Saturday, October 11, 2008

On My Mind

Lessons of the Past
Today began as usual with coffee and toast. But as I dug through the attic storage room, to get to the stored "Spooky House", I was concerned by the "EXCESS" that was stored up there. I took an armload of little children's quilts I had made for my daughter when she had story time at preschool (she was the teacher, not the preschooler). They are going into the washer and then to Linus quilts or to the local animal shelter for the dogs and cats to snuggle into. I also brought down a full size comforter. It's in the washer now and when clean and dry will go into a dog bed cover and replace one of Riley's beds or go to a new home by way of Goodwill.

The lesson: Use what you already have.

When I got dressed this morning, I dug around in the shirt closet (yes we have an entire closet devoted to cotton tee shirts). It could be worse (depending on your preferences) because the closet was built in by the original owners for SHOES. Anyway, after finding a lovely gray long sleeve tee (from Goodwill), I instantly wished I had a second one. Why? I always want MORE. If one is good, two is better. If 9 tomato seeds germinate, I want 12. If I'm scheduled for 8 hours, I want 10 like someone else got. If one Sharpie pen is great, a dozen is better.

Not with everything. I have an old used truck now with no add ons (crank windows). I don't want any other truck or any gadgets. I don't drive my ultra fancy BMW more than once a week, on my day off, just to charge the battery. The truck is what I have always wanted and needed.

Anyway, the lesson for today and for the future. I can only wear ONE gray shirt at a time, so therefore, one shirt is enough. And since I rarely, if ever, wear any of my clothes out, I will probably only need this one gray shirt. This pair of jeans. This flannel, plaid shirt. My outfit. All from Goodwill and all very nice and soft and comfortable.

The lesson: Own only what you really need.

The stock market is going into free fall and people are buying daffodil bulbs to plant this weekend, buying flowers, getting married and having green foliage plants repotted. Life is going on as usual. What am I doing? Wondering how I can maximize this situation: what should I buy? Land, real estate, low priced stocks. I would really like one of those 250K houses in Florida that are selling for 52K. Or the 700K house that sold for 92K with a walk thru double shower. The new owners were jumping up and down and pinching themselves. They had sold their big house in Connecticut and got this amazing bargain in Florida, sight unseen on the internet. A dream house. Built on spec, never sold, foreclosed.

Doesn't this all seem surreal? The economy. Gas and oil prices falling to less than $80 a barrel and $3.17 a gallon so far. The Dow at 8000 down 25%. GM going into bankruptcy with it's stock selling for less than it did in 1929. Ford is failing also. All those BIG, LOADED, GAS GUZZLING, LUXURY vehicles are now going to be selling for nickels and dimes IF anyone wants them, which I doubt. So they will be carted off to the junk yard, crushed and shipped to China where they will be made into some sort of junk and shipped back to us in time for Christmas 2009.

The lesson: Time will tell what we learn from all this.

I was brought up on stories of the Great Depression. I always have ready cash, food stores and the ability to do without. I was born ready for the next Great Depression. I just need to control the "hoarding" instinct. I can't save everything. But I can try to USE what I already have. And today I will be trying to use what I already have. I hope you will do the same.

We are having a "summery" October here in Maine. Warm, sunny days and cool nights with all the autumn colors in the trees against a clean, clear blue sky. It's quiet also. Not much "traffic" noise. Not much traffic. I have daffodils to plant, tulips to plant, dahlias to dig up and store in the cellar. I will "save" a few moments (maybe more) to just sit and enjoy the beauty around me today. Life is good.

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