Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Saturday, April 02, 2005  

I have never been rich, nor do I ever expect to be. I have even stopped fantasizing about being rich. What little bit of daydreaming I ever did on the subject is so long ago I barely remember what I longed to do with all my wealth. I knew as a young teen that I was not destined for the moneyed set and wasn’t particularly dismayed at the thought. I am the girl who cut her teeth on Laura Ingles Wilder and the idea of a Christmas stocking with mittens, a candy cane and a doll in it being a treasure chest of wealth struck a chord deep within my Virgo soul. Sometime in the third grade I understood that the sensation of riches is what we are longing for and that can come from the most modest source.

I used to think that the richest person in the world was someone who could walk out her back door and go swimming. Not only can I do that now, but it’s so common place I sometimes don’t even take advantage of it on those hot summer evenings when I get home from work. Imagine being able to take a dip whenever you wish, but not even bothering to! Like some socialite who drags her mink coat across the threshold when she enters a room, I cavalierly choose to read the paper instead of going for an evening swim.

In years past, when our income was somewhat less than modest, I purchased all our groceries for the month the day I got my monthly paycheck. We had a chest freezer and I could buy the makings of thirty dinners and thirty breakfasts and stay out of the grocery store for the next month. Admittedly, I had wisely trained my son to drink powdered milk and I get my calcium from cheese, and perhaps we ate fewer salads than we might have liked - but then - my guys are meat and potatoes sorts anyway. Once home, with all my enormous quantity of food, I would fill the kitchen, tidily arranging canned goods in alphabetical order and re-wrapping and dating meats to stack neatly in the freezer. When I was done I would feel supremely wealthy. I knew then, that, no matter what happened over the next month, my family would have good meals.

There have been some improvements to the bank account over the years and I have discovered one of the great ways to feel wealthy is to trade my hard earned dollars for the services of others who sweep away less rewarding, or perhaps even impossible, tasks that weigh down an ordinary life. Several times a month I pay the magnificent Sheryl to sweep away the evidence that I LiveWithGuysAndDogs. Stepping into the cool shadowed dusk of my house, those evenings after she has worked her wonders, is the most lavish extravagant experience I know. And while I know I can clean my own house if need be, it is beginning to look like there will be very little yard work I will be able to do in the future. Routine maintenance outside of allergy season I can do - but the heavy stuff that comes in spring and fall will have to be tackled by Another. Looking out my window this morning I could see that my staunch teenage boy has taken care of the mold producing wet oak leaves, packed for months beneath the eaves and front shrubbery. Once again I can stroll my yard without fear of bronchitis. That is a very wealthy sensation indeed.

Perhaps the sweetest sensation of wealth a body can have, though, is a wealth of time. When whole days roll out before you with no obligations pegged to them - when hours lie ahead to be filled only with your preferred activities - That is true wealth. Today, I am the richest woman in the world. Not only do I have two days in which I have only myself to please, but I also have a kitchen full of food, a fiber stash full of opportunities and my newly acquired bead stash awaiting long sweet sessions with pliers and wires.

Really - some days are almost too sweet to endure. Almost - but not quite, of course. I would wish you all a calendar full of them.

posted by Bess | 8:19 AM