My livelihood and means to survive still come from estate sales and personal property & antique appraisals, but it is a little different from years past. Now I only do one a month and am a bit picky about that one. It would be easy to do many more, for I turn down 5 or 6 for each one I take, but I really am not interested in doing any more than that. I also do an appraisal now and then, but I have gotten picky about them, too. Now, I only take larger appraisals such as for divorces or estate division. Doing one or two objects does not appeal to me at all these days.
My interests have turned back to previous years – way back. As I child, I loved nature and the woods. At various times, I had every animal that lived in the east Texas woods including but not limited to:
- Snakes of all kinds
- Lizards, turtles, frogs, toads, salamanders
- Various rescued birds: sparrows, Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, Turkey Vulture, etc
- Squirrels of all kinds
- Deer – babies
- Insects, tarantulas, spiders, centipedes, scorpions, and the like
- and anything else that slithered, crawled, hopped, jumped, walked, flew. . .
These days I just take their photographs and try to spend as much time as I can out in nature to appreciate all that the natural world has to offer – much as I did as a boy. That interest took me on to become a biologist. It is sad in a way that I only worked as a biologist for a very few years before deciding that I didn’t enjoy starving to death on a biologist’s wages so turned to business. While my interest and love of nature popped up now and then, I really stayed on the periphery of it and never got back into it in earnest.
Photography stayed as an interest but it went from my early subjects of reptiles, plants, scenics, and the like to my children and then to the advertising shots needed to promote the estate sales. For a little while, I got really interested in photography and had a color darkroom as well as a wide variety of professional cameras, lenses, and equipment. Most of my targets at that time were again tied to nature, but I did do a little commercial work including in-home portraits of children for a while. Then I drifted away from that as business needs left me with little time to do anything but slave away.
There have been little offshoots now and then of other ways of making money and having fun. Many of those were on the side. One of these was web design and development. I sort of backed into that one. At one time, I managed nearly 200 websites that I also designed. Most of these were related to fishing guides and charter captains all over the country. I still take care of a few accounts but not many.
An offshoot of the estate sales and appraisals was a dip into antique sales which included owned two antique malls for about seven years. I still dabble with that and do have a large booth at an antique mall.