The Lottery

We decided not to drive home yesterday after all; it was too windy, we were enjoying the time away, and it just did not work out. The kids played with their friends from down the lake, Beth and I did a bit of yard work, and I took a nap on the floor while I was watching one of the bowl games.

Friday night, New Year’s Eve, I went out to the local convenience store to purchase a lottery ticket. It was foggy, warm (for January), and the snow was almost gone; I was very cautious because of the fog and I kept an eye open for other drivers. I went in to the store and bought my tickets, ten chances at the jackpot – $230 Million.  The clerks were in a good mood and we talked about the New Year, the night’s business, the weather, and the lottery. One of the clerks buys a ticket every draw and the other never plays.  I have to admit, I buy a ticket every week but I rarely win, will this be the time? There have been times win a lottery ticket would have been a great thing, but it would not have been the answer it really could make it worse, that sounds strange, doesn’t it?

Which leads me to dinner last night once, we decided to stay one more day we had to find a place to eat. There are many local restaurants but Beth wanted to try a local place called Shirley’s Café. It wasn’t far and we got there quickly. It was blustery and cold it felt like 4° outside when the thermometer read 17°.We pulled into the parking lot and walked inside. We were glad to be out of the wind and cold, but we were the only guests in the place. Several of our neighbors had visited and recommended the place, but I was unsure and an empty restaurant makes a statement. The waitress greeted us warmly and made us feel welcome and at home. We scanned the menu, the prices were reasonable, and the items looked interesting: smoked pork chop, ham steak, chopped steak, liver and onions, ribs, fried chicken and other simple country style items were on the menu. I settled for liver and onions with mashed potatoes and salad. I wasn’t disappointed, it was good and cooked to perfection. However, this isn’t about dinner, or Shirley’s Café, but more over what we talked about during dinner and the ride home. We talked about our time up here and the restaurant while the kids played checkers and silently ate their dinners. We paid our check and climbed into the car to drive home. On the way to the restaurant, we had noticed a sign that showed the Mega Millions Jackpot was $270 million and I knew I had not won with my ticket. Beth reminded me that we needed to purchase a ticket before leaving Michigan and William and Olivia asked what we do if we won.  

That is a good question and just thinking about how to deal with a huge jackpot makes the purchase price worthwhile. What I mean is when I buy a ticket I think about what it could mean for our family in a positive way and how it could change our lives and the lives of others. On our drive home, we talked about what it would mean. Olivia asked what would I buy and William answered; “He would give money to the church at home.” Olivia asked why and we talked about it. I told the kids it would pay for their college; also, I would make the kitchen bigger in our house or we would find a house and yard big enough for us all and Ivy to run freely. Both kids agreed that we needed to be careful about how we used the money but they had they their pet projects. Just talking about it was fun and we were finished by the time we pulled into the driveway.

The ticket....

Nonetheless, I checked the tickets last night after we got home and I had walked Ivy. The tickets, which were all random draws, did not a single winner. I had a couple of tickets with two correct numbers but not enough to win even the minimum $2 prize! It was fun to think about it, but it is not likely I will win next time, or ever. However, just thinking about it makes the purchase worthwhile.  Who knows, if we win, I’ll have a list of what to do with it and I’ll be ready.

Today, we’ll be heading home and back to Wheaton. It will be good to get back to routine and the New Year. The kids will be back in school tomorrow and I’ll be back Wednesday. We have spent our time away well and we are all ready to get back. Along the way home, I am sure that I’ll be thinking and working on the list with a new ticket in my pocket. Today is gonna be a great day with the forecast for tomorrow a million and six times better; Making the Days Count, one day at a time.

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