Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cheap Thrills

Both my husband and I are the children of older parents, which means that our parents were young married adults during the Great Depression. In fact, my mother’s family homesteaded in a dugout in New Mexico Territory in 1906, and the other parental units were not exactly rich to begin with either. In fact, our families actually made it through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl quite well, managing to stay employed and get ahead even though they worked very hard. However, we both grew up relatively frugally on a pay-as-you-go-basis although we really never wanted for anything.

This tendency toward economy has not always carried over into our daily lives. I do not can vegetables because I can get them more cheaply at the supermarket even though I occasionally break out into a batch of pickles or jelly. I no longer wash and reuse aluminum foil. Actually, with a microwave I don’t use much foil. I gave up the little plastic “shower cap” food covers for plastic wrap long ago. I drive a mid-size SUV with a lot of bells and whistles and leather seats, but I bought it used. (Before I get jumped on, I need a vehicle that can haul freight back for our business when I go to nearby cities.) We have a number of satellite channels. As empty nesters, we pretty much go out when we want to, order what we want at a restaurant, and otherwise try not to count pennies too much, but in truth we do not go too far from our heritage--otherwise, guilt takes over. So we tend to economize in ways that probably don't matter too much, but make us feel better. Occasionally we go on a real spending spree. Our latest? We finally have trash bags with drawstrings! We’re currently having a little celebration every time the garbage goes out. Do we know how to have fun, or what?

Our family has grown in the last two or three years. This year, we finally got our efficient woodburning stove from our previous house installed in our fireplace, which means that we can no longer hang this many stockings from the mantel. My DH picked up this old (and fake) brass coatrack at the local salvage yard. I think it works very well. Now I just have to fill the stockings. My goal for after Christmas is to take time to embroider the names on the ones that don't have them. I haven't been able to keep up. I think I may spring for a Santa hat for the top as well.

Actually, the coat rack gives me a thrill. I think every young woman of my age was inspired to some extent by the old Mary Tyler Moore show and that nifty apartment in Minneapolis. She had a brass coatrack that I always envied but didn't have the money to buy back then when a beginning teacher's salary didn't buy much. Now I don't really need the coatrack--I use it to hang sewing projects in my sewing room--but it's nice to have a celebratory use for it.


Carrie said...

Well, there went a Christmas idea. Maybe I can find you some of the SCENTED trash bags...or the flexible ones....

Amydeanne said...

what a very neat coat rack!