As a home owner in Texas (affluent part of Dallas area) we have been struggling since our home loan amount increased by $400/mo. and each and every month it became harder to pay. Also, both my husband and I worked at the newspaper and thought we could and would find better jobs elsewhere. Alas, this has not become true for either of us. We are both working as a temporary now for a couple of the temporary Services in the area...him every day for three months and me intermittingly.

Behind a little in our mortgage, car, and credit card payments, still we do keep up with our light bill, water bill and phone bills. No savings in sight and no real knowledge of tomorrow, we both trudge on hoping not to end up just like Bruce. My husband has now had several interviews for a full time position but this has not become a reality. Myself, I'm applying with real hope at a well known insurance company. We have not had insurance in over three years now and feel grateful on a daily basis when we can buy groceries for ourself and are able to feed the dogs food that will not upset their stomach. With five children and nine grandchildren, our real hopes are that we would every now and again be able to could say "yes" instead of "We are so sorry but we cannot help."

Nevertheless, every single day I feel hopeful instead of sad and I wish my husband felt the same way. Not everyone reacts the same to these types of circumstances. My current daily answer is to look for flowers, rainbows, and smiles on children's faces and greet people with 'fantastic' when they say, "How are you today."

Hope brews more hope and faith brews more faith and eventually this world will come back around and if not, I'll die trying to make it back to my days as a legal secretary when I worried about no financial problems and could get my teeth cleaned, my clothes dry cleaned and actually fill my gas tank up all the way to full. Yet, are we better off than people all over the world? Yes.

One last comment, as a woman who has spent the last fifteen years also working as an editor and a publisher, I have watched as the book world collides along with the others - I'm saddened about this as literature is the etching of our past and future so that others will always know 'what it was like'. My hope is that we do not stop recording these stories.

Please let us all continue to pursue believing the world will be a better place. Even when the day is as dark as the night, the very fact that not one day is like the other should cheer even the saddest of people. Every day I pray that the new government will do something different to help us and hope everyone else is praying for the same.

Bless you all,