Saturday, August 21, 2010

on richer or poorer, or less is more and trading down

About a week or so month ago, a well respected friend referenced me in her blog post.  And then, when she wrote about this it inspired me to write a brief synopsis about my 'less-is-more' story.

Oh who am I kidding?  I'm not sure there is the possibility of a synopsis of any of my stories.  I seem to have a story for everything.  That said, I can sum it up with a few paragraphs, I think.

Let's start with the topic of laundry.  I just came across a cute sign;

So on that note, I'd like to say that that sign applies, but it does not.  I am the sole laundress around here.  We use a clothesline as a dryer from March to November and I kinda like it that way.  In the winter, I try to dry most of our laundry on a rack in front of a massive heat exchanger.

Since we moved here, we've had our fair share of barely-there appliances.  From a herky-jerky washing machine so plugged it just streamed out a spit bath for a wash to the built-in stove/oven combo we used as a stand-alone unit (on wood blocks).  We've made-do, re-used, recycled, begged requested politely, borrowed and stolen (fair-and-square, like out of the trash) items that other people no longer wanted.  

Heres a short list:
  • Red Flyer Wagon
  • Toddlers Trike
  • Fencing
  • Who Knows What Else

My husband (Captain Strong Arms) has been through three chainsaws, three riding lawn mowers, two push mowers, and a few other things I don't even know the names of, all of them hand-me-downs.  He's slightly hugely more able to adapt without cussing than I am.   There were times when I pined to rename the farm "Twice and Again Farms" because with half working things it seemed like everything had to be done twice.

It has put a nice spin of humility on my inner and outer layers of being.  Without bragging, (those of you who know me, know the story behind this) I want to tell you that I went from driving a 2005 BMW 530i to a 1985 Dodge Ram Charger - then a 1992 Dodge Caravan and now to my 1999 Nissan Quest - yes folks, I'm  moving on up.  Captain Strong Arms went from a 2002 VW GTI 337 Edition to a 1982 GMC Sierra One Ton.  A brand new home to a 120 year old home.  A freeway to a country road.  A city girl to a country girl.  On the city girl thing;  I was born in the Inland Empire in Southern California - although I have always loved horses and riding and did that most of my life, I have to admit, I was really a city girl.  Used to all the at-your-finger-tips conveniences of living within city limits.

I must say that we've been very blessed.  People have given a lot of stuff to us.  And in return, I've been able to bless others by giving stuff to them.  It really has come full circle.  When I look around my home and property, I sigh a huge sigh of contented relief that my heart is often so full it overflows.  So to all of those who have given; a smile, a hug and a sincere thank you is in order.  Besides, I'm glad not to have that BMW car payment to go along with that car.  

While we had lots of new stuff, we let go of it when we left California and moved here to North Carolina, and although there have been times of great struggle, I wouldn't trade it for bigger, better, faster any day of the week.  

Let's not forget my little boy.  This is the best environment I can think of to raise my son.  It isn't for everybody, and I don't hold it against anyone who doesn't want to live like this, but it is for us.  Less really is more.  If I can make it through richer or poorer, most anyone can.  And trading down was the best thing I ever did.  

Grateful, Grateful, and Grateful.

Another cute sign I got a giggle from....

p.s. if Captain Strong Arms wasn't Mr. FixIt, we would never be where we are today.  And if I didn't do his laundry, he wouldn't be where he is today would be naked!


Miriam said...

Well said - all of it. I often think that the difference between happy people and those who go from complaint to misery to grouch to grumble is a talent for gratitude.

Bonni said...

Just found your blog on BlogFrog and will be following you! I also am a city girl who ended up on a farm in the country and I actually HAVE that laundry sign above my washer!! :) Please visit my blog!

cindy said...

Nice post.

Take care-

What is this leisure time of which you speak?

my grateful button