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It’s day five of the Las Conchas fire and this morning the beast earned the distinction of the largest forest fire in New Mexico history. And it’s in my backyard.

Every day it’s hot. Usually gets to a high of 95 degrees and about 11% humidity. Some might call it a “dry heat.” Argh! Late afternoon the wind kicks up and so does the fire. We all collectively hold our breath that the direction is blowing AWAY from our town, and then by about midnight the wind dies down completely. So by morning it looks like this:

This is my new normal. I can’t really see very far. I have no idea when this is going to end. There will be all kinds of damage still visible when the fire crews go home. It’s going to take decades for the forests to recover.

Kind of like our economic situation.

There are two camps in a crisis. The let’s wait and see if this fixes itself and hope it ends soon. And then there are the people that take action so that they can move on. Things will never be like they were. The landscape is entirely different. My horizon has changed.

Do I sit back and mope and bitch and blame? Or do I look at the bright side? I still have a lovely home, and got to know a bunch of my neighbors and their dogs. I still live in the Land of Enchantment. I also have a wonderful job, in this economy.

So the lesson learned. This is the New Normal folks. Accept it. The smoke is not going to clear anytime soon and give you back your easy breezy days of big fat margins and bucket loads of credit worthy members. We have to figure out how to make a profit in THIS environment. Charred trees and all.


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July 2011