Details, details

simple pleasuresThere should be no reason to complain when it’s summer in Michigan. The days are long and hot. There is so much to do outside: We have a small pool to splash in. Toys to amuse ourselves. An outdoor patio. Beautiful parks near home and within driving distance. A fun downtown six blocks away. Outdoor concerts.Yet — our local economy has cast shadows on what should be a bright time of year. Good friends of ours learned today they are losing their home. They don’t know where they will go. They have no family in Michigan. They can’t afford to leave because they have no money, hence the foreclosure. Another good friend nearly lost her home last December but ma` naged to pull through. Still, she tells me that since that scare, she’s cleaning and organizing, repairing and streamlining, in the event her house needs to go on the market, she’s ready.  She’s been out of work for a year.More and more I’m seeing these signs around town: Home auction this weekend.Rent to own.Must sell now.New price.More and more I ‘m hearing about families moving out of Michigan or contemplating a move.Not everyone I know is struggling. But the stories of the hardship are hard to shake, you know? I toss and turn at night, wondering how I can help.  Realistically I can’t do much at this point. We are OK. We are more than OK. But we need to be careful we stay that way. Figuring out how to help is the hard part.So I’ve been doing a lot of pushing the baby girl’s stroller around the neighborhood, walking away the anxiety. I’m trying to take a moment to appreciate the simple things: the little details that exist whether I’m here or not: The perfection of a flower. The relief of a shade tree on a 94 degree day. The sheer joy an 18-month old girl has in putting on her pink patent leather Mary Janes.Take me back to that place in life where a pair of shoes could make me feel complete.  

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