On The Verge Of Wining $550 Million

Western Ag Vignettes

Even after taxes, I could almost pay off my Visa card.

Published on: December 3, 2012

Sitting here imagining what it would be like to win the $550 million Powerball tonight, my mind boggles.

By now, of course, the draw is over and some may win, perhaps none will. Nevertheless, when I think of all that money, it is fun to dream about what I would do with it.

The only real way to riches, and avoid falling off the financial cliff, is to work hard and make your own millions. I figure I could have done that if it were my priority, but money has never meant success or happiness to me. Other more mundane trappings, like a good marriage and lots of happy grandchildren, always ruined my thoughts of concentrating on making myself into a Gates or a Trump.

But isn't it grand to know that in this America little people can still spiral into financial grandeur by the sweat and brainpower alone? That's why I like to look at mansions and eyeball $450,000 Maseratis. It gives me pleasure to know we all have the chance to become multi-trillionaires.

As a lifetime volunteer for an organization that works with the homeless and lesser unfortunates, I have been given a perspective of self-satisfaction. The close association I have had with those who have not brings humility and a great deal of counting blessings.

One of my "jobs" as a volunteer has been to write what we call vignettes for the local newspaper about the needy seeking help this Christmastime.

I receive the applications that they submit in order to write these requests, which people of the community respond to by adopting families.

Let me simply say that some of the things I have read would not be believed by many. Unspeakable things that I cannot use in the vignettes.

Some pretty horrible stuff in terms of abuse, neglect, hunger and severe medical situations.

Some of those words will stick with me until I am no longer residing on this side of the hereafter.

Sure, when some of these folks are asked what they want for their children, there are a few that go for expensive electronics, but I think that's due in part to the fact they feel this is the one chance for their little boys and girls to have a fantastic Christmas.

On the other hand, there are those asking for toilet paper, candles, pots and pans and perhaps some blankets.

They live in cars, couch surf, and take shelter in temporary public housing, or cram six deep into cheap  two-bedroom apartments if they're lucky.

In one entry on the applications is asks what they envision as their Christmas day. Almost always, they say spending it with family, eating a good meal and maybe sitting next to a decorated tree – if  someone would only donate one – is their vision of yule joy.

Writing these vignettes late at night after work, I often want to pick up the phone and grant the wish right now of the single mother of four asking for winter coats for her little ones, or a stuffed animal for a two-year-old who received nothing at all last Christmas.

Heart breakers all.

Win the Powerball? I'd adopt them all.