Recession: Over 7 Years Have Gone by, but Looks Like Yesterday

deserted motel

I just got back from a family trip to Cape Cod. It was a weather perfect week and great times with the kids. This year, we went with my brother-in-law and his wife. This was a new adventure for us and there are chances we repeat it! 😉 More on that in upcoming posts. Besides all the great memories, something shocked me once again: recession.

It has been around 7 years now. The Canadian I am would think it’s all over. I even heard myself thinking: “get over it” at times. I mean, was it that bad? Yes, it was. I can say I now understand the fear some Americans still have.

 

What Traces?

We rented a house for our vacay. A great one on top of that: 5 minute walk to the beach, very clean house with good amenities and enough space for all of us. The owner was kind too and very organised so we had two great dinners based on his recommendations. The area was nice too: a lot of trees, large streets to walk, groceries, pharmacies and some activities nearby. We didn’t lack anything. People around were nice also.

But there it was. Two abandoned motels, one closed gas station, 4-5 broken and dirty shacks that used to be the place of great vacations… all that visible in a 5 minute walk! The owner of the house we rented also told me they bought the house in 2009… after three owners in about two years had to quickly sell because of financial issues.

Because we’re curious people, we decided to go for a car ride during an afternoon to see the surrounding area of South Yarmouth. We took the Main Street a while, went through West Yarmouth and Hyannis and it was the same. Proud attractions full of people facing deserted places. It had something frightening and shocking.

 

Reminds Me of Something…

It reminded me of the suburbans of St. Louis, Missourithat I quickly saw while coming back from FinCon13 (financial blogger conference of 2013). We got there by night so I didn’t see much outside except from some lights and the highway. The city of St. Louis in itself was amazing! Very clean, nice restaurants, great people. We even attended a Cardinals baseball (very important) game that I very much enjoyed. But on our way back in the taxi to the airport, I saw many neglected or deserted homes. No one around anymore, children’s broken toys still sitting on what was left of the grass. I almost broke down in tears imagining the families who had to leave all they had behind. For someone like me, who experienced financial challenges but ended successful at most of them, it is frightening to imagine the pain these parents felt.

I think I learned a lesson there. I better be careful with money. I better appreciate what I have while I have it. I better turn as financially independent as possible. Because we never know when a recession can hit again. I don’t think we should live in the fear. But we should be responsible and grateful. Because I now know misery leaves traces for a very long time…

 

Were you hit by the recession? How does it feel now?

 

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