It’s 9pm, Saturday night. I’ve eaten a tub of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk Ice Cream all by myself. I’ve consumed two glasses of wine, by myself. My husband, Damon, is off playing the French Horn in the community production of Jesus Christ Superstar. I’m home ‘alone’, with three sleeping kids and a flashing refrain on my tv – The Network Is Down. Would you like to try again?

It goes without saying that the past few years have been financially crippling for the country, and for us personally. We’ve had to cut back, cut down, cut out. We stopped watering our backyard, for the whopping savings of $30. 00 per month. We cut out cable, saving another $200.00 per month. Now I’m trying, willy-nilly, to give up driving, which so far this week has saved me $70.00. But when the network is down, it is down. We’re still broke, and I’m still sitting home on a Saturday night, wondering how on Earth to fix it.

This new way of life is not sexy. It’s not nearly as exciting or fun as having expendable money, or not giving a damn about carbon footprints. Saving money, conserving energy, using less…realistically, it boils down to doing less, consuming less. And sadly, that is not scintillating news. The basics of any story are that someone must get up and do something, anything.

Yet here it is, Saturday night. I’m lying in bed trying to watch Netflix through the computer. But all I receive is the ominous message, ‘The Network Is Down.’  Jesus Christ!

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