I realize that I've been silent about our situation and a few of you have very kindly sent me emails and notes checking on us. It's time for an update, although there really isn't much that's newsworthy.
Patrick worked through the end of March closing down the local operation, disposing of furniture and equipment, shipping the stock to other stores, and terminating all the services they used locally. During the last week, he was asked at the last minute to rent a truck and drive the remaining equipment and stock first to Houston and then to Lake Charles, Louisiana. It was a difficult experience. It would have been much easier if he could have just walked away and been finished when they notified him of the impending closure. But, they compensated him for the extra work, so it was a worthwhile endeavor.
So, even though we knew it was coming for several weeks, he woke up on April 1st to the reality of being unemployed for the first time since 1979. I have to say, he's been very disciplined. He gets up with me every morning and gets dressed. He's taken over the laundry (okay, I sort it for him) and the housework. He's also been working on cleaning out the garage. I must confess, our garage has always been a mess. It's where we tend to drop things. But when he moved the remnants of 30+ years from his office to our home, it filled it to the point that my car won't fit in until it's cleaned. Fortunately, the kids are coming in the weekend after Easter to do the heavy lifting. Hopefully, my car should have it's home back after that.
He's been meeting weekly with a job coach who is helping him plan his job search and learn how to look for a job in the 21st century. That's a big plus considering how much the process has changed since 1979. He's learning about Monster.com, LinkedIn, and the plethora of other job sites. He's already been on two interviews, one of which was very promising, but he hasn't heard anything from them yet. The other one wanted him to be a door-to-door salesman for an electric provider ... all commission with no benefits. No thank you!
As for me, I've been able to increase the number of days I'm working. Rather than the three days a week I usually work, I've been working almost every day. It's not much extra money, but it makes me feel better psychologically. I'm also very busy most evenings and weekends with sewing and alterations. And, just to be clear, we're okay for now. Patrick's severance package will run through the end of July and that includes our medical and dental insurance. We're very hopeful that he will have a job by then.
We are very grateful for all the people who have offered to help in his job search. One of Katy's lifelong friends has even hooked him up with a recruiter she uses in her business. We have really found that people are very kind and helpful. I'll let you know as we move through the process or as things change.
Now for today's news. I have a black eye. That's right. It looks like someone punched me. Yesterday morning I opened the upper cabinet to reach for a coffee pod. When I did, a metal lid fell off the top shelf and hit me right on the top of my cheekbone at the eye socket. Here's what it looked like immediately after it happened.
We went out shopping this afternoon and I noticed an interesting phenomenon related to my black eye. When I saw someone I know, they would ask me what happened to my eye. But, interestingly, strangers looked away and didn't make eye contact. I'm guessing they assumed that I had been punched. They looked away rather than ask if I needed help or if I was okay. I'm kind of conflicted about that. I don't really think strangers should get all up in my business, but I'd like to think that if I needed help someone would offer.
We're headed for San Antonio tomorrow. It's Katy's birthday and we're going to take her out to lunch. Then we're going to babysit tomorrow night so Travis can take her out for her birthday.
I hope you have a great weekend.