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Bee BS: If the Bottom DOES fall out (120* d) RE: BS: If the Bottom DOES fall out 30 Sep 08

I've lived really poor in the past. There have been times when I lived on nothing but nervous optimism. Enough such times that some nights I slide into our very comfortable bed, in our own nice little house with a feeling of utter luxury and gratitude.

When I didn't have a job, I did a lot of bartering, trading skills for food or goods, and a lot of one or two day jobs. I knew which friends and relatives could be counted on for a bed if things completely went south. I never once ended up on welfare (though a couple of times I should have; I may have recovered quicker).

Pooling resources is always a good plan in adverse times. One winter, living in the country, I was jobless and had two neighbours in the same predicament. We would gather at the home of whoever had coffee that day, bring along a little brunch food if we had something, brainstorm on what we could do to get out of our poverty, trade rumours of jobs, projects, available resources, and play backgammon while the snow piled deeper outside. We helped each other through a bad winter, kept ourselves sane and optimistic, and made a little money through our pooled ideas.

I have more confidence about my ability to survive poverty and hard times now, and I always have a worst-case plan stewing in the back of my brain, and I know other people (friends and relations) with the same kinds of plans, like Janie and SRS and Sinsull. I think knowing who you can really share resources with is important; whose plans mesh with your own and even are interdependent.

One good thing about medical care: doctors need vegetables too, and quite a few other things. Hospitals? Well, I'm damn glad we have public health care.

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