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.
My mother was mentally ill for all her life. She was schizophrenic and had never really been able to care for her children for more than a few months at a time. Long before the age of pills to control mental illness the patients would be locked away in institutions. I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents while my mother was away. My father was a life long military man and gone most of the time. I remember we saw him about once a year. He was one of the original Army Air Corps before it split off to become the Air Force.
When I was just an infant my mother went away for a rest. When I was learning to talk I heard my aunts and uncles calling my grandmother Mama so I did too. My grandfather was Papa. Both of them were born in the late 1800s. My grandparents lived deep in the backwoods as we called it. That merely means we were isolated far from a town or city and quite a distance from neighbors.
I used to talk about my mother and her mental illness on my blog. For clarity I used Grandma Mama so the reader can tell which is which when I’m type-talking. Grandma Mama was extremely frugal. She had to be. My grandparents went through several economic crisis times starting with an 1800s rural life and then WW1, the great depression, WW2, and the rationing years.
I believe my grandparents were an early version of doomsday preppers. Having been through several economic tough times they were convinced it would happen again and again so they stayed prepared for it. I learned most of my frugal knowledge from Grandma Mama but I’ve also picked up knowledge of my own over the years. I guess you could say I’ve been frugal my whole life.
I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents. I also spent quite a bit of time in orphanages or with other relatives too. My fondest memories are of my Grandma Mama and learning her frugal ways. When I was young I remember using ration stamps to purchase things at the general store. I also remember selling our eggs there to get store credit. Both Grandma Mama and Grandpa Papa would decide on a needed big ticket item. An example would be perhaps a wood stove or a new plow. Then they would start building up store credit along with saving cash intended to purchase that item. The whole family worked as a team.
If you want to get a better mental picture of what life was like with my Grandma Mama and Grandpa Papa then watch an old episode of THE WALTONS on TV. Their life was very much like the Walton family. There were cars and movies and department stores and other such things but we didn’t have them where we lived. In order to go to a movie or shop a big store we had to go to “the big city” which was a long trip. We had a car but often not enough money for gas to drive it. Or so I was told.
Now days it’s become quite fashionable to live frugal again. it’s called “living green” to give it a more up to date name. I am writing posts about the frugal things I remember learning from my Grandma Mama. It’s my hope what I write will be useful for anyone facing a financial crisis or simply wants to learn the old ways.
Well now you know who was Grandma Mama and a little more about me. I don’t mind sharing what I know with any visitor who stops by to visit my blog. However, this blog and my quilting blog are first and foremost written for my descendants so they may know more about me. If blogs survive that long. Please enjoy your visit.