Visions of Sugar Plums and Money
I remember being a small child growing up in a family that struggled to survive. I was called a Baby Boomer, and that is because we came out of a war, and I was born just after that war. My dad was a military career soldier, and he served his country in World War II. As a Baby Boomer, I found myself living through many decades of change. In my younger days, I was able to take a penny or two, or even three and walk into a country store and buy a sack full of penny candy. Boy that was the day. I can envision that same vision of my candy to this day. You could also buy a Coke for a nickel and pay a 3 cent deposit on the bottle that was refundable, when you made your next trip back to the store. Those were the days all right, when little girls see visions of sweets and wonderful trips to grandma's house. Grandma sometimes had to go to the store to buy basics like milk or bread. My grandma in those days was a farmer, and most of her food came from the farm. She grew her crops like corn, peanuts, vegetables, tobacco, and soybeans. When I went to the store it was a vision of something wonderful to a small 5-year-old girl.
I grew up through many changes in our society: the eras of sock hop, rock and roll, pop music, folk music, rap, not to mention many other forms of music. I watched changes in lifestyle from no television to putting the old time black and white tv's in your house. Now my children have color television, DVR, DVD, ROKU, computers, and not to mention all the gaming systems that they play with on a daily basis. So we are going from very little technology to a house full of technology. I reflect back on my lifestyle and see rocks, tin cans, feathers, dirt for playing house, acorns, and whatever a child can find to entertain themselves with. I think to myself that was not a bad thing. What did I do for my kids? I did whatever modern parent does, and I spoiled my kids, because I never had those things. However, I cannot do any of those things, and technology is slightly outdated, because no one has any money to go modern up to date.
Now, I look at the things I once had, and I realize that I dream of money on an everyday schedule. Why do I do that you ask? The answer is simple, because I have so little money that you have to say to yourself that it is all right. Now, we feed our family for the day. How much can we spend? Then, you think to yourself... what can I cook for the day that is nutritious and still is within my $5.00 meal limit to feed 4 or 5 people? Of course, you cannot put sweets and treats or visions of sugar plums on your plate to eat. Then, you think to yourself where am I shopping? I use to go to my local big family store that everybody does not want in their neighborhood, but then they even got too expensive, and I have to go a distance to shop at a more frugal store. I am appalled at prices in beef and would not buy it, but the guys in my home want the meaty stuff. I can eat ground turkey and have no problem with it, but they make excuses for the beef. The price difference of about $12.00 for a large package. What can I do? You buy a small roll of a pound of beef and stretch it. This is how we are now, because our economy has thrust the prices of food up, and gas is to blame. This is the reality, but in my mind I can reflect back to those times, when I saw visions of sugar plums and candy fairies dancing in my head.
America and the world take note. Life is rough and those businesses that inflate your prices, and all you see is dollar signs and big profit, then think of me, because I am going to shop where I can stretch my dollars, and feed my family. Yes, I do without luxuries, and I still have my visions of what it would be like to have more money. I also have ideas as to why my visions keep growing. No, I am not reverting back to my childhood. I live in a world in crisis. We are now seeing this crisis turn into store closers of major department stores that were always around for families to shop. Now it is going in the direction of online stores, and items are being shipped right to your home. The world is changing around us, but you must never forget the little dreams of a better future.
I just recently visited the famous Route 66 Highway and saw the pride that is still in our small communities. They call it Mom and Pop Stores. There you can find all kinds of specialities not found in regular department stores. Why do you ask? It is the family dream of creative thinking and producing unique things for customers to buy. They are in most cases not mass produced, and the items mean more to customers. You might find car collectors, leather crafter, hand-made treats of all kinds. I have even noticed interesting restaurants that I would love to go into for some special food. If you give up on the big stores making it, then somewhere I am hoping to always find the special Mom and Pop Stores still around. It is the backbone of our country. There is a lot of compassion and working together in some of these small towns. Everyone knows everyone else, and there in the midst of these special little stores, and there you will find that uniqueness that we long for. I would say keep up the hard work you put into your communities.
Fairies spread your wings, and you can fly me to all the special deals and a new world that reflects back on the good times that I enjoyed as a small child. I will never forget my penny candy, and I keep that in mind, when I am seriously trying to make ends meet with my family on a daily basis.