I'm so grateful we were poor!

Tonight we are having a Halloween party at church - a chili cook off and a tunk-or-treat.  We're bringing our tasty Butternut Squash Chili. 

As I was prepping the chili this morning, chopping up and readying to toss all the ingredients in the crock pot, I paused and took out a crock pot liner.  "Oh crock pot liners" I thought.  "How I have missed thee!"

Ted and I picked up some crock pot liners recently on one of our monthly Walmart runs.  When we first picked them up off the shelf I had to ask myself if this less-than-$3 sanity saver was really necessary.  Then I shook that off and tossed them in the cart.  Do you have any idea how amazing they are?

But I had that moment of indecision because we were poor for what seemed like forever (Meredith's entire life), living at first on savings as Ted began school, determined not to take out any loans if we could manage, having just paid off all our BA degree loans.  Later we lived on some loans and some income as Ted was able to work during the second year of nursing school.

Those three years (the year of pre-reqs and 2 years of RN) really taught us the meaning of "necessity".  And guess what?  Crock pot liners didn't make the cut. 

When we held Ted's graduation shin-dig my friend lent me her crock pot so I could have more than one going.  She included a liner and it was like a gift from God.  With no dishwasher and the disgustingness of a crock pot after stewing many hours, it really was a strangely bright moment to receive this crock pot liner.

Other things that feel luxurious now:
New shoes
Throwing away the tiny rubber bands I use on Mer's hair after the first time she uses them - the ones that almost always pop the second time you use them anyway.
Buying Halloween candy rather than redistributing what the kids get at the first couple of parties of the season.
Throwing away nail polish because it's gunky instead of adding a little nail polish remover and hoping the consistency improves and THEN buying two colors to replace that one.
New pots and pans!  We were SO overdue for this one, as the Teflon flecks weren't passing themselves off as pepper very well anymore.
Going places - almost anywhere - and not worrying about stretching the gas as long as we can.
Buying the best wood to make furniture (Ted's favorite pastime) rather than a step down.
Buying mints because we want them!
Buying twice as many mints because as soon as I get to Young Womens on Sunday I'm raided.

Silly things, probably, but for so long we couldn't do these things.  I'm so grateful we experienced a season of poverty.  I hope it's the last time we have to be so very frugal but luckily it did teach us the value of necessity versus wants and we're able to keep it in check easily.  These seasons are in our lives for a reason and if we have to go through them again, we'll be well prepared. 

For the time being, though, I'm just luxuriating in my crock pot liners, even if I have to ration my mints.

1 comment:

Beth said...

The Teflon flakes as pepper was my favorite! We went through the same thing before. The first time, it was like "Did you add pepper?" "No, did you?!" The months that followed I worried if we were slowly poisoning ourselves. Luckily we're all still alive! :) And I think better off for having to live through that experience.

Aren't those liners a gift from heaven?!