The saga of my in-laws continues. I know that I will get static about this post, from you men, but I can deal with that.
Last fall, Ma sold her delapidated Twin Cities duplex for $237,000. She originally paid $28,000 for the house, 35 years ago. Ma managed to pay off her house with $300/month from Social Security Disability and $90/month from her union pension. Renters occassionally supplemented Ma's income, but her schizophrenia kept her from keeping any long term renters. All of her kids have lived in her rental unit at one time or another. We lived there for 2 years, while L attended business school, when we were first married.
When Ma sold her house, she paid off her credit cards. None of the credit card debt was her own. Ma has excellent credit and several low interest cards. She had transferred 3 of her grandchildren's high interest car loans over to her credit cards, so the kids would have a lower car payment. Her 32 year old granddaughter skipped town and left Ma holding the bag on her debt. Nice show of gratitude, huh?
After paying off her cards, Ma kept $70,000 to supplement her income, and divided the rest among her 4 children's families. I think this is Ma's way of trying to make up for the miserable childhood she gave her kids. We divided our money evenly between the 4 of us. SME will use her money to further her education. Z's money is safely invested in bonds, in my Dad's name, with Z as the beneficiary. We paid off our house and truck loans, bought a couch and entertainment center, and still have $4,300 left to help pay for our garage. We have been debt free for 8 months! D and T enlarged their garage, bought a swimming pool, and blew the rest of the money on God knows what. They could have PAID THEIR BILLS for 3 years on this money!!
Ma has been bailing out 3 of her kids for the last 30 years, on her pathetic income. L's siblings have ALWAYS earned at least twice what we earn. We have NEVER asked Ma for a cent. Ma insists on being totally fair to her kids. When she gives money to one family, she gives an equal amount to all the families. Every year we get several checks, from Ma, ranging from $25-$1,500. This is an indication that she has, once again, saved one of the other 3 families from financial ruin. If we refuse to accept the money, Ma buys us something that we can't possibly use, with the money.
Last weekend, Ma kept insisting that we had been shortchanged at Christmas. We kept telling her that being debt free was the world's BEST Christmas present. Saturday afternoon, Ma had D and T take her to Kmart. They returned with the monstrosity pictured above. Don't get me wrong; we love to grill, and have a lovely 2 year old, 2 burner gas grill, which is perfect for our needs.
The grill Ma bought is designed for a patio or deck, NOT yard use. We DON'T WANT a deck or patio! The wheels are tiny, and there's no sturdy place to grab onto the grill to move it. The wheels have already sunk into our soggy yard, so that the sheet metal frame is in full contact with the lawn. I can't fathom the need for drawers on a grill. The only thing you could possibly store in the drawers are a grill brush and wood chips. The mice are going to love building nests in these cozy drawers! The grill's 714 sq inches of cooking space are equipped with cast iron grates. The weight of the cast iron makes this monstrosity IMPOSSIBLE to move! I can't wait to see how long it takes the cast iron to rust. Fortunately, the grill is equipped with 3 burners. This means that we'll only have to light one burner when we BBQ, as we'll NEVER fill 714 sq inches of cooking space! L BBQd for the 6 of us on Sunday night and only used 2/3 of the grill space.
In addition, D and T bought us a canvas grill cover, and a "professional" set of BBQ tools, to the tune of $50, which they added to their credit card. The BBQ tools are HUGE and unwieldy. The tongs alone weigh 1 1/2 lbs! In addition, they're so long that the tools won't fit in any of our cupboards. Where the hell are we going to store them?
True to Tim Taylor's (Home Improvement) theory of "more power", L LOVES his new grill. I personally think it's obscene to pay $379 for something we'll only use 5 months out of the year! We only paid $399 for our new radiant kitchen range, complete with self-cleaning oven.
Go ahead men; let me have it. Tell me how this grill is EVERY man's wet dream of outdoor cuisine. Enjoy the following picture of L happily cooking away on his MONSTROSITY!