On my meanderings, I see people with binoculars watching birds. Others carry cameras to capture the perfect picture. I am an expert at spotting greener grass. I envied fellow students who did not need braces on their teeth. I fought so hard against metal in my mouth that my parents relented and I now envy people without crooked teeth. I hated school until my final graduation forced me to get a job. I never wanted to enter a hospital, even as a visitor, until my appendix burst and I was convulsing on the floor and begging my wife Mollie to drive me to the Emergency Room. Going to Church seemed like a drag until mine locked me out at the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
What have I learned? Absolutely nothing. This week the annual property value notices arrived. Apparently oil has been discovered under our home because our property appraisal increased 40.9% in just one year. If an appraiser had actually been anywhere near our property, we would have been reported to authorities for flaunting code violations. For 24 years, we have been on the “deferred maintenance” plan. That term provides an aura of legitimacy to our criminal negligence. My pal Herb is admired for living without television. Mollie and I should get credit for living without a working stove. Our gutters function only as storage units for badminton shuttlecocks. The carpet that came with the house has changed color.
The year we turned 30, we lived in a small rental home in a neighbor’s backyard with two young children and one bathroom. I hated listening to co-workers complaining about high property taxes. Nice problem to have I thought. On paper I am now a wealthy homeowner but the greener grass is everywhere except in my backyard.