Saturday, November 26, 2016

True Measure of Wealth

We’re reading the New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream by Courtney E. Martin in one of the women’s church groups at church. It’s a very post mod, almost self-help bloguesque book on new fundamentals to the American Dream. Martin presents very new-fashioned ideas of what a career is (ie multiple freelance jobs) and inventive notion that work must be fulfilling even if the pay grade is not. I despise the book.

But, some of the discussions from this book are worthwhile. For instance, in the chapter titled “The Wisdom of Enough,” really had me thinking about what monetary gains would I deem enough. Does enough mean basic necessities, all the bills, an emergency fund, and long term dividend earning savings account? Maybe add a little bit of retail therapy money and I think that’s enough.

But what are the basic necessities? A gentleman once admitted that his grandmother would say that the true measure of wealth was affording a bottle of lotion for every hand soap in the home. Lotion doesn’t run cheap. But what about functional wealth?

At one point in my life I owned so many shoes that I only wore two pairs consistently and stored the rest underneath my bed. The two I did wear were walking shoes and work shoes. Walking shoes to get to and from class. Work shoes to...no explanation necessary. But I would never want to part with my shoes. They were mine, and they were pretty. I did eventually. And now, I really only use five pairs, work, walking, indoor, to impress, and the everyday errands shoes. These shoes have a value, and they are enough.

But shoes are hardly the true measure of wealth. The true measure of wealth is finding value in myself, the people around me, and the space around us. Finding intrinsic value is what drives and motivates us to be who we are. Finding value in the people around, nurturing and loving. And having both will just make the space around grow. The true measure of wealth is in these three things. And in that regard, I truly am blessed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner

I don’t remember why I don’t like holidays. And I like them less nowadays. But, maybe I just grew into them. Lately, I’ve been watching way too many food programs. And since they’re seasonal, a lot of them are showcasing big dinner recipes left and right. Lately, I’ve also discussed way too many recipes with my knitting friends.

And this television and discussions really makes me want to write down the traditional dinners we have as a family. Seeing the dishes written out as puzzle pieces is particularly pleasing. And maybe if they were written down, I’d be able to teach my sisters the recipes. Then no matter how close or spread apart we are, we could all be eating the same meals.

We tend to keep our family alive by the foods we cook together. I’ve always believed that our Thanksgiving Dinner was over the top, but it’s just right for our family. Our Thanksgiving Dinner consists of the turkey, dressing (hey I just learned that it’s only called stuffing if it’s inside the turkey), buttered corn, green beans with bacon and red onions, mashed potatoes and gravy. On the rare occasion, we would eat dinner and dessert which was a slice of apple pie and a slice of pumpkin pie.

Now, since I’m all adept at cooking now.. It feels like I’m ready to adjust our Thanksgiving dinner and include something like a light salad (regular old greens), just kidding. We’ll think of something. Definitely adding cornbread muffins. Special request from my youngest sister. Any ideas on a third veggie side dish for my Thanksgiving Dinner?