The House 10/21/20

News from Richard Bleil

About ten years ago, I bought a Masonic ring. Made from 14kt gold, it has the well-known Blue Lodge logo on the center, flanked on either side by the symbols of the Scottish Rite on one side and the York Rite on the other. This ring always makes me think of my mother.

See, over the years, on occasion my mother would give me a ring. High school and college rings, and periodically as gifts. Not a lot of rings, mind you, just four total but they were all 14kt gold and high quality. See, my mother worked for a time in a department store fine jewelry counter. She explained to me that in rings, you generally don’t want higher than 14kt gold. Since it’s a soft metal, 14kt (which means 14 parts of 24 gold, or roughly 58%) has enough other metals in the alloy to make it hard enough to be scratch resistant. Anything higher is good for things like necklaces and earrings, but nothing like rings or bracelets that can get banged against tables and objects fairly routinely.

I rarely wore the rings that she had given me, so I decided at some point to consolidate. I traded in her four rings for this one. If I’m remembering correctly, it was a straight trade, but if not the ring cost very little. Some people might think it’s kind a low-class thing for me to trade in my mother’s rings, but honestly, every time I wear this ring I think of her. Maybe it was only indirectly, but although she had passed on by the time I bought this ring, it was as if she had purchased it for me.

Now I’m dealing with the money my father had left me in his will. Okay, I did purchase a mid-life crisis with part of the money (a small portion, actually) in the motorcycle (a 2019 BMW R1250RT), which I’m hoping will further encourage my love of driving and get me out and about more than usual. This will, hopefully, provide a great way to deal with my chronic depression. But, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I also did put a bid on a house. I also used a little bit of the inheritance on a software package that has, and no doubt will continue, aided me in my teaching.

Today I was told that he bid has been accepted.

What a crazy day. They were supposed to check the bids nightly, but apparently decided Friday was soon enough, and I’m guessing they didn’t inform my Realtor until this morning. In typical industry and governmental style, they could take a week to check the bids, but I am expected to complete paperwork and providing a cashier’s check within 48 hours. When they owe you they take their sweet time, but you’d BETTER be Johnny-on-the-spot for them!!!

Anyway, everything seems to be okay. I got the cashier’s check to my Realtor this afternoon, and they need me to sign some forms electronically, so we should be good. The house is very inexpensive, and just as my dad did with his house, I’ll pay for it in its entirety in cash. It’s in excellent shape, so aside from some cleaning, it should be good to move into it immediately, and it is absolutely huge so any improvements I want to make can easily be in parts of the house in which I am not living.

Ultimately, I know that this house, my new motorcycle and even the software will make me think of my mom and dad every time I use them. I’ve used the software in three courses so far, and every time I’ve given my father credit.

I’m told we’ll be closing in three weeks. As my regular readers now, I’ve been in a downward spiral for several years now. In that time, I’ve lost (meaning I’ve felt the need to give up) my library, my research notes, my furniture, dishes, pretty much everything. The entirety of my possessions now fit in a storage unit not much larger than a closet (and, frankly, smaller than some of the closets in this house). I have a long way to go, but I also don’t feel the need to fill every room in the house. I don’t know what I’ll do with all of this space, and I feel like I’ve adopted a pretty minimalist lifestyle. I’ve spent too many years collecting too many possessions and learned the hard way that it can all disappear in a frighteningly short time. Maybe it’s time to gather memories instead of stuff.

So who’s up for touring with me on my bike?


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