This week is a bit of a ramble. It must be the change in seasons but I can’t really seem to land anywhere in particular so I’d like to start with talking about money, mostly because I don’t have much these days.
But wait, hasn’t it always been that way for nearly everyone? It has always been very tempting for me to wish for a few thousand dollars more per year so I could buy a better car, get a new computer and smart phone, take more trips and so on. When I finally got the picture at an embarrassingly late period in my life and figured out that there will never be enough to satisfy my wants (but plenty to provide for my needs), I started to take note of my blessings.
Living in a small town is the most obvious blessing as far as I’m concerned. Have you looked around lately at the many ways we can save money and entertain ourselves at the same time? We have glorious trails most folks can use by stepping a short distance outside their door with no need to use a vehicle. From the Miner’s Climb to the paved Trans Canada Trail we can walk and enjoy our wonderfully wild environment. We have Swan Lake, a three minute drive out of town. It is a wonderful wildlife sanctuary that has trails and viewing huts and a new outdoor toilet! Although our incredibly inexpensive public pool is closed for the season, there are winter opportunities to cross country ski and snowshoe at the Princeton Airport or Snowpatch groomed ski trails.
There are skis and snowshoes for rent and if you check bulletin boards, you may be able to get a second hand set of equipment. You can take hikes with the Vermilion Forks Field Naturalists who are into carpooling and bag lunches. You can watch for free skate sessions at the arena that are sponsored by local businesses.
Princeton’s churches offer opportunities to volunteer to help with community outreach for relevant social issues. All of these examples require little or no money to participate.
Now I admit that so far, I am enjoying reasonably good health that enables me to take advantage of most activities available, but maybe the lifestyle of small town living is related at least in part to keeping my health. You have to work overtime to be bored around here! Staying connected is as easy as getting the mail or going grocery shopping. There is a lovely confidence and ease in stepping outside every morning because I am on a first name basis with one quarter of the people that walk past our yellow door on Bridge Street.
I am caught between wanting everyone in the world to come and share what we have and to see how happy they could be, and hoping like blazes that no-one finds us and spoils everything! I would like to invite my poor deprived city friends who are artists to come and live inexpensively, renting studio space at a fraction of what they pay now.
Trouble is, they attract far too many people who would want to tidy us up. You see my dilemma? So I will have to conclude by declaring I am rich beyond measure. I don’t have many material possessions but I sure recognize how blessed I am and that it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the amount of money in my purse. I wouldn’t change a thing.
How about you?