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by ruwth
Rated: 18+ · Book · Contest Entry · #2145363
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#933927 added February 5, 2020 at 4:10pm
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~ Taking A Chance ~
Taking A Chance...  [ASR]
Mark Twain urged: "Sail away from the safe harbor...Explore. Dream. Discover." Here I go.
by ruwth

Included below using {insert:2156774}

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."-- Mark Twain

"I believe that God is telling me to go to a tax auction in Wagoner County."

"Mom, what do you know about a tax auction? God wouldn't tell you to do something you know NOTHING about."

My youngest son and I had that conversation in the fall of 2012. In spite of his objections, he did, of his own volition, use Google to find out some things about tax auctions in Oklahoma. "The tax auction in Wagoner County is held the second Tuesday in June." he told me. I started planning for it.

"Cash only." he told me. Oh my, how much cash would I need to take with me? Would it be safe to carry cash like that on my person when everyone there would know? My mind was ticking away with all these wonderings.

I used Google and searched for information about buying property at a tax auction. I had had an experience years and years ago where my own property had been purchased at a tax auction. Back then, I had a limited time to be able to redeem the property by paying my back taxes. This was no longer the way it was done in Oklahoma. If you purchased a property at a tax auction, you immediately received a tax deed to the property and the former owners forfeited all rights to it.

The properties were advertised in a local paper starting the first week of May. This gave everyone ample opportunity to pay their back taxes. It also afforded folks like me the opportunity to check out any of the properties that were on the auction block.

So, that was the plan. I bought the paper and begin to make some cursory checks. I drove through one of the neighborhoods. I saw some modest homes and some not-so-great places. The more run down properties I saw during my ride through did not discourage me--I had read somewhere that it was a good idea to buy the worst house in a neighborhood and fix it up so my plan moved forward.

Well, it moved forward until it stalled. Real life threw the proverbial wrench in the works. A grandson had a crisis in his life and needed my full attention for several weeks. My checking out the properties was put on hold.

Just before the tax auction, my grandson's immediate problems were resolved and I was free to move forward with my tax auction adventure.

But should I? I did not have time to check out any of the properties but I decided to go for it. I looked through the listings and picked out the ones I would bid on. I decided I would choose pairs of properties to bid on... ones that were side by side...

And that is what I did.

I rented a site on a nearby campgrounds. I bought a money belt and got the funds from my bank on Monday. I was nervous about keeping that amount of cash on my person overnight but the auction started on Tuesday morning before the bank opened so I did not have a choice. (I had gone by the courthouse to verify all this before going to the bank.)

On the day of the auction, I was the first one at the courthouse. I was given my bidding sign--a strip cut from a manila folder with the number 1 on it. I was so excited, I asked if I could keep the slip after the auction was over. The lady at the desk looked surprised and told me, "No, we use them over." So, this little sign that was nothing but a slip cut from a manila folder with the number 1 written on it with a Sharpie was to be turned back in and used again the following year.

So, I sat on my walker and waited for the auction to begin. I visited with a fella who came in and sat near me. He would not tell me what property he was interested in. (That was a mistake he would not appreciate until later--had he told me, I would not have bid on that property.)

The auction started. The fourth property on the auction block was one of the properties I was interested in securing. It was so exciting. I offered the opening bid and someone countered it. It was just me and one other person bidding on that first property. (A woman was doing the bidding but she was there with her husband so really they were bidding on the property). They went higher than I was willing to go on my first bid so they won--or did they.

They walked up to the counter and told the auctioneer, "We'll be right back, we need to run to the bank for the money." Well, that did not work. The auctioneer then declared that I had won the bid. I said, "In that case, shouldn't it go back to my first bid?" The crowd applauded and the auctioneer agreed so I got the property for the taxes owed.

That was the beginning of an adventure that continues til today. June 10, 2013 was the day I became a land baroness. When the dust settled that day, I had made every mistake that a person can make at a tax auction but I had a blast!

Written for "Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest
Prompt: The Mark Twain Quote displayed above.
Word Count: 887

~ ~ ~ JESUS is LORD! ~ ~ ~

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