It’s not necessarily because we want to; it’s just — well, you know — sometimes life kicks in. And when you own a house, it needs repairs. Unfortunately, they’re all at one time. We weighed the alternatives: save money versus living in a cave, but what can I say? We like the finer things — like walls.
Within the last week, we had to hire someone to cover up several patches on the house’s exterior where paint was peeling. Normally, my wife and I would do that, but the spots were near the roof and we didn’t have a ladder that long. (Besides, either of us on a high ladder? Not a good idea, even on the best days…)
While getting those walls retouched, we discovered windows with leaky frames. Ka-ching! That’ll set up back some coin. As it also turns out, the bathroom is leaking like a sieve in to the garage. It turns out we are putting a plumber to work now too, and — because of said leak — might also hire a carpenter. We sure hope so! We just love stimulating the local economy!
As they say in those TV ads, “But, wait! There’s more!”
Every year, we avoid turning on our home’s heater until November first. Since October can be chilly, we practically sleep in parkas, while donning sweaters and jackets all day long. I’m not complaining (much), because we save a few dollars — as well as feel we’re being good stewards of the environment. I don’t know if you’ve looked at a calendar, but — Hooray! It’s November! “Sweet heater, bring unto us your warmth!”
Guess what. I flipped the switch, and, nothing. Nada. Silence. No wondrous balminess doth emanate from its magical vents. I’m just guessin’ here, but I’ll wager that repair won’t be a freebie.
As the adage goes, “When life gives you lemons, they’re usually really bitter, nasty, ones.”
Okay, maybe that’s not the expression, but it feels like it, because on top of the home repairs, a few family members have hit rough patches. We’re not codependent, but there’s also a set of priorities by which we live. So, when family needs you, you do what you can, which in this case involved our checking account.
With so many expenditures — let alone normal life — the money tree in the backyard looks a bit bare, so I was nervous, and frightened; leading to a dour me, when I had an epiphany. At least there’s no hurricane flooding my city, disrupting my life, and washing away all I know.
Of course, since her house was directly in its path I feared the worst. It didn’t help that no one knew where she was. Several days later, she contacted us, letting us know she was “really blessed.”
“Blessed,” I asked? “Did Katrina miss you?”
“Oh goodness no!” she replied with a laugh. “It wiped out my house and my neighborhood. But everyone I know is fine. Aren’t we fortunate?”
So many times, we’re better off than we realize. I think we all need to take time to be grateful, especially when it doesn’t seem like there’s much to be grateful for.