Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20: Drafty Old Barn

"I don't know why we don't all have pneumonia.  This drafty old barn!  Might as well be living in a refrigerator."

George's drafty old barn
This is George Bailey at his lowest.  He thinks he's going to prison for Uncle Billy's mistake.  He thinks Mr. Potter has finally gotten the best of him.  He thinks his whole life has been an exercise in failure.  In a couple hours, George will be standing on an icy bridge, thinking of killing himself.  The Granville house, Mary and George's home, is a fixer-upper.  Actually, it's more like a tear-it-down-and-build-againer.  Of course, George can't afford a new home.  He can barely afford his drafty old barn.  So his wife spends her days wall papering, painting, and decorating.

Sometimes things happen that just take the wind out of your sails.  My wife just called me.  We've been going through the process of trying to refinance our mortgage.  It's been a long a expensive endeavor.  Appraisals.  Paperwork.  Fees.  The light at the end of this train ride was the possibility of lowering our house payments by almost $100 per month.  After three months and $350, the credit union sent us a letter today saying that our refinance has been denied.

I think I understand what George is feeling when he calls his house a drafty old barn.  He's pissed and disappointed and tired.  I'm pissed and disappointed and tired.  My house isn't a drafty old barn.  More like a drafty old shed.  I'm not quite clear about the reason the refinance was denied.  My guess is that the appraisal came in lower than how much we owe on our current mortgage.  It sucks.  It feels like I've just paid $350 for someone to tell me my home is a piece of shit.

Don't worry.  I'm not going to end up on a bridge tonight.  I promise.  There's no bridges that close to where I live.  Right now, however, I understand why George ends up staring at that icy black water, thinking about taking a swim.  Life isn't wonderful all the time.

For Saint Marty, this is one of those bridge moments.

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