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  • When I was younger, I moved to California and worked for a door company. One day, the owner of the company walked into the customer service department and offered his six bedroom Tahoe condo to the employees for the weekend. No one could go except for me, so my boss handed me the keys and told me to have fun.

    On the way to the condo, my boyfriend and I stopped at a casino and decided to try gambling. Too timid to try anything risky, we walked over to the slot machines and stared at them. Which one should we pick? There were so many different kinds.

    Grabbing a chair, I sat in front of a slot machine with some fruit on it and put in a quarter. I pulled the arm down. After a few seconds, bells rang and coins spilled out of the machine.
    "I won!" I yelled jumping up and down.
    "How much?" Asked my boyfriend.
    "I don't know!" I answered.
    A little old lady wandered over and looked at me.
    "How many coins did you put into the machine?"
    "You never put in one coin! You only won 400 dollars. You would have won three times as much if you put in two coins." The old lady shook her head and walked away.
    Scooping the coins into a bucket, I took them to the cashier and cashed out my four hundred dollars. I didn't care what the old lady said. My quarter transformed into 400 dollars which was a small fortune, for me.

    A few decades later, I still think about that weekend and what I learned.

    Always say yes to something wonderful. Then.. (Free Condo!) Now (Free Apartment)
    Gamble only what you can afford to lose. Then (quarter) Now (quarter)
    Walk away when you're winning. Then (400 dollars) Now (Freedom)
    Enjoy what you have. Then (Job, boyfriend, car, awesome condo, 400 dollars) Now (Company, children, dogs, art, memories, awesome apartment, friends, family, garden, peace, health, sanity....)

    [photo by Emmy ann Horstkamp]
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