I’ve been slacking off the past couple days. Two days without posting isn’t something I want to turn into a habit, so here I am, even on days when I don’t have much to say.
I was doing pretty good this week, going to bed on time, getting up early, I even worked out for the first time in weeks. All it took was a couple drinks Thursday afternoon and everything is off track again.
We did have a campfires Thursday and Friday night, first over at our house, then yesterday at the neighbor’s, roasting hot dogs and making smores. Afterward I had to take Elder to Urgent Care for what appears to be nothing more than dehydration. Wasted two hours plus dealing with that. Oh well.
My mom came into town Thursday. We haven’t seen her since the lockdown. She brought lunch and presents for the kids, as well as some family “heirlooms” that she didn’t have room for. One was a box of Christmas Village houses, and the other were some collectible plates that my grandfather bought forty years ago.
It seems like every female member of my family was into these Christmas Villages growing up. Every winter the tops of the kitchen cabinets would get decorated with fake snow and out would come the houses. My grandmother and aunts, and my mom all had them. Missus and her family never got into them, so she was disappointed when I told my mom I’d take them. I couldn’t say no, I guess.
The plates though, oh, these plates. They’re a series of ceramic plates portraying Mother Goose rhymes. They’re by a company called Roco, and the artist is named John McClelland. My grandfather got scammed out of them big time. I looked through the paperwork that came with them, and man did he get took. He saved the solicitations, talking up the “limited” series as a hot collectible item. Plates from the first run in 1978 were going for $150 each, and there’s no way that he wanted to miss out on the rest run. And he bought what looks like is the whole set, some ten plates that went for $25 in 1981. That’s about $75 each in today’s dollars.
I checked eBay, and individual plates were going for as little as $5 each.
If my grandfather had simply invested that $250 in the S&P index, back in 1981, it would be worth almost six grand.
It should have been obvious, looking at the fact that the serial numbers on the plates have five figures. These things weren’t collectable items, they were mass produced.
Now I don’t know if my grandfather took any pleasure in the plates themselves, or if he thought he was making a sound investment in them. It looks like he started buying them the year I was born, and he passed away many years ago, so I never talked to him about them. When my mom asked me if I would take them, I didn’t want to say “no” without looking at them. I don’t have anything left of my grandfather, save a stained glass lamp that he made, so I didn’t want to throw this out without looking at it.
Now that I’ve seen them though…
I’m tempted to stuff them in a dark corner of my attic and deal with them later, but I can’t do it. They will have to go. I should just take the whole lot and stick it in the car now and bring it straight down to the thrift store. My grandfather’s name and address is all over the boxes, I don’t know if I need to bother marking them out or not. Probably not.
I haven’t even looked at the Christmas Villages. Not sure if I will.
When my mom left for her trip, she took my old bassinet with me. She had given it to us for our daughter, but it wasn’t that practical and we never wound up using it much. I asked her if she wanted me to get rid of it, but she wound up taking it with her. She wanted to save it so that my girls could use it for their kids. I asked her if she was really going to keep it for another twenty or thirty years, especially since she had told me earlier that she was moving to Portugal in a few years. In fact, the whole reason she was bringing me the plates and villages was because she had sold her mountain cabin and was trying to downsize into one home. It didn’t make any sense.
Missus said that her family aren’t hoarders like mine are, but I’m not sure if that’s quite what it is. I’m not sure if it’s some sort of legacy or heirlooms that they’re trying to leave behind. But it’s got to go.
Missus and I have been embracing minimalism. We’re starting to reject the consumerism and accumulation of wealth that we were brainwashed into, and try to get to the point where we can be free, or freer at lease. There’s a point, coming soon I think, where we’ll be able to maintain our lifestyle and only need to work for a few hours a day. If bitcoin fulfils it’s promise like I think it will, we’ll be looking at a point in the next year or two that we’ll have enough wealth to be independent. To get there, we’ve got to make lots of cuts. Not just the second car, but just cleaning out the clutter in the house.
Nothing comes in now without something going out. That’s the idea, at least. Christmas is a hard test, since I’ve got a foyer full of gifts from relatives, and have more tucked away in closets and under the tree. I’ve promised Missus that I’ll finish ordering for my overseas relatives as soon as I get done writing.
I was tempted to buy a three pack of Opendimes and load them up with some BTC to give as gifts, but ultimately decided it was too expensive. I still think it would make a good gift though, but they’re too expensive to be a casual gift. As a legacy or heirloom though, I can’t think of anything that would be more appropriate.
My grandfather also bought me a treasury bond when I was born, I can’t recall if it was twenty five or one hundred dollars. When I was thirteen I used it to open my first bank account, and cashed it in. I’ve been thinking a lot about bitcoin as legacy, not just my own kids but their heirs as well. If we’re truly moving into the next phase of Bitcoin’s evolution, then it would be wise not to ever sell what I’ve accumulated. It could be generational wealth.