During the past year, we have received various forms of economic stimulus funds. Some of these came in the form of federal bank deposits, and for those of us who work in health care, our paychecks were heftier as we worked extra shifts to help out with caring for those in the hospital with COVID-19.
With these funds came various rational as to what we should do with the money. Some were compensated for lost wages as businesses closed their doors, temporarily or for good. Some were provided a way to stay home to reduce social contact that risked spreading the virus. Now we are encouraged to spend the funds to stimulate the emerging economy as business increase production, re-open, and start up in the void left by other businesses that closed down.
Being low on consumerism, pretty self-sufficient, and not needing a whole lot of stuff, what do with do with our Covid-19 funds?
We have a few remodeling projects on the long-range plans… but our builder is overwhelmed with fixing up places and building new homes for city folks who have been buying up country properties this past year. We have assured him that we would rather wait until his crew can do our jobs thoughtfully, rather than be rushed in the quality control department. We have indulged in the yard art department, and picked up some extra books along the way. We are supporting our local art/culture establishments with donations for streaming plays, concerts, ballet, and virtual museum tours.
But, for the most part, we are stimulating our economy as we usually do.
March is wood cutting season. Before the sap start running, and trees fill with the water and nutrients for growth, we want to cut next year’s wood heating supply. And, our local handyman could use some cash flow right now, as farming is a business when you make a lot of money for a short time when you harvest your crop or send your livestock to the sale. Most farmers have at least one or two other jobs/businesses. March is too early for doing outdoor construction and painting that balance the budget.
So, two Sundays ago, I call up my handyman ask if his crew is available. I tell him that I have marked (I.e. painted red X’s) on three oak trees that are shading the greenhouse in Winter, and give him permission to take out any other trees that are in the fall zone. Block up and split the wood. Leave it there and I will haul it up to the wood shed over the summer. The wood splitter is by the driveway.
The next day two of the trees are down. By mid-week, all the trees are down and blocked up. By Monday next, there are piles of split wood. He calls me up, tells me the hours they worked and gives me a total. He is coming our way the next day and asks if I can write a check and leave it on the front seat of the old truck. You, bet.
Now, when was the last time you called someone one up, asked them to do a week’s work for you, did not need a written estimate or contract, trusted your equipment to be used and returned, got a call with the bill, and just left the payment on the seat of the truck?
Welcome to country life, where the economy runs on one’s word. I also left an old chainsaw that needed some work on the floor boards of the tractor and told him that the crew could have it for free so they could take care of some other wood cutting jobs for other folks.
Now that’s stimulating.