Denny met an unusual friend when we lived in Indonesia. He came to visit us from Michigan.
We actually met a lot of unusual friends while we were teaching there. Some of the expats were ex-cons, fugitives, fleeing the law in their home country.
Friends told us this. They were from Europe and had background information they didn’t share with us. The less we knew the better off we were. The better off they were too.
The unusual friend I am talking about also flew from Michigan to Vancouver Island to visit us. He was a teacher. His health was failing, I could tell. I used to work in a hospital and after awhile I got a sense of whose days were numbered. I had this sense about him. Sadly, he died within a year of visiting us.
This friend told Denny that a person didn’t need to own real estate.
Owning land only means you have to make payments, pay taxes and do upkeep on the property. Why would you do that when you can enjoy green space for free in local parks?
Denny saw the reasoning in that. He doesn’t care much for yard work so this arrangement appeals to him.
After the friend passed away I asked an acquaintance how his wife was doing. I learned she was doing very well following her husband’s death. Her mental health issues seemed to have subsided and she had really rallied. I wondered about this for awhile.
Real estate not only applies to actual land.
For instance, Denny thinks DVD’s take up too much real estate.
Denny has told people that You’ve Got Mail is my favorite movie. When I heard him say that, I was surprised. He bought the DVD for me for Mother’s Day the year it came out. I admit I’ve watched it a dozens times or more. But that’s what you do, when you only own three movies.
I am trying to adapt to Denny’s way of looking at things.
We enjoy the nearby parks, just like Denny’s friend advised.
And he’s right, there are better places to invest your money than on land you have to constantly care for.
“Look at this,” Denny walks into the bedroom where I am folding laundry.
I turn around and see he is holding out a raw slab of meat—eighteen inches long and eight inches wide, shrink-wrapped. I recoil at the sight.
When Denny goes for his evening walk he stops in at grocery stores along the way to see if they have any discounted food at the end of the day. Yesterday he found this giant pork loin.
He heads back to the kitchen with the meat and a short while later returns holding a stack of white containers we saved from Chinese take-out.
“I put five chops in each one. We will get at least six meals out of this, plus leftovers. That’s about two dollars a meal. A dollar each for meat. You can’t do much better than that.”
No, you can’t. Denny knows how to economize.