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When I was young and poor....

When I was young and poor....

Old 01-28-2009, 07:28 AM
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When we were married in 1961 I didn't really realize we were poor. But after our Girls were born in 63 and 64 Boy did I realize what it meant. Wash clothes in the bath tub and I used a small rub board. Anyone remember them. Family kinda iqnored us both sides. I didn't ask for help and neither did he. No TV we did have a radio and HIFi set,Mine the last Christmas I was at my Parents. WE read a lot and played board games with our best friends,who were in the same boat. Have gone without supper so my babies had formula,baby food. WE always have lived when I was pregnant where we had citrus Trees. Oranges,Grapfruit,Tangerines,lemons and lady finger bananas. Living in southern Fla. Citrus was everywhere. I have seen days when that was what I would have to eat all day.. But it all paid off, We did it all by ourselves without help. We have 2 Beautiful Daughters who had piano lessons,horses,a lot of things we never had. We spoiled them,but in a good way. They had to work for what they wanted. I mean at home and to take care of what they did get, responsibilty is a wonderful thing to learn at an early age. It has paid off for them also. Both girls are hard workers and don't expect anything to be given to them. I used to make my daughters play clothes out of feed sacks my stepfather gave me. Boy do I wish I had them today. :D Any ways those times were hard but Here we are April 7,1961 To April 7,2009 that is 48 yrs. :shock: and everyone said We couldnt do it. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:31 AM
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I grew up poor, married too young, 2 girls and divorced. Got into a relationship, had my son, lost my job, done it all.

I learned after my marriage- no one was going to take care of me or my girls. It was up to me. So I left being shy and the lack of confidence behind and started over. Best thing that happened to me.

The old- pick yourself up by the bootstraps and move on- or suck it up and move on, don't sweat the small stuff. Yepper- been there, done that.

Now I tell someone who may be down on their luck and are looking for the easy way out- if I was down to my last dollar, it's up to me to earn the next 2. I didn't take handouts but learned coupons, thrift stores, etc. were the way to go.

Now, I can afford some things easier than others. Yes, I have a big house, a new car and lots of "stuff" but I earned it by working hard and I don't apologize for having it. I am still sympathetic to other's needs. Sometimes someone needs a little pick-me-up for a bad situation they have no control over. I send a little something their way because I know how it feels to be scraping to makes ends meet. I prefer to do it quietly and just knowing I bring a smile is good enough.

But, with the real estate market suffering and jobs disappearing, I may have to tighten the belt even more. I did try exchanging name brand Oreos for generic, but it was a bad experience, so I guess I will have to bite the bullet and save the 50 cents somewhere else. Can't mess with the Oreos. :)

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Old 01-28-2009, 09:33 AM
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When we were first married, almost everything we had was given to us or purchased second hand (or third, or fourth, etc). We had a floor model tv (belonged to MIL) and put up an antenna for reception. I applied for a SEARS credit card and purchased a new gas cooking stove because the old electric one in the used trailer we lived in had all the coating eaten off the wires by mice and would shock you if you touched any part of the metal while you were using it! The oven didn't work, so I had a little toaster oven we'd gotten an at estate sale (same place we got most of our stuff). We could bake 1/2 pizza at at time, or was it 1/4? LOL! I baked my DH a chocolate birthday cake in it one time, one cake at a time, in small, round pans. It took over 2 hours to bake one cake in it. It was 2 or 3 layers because the pans were small.

Remember those bag cell phones, with the external antenna? My husband had one of those when I met him. He worked, still lived at home, and could afford it. When we got married, he still was under contract with that, so we had to keep it, but we couldn't afford a land line AND the cell phone. We bought a converter to plug the car adapter into, and that box plugged into electric. We put the antenna on the roof and used that as our house phone! We had to watch our minutes pretty closely. Back then, you really didn't get many minutes.

My MIL is one of those types that saves everything, or so it seems. So, she had many, many boxes of dishes and everything else to give us.
Hubby worked full-time at a pallet mill, and I worked full-time as a medical billing specialist, so we had food. I eventually quit my job because the business was located in a home...and what went on with the family, went on in the business. The owners went through a divorce, and I never wanna go through another divorce. :roll: Hubby got a different job, also, and things kept getting better.

My best friend had a Bridal Shower for me, and we really got a lot of nice things. We still use a lot of those things! Some of the towels are even still around.

I didn't have a washer and dryer for a long time...I took the laundry to my Mom and Dad's and did it after work, but she usually had it ready. Sweet. ;) SOmeone finally gave us an old dryer they didn't want anymore, and it worked pretty good. I'd wash clothes at Mom's or MIL's and bring them home and dry them.

I grew up on clothes from Thrift stores, yard sales, and hand me downs. I still wear them. Hey, why not? My kids wear a lot of thrift store, yard sale, and hand-me-downs, too. I won't buy a shirt for the kids at GoodWill for $2.50 or $3.00 when I can get them a brand new at Wal-Mart or the dollar store for $3-$4.

It is so ...I can't think of a word... wonderful, I guess (in a sad sense) to look around me and think of the things that have been replaced over the years....to remember those things that used to be here, not really "here", as we don't live in our little trailer these days. Sunday made us 4 years in our new home.

When we get something new that will replace something, we try to give it to someone else that can really use it. I know I sure appreciated it when we got things like that when we really needed them.

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Old 01-28-2009, 10:15 AM
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Oh gosh I could write a book.... :D I was pregnant when we got married in 1981... I lucked out and had wonderful parents and mil who helped us, but we never bought anything new til my son was 1 and my hubby bought me my sewing machine from Sears... Kenmore. still have....I made all my sons clothes til he got to Jr high.... We ate alot of mac and cheese, big pot of spegehtti or other dinners to last for days......We always shopped at yard sales and thrift stores.... I bought mens corderoy pants cuz i could get 2-3 pants out of it for my son. I still like to shop thrift stores.. My aunt made this most gorgeous hawaiin quilt made with mens shirts from thrift stores.. I buy just about everything generic. When I became disabled it was rough. But we made do..... I'm glad I make quilts cuz I'm keeping my family warm.. I get depressed easy (head injuries do that) so sewing keeps me busy .. I know theres so much more i could write about, but you'll have to wait til the book gets published :wink: :wink: :wink: :lol:
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:39 AM
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When you go through the hard times you appreciate so much more what you have. We lived on hamburger and pasta and not even the jars of spaghetti sauce. That was too expensive so it was cans of tomatoe sauce with some spices thrown in. Those huge tubs of oatmeal went a lot further for the same or less than packaged cereal. We once sold my junker of a car to a junk yard in order to get the money for rent.

I don't like debt and the stories I read at a couple of credit boards are scary and I think how do those people sleep at night who have so much debt hanging over them? Living within your means isn't always fun.

I've come a long way too but I still save everything I can and it's tough sometimes but being single there is no one else to share the load and no one is going to take care of my retirement but me.

The simple pleasure of sewing and creating something with my own hands is as satisfying and makes me as happy as more expensive persuits.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:51 PM
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I'm proud of ALL of you. Your stories of the harder times in our lives sure jog my memory of tougher times but I feel these times made me the strong, independent and self sufficient person I have become. I married in 1966 and became a military wife. We lived on a $90 monthly allotment that I got and my hushband got $ 89. a month. We bought everything at the Commissary and that was cheaper but we didn't have money for any extras at all. One time in 4 months we splurged on a movie that cost us 50 cents each to get in.....The Naked Prey was the movie! Being young and not being a very good cook but had interest in learning I bought STEAK for dinner for our 1st month anniversary... ...didn't realize OX TAIL isn't STEAK! I''ve learned. Now we can afford a REAL steak but brand X husband has someone else cooking for him and my wonderful DH and I don't do too much red meat anymore for health sake so in 43 years we've kinda come full circle only with different partners.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:18 AM
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golly, i've read all your posts about being poor and had to smile and have sympathy for all. the reason for the smile is that i can relate all too well to the poor days. I was born in 1936 so grew up during World War II, when we had to have government issued rationing stamps in order to buy most anything. Reminds me of the poor old rattlesnake who was so poor he didn't have a pit to hiss in! One thing I vowed to never have when I grew up was an outdoor crapper. And never did again after I got married in 1954. Then after 22 years of marriage and 2 kids later, my dear husband died at the ripe old age of 44 from heart problems and I was left a widow at 40 to finish raising a 13 year old daughter. I still live in the same house as husband and I bought in 1965. I still work part time (i'm a barber). And I thank God every day for good enough health that I still can work. And I'm still thankful every day for an indoor crapper, lol.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:42 AM
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Like the rest of you I too shopped garage sales when our kids were younger. I either got it at a garage sale or I made it.

Our oldest daughter (when she was little) told everyone at church that I made her shoes. We all got a good laugh at that.

Now she has her own children. She walked in on her girls fighting and asked what was going on. Her youngest was trying to convince the older one that I had made her shoes. I don't think she every heard us tell that story either.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:57 AM
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Have been there and done that and don't regret a minute. It sure makes one appreciate the better times and I never forget to thank the ONE who is responible for getting us through those years. ( PS. I had 4 children under 4 when I was 21 and don't regret that either) Have a Happy Day :)
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:46 AM
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What inspiring stories! I'm from Yorkshire stock where they have an expression that sometimes you have to 'cut currants in half'!

Here in rural France, the locals are much more in touch with the countryside and nature and nothing is wasted. They all grow their own veggies, keep chickens for eggs and meat etc and we do a bit ourselves as well. I'm lucky now that my OH got a good job last year, although this means he is away from home a few nights a week; up until then, it was a struggle (he was an estate agent here and the market crashed - like everywhere! No sales=no commission!); there were times when we were glad of the home reared eggs and veggies!

But all this really makes you appreciate things more. I feel really sorry for kids who get everything on a plate - computer games, fashion clothes etc - they never seem happy with anything; now when I see the first spring veggies starting to sprout in my veg patch - that makes me happy!

This was part of my reason for staying in France rather than the UK - I want my kids to grow up not doing without, but knowing what's important.

K x
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