Friday, March 6, 2009

A Contented Life….

   I have a friend who grew up very poor. She married a man who ended up being disabled and he gets a small disability check each month. They live from check to check and only have the basics in life. She still uses a ringer washing machine and she has never had an electric dryer. She loves that ringer washer and would never replace it with a new one! They live in an old school house with a beautiful stone foundation that originally belonged to her folks. The outside looks very quaint and typically New England. The inside needs a complete overhaul but they manage on their little income each month. She has been using an old vacuum for years and years, and it is so old, they no longer make it. Recently, they stopped making bags for it. She told her husband it was time to get a new one. Now mind you, we are talking about 25 to 30+ years here. “Next month, when we get our check, I’ll buy you one” he said. Yesterday was the day. She picked out an upright dirt devil with all the bells and whistles and at a good cost of $59.95 and a 2 year warranty. Her husband decided to kick in the extra 5.00 for another year of warranty, making it 3. Now, for a lot of us, this would not be a very big deal….getting a new vacuum. For her, it is huge!! There was a message on my machine this morning, I couldn’t hear what was being said, but what I could hear was this enormous excitement!! It didn’t even sound like her. I called back to find out what all the hurrah was about? Here is how it went…..”Oh my God Debbie….I took it out of the box and put it together. It doesn’t take any bags….it has a cup that collects all the dirt! It has an attachment for everything….including my stairs! Guess what?! It has a headlight! I can vacuum in the dark! Not that I want to….but I could! You wouldn’t believe the dirt it picks up. My old vacuum was so loud, it sounded like a tractor and the cats always ran for the hills. I turned this one on and they didn’t move! Can you believe it? I have vacuumed the whole house and I am still in my house coat!”…she said.  I was so happy for her and realized that for some people, it does not take that much to make them content. When you are poor, you are grateful for the little things. How greedy a lot of us become in life and want more and more, when in actuality, we have everything we need. Whenever I have something I don’t need any more, I try to see if she might need it. She is always so excited to receive a gift but never have I heard her as happy as today! It occurred to me that I have many “wants” in life, but probably everything I need already. It was so cute to hear her so thrilled about this new item. I kidded her and said……”well, well,……what’s next!?”  Without skipping a beat, she said, “next month….A Crockpot!”…..and she will get it too.:)

A close-up of frangipani flowers.


Bob said...

Blueberryplains, I heard a familiar expression of joy with the delivery of a new stove and hood. I was so tickled I could jump! It looks like we are all alike in more ways than we know. Rich or poor, more or less. Its just a matter of perspective.

woody said...

Ah the old haves and have nots I would much rather have what I got than have the measels.But either way I cant jump on account of that dang artheritis.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Money does not make one happy, but life sure can be easier if one have some :-)

Anonymous said...

"Three resounding cheers" for this great story! This one is a gold ribbon ... I love it and hope that your loveable children are keeping up w/your blogging because you have been producing some priceless gems that will enrich their lives more than can be expressed in this little comment box!

This is your niche, most valued daughter-in-law! Great story.

Love ... GeeGee

Anonymous said...


I love your pictures of 'Best Friends' and 'Lovey-Doveys'- 'Baby in Fall' and lastly but not least, 'Obie Reindeer' the wonderful little guy my 'Murphy' loves to nag to, and pick on, and boss around whenever her mistress and master visit your home!
Obie is such a friendly and joyful Jack terrier!

Love ... GeeGee

Margaret said...

Great blog. You are so right about people having more than they need while others do not even have the things that are mere necessities. Others just wish to replace things because the paint may have gotten chipped, or they are bored. I’m guilty of that believe me. I have more junk then one can imagine and still I watch the selling channels and want for more. Well just today I got another digital camera no.5 why, well because it is the size of a credit card and I thought that I just could not live without it. It came today and now I wonder if I’ll ever use it, first of all when I saw them with it on the TV it looked so simple well, it’s not but what really upsets me is that my other camera that I really like, doesn’t download on the computer any more it seems that the program for the new one over rode the other one and I’m so mad I feel like junking the new one, but it really is nice and perhaps I'll call Olympus to see if trying to reinstall the old program can be done without wiping out the new one. I guess I just have to try to be content with much less, then I want.

I liked the pictures you put in your blog Kyle looks like Stevie I’ll talk with you soon.
Love Margaret

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Debbie, it's been awhile since things have been like that for me but I remember those days so well. My family was very poor..but ..I never knew it as a child. It was only with shoes that I knew. are still of great importance to me.
I am happy for your friend. I could tell you were too and I think knowing her and her hardships has made you aware what many of us have that she does not. You are right. We want...most of us. We do NOT need.

I have not been hungry for a long time. But I will never forget it. Maybe I will talk about that on my blog. It isn't what people are interested in but..that's ok.

Kathleen said...

HI Debbie, wonderful story of a fact that we all need to take heed of. The economic recession is having a big effect on my household. I never thought I would see this in my life. My parents told me stories of the Great Depression. I think a long and hard time now, before I buy anything. You have a wonderful blog, so glad we met, hugs, Kathleen

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