In 2006, tragedy struck, not only for me, but for the United States as a whole. It was the 'Great Recession' of 2008. Yes, it was 2006 when it all really started.
Gas prices going up, the Real Estate stupidity and everything else was in 2006.
Then in 2007, after the political change in the US, the tax incentives for the oil production companies were abolished and gas prices skyrocketed!
When the gas prices kept going up toward $5 a gallon, no one was able to buy anything, therefore, no one was selling or doing other business. The tourism industry failed, as well as the automobile industry in the US because people weren't buying SUVs anymore, and couldn't even afford the gas for the ones they had sitting in their driveway.
No business lead to less jobs, that lead to less buyers, so there was no need for more employees, etc. Then, because no one was working the Real Estate and stock markets collapsed, and in 2008 the US economy hit the bottom. Everyone was begging Big Brother for a handout.
And perhaps what happened to me was my punishment for what I was doing to other people as my line of work. After all, how can anyone steal people's souls without some form of repercussion? Sound a little dramatic? Well, the word that we have for soul came from the Greek 'psuche' meaning mind, will and emotion. The same root as we get the word psychology from.
Anyway, I was in the advertising business, stealing souls (mind, will and emotion), and putting people into the bondage and slavery of debt. I know debt is wrong. I hate it, but my job was to sell people things that they really didn't need, and couldn't afford.
And I got caught in the snare too! My income was barely comfortable at the time, but we were getting by. We were buying our house, and our cars were paid for. I was able to keep any credit cards paid for each month. My slip fees were paid up. No problem.
Then came the problem.
People stopped advertising, or cut way back. Unfortunately for most small businesses, advertising is the first thing to cut when everything gets tight. What most business owners fail to see is that if their customers don't hear about them, they forget the business exists, and the business ceases to exist from a lack of customers.
Because of that, my income decreased really quickly! First by $450 per month, and bit by bit to about half of what I was making before. That was the beginning of having to use credit cards to live on. Big mistake, but my employer promised to pay all my back pay plus expenses. (As of this writing in 2013, that amount is over $100,000, and I haven't seen any of it.)
The next year, we went through four cars! Major mechanical problems that caused us to have to buy replacement vehicles. Needless to say, things got a bit tight. I fell behind on my slip fees, at first because I had no way to get out to the lake to pay them. Then, they got pretty high. When I finally got a running car, I went out and paid up a few hundred dollars, and explained the situation. The lady was sympathetic, and was willing to work with me.
Problem solved! Right? NO!
Later that year, her son decided to close the marina after some flooding and structural damage to the docks. Perfectly understandable, but they never called me to let me know! They took my boat and gave it back to the previous owner and told him that he could sell it again and make himself some money!
I didn't know that the marina was closed, and that my boat was gone, until a friend asked me where I moved it to! I asked him what he meant, and he said that the marina was gone, and all the boats were removed.
I immediately went down there to find out what happened, and there was no one to talk to. The store that I paid the slip fees to was closed, and no one was at the marina/RV park office. I called several times, but all I got was the runaround.
I kept trying for years. I made sure that I kept the boat registration current, just in case someone tried to get a title. I offered rewards.
My dream...my beautiful boat...was gone!