Friday, July 19, 2013

I Grew up Wealthy. Did I Mention That?

I'll bet you didn't know I grew up rich.  It's not something I brag about here, and anyway - it's not as if my wealth had anything to do with my father's salary. 
My luxury-laden youth came as a result, mostly, of when I was born.  Which was long before computers were in homes, when TV was in black and white (for those who had it at all), and the family's one telephone was usually on a 'party-line.'  Oh, sorry - you're probably too young to know what that was (several neighborhood homes shared the line... sort of like having extension phones in various houses).  

Here is the truth of it:  I am a bona fide baby boomer.  One who spent my childhood fashioning cardboard dollhouses, taking my protesting puppy for rides in a doll carriage, and spending hours crafting my own paper dolls.  I knew the wealth of not having technology to think and play and create FOR me - and how thankful I am for the luxury of those times.  They helped, in ways known to God alone, to form me into someone with a spark of creativity in my bones.   When I did sit in front of the black and white TV, I found nothing to pollute my young mind.  Loretta Young twirled onscreen to present this week's half hour drama (always with a lesson).  Bishop Sheen taught things I didn't "get," but I liked it when an unseen angel seemed to clean his blackboard.  Bud learned again that Father Knew Best. 
I don't have to point out the fact that things have changed.  Even those much younger than I know this.  Some even realize that society as a whole has traded oh, so many riches for poverty.  I could go into this here, but I will spare us.  If we're at this blog, we almost certainly know what I mean.  

Still, I try to find wealth where I can. God is with us, and by His amazing grace we can find Him.  We who know Him have a wondrous inheritance to pass along to our families.  

We can even pass on the simple treasures of creativity.  Homeschoolers are, I think, particularly good at doing this.  Grandparents are in a good position to pass on some wealth as well, because we often have more time than mommies and daddies. 

With that in mind, I look around and realize that I'm wealthier now than when I was a child.  For one (main) thing, I know God better.   For another, earthly treasures are piled so high that people can barely walk around in my house.

You should see it!  The floors around here are littered with grandchildren's dolls and trucks and board games and papers.  And yes, money as well.  "Dollar bills" that we've colored and cut (more or less in rectangles) from printer-paper.  And such an abundance of food!  Roundish paper cookies my granddaughter Bunny made for her collection of dolls.

Oh, and you should see the art on our walls; it's a virtual gallery, not confined to walls alone, but taped to doors and windows ... and well, of course, the 'fridge. 

I do not want to see my grandchildren deprived of the treasures that have been my entitlement.  Not when they have a grandma wealthy enough to provide paper and crayons when they want tea-party cookies, a cardboard box when they'd like a playhouse, a round coaster to serve as the steering wheel for their (sofa) car.

I share less "simple" things with the grandchildren as well, of course, as do their parents and other relatives and friends.  But I would be remiss if I hoarded my stash of boomer-treasures and refused to hand them on. 

Most importantly (it goes without saying), I'm privileged to help pass along the incomparable treasure of shared prayer and casual discussions of Christ's love.

In a world that seems to be sliding ever further from the wealth of creativity, simplicity.... and most of all, truth and morality and integrity... I don't intend to be stingy.  

I intend to pay the Truth forward.  I intend to pass it on.

Painting: Mykola Pymonenko Vorozhinnia, in US public domain

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Bliz  


  1. Oh Nancy, what a timely post for me. I was just about to go insane with the many cardboard boxes around here that have been transformed into kitchens, beds, cars, and ice cream trucks for my girls' dolls.
    I do enjoy visiting here for it's "riches" and the many other blogs I follow for their simple messages. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Oh, so your children are rich too!! (of course I knew that already). There is nothing like a good ol' cardboard BOX! But I do know how they can stack up and get out of control.

      Hope you have a good weekend too! And thanks so much.

  2. This is lovely, Nancy. It's funny how I've been discovering riches that my family passed onto me - riches that I hadn't been aware of. Recently, it's been the discipline we had over eating at proper mealtimes and proper food. I was thinking of modern eating habits and processed food and I started to wonder what other hidden riches were now being passed onto my own children.

    There's a lot more here to think about.

    God bless, Nancy:)

  3. Nancy,

    I had a childhood of cardboard doll houses and paper dolls too! There was no one to pass on the Truth to me though. You are a real treasure as you create with your googly eyes and share God's love. I know I'm far far too old, but I'd love to have you as my grandmother!

  4. As a recipient of your wealth in writing thank,you, I am richer from it and your efriendship, Nancy.

  5. Thanks so much, Vicky and Sue and Anabelle! Sue, I am officially adopting you as a grandchild, thus you are heretofore entitled to address me as "GaGa." I know you're utterly thrilled. Just don't get me mixed up with that other person using "MY" name - the one who wears dresses made of raw meat.

    I'd like to adopt all of you as grandkids... okay? If you're under 107, that works for me. Let's now get out our glue and cardboard and stick-on googly eyes and make something reeeally fun!

  6. I love this post!! I hope my children will learn to be creative with what they have and find joy in things beyond plastic toys. Thank you for this post!

  7. GREAT post - yes, that is true wealth!


  8. Yeah, sometimes (well, often) I think that my childhood was richer before I began to use computers and such. Just having my dolls, and random hiding holes, and trees, and books.... It was quieter, in a way. Or maybe it's my heart that's changed, and now I notice the unneeded noises in my life more and am now seeking a silence of soul that I did not seek as a child. I don't know... maybe it's both.

  9. "Random hiding holes, and trees..." oh, that sounds positively wondrous. And of course books!