For the past couple of weeks, I've been seriously considering the prospect of taking the plunge into home ownership. It's something I've thought about for a while now, but until recently I haven't felt like I was in a place where it would be the most advantageous for me.
So, I've started the process of looking for a suitable house that I can a)afford and b)would want to live in for at least a couple of years. I've also gone through the humbling process of meeting with a mortgage broker to figure out how much home I can afford. I was hoping for something between a "van down by the river" and "the mansion from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire
Looking at real estate can be an interesting experience. I've seen a lot of houses--some I've liked, some I've thought "it could be OK with a lot of work" and some that have seen one too many episodes of all those shows on TLC like Trading Spaces
Last week while crusing for houses, I came across one that was up for auction. Last Saturday, my parents and I went to the auction. I'd never been to a real estate auction and was curious to see how it all worked. Also, like everyone else who showed up, I had visions of getting a nice house in a good neighborhood at a bargain basement price. What I didn't know going into it was that it was also an estate auction with stuff from the house sold off to the highest bidder.
It's kind of humbling to think that someday, when I'm gone, my descendants will pick through my stuff, take what they want and then get rid of the rest. Now, there was a lot of stuff there for sale--old record albums, CDs, kitchen items, furniture, etc. As I sat there, listening to people bid on all this stuff, a throught struck me. Some of the stuff auctioned off was China from Germany and other places. It was nice, but it didn't looked used that much. And that made me wonder--were they saving it for a special occasion? And what constituted a special occasion?
And was I the same way? Do I have nice things that I don't use because I'm saving them up for this mythical special occasion in which high ranking dignitaries will happen to come by my house and want to use the good China and the guest towels?
In the Bible, it says to not store up treasures on Earth but instead store up treasure in heaven. And I wonder--am I too concerned with my stuff here on Earth? Like I said, am I saving it for a mythical speical occasion? Or should I just use what I have and enjoy it while I'm here? Share it with family and friends who are all diginitaries in my life in their own way. In my parent's house, they have some antiques that someday my sister and I will fight over. But the thing that makes them special to me is not that they're antiques, but that I know some of the stories and memories associated with them. Because we've used them, had them out and my parents took the time to tell me about them.
Yes, there is a danger that in using the good stuff that it could get broken. But, ya know, it's jsut stuff. We can replace it. What you can't replace is the time that you spend with your family and friends enjoying and using it. Got a nice tablecloth? If you get gravy on it, most times that new fangled washing machine will get rid of the stain. If not, don't focus on that it's ruined. Focus on that you were able to gather together the people you loved for a meal and a chance to build some memories.
You can save your stuff for a mythical special occasion or you can take it out, use and make today special. I think I far prefer the later.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/21/2005 08:13:00 AM