At many times my life could have gone many different ways, and most of those times it was my own choice that shaped things. But in my early years my parents made a series of choices, and though I can't say whether one was better than the other, I do know that my life could have been very different.
When I was born my parents lived in a small pre-war house settled on a long narrow strip of land. It had a lawn to play on, flower beds to hide in, berry patches, vegetable beds and a few fruit trees. My mother made most of my baby clothes, including bibs and bedding, and cooked most of our meals from scratch. She worked part-time and I was cared for by my grandparents or in someone's home with a hand full of other young children. It was the start of the 80's and my parents had a budget to live by and a whole lot of energy for a good life.
I remember playing outside, or in the lower cupboard where the pots and pans were stored, and going to the library. We didn't watch a lot of television and what I do remember watching was on PBS. And my baby sister was my favorite playmate. We never wanted for things, and most of the things we owned were of quality, not quantity. Bedroom furniture was bought from a good store, in a classic style and piece by piece. We still have the high chair, cradle, head boards, dressers and desk that my sister and I shared. What was gifts and what was saved for, I don't know, but it was all saved.
This life, though seen through nostalgic, blurred eyes, is the kind of life that I aim for, for today. Though I loved the later years of living on a child filled cul-du-sac, in a new house, with cable and pretty much anything I wanted. Part of me wonders how my life right now would be different if working at the simpler things had ingrained on me as habit and not just memories.
The sad part, I fear, is that living that life now would cost twice as much as it did then, even after you adjust for inflation. (but that's another day's post)
Watering Can on Chair by Cecile Baird