really do love your eye for photography. You are gifted my dear!

Naturegirl said...

Ah Mary I just love your sense of humor!When all is doomed you just turn on that humor :)
I am so happy to hear that there is a happy ending to the men being laid off! I can just imagine the ((((SHOCK))))) in hearing
scat get out..shaking my head..

Ahhhh...poor Bella these photos truly capture her mood!! Whew glad that she is healing as I am!!! Yippee!!

Mary you must tell me what camera you I am shopping for a new one...your images are so clear!!! Hugs Anna xo
Give Bella an extra treat and hug from me!

Unknown said...

Well Mary, you certainly don't need my response but here it is. What beautiful photos of the hawk and flower. Somehow it makes all your previous blog seem more bearable. Glad Michael has a new job! Keep on keeping on, I love your blog. Jayne's Mom Phil

Mary said...

Mary so pleased your husband got a new job so quickly. Life has a habit of giving us a quick kick in the teeth hasn't it!!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Oh, Mary,
I'm sure this unexpected rug being pulled out from under you must cause a great deal of anxiety. There have been many things we'd wished had been different that we look back on and, with the passage of time, are thankful we were pushed in another direction. I hope this will be the same for you.
Nice for the hawk to be your predictable visitor in this time of unpredictability.

Mary said...

Alyssa, tomorrow is another work week and I am hoping I get through. Early to bed will help!

Larry, I've known a few men who were let go when they were very close to retirement. It took some of them a few years to find employment unfortunately.

Susie, I'm waiting to find out why this happened, for whatever reason..

Nikkipolani, I'll be inquiring about the young woman with the new house. Very upsetting!

Linne, yes, I was a wreck, even though this happened once before but under much better circumstances!

Anna, Bella is doing better. I think she's back! But - no running until tomorrow night, MAYBE. I have a Kodak EasyShare Z612. Nice camera in good light. I have trouble in low light, though.

Hi Jayne's Mom Phil! Glad you visited! You have a wonderful daughter, but I guess you already know that! Jayne is heaven sent.

Mary, LOL! You said it! A quick kick the teeth!

Nina, thanks. We'll make the best of it. You just can't look back.

JeanMac said...

Ah, Mary, you are always consoling me. I send a hug your way. Glad Michael got a job right away. How can people like that sleep at night!?

dguzman said...

Oh my gosh, I'm so glad things worked out so quickly for your husband. I hate Corporate "culture"--so uncultured.

That last photo is beautiful. I love your pond! Hope Your pup heals quickly. And "quietly"!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary. My name is Terri and I worked with Michael at Primo Electric. We have kept in touch over the years and awhile back he pointed me to your blog which I must say I have LOVED reading. Sometimes I feel like you have a window into my mind and you put into words the thoughts and feelings in there that I don't quite understand. And..needless to say...your pictures are incredible. Absolutely incredible.
I'm writing because I was reading your latest blog and was horrified to read about what happened to Mike's job. However, I'm very happy that he was picked up by another company so quickly. If you would, please let him know I'm very sorry about what happened but hopefully this new beginning will take him to a new level of success.
Thank you!

Mary said...

Hi Terri! We might have met before but it was so long ago... I'm glad you enjoy my blog. I used to post more often than I do now but hope to get back into my blogging groove soon.

This evening I let Michael know you commented. It was so nice of you to do that. He is well and he asked me to tell you that as soon as he is hooked up to a computer at his new office, he will let you know his e-mail address.

Thanks again for commenting. Feel free to visit my place anytime!


Cathy said...

Oh Mary. Whew. Yes, life and it's vicissitudes - the sleepless nights.
I'm so glad things are working out - that you've maintained your sense of humor and beauty (that water lily is a show stopper).

Sweet little Bella. I hope she's wearing the carpet out again with her dashes and flourishes onto the couch.

The Cooper's Hawk portraits are so elegant. Wow. Nice job with that camera, girl!

Anonymous said...

Consecrating a Holy vessel for my eternal consciousness.
A new body and a new mind.

Be thankful. Blessings unto you and yours.

Of Angel hugs and of love and laughter

and of happily ever after.

Of kind words and healing balms.

Of buzzing bees in the tall, green grasses.