Saturday, March 7, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends

I have been blessed with some of the best friends in the world. I hardly think it's because as a child I was wise enough to surround myself with good people that I knew would be by my side for life. I just got lucky. Really, REALLY lucky.

There's Jen, who grew up across the street from me. I've known her since I was four. She sent me some passes to the resort water park that she is the Controller of, so my family would have a cheap little getaway. How awesome is that?

There's Brandi, who I met in Bible college, and is one of the dearest friends of my heart. She lives miles and miles away, but is only ever a phone call away. She's going through the same thing we are right now, they've just been on the U.S.S. Unemployment Failboat for a longer cruise than we have. She's been there to love and support me with prayers and wisdom that my heart needed. Whatever would I do without my Branmuffin? I don't even want to think about it.

There's Liz, who I met through our parenting group. Her kids love playing with Moose, when we get together they pretty much babysit themselves. She's been there to listen to me cry even when I'm crying so hard she probably can't even understand what I'm saying. When Tim lost his job, she brought over a gigantic bottle of Shiraz, and sat with me, listened to me, and cared for me when I felt so very much alone and small and afraid.

And last but far from least, there's Chris. Chris, who has been my friend since high school, and just might be the smartest person I know. Chris, who has taught me the ways of the Coupon Jedi. Without Chris, I don't know how we would eat. Seriously. When we add up unemployment income then subtract rent and our car note and utilities there isn't a speck of money left for food or milk. But with couponing, there's a way. She even took a day off of work this past week and went shopping with me. I've been so deeply depressed I couldn't make heads or tails out of how to work the deals. She walked with me through the store, loaded the cart with me and then as I stood in produce, looking at the cart's contents, struggling with how to check out best in order to minimize how much I spent out of pocket, she patiently waited with me while I shook my head and sat, puzzled. Then, she went through the checkout for me and patiently rang my orders for me, handing me fistfuls of catalinas good for more free food. She took me to Super Target, and pressed a stack of coupons for $2 off of meat into my hands (that was on sale for $2.49 a pound, find the right package and it's nearly free). I can barely fit any more into my freezer. I have 12 dinners worth of angus beef for less than $10, thanks to Chris. As we parted to go home from the Jewel parking lot, I hugged her and thanked her for teaching me how to still feed my family. Seriously, I don't know how we'd make it without knowing how to work the deals the way Chris has taught me.

I'm so thankful for my friends.

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