Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back to the Basics-- A Recession Style Summer

Though none of us would have ever chosen the hardship our country has gone through these past few years, there is a trend that I've seen develop, because of the recession, that I love. All over the country, being frugal has become a trendy thing. Just do a search for "frugal moms" or "coupon mom" and the lists are endless. I guess my love of this trend is a little self serving because we've always sort of lived a little "recession style," since we've always been a one income family. I think I just like the fact that the way we live has become "the thing to do".

Since my mother was also a "recession style" mother, and I have only fond memories of my childhood (aside from that one rusty nail), I hope to one day hear my girls say things like, "remember when we were kids and mom and dad were broke because mom was a stay at home mom and we..... that was the best night EVER!!"

We had one of those evenings the other night. We loaded the girls up and went to a park with a walking trail. We walked along the trail, skillfully scouting out blackberry bushes and had a wonderful time picking out the most scrumptious berries and competing to see who could find the largest, most juicy, blackberry.

As cheesey as it sounds, I fell a little bit deeper in love with Adam because of his dedication to finding a blackberry the size that would impress us girls, and his dedication to our adventure that kept him from moving ahead to the next bush, until he had reached his absolute furthest, getting that very last blackberry each time. And, the squeals that came from the girls when we found the "motherload" of blackberries are still lingering in my mind, fondly, but quite literally. When we got back in the car, Emma exclaimed, "THIS WAS THE BEST FAMILY NIGHT EVER!!!". To which Adam said, "Man we've wasted a lot of money". I came home and made a scrumptious blackberry cobbler (if I do say so myself.)

I'll share that super easy recipe at the end off this post. Believe me, if it can work for me, it can work for anyone!

You know, we went some places and bought some things when I was a kid, that now as an adult, I know my parents must have saved for, for years. But, I can't recall what they were. I do have some wonderful memories though. I remember playing for hours in a playhouse that my dad refurbished when the neighbors were tossing it out. I remember picnics at the park with my mother. I remember dancing around the livingroom in my mother's arms to the sound of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton singing "Islands in the Stream". I remember holding the pieces of wood as my dad built a deck around the above ground pool that my grandparents handed down to us. I fondly remember the "work truck" that my dad had, which gave me a peek at the pavement underneath and backfired every time he shifted gears. I remember the tiny little cakes that my mom made for the birthday parties we had for my dolls. And, it's those memories that give me a lump in my throat and make my heart swell with love and appreciation for my parents.

And so, I've made it my mission to make more of those free, "best family moments" with our girls. I hope one day to hear my kids say things like, "remember how we used to play hide n' go seek in the dark on summer nights" or "remember that summer when we built that fort in the livingroom floor and we all slept in it" or "remember how mom used to go buy treats from the Dollar Tree and hide them in our sandbox for us to have a treasure hunt". It is my hope, that this recession style summer will bring lots of truly priceless memories for our family.

Mom's Easy Cobbler.

1 cup self rising flour

1 cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk.

Sweeten berries, mix above ingredients together in a bowl. Pour mixture in a greased baking dish. Pour berries in the middle of dish being careful not to let them reach the edges. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is slightly brown.

There you go! Easy as... well, cobbler!

And speaking of sand boxes. You'll find a wonderful post called, "Back to the Sandbox" over atjanetlansbury. Thank you Janet for the inspiration!