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.
Hello, I’m known as Na Na on this blog and by my grand children. Everyone else usually calls me Anita.
When I was born; technology was limited to the hand operated tools found on a very isolated rural farm without indoor plumbing or a power grid attachment. Of course, being an infant, technology didn’t matter to me. It was enough that I simply learned to walk and talk. The president was Harry Truman. We lived in very rural area. My first year of school was in a one room school house. By second grade a brand new school house had been built and new school buses took us there.
When I was in my teens; technology had advanced to having running water in the house, a crank telephone, electricity had finally arrived, and we had a refrigerator. I thought just having the ability to take a Saturday night bath, without hauling buckets of water, was absolute heaven. I got married and had my first child. The new president was Dwight Eisenhower.
When I was in my twenties; technology had come quite a long way. Almost all of it intrigued me. It was a fascinating world of new things to learn. I wanted every new gidget and gadget I could buy for my house. I became a part of the consumerism society. I got a divorce and two years later remarried. I had two more children.
When I was in my thirties; technology was advancing much more rapidly. I began to see how the newest gadgets became outdated the minute I walked out of the store. I began to see the error of my ways and started going back to basic living. I was dropping out of the “rat race” to find peace with my life and the gadgets I owned. They became less important. I had two more children.
When I was in my forties; technology was leaving me behind. I realized I wasn’t quite up to date on the new buzz words. I could figure many of them out by listening for awhile. Then, I found this fascinating thing called the “Internet” that allowed me to make friends all around the world. We had these things called newsgroups which were people with the same interests signing up in a list to talk with each other. Newsgroups was an early version of “forum” before windows was invented. I had two more children but one was stillborn. My second oldest child died of cancer.
When I was in my fifties; technology had really advanced by leaps and bounds. This new thing called “computer windows” made using the internet easier. Computers had gotten smaller. Telephones were smaller. And, both these things could be carried with you where ever you wished to go. I discovered “email lists” were the newest version of newsgroups. I signed up for several and made many friends. My oldest child committed suicide. Three children passing before a parent is very difficult to endure.
When I was in my sixties; Technology had become like a foreign language. There were new buzz words like; Ipod, Iphone, type pad, texting, and others I can’t think of right now. I’m still trying to figure out what most of the new buzz words mean.
My senior memory became a problem. I realized this was happening to me and I wanted a way to leave my memories for my descendants to read someday. I discovered this thing called “blogging” and worked very hard to learn about using it. I wrote posts almost everyday. Each post becoming a chapter of a paperless book of my life. I wrote about what I was doing or what I happen to remember of my youth.
When I entered my seventies: My dreams slowly died. For 25 years, no matter how difficult or what I had to do without, I paid a mortgage payment every month. Never missed and late only once. It was my dream to pay off the mortgage and live rent free the rest of my life. My dream was not to be. I did pay off the mortgage but the neighborhood went downhill before I had a chance to enjoy being rent free. The crime rate rose rapidly and was horrible. Children as young as 8 and 10 began robbing seniors at bus stops and gangs would beat up people for just the fun of it. People were getting shot and killed every single day. People inside their homes were getting killed by stray bullets from outside.
Quilt customers no longer brought me work. I was afraid for my kids or grands to visit. I didn’t feel safe in my own home anymore. When bullets hit my house for the third time, I sold my 80K house for 5K and moved to where I am now. There is still crime around where I live but being on a dead end street helps keep the drive by stray bullets away.
Now today (2019); here I am still barely surviving in a rough economy. The cost of absolutely everything keeps getting higher and higher but my social security doesn’t. No matter how much I sacrifice. No matter how often I juggle my budget. I stay only half a step ahead of the bills. Unless I win the lottery or a go fund me person sets up an account for me or a rich person pays off my house; I’ll never live rent free or be able to stop standing in food bank lines to survive. Sigh. Born poor, struggle for a lifetime, die poor. Life is a 8itch and then you die.