|Thanks this week to Michelle. You may know her as FacingWest. Thank you for making it possible, Michelle.|
One of the reasons that I'm scared to have children is because I can't give them everything my parents gave me. I was raised in the roaring 90s and things were different. I call this time now 'the lean years.' It has a Steinbeck-esque feel to it, which I like. It also carries with it a touch of nostalgia, which makes it feel as though these days won't last forever. Which they probably won't, but it's nice to be reminded of that.
It's not that my kids won't eat or have a nice place to sleep. It's just that it feels irresponsible to even consider having another little person around to pay for when my finances are uncertain. There- that's a good word for it. Uncertain. The other day I got out a calculator and a piece of paper and I pushed a bunch of numbers, and I figured out that I will be perfectly 'financially ready' for my kids to arrive by the year of 2021.
I didn't like that number. So I flipped over the paper and I drew a line through the middle of it. On one side I wrote a list of things that I grew up with that my kid probably won't, like 'country house.' On the other I made a list of all the things my parents gave me that I could do right this very minute. For example, my mom read to us every single night. I could afford to do that. We played outside all the time. We saw our cousins constantly.
I was sincerely surprised to find that most of my memories from childhood, which are all good and I'd like to replicate them all for my kid, were not the product of money, but just the product of having really good parents.
Now, if you think that what I'm trying to get at is that kids are free, money is meaningless and life is easy, hush, because that's not what I mean and you know it.
Since coming to that somewhat startling realization, I have been paying attention to the good moments in my life that cost very little or nothing at all. Like playing card games with our friends, radio shows, taking the dog on long walks or spending all day on the river in a borrowed canoe. Like being all alone and getting naked and lying in bed with your favorite book. Or cooking a nice dinner that didn't cost much, but you've finally figured out how to use spices so it still tastes good.
I have a lot of those free moments, free days even, because when it comes to being thrifty and innovative, my boyfriend is Superior, capitol S intentional.
You could argue that everything has a cost, the gas in the car to get here or there, the cards on the table and the tea in the glass, but that's okay. A little money is okay. A little money doesn't scare me.
There are a lot of pleasant blogs, books and websites out there that have photos of very beautiful, soothing scenes of mountain cabins and great, white swathes of living room with big fire places and ocean views. And big wooden tables of sparkling glass wear and artesian salt and crushed velvet blankets and Kitchen-aid appliances and I could go on! Because I, like a lot of people, have spent time, and continue to spend time, just gazing at those pictures. They're really quite nice.
But what if I could find a way to document the things we do that don't cost as much, those things that we are guaranteed to be able to give to our kids? To recognize those moments, to seek them out more often then not, and present them so they look just as appealing as they truly are- I think I'm up for the task.
Alright, it's Monday. And it's the first of December, not technically but for all intents and purposes the beginning of winter, so we ought to start it out with a giveaway.In Blue Handmade is a small, local business from right here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The bags, wallets, leather bound journals and flasks are gorgeously soft and handmade. And to really bring it home, they can be custom printed just for you.
I love my In Blue sketch book. Here is where I record the random post ideas that walk through my head, keep track of the assorted blog mail that comes in and out, and straight up write letters of encouragement to myself. If I die tomorrow I'd like this to be firmly sealed shut, then bronzed.
I chose to wait until the holidays to introduce In Blue Handmade, because you'll find some unique and affordable gifts on this site. The pieces are pretty and functional and design-y and if you're like me, you'll fall head over heals for the flasks in particular.
But this week's giveaway is not entirely for you- it's for you to give to someone else.
|photo credit: in blue handmade|
Tell me about someone who raises their kid and then stays awake at the kitchen table with coffee and a calculator, stretching every single cent that comes in. Tell me about that person especially, because that's going to be me one day.
It does not have to be a creative endeavor, although everything that's difficult is kind of a creative endeavor. It doesn't have to be anything in particular. Just tell me about a friend who works hard, who could use a little honor, and a beautiful leather-bound journal full of blank space that they don't have to share. (Who couldn't use a little space?)
As always, I will randomly select a winner from the comments. If you're chosen, your friend will receive this leather bicycle journal in the mail, from you and In Blue Handmade. I will inscribe the front page with the words you wrote about them in your comment.
|photo credit: in blue handmade|