We have been on a BBC, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Larkrise to Candleford, Cranford, Bleak House, Downton Abbey kick. Watching several of these period stories, back to back has opened my eyes to what it must be like, running in those social circles…. the attitudes, the temptations, the pressures.
Closer to home….
The other night I was curious as to where an internet business I am working with was located. I discovered the company is part of a much larger set of companies owned by a family whose wealth is measured in billions. Those currently running things are my age and younger. They attended ivy league colleges, sit on multiple boards, are well known for their philanthropy, play polo, etc. Made me realize that there is still a form of aristocracy today, right here in America.
How well would I handle it, if I had been born in that setting? (I hate dressing up and I am allergic to meetings, so I would not be a good fit) 😉
Last week as we were replacing a driveway, the neighbor came over and told me about the history of an adjacent house. A hundred years ago, the guy owned a large clothing store, had his fingers in four area banks, had a reputation for being promiscuous. The house had separate stairways for the servants.
You can’t tell me that was a happy household to live in.
Then last night I read the following:
“People were poorer and had not the comforts, amusements, or knowledge we have to-day; but they were happier. Which seems to me to suggest that happiness depends more upon the state of mind – and body, perhaps- than upon circumstances and events.” Larkrise To Candleford
Twenty years ago, in my desire to get ahead (financially) I saw a mobile home for sale. Only $3500.
Heck, in little more than a year, it would be paid off, then we would have additional $250 a month!
Next, a cute little fixer upper came up for sale for $28,000. Our credit was good, and now that we were land lords…why not?
Felt like I was playing real life Monopoly.
We were on the fast track to get ahead…..
But then we started to get phone calls @ 10 PM. So and so wanted to let us know the police had been called…something about a fight, some drugs, etc. Then we had an alcoholic tenant stop paying rent. He moved out but left all of his things behind. It took me two months of jumping through hoops before I could legally do anything about it. He’d got behind on his electric bill after he left, so they shut the electric off to the house, which resulted in a freezer full of putrid meat and a trashed apartment we had the opportunity to clean.
Still remember the big black flies buzzing around my head, and the stench of rotten meat in the chest freezer as Paul, Matt and I carried it out to the curb….Talked with the daughter as we placed her dad’s things on the curb.
His collection of toy tractors, clothes, furniture. My heart went out to her. Sheriff sat across the street to keep peace while we did the eviction.
Last week while I was pouring cement with my nephew, his phone rang (He’s making payments on a rental house) Got a call from a tenant. Water bill suddenly went to $400 a month because of a leaky something or other.
Made me thankful I no longer
own am making payments rental property…because it does come with a price.