From Where I Sit – Seventy-Six Years Later

There are many other things I could have done today. Let me count the ways. I could have vacuumed and halted the rampant reproduction of dust bunnies. I might have researched a creative way to cook the six pounds of lean ground beef in the fridge.

Or maybe I should have begun yanking out the flowers that got zapped with two nights of minus-six temperatures. Those babies are done.

I could have spent the day in my studio. Eight years ago, I painted a two-by-six-foot canvas as part of Greg and Carrie’s wedding present. My talents and tastes have since evolved and I intend to repaint it. So far, all I’ve done is take it off their wall and re-gesso it.

Or I could have gathered up supplies for a prototype for the one hundred table centrepieces and huge floor decorations I’m making for a large corporate Christmas party that Hilary’s company is hired to decorate.

Cracking open Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom was another possibility. But for that, I’m practicing delayed gratification by waiting until after harvest, when I hope to be ensconced in a hotel suite for a few days.

As if life isn’t hairy enough around here, Roy decided to run in this fall’s municipal election. It’s the same position I held 15 years ago, so I know whereof I speak. I could have tweaked the voter list I created for him or planned the menu for the election night (victory?) party, but I didn’t.

Instead, I spent way too long on the Internet googling some old mining company shares that my mom gave to me several years ago after my dad’s death. Ten shares issued November 26, 1934, for North West Minerals Ltd. The receipt for $2.50 (completed in pencil) and accompanying letters speak to a time long ago when a Robert Muir put a piece of paper in a typewriter and wrote things like ?We beg to acknowledge with thanks receipt of your…..? or ?Official receipt is herewith enclosed….? or ?We wish to thank you for the favour of this business once again, and shall have you kept posted on the progress of the Company’s affairs. Very truly yours.? Phone numbers on the letterhead are five digits long, not ten. Both the spelling of dad’s surname and the name of the hamlet he grew up near have changed in subsequent years.

Because I goofed off this afternoon, I now know that scripophily is the hobby of collecting old share certificates and is big business. Is this share certificate worth the paper It’s written on? Am I once and for all finally rich? I couldn’t find any free answer to those questions, so I’m sending off $40 to a place in Virginia to research it for me. I expect the only value is the historic value of the papers. So far, my dad and I are into this for $42.50 and 76 years. What’s another few weeks to wait for the report, from where I sit.

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