Thursday, February 26, 2009

Small town recession

I live in a relatively small town in Arkansas and it seems the recession is gradually growing our way. First many in our local retired community were hit by the steep decline in the stock market. That in itself brought a serious decline in available local resources. Then those of us whose incomes are drawn from outside the community have watched as our incomes have declined. Artists who travel to shows report business being down. Galleries in the cities that sell their work have had declining sales. As a tourist community, it seems people are still coming but spending less. That means the restaurant business is slow and the gift stores and galleries have declining sales and are selling inventory at a loss.

I have noticed the recession in my own business. An article has been postponed and a book put on hold. I no longer have customers inquiring about custom furniture, and the sales of my boxes to galleries has slowed nearly to a halt.

So, like nearly everyone in America I am looking at my options, considering new opportunities and income strategies. Of equal importance is the process of reexamining our current use of financial resources. National Geographic this month has an excellent article on the waste of resources that takes place in the common American home. The article offers changes that come at almost no cost. Our past profligacy is the result of our misperceptions of abundance and we are currently coming to terms with reality. My hope is that this will lead to better and more responsible use of the earth's resources.

One of the things you learn in the process of woodworking. You have a board. There is only one that shows the qualities desired in the finished work. You are frugal and caring in its use.

Today I go to the preschool to make a bird house, and this afternoon I work on the bench for Crystal Bridges and the table of elements for high school Chemistry.

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