Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Mister has a pastel - purple Cadillac, with leather seats. He bought it used several years ago. It had problems, and has never run right. For the past few years it was off the road, hidden away in a carport, here at the Estate. On occasion, in the warmer months, he would take it out and wash it, let it run, and perhaps drive on our driveway. He loves that car! I used to see him, out the second story window, and tease him saying, "Are you hugging that car again?"
With our current car crisis, Mister decided a broken down Cadillac is better than no car at all. It is now on the road. (His old van died last week.) The car is very pretty to look at. It is luxurious to ride in, but doesn't run well.
The other night, Mister took John (16) and I out in the evening. We did the grocery shopping. I felt like royalty riding in that beautiful car. We drove out of the long driveway of our old Estate. I thought to myself, no one would ever believe we were poor. But perhaps I have to get my thinking straight. What exactly is "poor?"
Many around us have debts. I often see a brand new car pull into the driveway to pick up one of my children. I say, "That was bought with car payments!" Well, of course I am judging, but I can't imagine anyone having thousands of dollars to pay cash for these new cars! I see people buying brand new clothes all the time. But I don't see them using cash. They have those little cards that let them buy on "time." Many, in our community, and around this country, are far more poor than our family, because they are burdened with consumer debts. We often joke that we are "too poor to get into debt!"
So, I am thinking. . . Mister's Cadillac is paid for. . . We have a small mortgage on our House. . . We have no other debt. Yet throughout the year, we have major financial problems - like when the hot water heater had to be replaced. We had no money at the time. Earlier this year, our washing machine gave out and had to be replaced. It took every last dime we had saved to replace it with the cheapest model Sears had in stock. Are we poor?
When we got to the supermarket the other night, we felt like we were rich in that beautiful car. We bought 2 carriages full of groceries, knowing we wouldn't be going back out for quite some time. We never know when the car will work or not, and we must stock up. That Cadillac has an enormous trunk and easily held all our shopping bags. We were able to ride home in comfortable, leather luxury.
As we drove down the road, we prayed. We all prayed, "Lord, please help us get home." Because that car could die at any time, just like my car did late one afternoon in June of this year.
We are rich in some ways, but poor in others. We live on a financial roller coaster, but this is the way it was for many people before the credit card industry came along and convinced shoppers what a privilege it would be to have everything "now," rather than going without.
To answer the question: Yes, we are poor. Right now, my biggest worry is finding a way to fix our wood pellet stove (for $300), and buying enough wood pellets to keep us warm this coming winter. But somehow, someway, we are getting through it. Just like the Pioneer mothers and Depression-Era mothers. We have a history of poor families who made it through life with joy and gratefulness as our example. And even though at times our financial poverty has us crippled with worry or sadness, in the end, God provides.
From the Archives:
The beginning of this year's financial troubles - Hard Times.
Tour the Grounds to see Mister's Purple Cadillac - Our Vermont Estate.
The Joy of Having a sweet grandbaby at Home - Singing Comfort to Baby.
Order My Books:
For Home-keeping Inspiration, - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.
A 90 Day Bible Study, inspired by John Wesley, - "Early Morning Revival Challenge"
An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.