Yesterday, I called the music store and found out that the piccolo I'd been renting and playing for years is now paid off. It's not my dream piccolo, but it is now officially mine. It's strange that I never learned to play it while I was in school, but then after I graduated, I ended up finding all kinds of uses for it in community musical groups.
Also, I discovered why music stores have earplugs. If you want to practice Stars and Stripes Forever enough to play it well and still hear your family talking to you the next day, you need to buy a set of earplugs. And you need a set for each of your family members so they will want to talk to you the next day.
So now I have $35 extra a month to spend on whatever I choose. Mark has a hobby budget allocated to him every month, and I'm tempted to do the same, but there's another little necessity I'm contemplating.
It's called earthquake insurance. It would probably cost close to the same as my piccolo payment, and let's face it, what good are cute little crafts and hobbies for my house if my house is not standing (and not paid for)? We live on an earthquake-prone area, and I know earthquakes are not included in our current insurance policy. It's just sensible. If you live in Mississippi, you should get flood insurance. If you live in Tennessee, you should get tornado insurance. If you have on a fault line, you should get earthquake insurance. And if you live in California, you should get all three.
My plans, if I'm self-disciplined enough to follow through, are to add the earthquake rider to our insurance policy, go through the house taking pictures of everything, and then store the pictures online so the pictures don't get destroyed with the house. After all, the tectonic plates could cause the earth to shake any time now. So could the sound waves from my piccolo. Maybe the planet needs a set of earplugs, too.