May 8, 2024

During our last meeting, my writers’ club creative writing assignment was to create a short story about going from rich to poor. We should include how it was achieved and what we did with it.

Here’s what I composed and shared last night:


My mom often complained that she never won anything, but sometimes Lady Fortune has smiled upon me. I won $50 at a church festival bingo when I was in high school. Not bad for spending a quarter. The weird thing was that I knew I would win when I sat down next to my parents.

I got lucky on the Illinois lottery. I played the same six numbers every week when I worked in Chicago. Once I got five numbers right and received a little over $1,300. This funded a trip to Arizona because I wanted to see the Grand Canyon. Like other family members, I made enough to pay daily expenses and not much more. So I considered this a golden opportunity to do something extraordinary and enjoyed visiting many areas of the state. I stayed with a cousin in Phoenix. This city didn’t appeal to me. Watering lawns in the desert seemed a waste. I loved Tucson and hoped to return someday.

My lottery ticket buying days were soon over. Oh, once in a while I splurged on a $2 scratch-off, but raising two children without any child support made me count every nickel.

When I retired, I created a spreadsheet to calculate what it would cost to move. I considered Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Besides rent, I also looked at the weather. Some places were too costly; others were too dang hot! My list narrowed down to Cottonwood and Sierra Vista because I needed to find low-income housing. I came across the online Cochise Trading Post with ads for reasonable housing and decided to make this area my starting point.

Fortune again smiled at me. I had worried I would end up camping in a tent for months while waiting for an apartment to become available. The second morning at Patagonia State Park, I woke at 5 am. I decided to view Bisbee though I knew it would only be a brief visit. Returning on 90, I looked for somewhere to eat breakfast but didn’t see any sign in Sierra Vista. I stopped at Sunny D’s. The waitress was very friendly and said she loved living in Whetstone. She introduced me to a couple who told me a little about Huachuca City, then gave me directions to drive past the police and fire stations.

I spotted the library and also a post office sign as I turned onto Skyline, where I could see a complex on the hill. Its sign had the low-income logo, so I went inside. To my amazement, an apartment was available! I filled out the paperwork, qualified, and signed a six-month lease at Vista Del Norte. The huge 2-bedroom place even had a washer and dryer! I was absolutely thrilled and moved in later the same day.

The next time I saw the couple at breakfast, I found out I hadn’t followed their directions. They had meant Triangle Apartments which is past the post office. I’m glad I made that mistake, because what I got was perfect.

Within a few months, I joined Friends of the Huachuca City Library. My life has been blessed with wonderful, caring people who welcomed me and also provided encouragement in many ways. So, yes I’m still monetarily poor, but thanks to these friends, I’m rich and oh so content.