Cheryl left a comment about my post to clarify our financial position...
Sorry, but I agree with Beth. As someone mentioned it might be more beneficial if you put something in your bio or on the front page of your blog instead of constantly reminding that you live on a low income. Was there really a need to bring her comment to the attention of all your readers? It's like you are looking for reassurance. I feel badly for Beth for sharing an honest feeling. You previously mentioned a relative saying something too. Perhaps there is a bit of truth here?
Although you may live on a lower income, many do the same, including myself. By looking at the pictures of your home and yard, and mentions of all that you receive from friends, family, etc. (whether it be gift cards, a vacation, or help) I think you are doing better than a lot of lower-income people.
I will clarify this one last time and let it rest. I have worked hard over the years to write and to share with readers the best I can. I will continue to mention once in awhile we live on a limited income because... well... I don't want to sound snarky but the nice thing about blogs is we can just stop reading if something the blogger writes makes us uncomfortable.
I don't remember what I wrote about a relative saying something as none of my relatives (except my daughter and sometimes my husband and son) read my blog. I did have former neighbors (in our old neighborhood) who thought we were rich because of the way I decorated our house. I loved showing them what one could buy at garage sales!
I do receive gifts from friends, mostly at Christmas and a few on my birthday. Sometimes a friend will surprise me out of the blue because they are just sweet people and not because I have asked for anything. We are fortunate to live in an area of the country where one can purchase a house in a rural area for very little compared to the rest of the country. Our house payment is less than what one would pay for rent "in town". When my husband went on Disability, we qualified for a low income mortgage.
We have beautiful stuff but you must understand we've been married 30+ years and part of it is an accumulation of a lifetime (especially part of our love of thrifting and garage sales) and part of it is inherited. Unfortunately, we have lost both sets of parents long ago and we remember both every day by the antiques which were left to us... and will go to our kids. Some items like my mixer were purchased when my husband was still able to work as an engineer (and even then he said it was my birthday and Christmas gift for a couple years). :)
My daughter and her husband pay for us to visit them once a year. Partly because they are the most giving people I've ever known (and not just to us) but also because they know that with our health, we will not always be here. Each year we make memories with the grandchildren is extremely important. God has gifted us with the most amazingly wonderful kids. It is cheaper for my daughter and son-in-law to pay our gas and food costs to visit them then it is for them to bring five kids here.
The books and small gifts I've been able to purchase with Amazon credit because lovely people take the time to enter Amazon through my blog is a blessing beyond anything I can say. I want to reach out and hug each person.
The truth? Oh, my... if I give you the truth about how little we live on then I do risk sounding like I'm asking for pity. I need for people to understand that I have believed for years that God has allowed us to walk this path so we can help others as they find themselves in unexpected financial conditions and as I've said before... to share that you can live a beautiful life with little income.
I want people to understand that God takes care of people, that each time I put a meal on the table and gas in the car is a miracle! Being able to purchase our house years ago was a miracle! We lived for two different years with no income at all and it was a miracle that God brought us through in such a way we were still able to purchase this small-ish house in the country because our credit rating (while not perfect) was decent.
The only way I can keep blogging is if I don't have to second guess everything I write. If I have to be afraid of offending someone (whether in what I say, books I recommend, or the fact I love Science Fiction TV shows) then I will no longer have the time or the energy to write. I'm afraid that what you see is what you will continue to get.
As it is, I can't tell you how close I have come to just pulling the plug on Coffee Tea Books & Me because of comments. Cheryl, most of the time I do not bring to the attention of others such comments. I just delete them and go on. But when someone questions my very reason for writing then I feel I must respond.
One of my favorite bloggers stopped allowing comments years ago because one comment ruined an important family day for her, she just could not get it out of her mind. Remember... on my blog and on that of others... written comments have the same affect as telling someone the same thing to their face. Am I asking for reassurance? Of course! There are real people writing real posts on real blogs.
I adore the people who regularly read this blog, those I have come to know through comments, e-mails (although I am still terribly behind in responding!), and some who have their own blogs. There are so many lovely people all over the world. I don't want to see any readers leave but I must warn people... the blog will have to stay the same or I'll have to give it up.
The truth? After we pay the very basic bills and our medical bills (which thankfully were reduced a great deal by the hospital), we have about $20.00 a month left over in cash and we have chosen not to use credit cards. (We do things like pay cash for the stove when the old one stopped working and put in the raised bed garden with the money my husband earns four weeks a year at the beginning and end of semesters at the bookstore and the few handyman jobs he can find.)
That... my friends... is why my life is a miracle. This will be the last post about comments (at least for now)...