Growing up, I never thought I was poor. Truth be told, I really never was. But by the standards of man, we were on the border of poverty at times. Momma worked three jobs to keep us clothed, fed and shelter over our heads. But her hard work was not the only reason I never felt deprived. It was her way of looking at things…her example.
Momma always made a big deal out of little things. She had and has a way of twisting desperate times into an adventure. I credit her for any creativity passed to me because the woman has some mad-skills when it comes to making something special out of a little bit of nothing. There are a thousand examples of Momma’s ingenuity from my childhood. I’ll share one.
The woman had/has no qualms about picking up someone’s junkie, broken furniture off the curb. It was a treasure that would far surpass any gold or jewels. It was an adventure and had been waiting for us to come along and give it a chance. First, we cleaned it. Wood glue and tacking nails can fix almost anything broken. Then for less than a dollar we purchased sandpaper. Hours were spent pushing the paper back and forth until the wood nearly shined. In those hours we talked and talked and talked. All the while, making someone’s junk into our treasure and growing closer for our trouble. The final step was always my favorite…we decided how we would dress our treasure. Would it be paint or stain? Should it be shiny and grand or should it be satiny and subtle? Years down the road, a visitor remarked about how beautiful the piece of furniture was and we would look at each with knowing eyes. Yes, it was beautiful…our treasure…but the story that went with it was more grand because long after the wood has decayed, we will hold the memory of the time we shared.
I have my own children now. People think it is a little strange that they used to get excited about getting new socks. People haven’t a clue that we can walk through our home and give a story for nearly every piece of furniture in it. They think it odd that we only go places like the movies a few times a year even though we could afford to go more often but refuse to take away the charm. Or how weird we are because many of our clothes were purchased at a thrift store. Not because we don’t have money for new clothes but because rifling through racks and searching for something special brings hour upon hour of joy to us.
They don’t know the secret I learned from my Momma about making every little thing in life special…an adventure.
Peace, love and God’s will.