Same job, different uniform.

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Secret of the "Poor"

A funny thing happened in a casual email.

This week my brother started an email thread about the new Nampa (ID) chief of police, LeRoy Forsman, a man one of my parents taught in Sunday School roughly 200 years ago.

That email quickly turned into a series of "Remember whens" between us kids and our folks. The conversation centered around the four or five years we lived in a trailer.

Yep, we lived in a trailer. Two of them in fact. And those years compose some of the happiest memories of my life.

"Remember when we camped outside and listened to "Wind in the Willows" on the tape deck?"

"Remember when we had been warned there wasn't much money for Christmas, but mom and dad still managed to give us each a huge, warm fuzzy blanket that we still cherish today?"

"Remember when this sister fell down the stairs and had to have stitches or this brother was chased screaming back home by a horde of angry wasps or the baby would walk around with her thumb in her mouth and her hand in her diaper?"

Eventually we stopped camping outside. Our new house didn't have air conditioning, but we were spread out into different rooms so no more nights of mom spraying a mist of water over us and telling us to imagine we were at the beach. Four bedrooms meant I didn't have to share a room with my little sisters any more. We got older and started babysitting and mowing lawns and giving our own gifts at Christmas, many of them forgettable plastic trinkets.

When we got more, we lost something. So why have I been preoccupied with my own "stuff"? A new piece of art, shelving for all our books, storage for the baby's clothes, even a new house? I ought to be re-learning how to make much out of, well, quite a bit. I can't really say we have "little" especially compared to what we had those five years.

Our family shouldn't need a lot to build a happy home and create a memorably happy childhood for our kids. The trailer park stories are my evidence.

When we had nothing, we had it all.

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Blogger Joy said...

So lovely and so true. I say all the time how I prefer not to have much money because it makes us exercise gratitude and ingenuity .... all the while daydreaming of all the problems money would solve. I've missed you writing. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Anonymous Lisa Carey said...

Love it Katy!!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Blogger elphaba said...

Jon Acuff described some of the factors that helped them choose which house to buy. One questions was "are our kids going to remember all the closet space or the fact that they could walk to school?" Opting for the memory of walking to school, but sacrificing closet space. Totally true.
I can always, always use that reminder. :)

Friday, October 07, 2011

Blogger Everyday Anne said...

Have my own memories from "when we didn't have much" and how sweet they are!

Monday, October 31, 2011


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