We are still riding in the Way Back Machine...it's 1970 and we're headed to Fayetteville, Arkansas where you could buy a nice little house for $23,000 or a brand new car for under $4,000. Gas was only 36 cents a gallon, eggs were a quarter a dozen and that 8 track stereo tape player we wanted so badly was $38.99! I can't imagine how we lived on our little paychecks, but somehow we did. We just lived a lot different than young couples do now. For one thing our rent was $75 a month, can you imagine what you'd get for that these days? The only pictures I have of that apartment is our first Christmas tree, no people, just the tree. We had one of those little Kodak Instamatic cameras, the one with the cube flash on top but picture taking was way down my list of importance at that stage of my life! The furniture in this retro pic has the horrible Danish Modern furniture that furnished our first place. Avocado green ruled the universe in 1970!
A few years later when we bought a house, we added a fireplace just like this. When it was on, it got so hot it became a fire hazard after about 15 minutes. So, basically, we didn't use it... it just looked cool. Shag carpet, yeah baby, and we had a carpet rake... did you have one of those?
We learned a lot of things that first year. Like don't blow your whole week's food budget on a "fun weekend"... and don't write weekend checks on a deposit made on Friday after hours. We learned to scrimp and save for the things we wanted, I think it made us appreciate the things we had even more. If I had asked my parents if things were ever rough for them, I'm pretty sure they would have recalled times when their month stretched longer than their paycheck. And I know for sure that my Grandparents struggled to hold onto their farm during the Great Depression.
Along the way they learned that happiness can't be bought. They worked hard and saved where they could until one day they had a little left over at the end of the month. Then they just kept going down that road, saving where they could. They grew gardens and ate meatless meals and were wise about the purchases they did make. It's more important now than ever to make each dollar count.
Grandpa used to say he "traded" at Pruitt's Grocery. He had the choice of two groceries at Lead Hill and he went to the one that greeted him by his name when he walked through the front door. That means a lot even now.
Every generation we have the chance to teach our children the things that are really important. Just make sure going barefoot and picking beans are on that list!