Saturday, March 16, 2013

One fifth

It's mid-March.  The post-flood renovations are almost complete.  I've got new wood laminate floors, new vinyl, fresh paint...  I've got a bathroom that feels like a peaceful retreat.

And in a few weeks, we'll lose a fifth of our income to sequestration.

I won't purchase the gazebo for the back deck; I'm not sure I can afford a replacement canopy for the frame that's still there even if I can find one.  No canopy means an unusable deck which means a loss of social options for my daughter.

I'm canceling my plans to take my daughter to New York City for the day next month.  I don't think I can even budget for the drive up to New Jersey to see my sister; tolls alone are $25.

Yard projects are on hold.  And we may not be able to afford the lawn mower man this year.  (This one is HUGE as hiring the lawn mower man two years ago probably kept us out of divorce court.)

There will be no summer camps this year.

Therapies I was considering trying will not be started.

Behavior incentives will have to be rethought.

Food.  Limited eating out.  Careful menu planning.  Occasionally springing for the box of Spongebob mac & cheese because it makes my daughter happy.

There is so much more to say; the emotional impact is as great as the financial.  And the cost to my children is significant.  It's already so difficult to get my children the interventions they need.

My stomach hurts every time the thought of sequestration enters my head -- more often the closer we get to the mandatory furloughs and to 10 weeks of summer vacation and no funds for fun -- and words get stuck in my throat.  I don't want to hear any more political excuses.  I just want it fixed.

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