Money provokes contradicting memories. Spending foolishly, saving wisely—and sometimes spending wisely and saving foolishly. Having plenty, having too little … most often the latter.
When my brothers and I were young, we decided to buy a gift for our parents. We wanted to save our own money to buy it, not use our mom and dad’s.
And we knew just what we wanted to buy. We’d seen an advertisement for a Ronco Record Cleaner, “guaranteed to make your LP records last longer” and keep them free from scratches!
But where would we get the money? We didn’t receive allowances and were too young for jobs. For my part, I went without lunches, saving every cent my parents gave me to pay for them. If my mom packed my lunch, I saved my milk nickel. Hunger pangs couldn’t compete with the excitement of buying the gift ourselves.
Six weeks before Christmas, the required delivery time, we proudly sent for the gift. I don’t know if it made the records last longer, but the lessons of saving and giving will last a lifetime. As well as the memory of our parents’ faces as they opened such an extravagant gift.
Over the years since, we’ve experienced many times of having no money. Once while living in Ohio for Kevin to attend college, our checking account was empty, as well as our wallets. The refrigerator held only cold air, and the freezer … well, ice cubes aren’t very nutritious. We drove home on gas fumes, knowing no reserves waited.
The week before, we’d sank to cutting open my pink poodle bank in which I’d been saving pennies since grade school. The coins clinked and scraped on the table as we dumped and counted them—enough to fill the gas tank and buy a few groceries. But now, they too were gone, the poodle empty and bearing the scars of our need.
At our apartment, I dropped onto the couch, wondering what we would do. Kevin joined me with the mail, including a letter from Nanny, my grandmother in PA. I slit it open and pulled out a note and a five-dollar bill! We felt rich! Grateful for this unexpected gift, we headed to the Big Bear Market. We bought a dozen eggs, some milk and bread, and still had two dollars left for gas. (Wouldn’t get far on two dollars of gas today, would we?)
Whether saving for a gift or needing groceries, God’s never let us down. He knows our needs … and our wants. He always provides … sometimes just in time!
***Everyone has a story about money—a little or a lot! Please tell us yours! To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Then, scroll to the bottom of the comment section to find the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!
*** Next Monday we’ll take some virtual walks together. Come along and see where we go!