Perceptions

The Elm Street House...35 years later.

We went on a day trip to Cañon City, Colorado where I grew up this week hunting for fossils.  We went to the Royal Gorge  Bridge too. http://www.royalgorgebridge.com/

It was a blast! I love Cañon City.

On our trek we went by a couple of my old houses…ugh. Both the Elm house and the Cedar Street houses were trashed, especially the Elm one. Made me sad as I loved that house.

But 35 years later, they have gutted it and made it into a storage shed for hay. I went inside and was shocked to realize the house was probably only 800 square feet total, maybe less even. I remembered it much bigger! But then I was smaller. :0)

The last time I was by the Elm house, a few years back, all the windows were broken and there was trash everywhere. Matthew our middle child was with me and when we left he said, Mom were you guys really poor when you were growing up?

I was surprised by his question. I told him how wonderful my Mom had decorated that house. She planted flowers and a huge garden.  I shared how great it was to walk down to the river to fish any time we wanted. We had pigs and chickens and a pony named Silver to ride, and a hillside where we found shark teeth fossils right there on our property. We had acres to play on and we even discovered and old dump site from probably a hundred years ago on the property…oh the treasures we dug up from there. I remember an old brown whisky jug we found.

For a kid it was paradise…I didn’t feel poor for a minute. Hardly any of my friends were so blessed to have a pony to ride, the whole river to fish just steps away, and a Dad who liked to take his kids fishing. Autumn there was glorious too, all those yellow cottonwoods. We even had fruit trees and a walnut tree.  Heaven on earth.

Maybe we were poor by the world’s standards but my folks did a great job of making what we had seem wonderful. My mother made holidays magic. Looking back, I now know that she worked her buns off to make it special for us. I wonder if I even appreciated all her hard work. I don’t think I even realized it was her. I have thanked her many times as an adult but I don’t know if I did as a child.

I suppose that anyone who looked at the 5 homes we lived in from the time we moved Cañon City when I was in second grade to when I graduated high school 10 years later might think we were poor. But we didn’t know we were. We had food and parents that loved us and in my book that makes a person rich.

So take heart in these tough economic times. If you are feeling like you aren’t able to provide all the things you would like to for your kids…it is probably better for them anyway.

Just love them and spend time with them and do bunches of things together and they will grow up feeling rich. And while you are at it introduce them to JESUS and they truly will never be poor.

I once heard a story about a wealthy man who took his son to their “poor” cousin’s house to show him how blessed he was to be rich. After the visit the father asked his son what he thought. The son said I see what you mean Dad. We have a swimming pool but they have a river that runs forever. We have a fenced yard and they have the woods and acres and acres to run in. We have a big house and they have a big barn full of animals for pets while we have one dog. They really are rich Dad. Thanks for showing me.

One of my Mom’s signature lines while I was growing up was Bloom Where You are Planted and another was When Life Gives You Lemons~Make Lemonade. She had them posted in our home, but more than that she lived them.

 

I guess it is all about perceptions.

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4 thoughts on “Perceptions

  1. that is a good word liz. we should think about this too, when we are doing ‘missions’. often the people we are serving don’t realize they are poor or lacking until we point it out to them. there is much to be learned about living simply, appreciating what you have, not acquiring more, and like you said – making lemonade and blooming!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Cara! I guess if we introduce them to JESUS they won’t ever be poor, because everyone who doesn’t know Him is destitute. So many I love who don’t have Him. I’m praying. Keep blooming!

  3. Great post! We didn’t have the pony or fossil teeth but we had acres and acres, too, plus an old barn with a hay loft rich for storymaking. OUr kids think I missed out because I had no cell phone or microwave or DVD player. Ha! It was a great childhood. Great insights!

  4. If I had it to do over I would insist we had a small farm for my kids to grow up on. So many life lessons right there. We did have it good w/o all that stuff didn’t we?
    Thanks for stopping by Kathy! and Happy Easter!

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