Have you ever noticed how our culture feeds off the human desire for instant gratification, bombards us with “you deserve it” messages? It’s everywhere we turn! What do we deserve? Bigger bank accounts, nicer homes, more expensive toys, the list goes on!
Don’t wait! Get it now!
Why? Because you deserve it!
How come? No one knows!
But you do deserve it! So start making those payments (with interest) and get it now!
Why We’ve Rejected This Message
My man and I have refused to adopt this mentality for several reasons.
First, we know from personal experience and observing others that toys get old, buying whatever you desire and “deserve” can lead to financial bondage, vacations are only fun for so long and the perfect home only seems perfect for a time.
We are discovering that goals worth attaining are worth waiting (and working) for.
Saying “Yes” to Ridiculous
My man and I are ridiculous in more than a few ways. We deny ourselves many pleasures for the sake of greater goals. To those who pursue and live for instant gratification, we look it…R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S!
Our “recreational fun” revolves around free activities and often involves spending time people. We eat out maybe three times a year, usually with friends. We raise a large portion of the food we do consume. Our second-hand clothes are worn until they can’t be decently worn in public. When the side of my man’s shoe blows out, the awl makes appearance after work and he stitches the flopping leathers back together again.
When it comes to our vehicle situation? Our ridiculousness shines bright and true!
Our Four-Wheeled Folly
My man has been involved in carpentry since fresh out of high school. Today, he’s a journeyman, has the basic tools and is patiently accumulating more. For a young, frugal-minded carpenter, a small, beat up truck would suffice, right?
He actually works from the back of our mini-van, the one-and-only (working) vehicle we own. After removing the back seats, he can haul tools, lumber, screws, nails and even a full sheet of plywood fits inside! Of course, in the case of plywood we have to shift the front seats forward until our knees press into the dashboard. But it works!
When lumber is too long to fit in the back, there’s a wonderful roof rack on top!
With all the gardening we do, our mini-van comes in handy when large quantities of vegetables need to be hauled from garden to home! It’s wonderful for transporting dirt, pots, mulch and hay bales.
In fruit picking season, the empty space in the back is often filled! Apricots, apples, grapes and plums are so plentiful in this valley that many folks let them fall to the ground. We request permission to harvest and when granted, the mini-van is packed with bags, boxes and baskets, ladders are securely fasten to the roof rack and away we go!
Did you know that leaving a seat or two in can save you hassle during fruit season? Yep! When you run out of containers, extra back seats create a wonderful, makeshift box!
A tarp. Did you know a good tarp is a necessary investment, particularly where mini-vans are concerned? We use our van to transport the heritage turkeys we raise for meat. Whether birds are dead or alive, the good old tarp keeps everything where it ought to be!
Chickens. Most people dislike butchering old hens and roosters. After pulling out the pressure canner and washing up a few mason jars, we’re willing!
There are several folks in our community who happily hand their old birds off to us. Before we go collecting, we arm the van with lidded rubbermaid totes and of course, our handy tarp! Shucks, we can even offer the birds air conditioning, if necessary!
At this point, you’re probably thinking that we are truly ridiculous, that it couldn’t get any worse?
We love fishing and hunting, enjoy at least a few overnight trips every year, sometimes for one, sometimes for the other. On such occasions, we strap a borrowed canoe on top or stash our rifle in the back.
Before leaving home, we remove all seats (except the driver/passager) and fill the open space with our foamie, pillows and blankets. At night we snuggle up, safely sleeping without worries of bears or wolves (which can be a legit issue where we live!).
If we happen to get something…well! Fish are quickly cleaned and go in the cooler. If its large game we’re going after, we are never without the good old tarp!
Err…except in the situation shown below. Garbage bags will do in a pinch! My man shot, dressed, then hauled this 92 lb whitetail buck up out of a river bottom on his back after dark. Realizing the tarp wasn’t handy, he came up with a makeshift alternative. Can’t blame a fella after a workout like that!
I know. It’s ridiculous. With so many situations where a truck would be put to good use, why wouldn’t we just get one?!
We will, one day. It’s on our list! But that day isn’t now.
Our sights are set on more important goals. In order to reach them, we understand that we must say “no” to the unnecessary things of life. Instead, we learn to make due, putting what we have to good use.
Would a truck be nice?
And so we continue on in our ridiculousness!
That’s us…for now!
Judy Whaley says
I also lived like that .in central idaho im now 79 yrs old .i never new we were poor . i had a horse an my dad an mon .lived like you guys are doing know. i feel sorry for kids growing up in this useless society.will close off for know
I’m so grateful for the upbringing my man and I both had! It gave us opportunity to make different decisions and taught us what wise choices are!