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. Our 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)!
Those were days when we had very little.
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 loved those weekly Disney films so much, 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).
That super, super small house was a real challenge. (Hello, Tiny House Movement!) With a mean landlady, mostly unpleasant neighbors, and far from everything (at least with no car).
Even drying laundry on the small folding rack was a real challenge. Especially in that tiniest and dampest of all our homes. And yes, these challenges complicated life. But it was, at the same time, also more simple and pleasant.
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, thinner phones, and new cars. Often working overtime to afford it all, with little time to truly enjoy it.
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 easier to clean!
It’s true that we had few things. But we’ve learned that counting our blessings helps us to stop taking them for granted and always wanting more.
We had the much of little, and that made us so very rich!
IMAGES: Shoes by Lisa Fotios. | All others are my own.