Thursday, January 8, 2009

American Dream

I took this picture about a month ago, and it wants to be posted, rather than passed by like hundreds of others that don't make it to the light of day. I feel I sometimes neglect the residential face of Willits.

Home ownership has long been held up as the ideal in a stable American-style democracy. Over the last twenty years, the prices put on property grew so disproportionately compared to the only slight growth in ordinary salaries, that only people who already had equity in a house before that period could safely leverage that value to move to something bigger and better. Anyone trying to step into the market stream after that, had to find "no money down" options to finance ridiculously inflated price tags on something even as simple as this little blue cottage. People now lament the "wealth lost" by folks in the first category, but forget the impossible position of folks in the second category, who now face forclosure.

Perhaps as the next ten years unfold, the phrase "affordable housing" won't strike fear in the hearts of "nice" neighborhoods, and housing development models can be imagined and built to include everyone. And now turn to #225 in your hymnal...


Rose said...

This is such a wonderful picture...
I m glad you published it today...
I need some cheering and this picture definitely makes me feel great.

Wayne said...

Amen Elaine.

It's lovely pic and deserves to see the light of day.

What's next week's sermon going to be?

Hilda said...

Amen too.

Don't get me started on the Philippines' housing, urban poor, and overpopulation problems…

Anyway, I think it's a very pretty little house. It's a darling shade of blue.

Bibi said...

I have always preferred lived-in, older houses to brand-new ones, and would buy one of the former any day. This is a lovely photo.

Ron Bloomquist said...

Hear, hear!

Well said!

Right on!


Halcyon said...

Amen Sister!

This little house is just lovely. I've grown used to having lots of space now that I'm back in the US. But I bet this little cottage is not much bigger than some of the apartments I lived in in Europe.

Petrea said...

Hallelujah, Sistah!

I feel the same way, i.e. that I don't represent residential Pasadena so well. I feel awkward photographing peoples' homes. Now that so many are for sale, though, I think I can feel okay about photographing those with signs out front.

Chuck Pefley said...

Hymn #225 in the Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA is "My spirit on the care ... written by Louis Bourgeois in 1551 with the following text:

My spirit on Thy care,
Blest Savior, I recline;
Thou wilt not leave me to despair,
For Thou art love divine.
In Thee I place my trust,
On Thee I calmly rest;
I know Thee good, I know Thee just,
And count thy choice the best.
Whate'er events betide,
Thy will they all perform:
Safe in Thy breast my head I hide,
Nor fear the coming storm.
Let good or ill befall,
It must be good for me;
Secure in having Thee in all,
Of having all in Thee.

Kris said...

They call it "the great Australian dream" around these parts.

I never thought that I'd be a homeowner, but we were lucky and got in at the right time. Paying less on our mortgage then we were in rent.

The rise in rents around here have been a real problem, not helped but the decline in affordable housing.

magiceye said...

pleasant sight!

USelaine said...

Rose - Thank you, and I'm glad you were cheered!

Wayne - My sermons always seem to burst forth in random inspiration. When I uploaded the picture, it was going to be a short post...

Hilda - I liked how the sky and the house blended so well.

Bibi - I rent an old house that's about the same age and size as this blue one.

Ron - Maybe I should pass a collection plate...

Halcyon - I would love to see more European housing design tried over here. I also envy their tradition of garden allotments for city dwellers.

P - I guess I don't feel too inhibited about views of houses from the street, but if someone was sitting on the porch or playing in the yard, I would have refrained - to allow them privacy of their "person" enjoying their own home, if that makes any sense.

Chuck - I'm astonished! That fits so well! Are you sure you didn't just pick that one out? Thanks for transcribing it in any case. It fits the times.

Kris - I'm glad to hear you're secure in your home financing. Things are going to get worse around here for quite a while.

Thank you all for attending my little rant, and singing along!

USelaine said...

Magiceye! Thank you too!