“And even though we ain’t got money, I’m so in love with you honey. Everything will bring a chain of love. And in the morning when I rise, bring a tear of joy to my eyes.

And tell me everything’s gonna be all right.”- (excerpted lyrics from Danny’s Song by Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina from the album Sittin’ In, circa 1971).

It has been said that “money cannot buy happiness”, this maxim is tried and true. However, unless you enjoy the challenges of slumming or are a professional hobo, you do need it to pay the bills. To survive in our society some form of income is a basic necessity. Whether it is honestly earned or doled out, life requires funding.

But even when there’s a steady flow of income coming in, sometimes things happen and you just can’t stretch that dollar any further. It’s a sad reality that, from time to time, every household goes through some degree of financial crisis. The House o’ Saw is no exception to this rule when it comes to money problems, in this case the problem being a lack thereof. You see, recently Lil Red (my doting spouse) contracted a slight case of unemployment. Let’s hope it’s not contagious, cuz we do smooch from time to time.

HOLD ON! Nobody panic…believe me I’ve already panicked enough for everyone. Now before you start a collection or begin planning a “Save the Chainsaw” bake sale or topless car wash- call me; because nudity and cake is an awesome combo.

INPOVERISHED-WEALTHWow! The stink-eye I just got from the wife for that last line. Seriously though, everything’s cool. Red’s already got several prospects and an interview lined up. Plus with my ancestry being one-twenty-fifth Scottish rodent, I’ve got a little money squirreled away. So we’re good, but for the time being its being time to tighten the budget. No unnecessary eBay purchases, no eating out, keep up with the bills and no… summer…vacation! So the beach trip is a bust. That’s OK though, because the Tot (that would be the live-in 4 year old grandkid) has expressed a fear of sharks. He believes they’re anywhere there’s a body of water, so maybe that trip can wait. The alternative “couple nights in the mountains” will probably be put on hold, too, because…there’s bears in them thar hills and I’m…I mean Tot is scared of bears. So it looks like the plan is a week’s vacation trapped at home with the family…joy! So when’s the naked cake-washing event again? Ack, more of the eye of the stinkiness! “Aww Mister Chainsaw man, don’t take it so hard, all you need is love!” If you truly believe that, you can go sit naked in the dirt and tell me how that works out for ya. Digressing now and acknowledging the Beatles clever metaphorical expressionism.

Actually this couldn’t have come at a better or worse time. So I guess that means it happened at just the right time. It sucks…but in a good way. OK, I know where I’m going with this, just stick with me while I figure out how to get us there. Even though we ain’t got money, all you need is love. Because money doesn’t buy happiness but it does pay the bills because love will find a way…to build a bridge between your heart and mine? No, that’s not right at all.

We’re talking more, like we did in the beginning. Most conversations start with ways to manage our funds but often trail off to us just chatting. Some novels have been dusted off and the reading and sharing has been rediscovered. The old 45’s are rolling on the record player, supplying background music for card games by candlelight. The evenings drag out but seem to be more fulfilling. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, we seem to be doing more and going to places we haven’t been in some time. As for that sweet Tot, his constant pleas for someone to “Play with me!” are easily answered. Of course, if you stop for a bathroom break the plea begins anew. All he needs is love…and nonstop play with his action guys, apparently.

The best thing to come of this blessing disguised as a crisis has been a mutual decision, one that perhaps everyone should at least consider. That being that, even when things get back on track and we can go, do and spend, that we don’t. Keep it simple, enjoy the little things and play with action guys. Because life is not about what you can afford to do, but who you can do next to nothing with.

Next week: Something decidedly less sappy…maybe kittens in blenders.