I’ve been working hard all week, moving from one edit to the next. Normally, this would make me a little crazy, but not this time! I am *this close* to paying off the car, and when you’re living on a budget, getting that monthly payment back is huge. I’m waiting to see what my federal taxes are before I call up Toyota and ask what the payoff amount is, but this time next month, that account will be closed.

Only one other time have I paid off a car ahead of schedule, and that was about seventeen years ago. I was working for an ISP provider, and the accountant was not the brightest bulb on the tree. She’d overlooked a small law about having to compensate employees who worked overtime and had to unexpectedly issue checks to several of us. Not only had I been working the standard forty hours a week, but I’d been coming in on Saturday mornings for months to make sure things were being done right. I loved that job so much, I did it for nothing. I also didn’t have much of a life back then; I wasn’t writing yet. 😉

Imagine my surprise when they had to pay me. Heh. The check was for over $4000 dollars. I ran right over to the car place. I hate that kind of debt hanging over my head. I don’t drive my car much here, so it should last me for years if I take care of it.

I continue writing on the Weatherboy sequel, and I’m firming up plot and character details on the series. I plan at least three books, and I have a solid story for the first one, a vague idea for the second, and nothing at all yet for the third. 🙂 Yesterday morning, while half-asleep, I had an epiphany about one of the MCs, so I have to update my notes. He’s radically different from what I first imagined, and I think his new iteration is going to be more exciting to write.

A friend from up north plans to visit me at the end of the month. Her sister lives a couple hours away on the Gulf coast, and it’s a perfect opportunity to get together and catch up. I’m taking her to my favorite restaurant, and there are always movies to watch and books to read if we run out of conversation. The strange thing is it was her husband I was closest to. He’s the good friend who died a few weeks back. It’ll be interesting to see how we interact without him.

Spotted a Great White Egret in the dead tree a couple days ago. Such majestic birds! Did you know they used to be killed for their gorgeous plumage? The feathers were used in ladies’ hats. After they were almost decimated, a law was passed to protect them, and now they are flourishing again. Great White Egret 1.6.15 smThe tiny white feathers on his beak come from grooming. That dead tree is popular with all the birds on the canal. Nearly every one of them visits it from time to time. I hope they never cut it down.

Hope you have a great weekend!


About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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18 Responses to Hodgepodge

  1. Allison says:

    Congratulations on being so close to paying off the car! I know how amazing that feels!

    Yay on all the writing updates too! I can’t wait to meet your new characters and see what’s happening in WB’s character’s lives!

    Finally, I’m so glad your friend is coming to visit, I’d been hoping she would. Have an amazing time showing her around and just having fun together. 😀

  2. Jaycee Edward says:

    Here I come to remind you of the conversation we had months ago! LOL. Invest the money. You aren’t used to having it anyway. Let it grow!! Let it grow!! (You’re supposed to be singing that). Its such a great feeling to drive a free car. I’m glad your friend is coming to visit. It’ll no doubt be bittersweet but D would be happy to know you’re keeping in touch.

  3. A.M.B. says:

    Being knee-deep in debt seems to be part of the American way of life these days (I have an enormous amount of educational debt). It’s nice to hear when people dig out of it, closing one account at a time.

    Good luck with Weatherboy! Have a great weekend!

    • The car is the only debt I’ve had for years. I use a credit card, but I always pay it off. I never buy anything I can’t afford. It bugs me I have to go into debt to get a car; I remember when you could reasonably save for one and pay cash, but who the hell can save fifteen or twenty grand these days? It’s insane. While I’ve considered buying another house, I honestly hate the thought of taking on that huge a debt at this time in my life. I really like not owing money. 🙂

      • A.M.B. says:

        I hope that someday I’ll get to find out what it feels like to NOT owe money! It’s the one factor that actually makes me feel like a “millennial” (I’m on the oldest end of that group by most definitions, but I don’t really identify as one–I’m not sure anybody does).

        • Things are rigged these days to keep you in debt. Houses, cars… few can afford to buy them outright anymore. This reminds me of a woman I worked with once who said she was buying a used car with a sticker price of $3500. She’d been saving for it a while. She’s the one who got me started thinking about ways to stay out of debt. She said she saw no reason to buy a new car and pay outrageous interest on the loan for five or six years when she could buy something used with cash. Smart lady. If/when I need to replace my car, I’ll be taking the same route.

          • A.M.B. says:

            The thing that really galls me is that I’ll finish paying off my educational loans just in time to start paying for my kids to go to college! We don’t live a lavish lifestyle and we’re generally money smart, but we might always be in debt.

          • 😦 Unless things change, it sounds like it. Like I said, the game is rigged. Keep us in debt, keep us dependent on jobs. The older I get, the more clearly I see this as a scam. If I was young again, I’d do it differently. Build/buy a tiny house. Live off the grid. Do everything in my power to be independent.

          • A.M.B. says:

            I’m pretty sure I’d make the same choices, though I did make a decision to take a public interest job with a law school debt better suited for corporate practice. Oh well!

          • One must feed the soul, too. 🙂

  4. Jaycee Edward says:

    Don’t know if you remember, but I told you about a close friend of mine who’s never paid a penny of interest in her life. She and her husband even pay cash for their homes. Almost impossible to do in today’s economy. I can’t do that, but she’s taught me a lot – like how to use credit cards to my advantage (getting points/rewards/cash back) but never paying interest. I’ve never paid for my cars outright, but I’ve tried to get a low interest and pay them off early and drive them until they won’t go any further.

    • Same here, of course. R paid cash for his Florida home, and he recently picked up another house as a rental investment, again paying cash. But he had a 401K to dip into, and he not only gets a nice pension from his former Fortune 500 employer, he recently started getting SS too. Financially, he’s doing a million times better than me.

      But considering the income I have to work with, I’m doing just fine. 🙂

  5. Helena Stone says:

    Money, don’t get me started. The only money we owe is the mortgage on the house which we’ll probably pay until the day we drop (unless we win the lottery of course). And between the two of us we get about enough to live a reasonably comfortable life. Not too many luxuries, few holidays and not too many days/evenings out and we’re fine…until some sort of disaster strikes and something major needs replacing. Still, it could be a lot worse so I try not to worry about it.

    I like the sound of your friend visiting. If nothing else you two got your memories of your friend to keep the conversation going, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you discover a lot more.

    If and when I reach retirement age hunting all the money down is going to be fun…not. Some of it is in Holland and can’t be moved until I retire and some of it is here and still being build up. Again, something I’ll worry about when the time arrives.

    All your writing plans sound exciting and I can’t wait for new Fenraven words. Have a great weekend.

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