The U.S. Savings Bonds Windfall

The U.S. Savings Bonds Windfall

By Brenda Avadian, MA


The U.S. Savings Bonds WindfallDuring the 1950s, while earning $100-plus a week, my father withdrew 10%  of his paycheck to buy U.S. Savings Bonds.

In 1996, after my father was diagnosed with dementia, my husband, David, and I returned to my childhood home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where my father had lived for forty-five years.

We tried to help my father organize his paperwork, but everything was a mess and David and I had to go through it all. (I inherited this quality.)

We meticulously went through each file and pile. It was nearly impossible to determine what was important and what was not. We had to leaf through every piece of paper one page at a time, being careful not to overlook something—like a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond tucked between two sheets of scrap paper or hiding in a one-and-a-half foot pile of newspapers. We found important documents, cash, and bonds. It was an overwhelming task that soon left us exhausted.

After lunch one day, I returned to the sunroom. I watched my father hunched over paperwork at his desk. He was organizing his bills. I sat in a chair by a bookshelf in the living room, only a few feet away from where he was working.

Soon, I grew bored and turned my attention to the books in one of the built-in oak bookshelves along the wall. Some were my father’s German-language books from his bachelor years; others were reference books he used for his work as a machinist. Two hardcover books covered with brown paper bags grabbed my attention. I tried to decipher the rubber-stamped letters on their spines. Reaching out, I pulled one off the bookshelf. A little package fell on the floor. After looking quickly at the book, an engineering manual of interest to my father, brother, or husband, I placed it back and reached down for the package.

Three dry rubber bands bound an eight-and-a-half by three-and-a-half-inch packet. I scraped off the rubber bands and unfolded a letter-sized sheet protecting a stack of cards. When I turned them over to look at the front side, “1,000” caught my eye on the upper left and right sides. I looked at the card more carefully and read “Series E.” It dawned on me—it was a thousand dollar U.S. Savings Bond!

What happened?

Click to view this 3-minute excerpt of Brenda Avadian’s speech at a caregiver conference. You won’t forget THIS story.

Why can’t I play pool

Why can’t I play pool?

By Eric Riddle

Why can’t I play pool I always wanted a pool table, probably because I had one growing up. Nothing fancy, just the cool factor.

Thirty years later, my family has a game room with a dartboard, air hockey table, ski ball, pinball machine (now broken), and a pool table. We even have the same lamp that hung over my parents’ pool table. Truth be told, I never wanted that lamp. I wanted a Budweiser lamp!

I have it all. Right? Not quite …

The pool table provides a large flat surface I can use to sort things—mostly paperwork. For months, I’ve stored years of Toastmasters material on it. Until I decide what to keep, I will not be able to play pool on the pool table I wanted so badly.

Not fun.

Recently, my wife, Susi, needed to practice for a pool tournament—a fundraiser for her Relay for Life cancer walk team. She and our daughter Maggie offered to help clear the pool table.

 Always accept help when it’s offered,
especially for something you don’t feel like doing!

Unfortunately, they don’t know what to keep or toss. And I do not agree with ‘when in doubt, throw it out,’ because I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. So, Susi and I removed the material off the pool table, carried it into our daughter Beth’s room, and neatly stacked it in piles on the bed, on the floor, and on any other flat surface we could find.


Problem solved! Sort of. Now, what about the rest of the house?