I had been in Houston, by that time, over ten years, and had absorbed into the very fiber of my being the belief that there was nothing that could destroy our nirvana.
The Great Depression had barely touched this area. The '70s and very early '80s saw thousands, (hundreds of thousands, perhaps!) of people coming here to experience the 'good life'. Most of them came from the north, where economic conditions were, we'd heard, pretty awful.
Tent cities under overpasses were prevalent. There seemed to be almost no end to the immigrants (not from another country, but from areas in our own country that were in serious economic trouble!) ... LOTS of Michiganders.
There was one point, in fact, when I heard that U-Haul was paying people to take their vehicles out of this area! (By the way, I think that's a true story.)
Still, tho, people kept pouring in.
Some of us were idly wondering about this huge influx of 'foreigners'. Would there be enuf jobs to support those of us who had been here awhile and all of these newcomers?
A kind of 'circling of the wagons' mentality became more and more apparent, and there were even whispers of secession. After all, Texas had been a country before it became a state. Why not again?
[Another 'aside' here, if I may. My husband was in Chicago, I believe, on business, when he was asked, "Is it true that there are bumper stickers that say, 'Let them freeze'?" Hubby assured them that no such bumper sticker existed. What he failed to mention, however, was that there was a bumper sticker that read, "Let the bastards freeze in the dark"!]
Such was the attitude of many Texans towards the rest of the country at that time.
All of the signs were there by 1985 that we were going to experience, for the first time in our young history, a significant economic downturn.
I didn't see them. Or, if I saw them, my brain did not want to assimilate that information. I was otherwise occupied, falling head over heels in love again and preparing to get married for the third time. (Ye Gods! Wouldn't you have thought two times would have been enough??)
No, no, not for this almost half-century old child who continued to see things through rose-colored glasses, still envisioning white picket fences and happily ever aftering.
Something happened that should have made me sit up straight, but didn't. Christina called me, saying that she had over-extended herself on an order. Would I accept delivery of a few pieces of art that she had ordered under her name?
That request made me pause for just a bit. It was very unusual, but I accepted, after hearing what the pieces of art were to be.
[There's a series on television that I like very much, by the way. It's called "Dead Zone". Is it current, or am I just watching reruns? Whatever, it doesn't matter. It's about this young man who experiences just a terrible car crash -- and, for six years afterward, remains in a coma.
One day, he suddenly 'wakes up'. Little by little, he discovers that he has this curse/gift for seeing into the future/past simply by touching someone or something. Sometimes he actually becomes that person. Other times he is an eye-witness. I find the series fascinating!
One recent episode relates directly to my story. It's the one where this really evil man is waiting outside of this sweet young thing's house. It's raining. She pulls into the driveway and parks her car. As she gets out of her car, she can hear the phone ringing in the house. She RUNS into the house to try and get to the telephone before whomever it is that was trying to call her hangs up, thereby eluding the evil man, who'd had no idea that she would take off running.
If she hadn't been in such a hurry, he would have been able to grab her and do 'who knows what' to her.]
I took off running into a third marriage, thereby forever altering the course of my life.