Skip to main content

Day 60 & 61: Stories

I see the strangest things on people’s porches sometimes. They really tell stories.

I was right around the corner from my old stomping grounds. The sun was bright. I didn’t need my sweater. My quarry was visible and well-marked. I parked my car on the East side of South 22nd street and got out.

I had to skirt a Bronco to get to the porch I needed. There was a chain-link fence, but no gate. (Bonus. Those can be a real pain to open.)

I went to step up the concrete stairs to the porch and checked myself. A third of the bottom step was crumbled and eroded away. The erosion wasn’t as bad further up. I know that because I jumped up and down on some wobbly parts, flailing my oblong pizza bag like a parasol. They didn’t break.

I’m just kidding. I totally did NOT do that.

Anyway, the porch was clear up to the door. I stepped in and knocked. I half expected the stairs behind me to crumble away in the chasm below them. They didn’t.

I saw a chair and a single-burner propane stand with lava rocks in it out of the corner of my eye.

A man came to the door. He had a full beard and long hair. He was balding in the front. I said hello and asked if he was the customer. He wasn’t. I told him the name.

“Oh, ok, I’ll go let him know,” he said.

I thanked him as he closed the door. Then I waited. I’ve had to wait a while, but this one took the cake. I waited a long time. I didn’t mind. The porch was just so interesting.

To my left was the box to the propane thing. At least, I thought it was. It was warped, water-damaged and closed. I didn’t see if there was anything in it. I compared the picture on the front to the actual burner sitting out. They looked different.

There was a can of Turtle Wax bug gut remover from the seventies in the window sill. A sad, filthy ash tray sat next to it. There was a quarter or something inside.

I mentioned this gas burner was propane powered. There was indeed a propane tank there, but it wasn’t hooked up. I didn’t quite get why there were lava rocks inside the can of the burner.

Behind the burner was a chair, rotted away and chewed at the edges. The filthy, worn cushions were intact, except at the edges. It also looked like someone had put out cigarettes in one of the arms.

Now, if that’s not strange enough for you, behind the chair and to the right - so resting up against the house - was a weed-whacker. It was the cleanest looking thing on that porch.

Surrounding, cradling and snuggling up to these notable items was a flurry of newspapers, garbage bags, assorted cardboard and a book or two. It looked like one of those Christmas villages. If they had one of those Christmas Village homes and named it, “The Almost-a-Hoarder House”, it the porch would look like this porch. Complete with pizza guy.

Several minutes had gone by. At this point I knocked again. A frustrated grunt came from inside. The person who I assume answered the door before hollered the name of my customer. My customer came out moments later, apologized and took care of his receipt. I handed him the food and was on my way.

We tell ourselves all kinds of stories about things bizarre and normal. That porch was bizarre.

I’ve seen – and smelled – stranger things than that.

But our porches tell our stories. Who we are. Where we’ve been. Where we’re goin’. That guy was going to fire up a sauna while cleaning off bug guts, smoking’ and doing yard work.

You might be wondering what my porch says about me. Well, it’s a story that involves a small table, a scooter, some chairs and paint chips. That story is, in a word:

ROE INTENSE

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

5 Things Every Pizza Delivery Driver Needs for Success

Updated: 2/1/2016.

“How many times has Dave Ramsey said, ‘Deliver pizzas’?” Said someone on the Dave Ramsey forums.The answer is: lots.I hear it often when I listen to his show. That and ‘sell the car.’ (Car payments KILL people’s wealth-building income every month. )Since first posting this list back in December of 2014, I’ve heard great, quality responses and suggestions. The original list of five things has been updated as follows:A kit for receipt convenienceA fuel efficient car with an accurate GPSA need for speedThe “Wow!” extrasA smileThese tips apply no matter what company you drive for. (No pun intended.)Let’s learn something.1. You need a kit for receipt convenienceDon’t underestimate the power of a simple receipt kit. It is as follows:A clipboard. A suitable pen for your clipboard. A cheap, small flashlight with a clamp or a tether.A clipboard and pen are must-haves. It is easier on you. It is easier on them. Not having one demands more of a hungry customer than is necessa…

We're debt free.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are debt free.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.Wanted to talk about being a turkey today. But first, here's a recap of the Baby Steps used in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.Baby Step 1: $1,000 cash in a beginner emergency fundBaby Step 2: Use the debt snowball to pay off all your debt but the houseBaby Step 3: A fully funded emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of expensesBaby Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into retirementBaby Step 5: Start saving for collegeBaby Step 6: Pay off your home earlyBaby Step 7: Build wealth and give generouslySo we're on step 3. How's it going?It's not.What we're doing now is akin to what happened a lot between baby steps 1 and 2: Save up your $1,000 emergency fundHave an emergencyRepeatExcept we haven't had emergencies. We maintain the $1,000 EF month to month and manage other storms. We've had to repair some vehicles, sure. We also have more income now than we did. We were forking over hundreds to creditors not long ago. Now we can …