My wife and I have our wish list going again.
If you’re a homeowner, you know the one I’m talking about — all the things we’d like to buy for the house, but we just don’t have the money for.
It doesn’t matter that the money may never be there for some of these projects. We just keep adding items — in the hopes that one day we can get them all done.
Our list was already getting pretty long — painting the house, installing new carpet, getting new garage doors, remodeling the bathrooms, updating the kitchen, buying new dining room chairs and a bedside table, as well as building a pergola over the patio.
Then two weeks ago, we moved a biggie to the top of the list — a new heating and air conditioning system.
We didn’t really have the money for that, either, but we got a good deal that we just couldn’t pass up.
As it turns out, it’s a good thing we didn’t put it off any longer.
Though the outside A/C unit was about 15 years old, the air handler and heating unit inside were the original equipment that came with the house when it was built 37 years ago.
The crew installing the new system couldn’t believe it had held together so long. In fact, a couple of the parts were so corroded, the installer said they could have come apart anytime.
So now, we’ve got a nice, new, energy-efficient HVAC system that is bound to save us money on our heating and cooling bills each month. That’s a good thing, because we’ll need the extra cash to pay off the loan.
I have to admit that as a homeowner, it makes me feel good to do something that increases the value of the house and also makes it run more efficiently.
But that feeling only goes so far, especially when the money we’re spending is no longer available for something else.
My wife and I get on Facebook each day and see posts from some of my old high school classmates and former co-workers. It seems that several of them are off enjoying themselves in Europe, taking it easy in the Florida Keys or on a Carribbean island. Others are sightseeing in the desert Southwest or touring the California wine region.
Must be nice.
Either these people don’t own houses, or else they don’t have the same kind of lengthy wish lists my wife and I have built up. Or maybe they have so much disposable income that they can work on their wish lists and vacation at the same time.
I try not to think of that last possibility. It’s just too depressing.
Since my wife and I were both brought up to be responsible with our money, we feel guilty about spending it on something frivilous when there are important household purchases demanding our attention. Consequently, whatever extra money we have usually gets plowed back into the house.
At this point, we just have to sigh and admit that we’ll never get everything we’re wishing for on our “to do” list — at least, not at our current income levels.
Of course, there’s always Option B, which involves buying lots of lottery tickets.
And yes, we may never win the Mega Millions jackpot or even the big prize on the Texas scratch-off tickets.
But at least we can scratch away to our hearts’ content in air-conditioned comfort.
Sounds like a plan to me.
Dave Miller is deputy managing editor for opinion of the Killeen Daily Herald and editor of the Harker Heights Herald. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7543.