This blog is fifteen years old today. It wasn’t always here at AreaOcho. This blog began over at blogger those fifteen years ago as a way for me to vent about things from my job as a fire medic. The first post was about one of my patients getting his penis stuck on a keyring. In the past fifteen years, there have been more than 4,500 posts, over 10,000 comments on those posts, and I don’t know how many people have read what I have written over the years because I didn’t count them for the first decade or so. There have been nearly a million views in the past year, so there is that.
So many things have changed for me in the past fifteen years. When I started this blog, the death of my father was still fresh on my mind. Since that time I have been married, divorced, and then married again. Employed, retired, then employed again. I declared bankruptcy and then became a millionaire. The last decade and a half have been busy:
In 2008 I got married.
In 2009 the bottom dropped out of the housing market, my pay was cut by 30% and, faced with a depreciating asset, I declared bankruptcy with the intent of giving my house back to the bank.
In 2010 My bankruptcy was discharged.
Before the bank could get the paperwork done to repossess the house, they were caught lying to the court. It turns out that they lied in court and hadn’t been the mortgage holder of my house for years. They were forced to pay me nearly $10,000 in damages.
A year later, they tried to repossess the house again and their lawyer was caught forging mortgage paperwork in my case and several dozen others. Their lawyer was disbarred and the bank had to pay me more than $25,000 in damages. He disappeared with a pile of his clients’ money and I have no idea where he went.
The FTC stepped in and filed a class action against the same bank, and I got paid another $4,000 as my part of the settlement.
In 2011 My wife announced to me (during the week of my birthday, no less) that she wanted a divorce. That divorce became final in June. In November, I retired from my career as a firemedic and began school to be a physician assistant.
In 2012 I decided to leave school, moved back to Florida, and began teaching adult education while remaining mostly retired.
In 2014, I met my current wife. I also applied for my teacher’s license and became a high school science teacher.
In the spring of 2015, my daughter made me a grandfather.
In the spring of 2016, my daughter made me a grandfather for the second time. By the end of that year, I was married again.
In 2017, my new bride and I took a 51 day road trip across the nation, spending two weeks in Alaska in the process.
In 2018, I finally had a net worth of over a million dollars. Not bad for being insolvent less than a decade earlier. We celebrated by spending the summer in Europe.
Of course we all know what happened in 2020, and this led to me leaving the teaching profession and returning to medical work in 2021.
My son, the man I thought would be a committed bachelor until the day he died, got married in 2021.
Fifteen years is a long time, especially for a blog. I wonder what the next few years will bring.