Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On a shoestring...

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.


Sharon said...

What a beautiful post, Sonja. Your mom sounds so wonderful. I thought about that old poem about the woman who lived in a shoe - except your mom knew what to do with the shoestrings!!


Debbie said...

Yes, yes! I can relate to this one so much. It was good old fashioned homemaking, and in my opinion it is far superior to the limousine lifestyle that young families have today. Your mother really did put a concrete face on the Proverbs 31 wife.

manthano said...

Great lesson. Even for those who have more than

THANKS. said... my house it was called "stretching a penny until it screamed" my mom was wonderful and still is at that. I think we all can learn from this past generation in our "I want it now" times.

Farm Girl said...

Oh what a lovely tribute to your Mom. I bet you are just like her.
I would have loved to have learned how to do life from someone like that. Such wisdom.
Thanks so much for sharing about her today. I bet it was fun seeing what she could make with her hands.

Debbie Petras said...

Oh I love this! I can't wait to meet your mother in heaven Sonja. Greg and I are learning to live like this lately. However, we've been making a game out of it. We see how creative we can be in cooking something using leftovers. It's actually been fun.


Sandy said...

Your mother sounds so much like mine. She must have been wonderful. We were on a shoe string budget as well but what we lacked in money we made up for in love.

myletterstoemily said...

i think your mom epitomized the proverbs 31
woman, living on a shoe string.

myletterstoemily said...

look at YOU, being all fancy with your website!
how in the world did you do that? i almost
didn't know what to do.

i'll trade you one spinach pesto turkey sandwich
for this techno-wisdom.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Sonja, isn't there something so profound about having lived on a shoestring? My daddy lived through the Depression as a young father and widower; he was married to his first beautiful love who died shortly after giving birth to my half-sister. My dad struggled for years selling oranges on the side of the road, chauffering for the chewing gum mogal, WRIGLEY, and then moving on to go to trade school. When he married my mom and I came along, he was already so used to living on a shoestring, that it was inevitable that I would learn this as well. But I am glad I did, for having had to make my own toys, live with "disappointment" while my friends got new clothes or got the latest toys, I learned to wait, to make what I wished for, and I think that is why to this day, I do live in my head!

Thank you for your words of wisdom here, and yes, those shoestrings were and still are, strands of gold. Anita

Debbie said...

Not sure how I missed this post, but LOVED it. Just soo true. We brought our kids up on that shoestring too, so I know it well, haha. It does bother me so how this younger generation seems to think they MUST have it all. How hard they make life for themselves. Enjoy your day!

Patrinas Pencil said...

we all said the same thing about our mama. We didn't entertain like your family, but she certainly knew how to keep us all fed and clothed ...on a shoestring. of course its an art...and I believe God gives this artful gift to some people because its one way that He provides...especially in a faith ministry like your family's and mine. It definitely teaches TRUST!

I am so much like my mama. More than I that she's gone. My kids say the same things of me...I live on a shoestring. He bestows favor in ways I could never dream of :)

nice tribute to your mom

patrina <")>><

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I love the imagery here, Sonja. I'm encouraged to stretch the shoestring over here! It is a bit of an adventure. I pray for an open heart to making it fun!!!

Just a little something from Judy said...

This is such an extra special post and it truly helps me understand even better as to why you are the beautiful, creative, and inspiring woman that you are. I do believe without a doubt, that the Prov. 31 woman was like that. What a legacy for her to leave and what a very needed way of life for our own daughters to learn. I can't imagine a sweeter way of sharing a mother's legacy than this one. I am sure someday your daughters will share the same about you my friend.