Monday, August 1, 2011

going for broke

There's nothing much in the mailbox these days since bill paying has gone online and such. There are the usual bills with personal notes and sometimes interest from my friends who trusted enough to let me live on credit. There's a dentist and a hand surgeon, and of course......the propane guy. When I think of how much money I've spent over the years in this house just to heat and cool it, I wonder what I was thinking. The insulation is non-existent with cheap vinyl siding, circa 1988 slapped up and blown off by the westerly winds that howl through the pine trees in the winter. Some of the walls are still papered with the expensive stuff daddy let me pick out for the conversion from "old man whose wife has been dead for ten years" to struggling family with a four year old who needs a dose of country. There was carpet and there was lots of power drills installing mini-blinds on moving day. That was in April of 1988. My history with this house began much earlier.

I picked one thing out from the three envelopes, one from the AARP and the other from my used to be federal credit union with an offer to sign up for some reduced rate life insurance. I think they're afraid I'm gonna die before they get their payback. Me...cynical? Hell no. The last envelope contained a pretty piece of paper telling me how much I can draw at normal retirement age, which is pretty iffy right now. There is about 28K in company contributed funds to which I have no access except to take a four hundred buck cut according to my life expectancy. 250 a month will help float THIS boat. That was part of the American dream back then..invest it all and play the market. Even if you're non-profit, it can pay in the long run. But that was then, and this is now. I'm gonna cash in and take my chances.

Mom and Dad will, more than likely, get their stipends from the feds tomorrow because the game of chicken turned into a mighty 'nother deadline. There are certain things that will determine the outcome of this crisis, namely the willingness of both rich and poor to step up to the plate and do the best you can for our communities. Like youknowwho takes a village.

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