Milestone & millstone
The Site Meter widget told the story. My blog was approaching a quarter of a million hits. It had taken three and a half years and about 600 posts. I thought to myself, “Wow. If I only had a dollar for each hit, I'd be one-fourth of a millionaire.”
Then I thought, “Wait a minute. I do.”
Yes. I did. It was sitting there in my checking account. It was a stunning sight: a six-digit number (plus two decimal places) right there on my computer screen when I logged on to my bank account. Damn. Look at that. I have more money than the FDIC insures. It would be a bad idea for my bank to fold right now.
It was a fluke, sort of.
Years ago I managed to pay off the mortgage on my residence. My lack of expensive vices allowed my salary to outpace my expenses, creating a growing surplus. It finally reached the point where I purchased an investment property and allowed the rental income from it to cover most of the monthly mortgage payments. Good deal.
Thanks to the virtuoso management of the nation's economy by our beloved 43rd president (my hero!), mortgage rates have dropped significantly. I decided to try to refinance.
Oops. All the good deals are for one's primary residence. Investment properties don't qualify.
Then: inspiration! I could get a really good loan deal on my paid-off residence. I could use the proceeds to pay off the mortgage on my rental property. In effect, I was shifting my mortgage from the investment property to my residence. The numbers worked nicely, too, since I'd be saving a few hundred bucks each month.
I did the paperwork, signed the application, and got approved. I gave the bank the information for the mortgage company that serviced the loan on my investment property. Then the money showed up.
In my checking account.
It was an awkward situation. Almost dangerous. I visited the bank.
“I have too much money in my checking account.”
The bank rep called up my checking account on his computer screen.
“Whoa! Yes, you do. We deposited the loan in your checking account? Why didn't it go directly to your mortgage company?”
“Beats me. But let's get it out of there and on its way to where it needs to go.”
The bank rep worked his magic, filled out forms, got my signature. A wire transfer was effected. My checking account was restored to its real-world level, comfortably inside the FDIC ceiling (very comfortably inside the FDIC ceiling, I'm afraid). I was a mere mortal again, although one with a paid-off rental property and a brand-new mortgage on my home. That's acceptable.
And today I'm on the verge of attaining a quarter of a million hits on Halfway There. The excitement mounts. Who will be number 250,000?
An eager world awaits.