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Thinking about Recoveries

by Fred Cederholm

While Creston’s recovery from Booster Days was immediate, and my personal recovery is ongoing for numerous months to come; I am not certain the US economy is doing as well as we are being led to believe by the “Powers That Be”.

I’ve been thinking about recoveries - revisited. Actually I’ve been thinking about my second post-operative return to normal, Creston Booster Days 2009, and the status of the US recovery. Some recoveries are immediate and automatic while others take time and a lot of effort and input.

You see I’ve been out of the nursing home for two weeks now. I’m making progress but compared to the recovery after the first surgery things seem to be moving at a snail’s pace. I saw my cardiac surgeon Dr. Myers last Thursday and my heart is progressing nicely. The only discomfort I have is in my right groin where I had the multiple angiograms. This is where they sent in the camera crew to check out my heart before, during, and after my surgeries.

I can walk about a 100 feet before the leg starts to bother me and I fear that suddenly the right leg won’t accept any weight. As a consequence I’ll probably be seen out and about with my four wheeled/walker chair for a couple more weeks. Bah humbug, it’s nice to have a chair with me if I get tired and need to sit, but the walker still makes me self-conscious. I didn’t want to have that with me at Booster Days, but I cannot afford a fall which could rip open my chest require a third surgery. No more surgeries possible for at least a year!

Booster Days, my home town’s annual carnival celebration, was this past week end. It was great fun and I saw (and talked to) scads of people. Creston’s grapevine had worked overtime during my second hospitalization and infection treatments as everybody seemed to have a good idea of what I had been thru. It was great to hear how good I looked even though I didn’t believe a word of it. I’m still down 70 pounds from my high of 265 in May. I feel like a skeleton and am almost at the weight a 6 foot 2 inches person should be.

This year I did the awards --- Cederholm Community Service Award, best lawn, most colorful plantings, etc. I also worked in the raffle ticket tent for two hours on Sunday afternoon (just as it started to rain big time). I was pooped from the limited activities and came home and crawled in bed for a couple hours’ nap. This morning the Creston park was pretty much empty and back to normal – so Creston had recovered from Booster Days by the next day. I’m sure other people were as tired as I was.

While Creston’s recovery from Booster Days was immediate, and my personal recovery is ongoing for numerous months to come; I am not certain the US economy is doing as well as we are being led to believe by the “Powers That Be” (PTB) in Washington DC. We have been hearing how the recession (nee depression of 2009) is over and things are picking up. BULL!!! Just how do you have a jobless recovery???

Washington is covering their behinds by “adding” that unemployment levels will continue at 10%+ levels for some time. I do not believe that unemployment is as low as the present and prior administration has indicated. When a person’s unemployment benefits run out, they are no longer counted as still being unemployed! If a full time employee (with benefits and insurance) finds three part time jobs (with no benefits or insurance), the bureaus of unemployment in the states and the nations capitol count that situation as a net gain of TWO JOBS!!! The Bureau of Labor Statistic sets their own rules and parameters. Released numbers are generally corrected DOWNWARD a months or two later on page ten or twelve while the original rosy scenario made it as a headline piece on page one.

Housing is also reportedly on an upswing. Are houses presently selling/re-selling in your neighborhoods? My take is that the housing crisis is that only ONE THIRD of it over. While the sub-prime mortgages teaser rates are long gone, those of any Alternative A loans and the interest-only adjustable rate (ARMs) have yet to hit. Housing like “the rosily reported unemployment numbers” is going to be a drag on the economy for quite some time – at least thru 2011 and possibly 2012 or longer.

Economists love to talk about recessions in terms of letters of the alphabet. Will a current graphing of the current downturn look like a “J”, a “U”, an “ L” or a “W”? My feeling is it will look like the letter “W”. The upturns in the stock market indexes are due to foreign holders of our TRILLIONs in trade imbalance holdings looking for something to buy in the US. I also look to the length (and frequency) of the trains which go thru my hometown. Note: the world’s largest rail intermodal facility is just a mere 15 miles to the west of my home. Truck traffic on the local through fares is a far cry from prior levels as well. Recovery...? Time will tell!

I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.

Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at

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This story was published on September 22, 2009.