Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Weekend Wasted

   For the last several years, the only way we've been able to survive on our fixed income is for me to make a little money on the side. Usually this is by doing minor auto repairs or handyman stuff around the house for friends. The biggest money maker, however, has been buying odd merchandise at the local auction and selling it at the swap meet.
   The swap meet only runs for three months during the summer at the local drive-in, so I don't have a long window of opportunity. There are several of us who have been doing this for years, and we've had a gentleman's agreement that each of us gets a chance to purchase at least one lot of items. They know I can't afford to spend over $50, and usually stop bidding against me when it reaches that point.
   This last Saturday, a new person showed up with more money than sense. She repeatedly out bid all of us and bought almost everything that came up. I can tell you she didn't make any friends. I came away with three small items that cost me around $5. Certainly nothing I could make any money on. I went to the swap meet Sunday anyway with the items I had left over from the previous week, and just made enough to pay my entry fee. Another wasted day.
 I don't have enough items to bother going back until after next months auction, and then there are only two more swap meets before the season is over. I've always been smart enough to purchase items I know will sell, and for an investment of around $100, I can turn that into a $500 profit by the end of the season. I won't make that this year.
   It may not sound like much, but it's the only way I can come up with the extra money for things like car tabs and repair parts for all the little things that usually break around the house. I hope nothing breaks this year. At least one of the members of our Writers Critique Group was kind enough to offer me a ride to and from our meetings. That is a huge help since I can only afford one tank of gas a month.
   One small bright spot in all this is that I always bring several copies of my novella to the swap meet and usually sell at least one copy every week. I've also sold a couple copies at the Bazaar in the mall I wrote about a few months ago. We aren't making any money there, but between the five of us, it's only five dollars a month for some advertising and getting our name out in the community.
   I don't know if anyone cares one way or another, but I've read that folks are more interested in reading a blog about peoples lives, so here ya go. This is my life.
   Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Officially Over The Hill

   Yesterday I turned 65 and entered the final quarter (or less) of my life. To say I'm not where I planned to be at this stage in life is an understatement. Hopefully this won't turn into a pity party, but if there are others out there who have reached this point and are not happy then at least they will know they're not alone. Also for those of you who haven't reached this point, be aware that no matter how well you plan, when life hands you lemons and you make lemonade, sometimes that isn't good enough.
   If there is one phrase that describes me the best, it's "Jack of all trades, master of none". I've always felt there wasn't anything I couldn't do, and maybe I could have reached master status in some of those things, but I always got bored and moved on to something new. I had three things going for me: excellent physical condition, above average intelligence, and attitude. An aneurysm destroyed the intelligence, medications and old age took away the physical condition, and depression finally robbed me of my attitude.
   Unfortunately, the one thing I've never been good at is personal relationships or dealing with people. Part of that is because at an early age, I learned to develop a separate personalty for my public interactions with people. It was the only way I could survive in school and at work. The number of close friends I've had over the years can be counted on one hand. I was always afraid if I got too close, they would see past the public personality and discover the real me.
   I have no idea what the future holds. Some of you may remember I do my best to take care of two disabled women in our home, and it's only by combining our three incomes we can afford to live here. If any one of the three of us pass away, the other two will be forced to move. The house payment is already much less than the average rent payment here so I don't know where they could move to. Every year as our fixed incomes stay fixed, and the cost of everything else rises, it gets harder to survive.
   I'm having a difficult time finding anyone who will hire somebody my age, so the only thing I have left is my writing. This doesn't give me much hope as I'm such a slow writer, and everyone tells me it takes at least ten years and a substantial back list of available titles before I can expect to make any money. Oh well, what else can I do?
   OK, I'll stop whining now. It's said that people like to read blogs about your personal life, so maybe folks will know me a little better after this.
   Thanks for reading.