I just read a sad and sobering article on the news site CNN.com about how a young 35 year old woman went from earning
80 thousand dollars a year to eviction.
She lost her job like so many of us have in this downward spiraling economy.
I'm a landscape designer in Northern California and have been self employed for about 25 years.
During all these past years and previous recessions I have always faired extremely well.
I have never lacked work.
But my story has drastically changed.
For the first time in my life I don't have enough work to keep myself or my business associates busy.
But I am a survivor and fortunately have some other skills besides landscape design. I am also a seasoned
A couple of months ago when I started to really feel the pinch I sent out a dozen or so cards to former and
existing clients offering my services as a gardener.
As luck would have it I landed a couple of nice gardening jobs and I appreciate these jobs very very much.
A week after Christmas I was working in one of my clients gardens.
I had just pruned some olive trees and was hauling the clippings out in a burlap tarp .
As I threw the bundled up tarp of branches into the back of my pick up truck a young boy passed by.
He wished me a "Feliz Navidad".
My spanish is not that great but I recognized the phrase after a minute passed by.
This nice young polite boy greeted me in a language that he thought was befitting of my job.
I instantly felt a pit in my stomach. I felt myself professionally demoted and in a truly unwarranted and eschewed way I felt humiliated .
As the day went on and I continued to mull this thought over and over in my mind I started to see my job and life in a new light.
I told myself that gardening is a noble profession and that I should not be embarrassed by the work that I was now doing to make ends meet.
After all I went to college for this profession ( ornamental horticulture ) and quite honestly I love it and I am pretty darn good at it.
So I guess I am one of the lucky ones in this crappy economic downward period. At least I have a few good gardening jobs , one or two good landscape architectural jobs and I have my dignity.
Visiting the garden of Bob Hyland and Andrew Beckman
18 hours ago