Shane has been back at California Highway Patrol, dispatching 9-1-1 calls for the Chippies, as they are colloquially called here, for two months now. (For those who are just stopping by here for the first time, we had quite a scare earlier this year when Shane lost his job without any notice and after just having received a raise for outstanding performance; the announcement came just a few days after the insurance company got the second million-dollar bill from the hospital for Nikolina's care. See, in order, Clan under Siege, A Matter of Perspective, Clan Rising, and Shane's Hidden Blessings.)
Donnie and I feel the stress-be-gone change that comes with Shane's full employment since we paid his last COBRA payment last month, freeing up a rather large sum of money each month, or, more factually, relieving us from having to find that large sum of money each month. He and his family are once again covered by good health insurance!
We also feel the back-in-the-know change that comes specifically with Shane's working at CHP. There is much behind-the-scenes information he knows, as well as having good insights into what might and might not be safe areas at any given time although, in general, we don't wander too far from San Ignatio, which is entirely safe. Well, with the exception of the one time that a gang member decided to test out the fertility of our sleepy little town for gang activity, drove down our quiet main street, shooting an elderly man in the leg, only to be chased back to Salts and off the road by our part-time sheriff who was on the scene immediately and ended up hauling the smart aleck off to jail. Later, we learned that Shane had taken the 9-1-1 call and had dispatched the sheriff. Good work, Shane! (We also have a little dog that makes sure that all is above board in town.)
So, all is hunky dory these days. Right? Nope. It seems like where there is a step forward along a clean path, there is Murphy up ahead, strewing rocks across the way. Murphy now is dressed up as California Governor Schwarzenegger, who, because the legislature has not yet passed a budget for this financial year, has decreed, as he must by law, that all state employees will be paid no more than minimum wage until the budget is passed. The state supreme court upheld the decision, and the legislature seems nowhere near passing a budget. So, the state workers remain at risk. CHP may or may not be exempt. At the moment, Shane is looking at the possibility of having less total monthly income than the rent on his house, let alone having any money to pay other bills or buy food. But he will have insurance, and that is important.
Shane's reaction to all this? Life as usual, calm and collected. After all, he has already been tempered in the fires of dire medical circumstances and threatened impoverishment and come out on the other side safely. What is left to be concerned about?
Besides, God has always taken care of the Mahlous. Why would He stop now?
Stay tuned for the next chapter in this twisting saga with strange and unexpected turns of events and thickening plot that is otherwise known as the Life of Shane (and, of course, his parents).