I've always told the family I was meant to hibernate in cold and snowy weather. As the days get cooler and the lights have to be turned on in my kitchen in the early evening... I'm fighting the urge to nap. However, the reason I want to hibernate this autumn is to get away from bad news in the media.
I've been keeping an eye on the twenty-four hour business news off and on... mostly off today. Then I was checking my e-mails and found a plethora of notices from my emergency preparedness sites; a combination of warnings about the aftermath of the hurricane, what is happening on Wall street, and mostly... the situation between Iran and Israel and what it means to the U.S. None of the news was good.
I've seen God work miracles in our lives when we were living through our own personal financial Depression and the world was affluent. He doesn't look at Wall Street, He looks at the way we trust Him to meet our needs. Then again, if He puts it in your heart to deepen a pantry and fill a freezer, to can fruits and vegetables and jellies and jams... He is providing the years of plenty to use in the day of famine.
Besides praying, the most important thing we can do doesn't cost us anything. We can go through our homes and get rid of what we don't need, or don't want, or doesn't make our heart sing at all anymore. It does the soul good to fill boxes for Goodwill or another charity and come back to a home that is in order and has more space.
Now, I'd be tarred and feathered for treason and hypocrisy if you thought I'd gotten rid of everything. There is still an English Country look to my home and more things that make my heart sing than does, say... my husband. He could still get rid of an entire layer of pretty things. But even he has to admit that my pretty, as well as practical, items do not add to the clutter. I call it "warm and cozy", thank you.
By deepening the pantry and filling the freezer with food I buy on sale, I am giving my guys a gift for less. By decluttering the house and even Christopher's room (because he is so busy right now), I am giving a gift that doesn't cost me a thing but time. By shopping for little (but really cool) Christmas gifts for the grandchildren, I can use creativity where there is less cash.
Perhaps this will be a lesson learned... the hard way... for many people in the coming weeks. There is a time of plenty when we can get out of debt, deepen the pantry, get our house and car(s) in order, be wise in preparing for an uncertain future.
When trouble comes and funds are few... there is a way to live with skill... and grace... and beauty. It just takes a different way of thinking and a whole lot of faith.
As for us... today we had a workman come and install a new thermostat (something very simple and not the computerized jobbie that stopped working). He is coming back later in the week to inspect our furnace. Later this week, my husband is having the oil changed in the "old car" and then put in a new air filter himself. A little money spent to save in the long run.
I'll prepare the deck furniture to be put in the shed and keep an eye on the black walnut shells left behind after furry forest creatures have had a snack (swept away before they can stain the deck). No cost maintenance.
Tomorrow I will bake a loaf of honey wheat bread and some blueberry muffins... low cost treats for the guys. But tomorrow... yawn... I'll be back with more recession ponderings. I need to finish the dinner dishes and put on the water for tea... another yawn... for I no longer have miles to go before I sleep.
Picture: Apple Pie Harvest by Janet Kruskamp; allposters.com... one of my favorites.