Our little town has been in a bubble as far as the economic crisis is concerned - with our oil field here everyone has still had plenty of money, things have been good. We haven't felt the crunch much at all compared to the rest of the nation.
But it looks like that's all changing. With gas prices so low the oil companies aren't drilling so much, and things are slowing down. Some frac companies have pulled out of town altogether. Others are laying people off left and right. Andrew works at Halliburton, probably the longest standing oil-field related company in town, a well-known company across the nation. But today they're laying off a bunch of people too. Andrew's hours have been scaled back tremendously - from 1oo+ hours each week to 40. Funny, I was complaining about all the work he was having to do, and now I'm wishing he'd get some more hours.
The silver lining? He's home more. It's so wonderful to wake up in the morning with him and go to bed at night with him, to cook him dinner and talk to him and spend time with him. So while things may get a little tighter as far as money goes, I'll accept that without complaint for the extra time I get to spend with my husband.
It's not just us though - my parents are having a hard time financially right now, and that's something they've never dealt with, at least not since they were very young. My little brother is clueless. He's 18 now, he should be getting ready to get out on his own, but it'll be harder than ever right now for him, and he doesn't really understand that. Instead he just asks for more money to go snowboarding. Argh. I'd like to kick him sometimes.
The woman that runs the daycare at the gym told me the other day her husband got laid off from a long-standing local lumber company where he'd worked for 7 years. He managed to find a job working in a gas station for now, but that doesn't come with enough pay or insurance - and she's 6 months pregnant. They're applying for Medicaid now to cover the birth of the baby since their insurance is gone.
There are so many stories I'm hearing lately... it makes me realize what the rest of the nation has been going through. It was easy to ignore it while we were sitting her in our happy little economic bubble, but it looks like that bubble has popped and left us out there with everyone else, and that's kind of scary. There's so much unknown... and I fear the unknown!