That was the expression for anything our family did as I was growing up, anything that cost money... a trip, redecorating, clothes, fancy dinner parties, etc.
We did it all on a shoestring.
In looking back, I know that my mother did shoestring better than anyone I have ever known. She had a way of changing rooms to make them look fresh and different. She would paint the walls in a bathroom, put in a few 'on sale' different colored towels, add fresh flowers, sweet smelling soaps, and the whole room was new. There was never any big money... just a shoestring.
When she and dad gave one of their annual Christmas dinner parties for the not-so-rich, but definitely famous, ministers and evangelists... our friends talked about her parties year after year. She had such a gift of making things so special. To the tiniest decorated detail, served on platters and plates brimming with amazing food from her kitchen, to the little gifts given to each guest, wrapped and boxed in love, she made those nickels,dimes and dollars go the extra mile.
She made casseroles out of leftovers and made us excited to eat them. I know that one of her tricks was mashed potatoes... it stretched the meat, and with some fresh veggies and a little of her gravy or sauce, and some crunchy goodness on top all browned and sizzling, that leftover meal was out of this world, shoestring or not!
Our clothes were as up to date and cute as anyone's, and I know she scoured those sale racks at W.T.Grant's in Pasadena, and that God gave her bargains 1000 times over.
It was almost a game to live on a shoestring in our home. My mom made it that way. She laughed at life, and knew who she was in the Lord.
I think that my mother's shoestrings were actually strands of gold... woven together with love, creativity, hospitality and laughter.
Shoestring in my dictionary has very special meaning, my heart pictures her example right alongside Proverbs 31.