Cliff and I were in the middle of our almost-daily walk in the pasture the other day and, as people tend to do this time of year, we began to reminisce. Cliff brought up the fact that we've lived paycheck to paycheck all our lives and how, when we were younger, any purchase we made was a big deal.
At least half the time while we were raising our two kids, we had no health insurance; our good health through those times was nothing short of miraculous. The only major hospitalization episode I recall from back then was our son's broken leg, which kept him in the hospital, in traction, for a month. Cliff's boss at the butcher shop paid the hospital bill out of his own pocket.
Please notice that I don't use the word "poor" when I talk about the old days. Much poverty is brought about by people labeling themselves "poor". If you say something often enough, you'll start to believe it. I also try to avoid the words "can't afford". There are more positive ways to say things, and I try to use words that don't beat me down.
But I digress.
Cliff was talking about our lack of funds through the years, and I said, "Yeah, but we were having fun, weren't we?"
He agreed. He mentioned buying the first brand new vehicle of his life, and the thrill of moving to our own little farm. We had twenty acres and a couple of cows. Every day was an adventure. Cliff learned how to build a pole barn; I learned how to raise baby calves and lambs. I gardened and canned the produce, and felt so self-sufficient. Our kids were funny and cute. Life was exciting.
Cliff, smiling, said something about how proud he was to buy his first tractor, a little Ford 8N, and I quoted a line from my favorite movie: "You see, George, you've really had a wonderful life."
We laughed together, remembering all the good times. I often tell Cliff that we've had more of the things we wanted out of life than most millionaires. As I sit here, I can't think of a single thing I want that I don't have.
And here's the great thing: Life is still good. Sure, we have some aches and pains. We have our physical limitations. We tire easily. But we still have fun. There are things to laugh about every day, and so much to be thankful for. We have plenty to eat and a roof over our heads.
Now, I could ruin this moment by thinking about all the trials of old age that might be waiting around the corner, but what good would it do? Why worry about things we can't change?
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34
Thankfully, for today, my troubles are few and my blessings are many.