Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Frugal Turning Point: Starbucks, A Goose, and a UU Song

Monday is nature walk day with my kids.  We leave the house with a small notebook in hand where we record our destination, the date, time and our observations.  To be noted are the things we saw, heard, smelled, etc.  As the seasons pass we hope to return and compare notes.  Its a lovely way to slow down, be aware of our world, and we spend very little resources on a wonderful entertainment.

Does a Waldorfesque image of a mother in a flowing dress and hat with the hands of her wee ones in hand come to mind?  Nature walks we do, but modern life creeps in, diluting the experience.  Case in point, two weeks ago we headed to Madison's Lakeshore path.  Sleep deprived as I am I made a quick decision to get an iced coffee for our trek.  To the Starbuck's drive thru I went.  And there we waited along with about 9 other vehicles.  Most carrying a sole driver.  My kids impatience grew as did mine.  The line is configured in a way that once you enter it, leaving is not really an option.  One word came to mind, one I hesitate to write, but modified it was a cluster-cloud of cars.  What in the hell am I doing here? was the though bouncing in my mind.  Salvage occurred once we were on the path.  We found the small beach, deserted, and there my children dug in the sand for an hour.  Ducks splashed in the water, nuts fell from trees, sailboats bobbed in the distance.  I drank that iced coffee and noted how an old yogurt container filled the function of bucket.  My yearning for a more simple life rose up.  No more drive-thrus.

The problem with those feelings is the tend to well and not be sustained.  But they are coming more frequently.  Saturday evening, after returning from a trip to Milwaukee with the kids (French poster for Bastille Day), I made a solo run to Savers.  Dashing off before it closed I noticed a lone goose wandering in the parking lot.  My impression -- it was wondering What in the hell am I doing here?  My trip found several needed clothing items and something for the house.  Having made a donation I saved $12.85 and walked out with a huge bag for $54.86.  Frugal yes?  But the image of the goose stuck with me.  Life is on hyperdrive.  Being frugal and hyperdrive don't really mess, not in my book.

And they always say things come in threes -- we've begun attending services at the Prairie Unitarian Universalist church.  And on a recent Sunday the program listed a song that really speaks to me.  Sadly I did not get to enjoy it with the congregation because I was called out to childcare for a child who missed Mama. Craving a listen I turned to YouTube (brilliant whomever came up with that idea).  There are many versions, but I found one my Jewel to be most enjoyable.  Here are the standard lyrics.  And with this post I renew my focus on simplicity.  From it frugality will follow, and I'll find myself in just the right place.

Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.

Click to hear a modern version by Jewel

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