Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Rainbows and pots of gold

Sometimes hope comes to us in the most unexpected way.  It could be in the form of a few minutes time spent with a special person or it could be in the form of a rainbow.  This story started way back on the day of our once a month grocery shopping trip in May.   Once a month I drive my brother’s car to help my SIL do her shopping.  The weather was predicted to have rain that day.

Well, we had managed to get through all the different stores she likes to shop without any of the rain.  We always unload her groceries first then I drive to my house to unload my groceries and then I return the car.  On the way to my house that afternoon it finally did start to rain.  LOTS.  It was hard to see even with the wipers going so I pulled to the side and stopped to wait for the worst to be over.  It wasn’t a storm.  Just heavy rain.  My driveway is scary enough when its dry so I didn’t want to risk it when driving someone else’s car in blinding rain.

I sat listening to the rain thinking about my new house and asking myself some questions.  What in the world was I thinking?  What have I done?  Did I make a big mistake going into debt to move?  The old house was completely PAID for.  It was my safety net against a future bad economy.   I started thinking about all the years I had spent there at the old house and all my struggles to hang onto it.

I was thinking about being in debt all over again.  Should I have stayed in the high crime area to live rent free?  I was barely managing to live without a house payment before moving so how will I manage with one again?  Can I survive for several more years making a monthly payment again?  At my age?  What is my alternative? Should I move to the country closer to my other kids?  I really needed some kind of reassurance that I had made the right decision and not a huge mistake.  But there is no one there to reassure me.  Its just me and the rain.

My thoughts next turned to the positive things about moving.  This house is in a quiet place without the daily violence.  I no longer have to worry about bullets coming through the walls.  There are no bad kids here.  The kids here are actually respectful of elders.  People here are not victims of random violence by bored teens.  I told myself nothing has changed about me except my address.  I’m still the same frugal me.  I still know how to survive with very little money.  I can do this.  It really all comes down to one thing;  me being me.  The frugal me who knows how to survive no matter how little money I have.  I can do this!

A short time later the rain slowed to just a light drizzle.  I started the car to drive the last few blocks home.  As I turned the last curve toward my house I saw the prettiest rainbow ever…. AND…. the end of that rainbow was right on my house!  Yes, the very end of the rainbow was there on my house.  I was mesmerized and I hit the brake.  A second later I slowly moved forward to get a closer look.  Hee, hee, hee, I was looking for that famous leprechaun pot of gold that is supposed to be there.  Nope, it was not there.  Darn, no pot of gold.  That’s when it dawned on me the pot of gold…. is my house.  My house is what sat at the end of that rainbow.  I’d call that a sign of reassurance, wouldn’t you?

By the time I got into the house for the camera the rainbow had moved away.  It had been on my house for only a short time.  Maybe two minutes at most.  What did the end of the rainbow look like?  Well, its kind of misty.  Like being in a light fog but with colors.

A few days later I signed the mortgage/deed papers.  I didn’t hesitate.   The house is mine.  Well, not really mine until I finish paying the mortgage but its no longer a rental.   Its no longer just a house because now its my home.  I may get frustrated from time to time because stuff doesn’t fit right or doesn’t go according to plan.  I’ll keep reminding myself that it took me over 30 years to get the other house just the way I wanted and this house doesn’t need to be done over night.  Sure, money is tight but that’s nothing new.  Its how I’ve always lived.  Hmm….. I think I’m finally settling into my new nest.  😉

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22 comments on “Rainbows and pots of gold

  1. kathi
    June 9, 2017

    I am simply overjoyed reading this. That rainbow WAS your “confirmation”. YES, your HOME is that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Your peace. It will be well, and yes you CAN do this.

    • Anita
      June 11, 2017

      Kathi, I had started an email to you before I became ill. I’ll write as soon as I’m feeling a little stronger. Love ya lil sis! Hugs to you and Darling David.

  2. Linda in NE
    June 7, 2017

    Hope you’re thoroughly enjoying you house in a much safer neighborhood. Sure, the mortgage worries you, but at least there’s less chance of stepping out your front door and being shot by some thug for no reason. I have to say too that I disagree with Emma about the 1% not worrying about money…..they spend a lot of time worrying that someone will get it away from them. Not sure what’s worse. Barely having enough or having too much.

    • Anita
      June 11, 2017

      Actually I’ve come to think of having a mortgage again as an intellectual challenge. I do love challenges. There are probably ways of surviving and cutting expenses I haven’t thought of yet or may remember from long ago years past. I’m looking forward to more frugal thinking and sharing with readers.

      You’re right about having money. The more you have the more you must worry about loosing it. I do moan and complain about not having much money, but I’m happy without it. My happiness is in the giving and not in the getting. Whenever I do have extra money I always end up giving it away to someone in crisis.

  3. sarasinart
    June 7, 2017

    I’m so happy for you! And now you know you can be ok…that must be a wonderful feeling for you. And now you’re safe!

    • Anita
      June 11, 2017

      The feeling IS wonderful. And it just seems to get better every day.

      • sarasinart
        June 12, 2017

        That so good to hear. I remember some of the issues you had before.

  4. T
    June 6, 2017

    I am one of those personalities I do better with something to work towards. Paid off this mortgage very quickly and always save for something like a car. No debt.

    But I am exhausted sometimes with the mean spirit in Texas, the endless prejudice and lack of commitment to social justice and health care for all.

    My friend recently moved to the east coast to retire and it got me thinking…why not me? Go somewhere more in keeping with my values.

    Glad you are feeling safe and happy with your new home, and your decision to move.

    • Anita
      June 7, 2017

      I’m like you, I enjoy the challenge of something to work toward. Sometimes a win is just a stepping stone to the next challenge. I believe we are all going to see lots more anger and prejudice in the coming days. Some areas worse than others.

      • T
        June 7, 2017

        I am starting to look back to the ‘good old days’ of Bush Jr, he seems so professional now when at the time I didn’t support him….saw this week the Obamas bought an $8 million home, starting to see how the health care reforms did not happen, they seem to have come into a lot of money?….
        but now this latest guy? Trump the Dump I think of him! I guess he plans to be known as the endless social media president.

        Starting to think we don’t need a president actually. Why do we need a figurehead?

        None of them represent any of us, or care about any of us.

        Enough already!

        • Anita
          June 11, 2017

          The Obama’s had lots of money before he ran for office. He had been in politics for awhile before becoming president and a high paid professor before getting into politics. Both of them have new book contracts, have many investments, get paid to be speakers at large functions, and they are frugal living people too. I don’t know how much the payments are on an 8 million house but I’m sure they can afford it. You are right about Bush looking pretty tame when watching Trump.

          I know I’m going to get a lot of flack over writing my political beliefs so I’ll tell you what I believe and you go watch Trump to form your own opinion. K? I’m not trying to sway anyone one way or the other. Just stating my observations. Watching Trump is like watching my mother as president. It took me almost a lifetime to figure out her schemes. Watching and figuring out Trump is a piece of cake because I had so much practice with my mother. When Trump puts anything in quotation marks in his tweets you can bet it’s a lie or an “alternative fact” if you think Trump doesn’t lie. When asked if he will provide proof of his tweets and he replies he “will provide it soon” that means he either doesn’t have proof or simply chooses never to provide it. We are supposed to trust him no matter what because he is “TRUMP”. Why he is not subpoenaed to provide these things is a mystery to me.

          Trump wants to look good by making other people around him look bad (or stupid) so he tells one thing to them and a different thing to someone else. All for the purpose of making himself top dog in the pack. Just look at how he treats leaders of other countries. For someone who talks so bad about and is so set against Muslim people he sure did have a lot of fun hanging out with them on his first foreign trip. Foreign leaders are laughing at him and he doesn’t see it. Look how badly he’s treated the other world leaders. He talks badly behind their back but smiling and smooth talking to their face.

          I’ve never known a white man have so much hatred for a black man that he would do or say whatever possible to wipe out a hundred years of accomplishments just to eliminate everything a black president had done. All anyone has to do is say “Obama would have done that” and Trump will immediately do the opposite. Or if shown something Obama did do, Trump immediately wants to undo it. No matter how good it was.

          When someone speaks on Trump’s behalf like Kelly Conway, Rex Tillerson, Rience Priebus, or any other person in the public its a sure bet that Trump will say the exact opposite within a day or two. If I knew a bookie taking these bets I’d be placing bets all the time…… and winning. Trump has such a NEED to be admired that he can’t see his own faults. In his mental world he has no faults. Trump believes he is as perfect as GOD himself and needs constant reminders its true. That’s why he has so many meetings with worshipers around him.

          If you notice; hardly any of the Republicans in DC are seen in front of the cameras these days. Republicans didn’t have any problem being in front of the cameras when talking against our first black president why be camera shy now? They all seem to be afraid to speak against Trump. Why? If they believe in him and what he’s doing then why not say so? Stand up behind your man. If they are against the foolishness then why be afraid to stand up to him and tell him he’s wrong?

          I’m looking forward to the 2018 mid-term elections. I’m hoping there will be big shake up in DC. Ok, I’ve said enough. I could go on and on about the problems with Trump as president. But, he IS the president and we can only live with what he does. We will be able to change who the president is again in 3 years, six months. Hopefully that person will be someone who can repair any damages done and keep anything good.

          As I said, you do not have to agree or disagree with me. Observe for yourself and form your own opinions.

  5. Lilly pickles
    June 6, 2017

    Today is cloudy and full of doom. I have to remind myself that my immediate struggle will be just a bad memory tomorrow. I have to remind myself that my thoughts lie to me and try to trick me. Today’s struggles seem to fall like Dominos creating one problem after another and yet………Yesterday I was surprised to find we received one more unexpected check. That money means I have enough extra put up to pay my house taxes this coming winter. I can now pay for my next class without worrying whether or not I could get the tax money up. It is so easy for me to forget in the bad moments that everything always works out. Meanwhile, I will hope that baby girl has any problem other than needing that gallbladder out. After two e r visits in twelve hours, I can assume she has met her deductable. I am searching hard for a bright side to this. I am hoping your rainbow continues to light up your life.

    • Anita
      June 7, 2017

      Yes Lilly, today’s rain clouds become tomorrows rainbows. Also, when you are at your lowest there is no place to go but up.

  6. Melinda
    June 6, 2017

    What a lovely story! I have a childhood memory of driving with my grandma under a rainbow that went from one side of the road to the other. I anxiously looked for the pot of gold. As an adult I can see the gold was getting to do something special with my wonderful grandma.

  7. Jonna
    June 6, 2017

    What an awesome reassurance that you made the right decision !!! By the way…I love reading your blog. 🙂

    • Anita
      June 7, 2017

      Thanks Jonna. Glad to have you here.

  8. Linda S
    June 6, 2017

    Beautiful story – old gals like us need a challenge to keep us going!

  9. Emma
    June 6, 2017

    Anita,
    I so love reading your posts. I only moved into my house at the end of August, and while I’m happy with the move, I have these very same questions. Did I do the right thing? Will I ever be able to pay off the mortgage before I retire? etc. I do believe unless we are the 1%, most people have these same worries. It sounds like you are blessed in many ways. Even though I don’t know you, it makes me so happy that you have found a peaceful neighbourhood to live in. It’s so worth it! Hence, the rainbow message:)
    Peace.
    Emma

    • Anita
      June 7, 2017

      Thank you Emma. I’ve come to accept that I’ll never live rent free anymore than I’ll be young again. Its just life. Life happens. You are right. I am blessed in other ways.

  10. Jen
    June 6, 2017

    Fantastic story, and it never hurts to keep an eye out for that pot of gold while you’re at it!

  11. Cynthia
    June 6, 2017

    What a perfect sign to send you on your way with confidence in your decision! Great story.
    I am in a similar situation, leaving my home of 30 years for a different state and climate, my partner’s choice, and trying to make it feel like home. Still working on it! We moved in last August.

    • Anita
      June 7, 2017

      August must have been the month to move because several said they moved then. I’ve been told it takes at least a year to get used to a new house. Almost there.

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