Home, Sweet Home

Today was our first full day home following a week-long vacation with the fam. It was our first beach rental with my father-in-law in several years, and had quite a different tenor to it than past ones.

First off this was an off-season rental, Elder had school during the afternoon — poor thing — and we didn’t really go anywhere. No restaurants, or touristy excursions. We took the girls out one day to the candy store, and the rest of the trip was spent at the house, either on the beach, or watching television.

And we didn’t get as much of the beach as we wanted to. Tropical storm Beta was off the coast, stirring up solid winds with thirty five mile and hour winds. We felt like we were getting sand blasted when we arrived, and the lifeguards didn’t even take down the red flags until Thursday. Still, the girls enjoyed digging and playing in the sand. The house was right on the beach, perched on stilts and surrounded by large dunes.

The house itself was a dump. The owners were obviously hoping for it to be taken out by a hurricane instead of doing any repairs on it. The upstairs felt like it was on a slope, there were signs of water damage everywhere. Handles missing from one of the patio doors, visible mold and peeling everywhere. It really needed to be bulldozed.

And it was just us, my father in law and his wife. My wife’s nephew joined us a couple of days in. The girls enjoyed spending time with him. He’s a realtor, so he, my FIL and myself spent a lot of time talking money: equities and property markets, and me with my crypto.

I spent a good deal of time reading and learning Rust. Cooking, eating and drinking. It was actually one of the better trips given that it was just the seven of us, instead of the bigger family trips that we take with my sister and brother and law and their family. Next year will probably be different.

We left a day early to get get home. We usually tire of being away from home for so long. We were all so glad to be back in our own beds last night. And I missed my piano.

This morning I finally got started on my deck project. I picked up some furniture dollies, ripped up some boards, then jacked up the hot tub with a breaker bar and scrap boards till I could fit the dollies underneath it then slid it across the deck and got to work. It’s going to be a miserable project, but I need the physical exercise. I have to rip the boards to pieces with a circular or skill saw, then cut the old screws off at the joice. Then I can start putting more boards down. I can do it, it’s just dragging on, and it’s a matter of personal pride at this point that I finish it.

Tomorrow it’s back to work. Usually I would feel energized to be going back to work, but at this point I feel absolutely no joy in going back on Monday. At this point it’s just taking time away from focusing on the things I really enjoy doing. Sure, it pays the bills, but I have really got to figure out a way to make a move to something different. Waiting for bitcoin to moon is getting tiring.

I got a mailer from my car dealership while I was out. They want to offer me “top dollar” for my car, which is five years old and has three years left on the payments. Seems I have equity in the car, so they want to put me in a brand new one with a nice discount and zero APR. I’m going to call them tomorrow and see if they’ll take the car off my hands just so I’ll be free of it. It’s costing me $225 in car payments each month, not to mention some $1200 annually in insurance costs. I will need that extra cash when student loans come due in January.

For now, I just got to focus on these kids. We told them that we want to resume social distancing again, and that they can’t play with their friends down the street for at least a week. People have been getting really sloppy, and things are just getting too crazy around here. Trump was in town while we were gone — three thousand people showed up, and you know they weren’t wearing masks. We’ll see if we can make it.

Last note, this election is going to be nuts. The wife and I have been talking about getting the family’s passports issued or renewed. If Trump does get re-elected, or refuses to accept a loss, we’re not sure we want to hang around the states. The uncertainty is already playing hell with the markets, and RGB’s death has already made it more apparent what’s at risk here. I’m not sure what to do. My focus is on finance and crypto assets right now, so I think I just keep eyes on that for now.