The Much of Little

We no longer travel a lot by train, as we once did. But it always takes me back to our early car-less years here. When my husband rode an old moped 12 miles (20 km) to work – rain, snow, or sunshine. Italy’s public transport enables car-free living in some areas. But no buses passed our cluster of houses near that village in Lombardy.

So our sole outings were our 3-mile (4,8 km) treks to town. With funds as scarce as passing buses, even ice cream or coffee were but rare treats.

But towing our wheeled shopping bag, we enjoyed the special times of long talks and singing. Never seldom feeling deprived. And indeed we felt really spoiled after getting our first TV (in 1989)!

Having little

Those were days when we had very little. But that first TV introduced new, low-cost family fun times! Good old shows like Fury Brave Stallion, The Wheel of Fortune, and wholesome old Disney movies. (Listen to the Furia theme song in Italian below.)

Our children so loved those weekly Disney films that they purposely went out to buy a TV guide and a VHS cassette (remember those?). So they could watch the films, over and over, while munching hand-cranked popcorn from our stove top popper (right).

Our super, super small house was a real challenge. (Hello, Tiny House Movement!) Our daughter slept on a chair-bed in the kitchen. And our son in our room, divided by a wardrobe, on the sofa that made into a single-size bed.

With a mean landlady, mostly unpleasant neighbors, and out in the country far from everything (at least in our carless state). Even drying laundry on the small folding rack was a real challenge. Especially in that tiniest and dampest of all our homes, in that area where it rained much of the year. And yes, these challenges complicated life. But it was, at the same time, also more simple and pleasant.

But appreciating it more

But because of not having much, we appreciated the little we did have, all the more. Progress has brought the west so many things, and we race to get it all. Bigger homes, nicer furniture, bigger and flatter TVs, fancier phones, and new cars. Often working overtime to afford it all, with little time to truly enjoy it.

The wealth of true riches

At times we barely had enough. But we were wealthy in life’s true riches! A loving family, a great marriage, and countless good friends. Health, happiness, joy, communion with the Lord. AND time to appreciate it all!

No car – but more time to enjoy the flowers along the way! No clothes dryer – but the health of fresh air by hanging laundry out! No phone of any kind – but no phone bills either! And a super tiny house – that was so much quicker to clean!

We had few material things. But that taught us to count our blessings and stop taking them for granted. Which in turn brought deeper contentment and helped us to stop always wanting more. For we had the much of little, and that made us so very rich!

IMAGES: Shoes by Lisa Fotios. | All others are my own.

Published by Signora Sheila

I am a wife, mom, nonna, blogger, and missionary in Italy. But really, I'm just an ordinary woman on a journey, trying to slow down enough to hear the still small voice of God and live for all that is truly important in this world.

19 thoughts on “The Much of Little

  1. Thank you so much for this!! I watched this TV series in the States as Fury! I had forgotten. Thank you for a sweet stroll down memory lane and thank you for reminding me of the preciousness of simple and that the LORD is the One who makes simple precious!


  2. I know that the simpler my life is, the more contentment I feel. The “much of little” is very true and I love how you wrote about that fact from your own experiences. I believe that the unhappiness we see today is partially due to the fact, too, that we’re seeing the “little of much.” How little peace it brings – peace that only God can give. Thanks for your wise words today!


    1. Thanks Patty. I’m grateful that the Lord allowed us to go through certain circumstances that taught us many of these important life lessons. And I hope he continues to allow them so that our eyes will remain fixed on true eternal treasures!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved reading this again and refreshing my outlook. I want to be like you, Sheila, and see the positive side of life! We DO have so much to enjoy, so much to be thankful for. God has indeed supplied all our needs–and then some!


  4. The much of little–brilliant wisdom and so much healthier all the way around. I love how you focus on the small things. The big, expensive, time-consuming, energy-draining things we focus on today don’t bring joy. They typically bring guilt for spending the money, exhaustion because there’s no time or energy to enjoy them, and frustration because what seemed important then is obviously unimportant now, I’m grateful for your story that shows how valuing the small and rich things of life give more joy than what we perceive to be grand and necessary.


    1. I’m so glad it inspired you, Dayle! Life in this world centers around stuff. All that we can see and touch. Things that are passing away. But the things we experience with others remain in our hearts and can even become eternal treasures!! Those really are what count!!


  5. You are, indeed, a reminder of what is really valuable. I love that GK Chesterton quote–one of the greatest lies of the enemy is our sense of never having enough, of feeling the need for more stuff and things. I’m learning the truth that gratitude is a discipline. Thanks, my friend.


    1. Thanks Dayle. Yes, gratitude and contentment are disciplines. They are so contrary to what this world pushes that we have to constantly battle to hold on them. And I think Chesterton hits it on the head. We fall into taking so much for granted.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: