Monday, Jordan and I were feeling sorry for ourselves. I left work early to come home and do a little housecleaning, but on the way I noticed our van, long overdue for a trip to the mechanic, was making a sound I could not ignore. We are driving it for four hours on Christmas and again this weekend--with our child in it. So, instead of cleaning anything, when I arrived at the house I insisted we take it to a mechanic. We hoped and prayed it would cost around $100 for maintenance-type stuff (but tell me, when does that *ever* happen?). Nope. It was $359 and then a laundry list of other stuff we needed in the next couple of months to the tune of around $1200. It was an OMG moment.
But, thanks to my parents giving us our Christmas money early, we were able to pay for the initial repairs with no problem. And after gaining a bit of perspective about the things needed later, we started feeling better. Then I caught this on the news. Mark Sanford, perhaps in second place right now for the Worst Governor in the Country Award, has decided that due to dissension regarding how the Employment Security Commission is run, he will simply allow South Carolina's unemployment checks to stop cold turkey come January 1st. Yes, it's a Merry Christmas here, with people wondering if Sanford is going to end his reign of terror and allow them to feed and house their children. Other Republicans are calling him heartless and cruel.
Jordan and I, along with most of our families, have long disliked this governor for numerous reasons. He criticizes our public schools but throws the teachers under the bus. Just a few months ago he squashed what would have been a fantastic higher cigarette tax. It would have helped pay for health care and couldn't have hurt smokers' efforts to quit. But holding 70,000 South Carolinians who have fallen on hard times hostage? You would think that Sanford, a so-called Christian and a family man, would have a bit more compassion for the people who voted for him. Hmm. I guess it's a little easier to keep perspective when you're living in a cushy mansion and making a guaranteed six-figure salary. I just pray that they can work something out, or we are going to have an awful lot of cold and starving people come January.
P.S. A more upbeat, Christmasy post is to follow... I hope.