Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mowing, Baseball Cards, and Saving Money

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

~ Bob Dylan

Moving into a house all my own (the majority of my adult life has been spent in apartments) causes you to look at things a little differently. Suddenly I'm turning the light out when I walk out of a room. I'm turning off this and turning off that. When I was in an apartment I was concerned about this a little, but not nearly enough. Most of the time the lights were on throughout until I went to bed. The electric bill rarely fluctuated much it seemed, so I wasn't thinking much about the savings. The house has changed that mindset instantly.

Then there's lawn care. I haven't had to mow any lawn but a handful of times since I moved out of my parents house (we're talking 10 years here!). In my previous post I informed you of all the rain we've been getting lately. In this post, I'm looking out my window and seeing lot's of green grass springing up.

When I was a kid (around 9-11 years of age) I used to mow some of the lawns in the neighborhood. I had repeat business from week to week all summer long. It's amazing to me how little I made, but how I somehow made it stretch. I was paid $9 for two lawns (same owner) and $7 for another. The $9 was pretty much guaranteed every week whereas the $7 lawn was an every other week venture most of the time.

After I made my hard earned money I'd always walk downtown to the bank with my brothers and sometimes a couple of friends. I'd deposit a little money into my savings and hold back a little for my real motivation for doing the work. Baseball cards. The little baseball card shop that was downtown was a favorite hang out of ours. I'd usually have enough money for a soda, a few cards or baseball card packs, and if I was really lucky some bubblegum. It all seems so long ago now, but those were some good times. Certainly we didn't have a care in the world.

As the baseball card companies began to price us little kids out of the market (I still remember the day I outright refused to pay $1.50 for an Upper Deck pack), along with maturity catching up to us, those trips downtown began to grow fewer and far between.

Today hardly any kids collect baseball cards and they are worth very little. Many are suddenly in fear of a recession or worse, so they're taking crash courses in saving money. And now here I am. Needing to take my money and purchase a lawn mower to mow my own lawn for no monetary return. The times they are a changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin

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