Friday, January 30, 2015

Oil prices are down; is Moral too?

Everyone I know keeps asking me, “Are you staring to see the effects of Oil Prices dropping?” It’s a valid question… 2 years ago, (Feb 3rd and coincidentally, this year, my 19th Wedding anniversary) many of my friends thought I was brave…an adventurer.  Many know Ray is a risk taker and very unselfish…His first year here was NO picnic.  Now some of them are wondering if we were crazy!   There is a cycle, if there is a boom there will be a bust! 
Well ladies and gentlemen, we are all in!  We have a home here, We are entrenched in our new community, I am on the Rural (NPSD8) School Board and committed to be a positive role model for those in transition, Ray is a plant operator at a new gas plant coming online in March and we are all still embracing our new home.  I am one of the lucky ones, I have my partner, my children and 4 of us have great jobs!  Not everyone can say that! 
I look at this upcoming holiday coming up thru different eyes,
This guy is looking for someone to spend Valentine’s Day with, I like to think he is a good guy (I have never met him nor do I know anyone who knows him) but it makes me realize how lucky I am.  There are many here who have no one to come home to, each night, not only on the Holidays...but EVRY single night.  I can’t imagine.  This Facebook page called “Williston Connections” people buy and sell cars, clothing, put up notices about things to be aware of etc.  Sometimes it can get a little catty, but all in all, entertaining to say the least.  I hope he finds someone or some people to connect with to help him thru this holiday that focuses on the land of mancamps, I think this is not one place that will be selling out of chocolates and roses!  My heart goes out to him, but even when I was young and crazy, I would not have met some stranger for Valentine’s Dinner and the movie 50 Shades... even if he said its just a platonic dinner!  I’m just saying.

Now with Oil Dropping (plummeting whatever you want to call it) some people are nervous… that makes for tension… then the domino effect.  We have not seen the oil prices effect any of our friends, no one has lost their job (If anything Ray might have been on the chopping block, in a recent article Halcon Resources, his past employer, is #7 on “The Death List”) Eeeeek, that is the closest to home it has been.  In my opinion, it could be a nice catch up time, hopefully some of the infrastructure items can be taken care of, roads be brought up to standard and some additional housing be built.  I heard, before the price drop there were over 30,000 job openings, now that has abruptly been cut in half.  There are still jobs available, and it is still the same story…you have to work hard for your money in the Bakken…that is still the case and maybe even more so now.  I do not believe it is forever, from all signs and conversations I have had, it will recover, it may not be as high as it was before… but in time (hopefully Fall of this year) we could be seeing prices come back up.  Many of the big players have a hiring freeze, I had a friend who got a job one week and was called the following Monday and was informed that they were not hiring anymore.  She found another job elsewhere but that a little startling.

People are still packing up their car, coming to Williston (the Boomtown and Mecca of jobs) without a plan.  I just don’t get it.  I see people on Williston Connections saying they do not have money to gas up their car to keep warm through the night, much less be able to make it back home to where they came from.  They thought they would have a job in a couple of days.  They came without a plan!  I understand that when you are desperate you do desperate things, but we are an area that doesn’t have affordable housing (we still have a housing crisis) and not as many jobs available.  In that desperation sometimes you make rash decisions, everyone needs to consider those who love them and think about how you are going to make it back to them.  Make a plan, check out your options and make an informed decision. Everyone deserves a chance to make a better life for themselves, do a little research before you come, and try to time your life change when the bitter -20 degree weather won’t kill you (sometimes timing isn't on your side, I get that) Spring here is beautiful and a little magical.  It is a little different now, at least for the time being, those risk takers are always in my thoughts.   
I love this picture, Ray was at work so I got the moment all to myself  (Photo Cred. Michael Cera)

Our family is fine, so you can all stop worrying for now, I thank you all for joining us on our journey and I will never regret Ray pushing us off that cliff of self-limitations, these experiences are shaping each one of us in different ways and not one of them is bad!  With love from the Bakken…The Senior Family is doing well...even though there are days we freeze our butts off!