Thursday, July 06, 2006

Richer or poorer

I was over at Zube's place, and one of the comments that was made really bothered me. I started to rant right there in her comments, but decided that the real place for me to express myself is here.

A commenter said that she giggled while watching the news coverage of the Northridge Fires here in California. She giggled because those were million dollar homes burning and she felt as though they deserved it for being wealthy. Or, at least that is the feeling I got from her comment.

My Aunt and Uncle lost their modest home in that fire. They lost everything. I imagine that their home was not shown on the news because they are just regular working folks. But wait. even wealthy people are working folks. they have to have gotten their money from somewhere and while I can't say I agree with the whole multimillion dollar cabin thing or the fancy schmancy houses driving up small town real estate, owning more house than you can possibly use, I would hate to see someone lose the things that they worked hard for. Even if it is a summer home.

This comment broadsided me in another way too. nearly three years ago, fires came through my neck of the woods. I wasn't sure if I would have a job. Many people died near where I work, many more lost their homes. I lost count of how many people I know who lost everything that week. On the news? Million dollar homes. In reality? I abandoned my apartment when I could see the flames and my electricity went out. My old neighborhood up the hill? two houses left. My friend Lisa has her housewarming scheduled for this month. Her entire collection of Nancy Drews, hardcover from when she was a kid (she's 50 now) that I borrowed when I was little, that her daughter would have read, gone. My mom sat on her roof and watched the fire come closer. My other friend Lisa's inlaws went back for the horses and lost the car they were escaping in.

I will forever have the smell of fire in my nose. I dislike it intensely.

It's a sore subject. I'm sure Zube's commenter didn't mean anything by it. but I couldn't help but get a little miffed. I feel better now. and I'm glad I ranted here instead of there.


Zube Girl said...

I do understand your position. And I'm sure the news wasn't displaying people's modest homes. can all be so confusing. The truth is there are SO many homes around here, million dollar ones, where people refuse to cut down the trees around their property because it'll ruin the ambiance. But the truth is, if you are going to build a house where forest fires are inevitable, you have to be kind of smart about it and that was my rant. And people often forget that forest fires are NATURAL. And NEED to happen so the trees can reseed. In fact, I think it was New Jersey firefighters that started the whole 'controlled burns' thing because they realized this.

But I do get your point, too. No matter what someone's home was destroyed. And that is sad. Though, even more sad, is when hard-working people lose their primary homes. And I don't feel to bad for feeling that way for some reason. What'll make me seem more hypocrytical is the fact that we've bought a second home. But we're renting it out to locals who can live in it for cheaper than they could have bought it. And rental properties are kind of waning here, too. Dang. I think I should take this to my own blog! Sorry Ginamonster!

Sensei Ern said...

More than the ambience, congress is refusing to allow loggers to remove dead wood that is just kindling for the next fire.

million dollar homes are becoming near common. around my neighborhood, regular two-bedroom homes are going for $400-800 thousand. Add a pool, and you got a million dollar home.

You really need to get over your envy and if you think a fancy home is something, there are many ways to get one for yourself. My plan is to buy a plot of land and build a modular home that I can expand as I have the money to do so.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Gina. I haven't had the (bad) luck of experiencing those types of disasters, nor do I live in a million dollar home.

I could start to assume something about the person who forced to start this rant, but I better not:)

I do think that, million dollar or a $1000, everyone works hard - in a way or another (unless you inherit those millions...). Some are lucky, some are smart, some work harder - and, as long as they're not stealing, they deserve to buy whatever the hell they want with their money.

Anonymous said...

Oh, don't know why it logged in as "anonymous" on my previous comment.

shqipo said...

Damn browser! still logged me in as anonymous! arrgh!