Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 7th, 2015 Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Hi-de-ho. So, how is 2015 treating you so far? Here, in New Jersey, we are getting our first real taste of the winter season. The temps took a nose dive, we had snow – just a little – yesterday, and today I woke up to 8° - YUCK! Thankfully, I don’t have to be anywhere today until 12:45, so the ice encasement my car is currently in, will have time to melt. Chiseling out my car is not my idea of enjoyable exercise… not that I find many forms of exercise enjoyable, but you get my drift.

Like I’m sure most of you, thanks to the internet, I have a number of “friends” whom I have never met. The other night I was chatting with one of these friends, and we got in to a discussion of basically, “What would you do if you came into a boatload of cash?” (I even made that your writing challenge for today.)

We talked about worthy causes for donations, and different things to do to actually make a difference in someone’s life. In a nutshell, I told him it didn’t matter what I would do with the money, if he ever had any, he would have to do with it what HE saw fit. He’d need to find where his passion lies, and then follow his heart.

It was a fun game. He’s an interesting person to chat with, and I enjoyed our hour’s long back and forth. However, I guess because it’s the way my brain is wired, I couldn’t let go of our game when we said goodnight. I even dreamed about it.

Obviously the first thing I would do is pay off all my personal debt – my mortgage, outstanding medical bills, my daughter’s college tuition loans, and reimburse the kids for any college related expenses they paid for themselves. I would also put $25K into accounts for each of my children, earmarked as “wedding fund”. If they don’t use it by the time they’re 35, then they can use it however they see fit.

I’d get each of the girls a reliable USED cars so I wouldn’t have to drive them around anymore or they would have to borrow my van (new cars they will need to earn on their own, this way they would appreciate it more). I would also trade in my minivan… well, maybe not. It does come in handy for schlepping my daughter back and forth to college. 

But, I would definitely get a car. I’m SO tired of driving a minivan. I’ve had one since 1995, and I think a 20 year sentence is more than enough punishment. Now, to be fair, I’d have to get my son something too, but he already has a car and a Jeep, so I was thinking a (again used) jet ski. I’d make sure they received these items as birthday presents. Yes, they would be extravagant, but they wouldn't draw any red flags.

The one true extravagance I would indulge in, is something I have been dreaming about for decades. I had always hoped that, for our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband and I would be able to visit Greece and Italy. Well, our 25th is only two and a half months away, and barring a miracle, we won’t be seeing Greece and Italy any time soon. Eons ago, I had started a 25th anniversary fund, but necessities depleted the fund and prevented me from contributing more, but since no one knew about the fund in the first place…

I have always said, if I ever had any money, I would pave our church’s parking lot. We have a large stone lot, and in the less desirable weather, it can be a bit of a nuisance. Granted, this is partially a selfish reason, but we do have quite a few older parishioners, and walking on gravel, is not easy for them. Plus, when it snows, it is difficult to plow a gravel lot. No matter how much snow you remove, there will still be a layer there, and when it ices over, it becomes dangerous for everyone. Because this is a well-known claim of mine, I’d have to figure out a way to accomplish it without anyone knowing. Also, our choir robes are thirty plus years old, and their color clashes horribly with everything else in the church – but that’s a sore subject with our choir director, so I would have to give that more thought.

I would anonymously pay off loved one’s mortgages and other worrisome debts. Paramount to being able to accomplish this, I would need to keep any windfall under wraps. That would also mean I couldn’t do anything overly extravagant, or my cover would be blown. During the dark of night, I would place bags of groceries at the back door to our local food bank, so for one, our shelves would be stocked. I’d perform the same covert operation at our local animal shelter, supplying them with food, blankets and toys.

Then, because anonymity for me would be essential – can’t have all the crazies come out of the woodwork with their hands outstretched – I would probably get involved with a slew of charities, then just add funds to the money I help raise. I also gave a lot of thought as to how to offer scholarships and entertained training an elite black op military group to go in and wipe out ISIS.

See, I told you my brain wouldn’t let the game go; and once you start, it’s a lot of fun. Although it isn’t usually in the rules, I want you to sleep on today’s challenge, and then take it tomorrow. You’ll still only have ten minutes to write, but by doing it tomorrow instead of today, you’ll get to be more creative. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

I hope you have a fabulous day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is:

What would you do if you came into a ridiculous amount of money?

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.