This week over at Beyond Layers, Kim told a story about a man she encountered at the grocery store who was clearly struggling to stretch a little bit of money as far as it would go to buy food. In a spontaneous act of kindness, she paid his grocery bill. The man reminded her of the ways she has been blessed in her life, and asked us to consider our own blessings and share our stories of giving and gratitude.
The picture Kim painted of the bedraggled old man brought to mind memories of the early days of single motherhood when all I had to buy groceries for a week was $20 and a couple of WIC vouchers. Fast forward to last weekend, and the scene was vastly different as I dropped $250 at Kroger for food and sundries. Honestly, I did gasp at the bill, but there was a lot in there I really didn't need. The point is that I can just throw it in the cart if I want it and don't have to give it a second thought(even though I probably should). All my bills are paid with money left over, and it has been a very long time since I've lived paycheck to paycheck.
Much has changed in the twenty or so years between those two grocery trips, and the road has been far from smooth. But,I am grateful that during the past six years, when times got really hard for a lot of people, my income has steadily risen and my financial position has improved. That wasn't the case back at the turn of the century, (now how old does that make me sound?) when I and a lot of other IT folks found ourselves out of work when the tech bubble burst. The reality that I may face unemployment again is always there, but so far this time I've weathered the storm pretty well.
The old bowl pictured above belonged to my grandmother and the sight of it instantly gives rise to pleasant childhood memories. My MaMa and Pa never had a whole lot, but there were always beans and taters on the stove and cornbread in the oven. Countless servings of beans and bread were served in this bowl over the years.
My cousin and I snagged the last two remaining bowls when the family auctioned MaMa's worldly belongings after she passed. I normally display it on top of my corner cabinet in my kitchen.
I have been thinking a lot about MaMa lately and Susan's story about selling her grandmother's home this week made me wish I had been into photography that day of the auction, which was the last day I spent at her home. So many things I would have captured that now only exist in mental snapshots tucked away in the archives of my memory.