Tuesday, March 30, 2010

what a strange place...

This past Sunday I traveled an hour south to the city of Galveston to see my sister, Caitlin. I excitedly volunteered my afternoon of yard work to relieve Caitlin of her boredom, while her husband, Karl studied for his medical school exams. We went to this neighborhood "market" (which seemed straight out of the unbelievable Pleasantville movie). It consists of this development of homes resembling Charleston (as seen below) built around a man-made lake with a coffee shop, lofts, meeting spaces, etc just a few miles from the beach. They opened up their homes that were for sale and we enjoyed looking at these amazing places. I also enjoyed learning of they crazy people on this island that live just a short drive away from my own doorstep.
First, I do love cupcakes. So when I saw this...I had to get one. Yes, this is a cupcake stand on wheels. Caitlin's hairdresser's twin sister moved to Galveston to make and sell cupcakes out of this van. There is a full kitchen inside this thing. Crazy. Can you imagine that life? This is her job. Some people seem unbelievable....until....
...we saw this. A gigantic turtle. On his daily walk. Sometimes he gets a leash and actually gets to walk with his owner. But it gets better. His owner (a middle-aged woman) raised this massive African turtle from a baby. It lives on her porch. It's about 25 years old and will outlive it's owner (probably another 75 years). So the natural response? She willed it to her children!! haha! I would love to know what her inheritors think of that idea. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Simpler is better

In the last few weeks, my eyes have been open to the world of social classes. Not that I've never noticed them before, but it's interesting how God illuminates certain things all at once sometimes.

My first eye-opener was the world of the upper class that I have not been associated with much (if I were to define there only being lower, middle and upper class). I mean, I did spend some time working at rather nice jewelry store and got to see people who would just come in and spend ten's of thousands of dollars on a ring. But I didn't really know these people except the small interaction when I filled out their paper work, ran their credit card and explained the need for insurance. Then I recently helped throw a shower for a friend. When the hosts were discussing possibly having someone make omelets for this brunch or getting some help doing the dishes - I naturally thought and suggested, oh that's a great idea! I bet my husband could help! I feel kinda foolish now, because I was corrected in that they were speaking of hired help...I've also recently met girls who spending $1000's at Neiman's didn't even cause a blink of an eye. And in times of weakness, I get jealous of their "easy", extravagant lifestyle. I don't think I can even get a full grasp on how someone can even have that much money. But overall, I'm completely content with what I have. I think God has protected me from that desire for more. I'm thankful I don't have that expectation that money is needed for happiness (not that those people I spoke of do). And I'm thankful I don't have that responsibility of all that wealth.

So as this has been on my mind, I randomly picked up the book Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. It is an incredible book about a writer who goes undercover to see if she can get by on hourly wages that a huge chunk of Americans live on. This is my second complete opposite eye opener and a really good read. Please read it. It will change your perspective. That's my two-sense.

Anyways, on a similar note, Matt and I have adopted the motto in our life that "simpler is better". We like having just what we need and not much more. I make us go through our closets and cabinets and donate whatever we haven't used in awhile. (When I moved so much after college, I trained myself that whatever I couldn't fit into 4 or 5 large tubs I couldn't keep because it was too hard to move and no place to store it. And honestly, I haven't missed anything I got rid of!) I sometimes think that this 3 bedroom house is way too big for our small 2 person family (but I will mention it was perfect when Matt had 2 roommates before we were married). I love my little Corolla that gets incredible gas mileage. I love that this weekend I found a pair of jeans on sale for $19. I love that Matt and I are just as content eating at Chick-fil-a than at an expensive steak place. And that we always split a meal at restaurants - to save money and calories. I don't know if I want our lifestyle to change, even if God chooses to bless us more monetarily. Greed can take over anyone and I truly think that the more you have the more it can creep into your life. So maybe it's selfish, but I'm okay with that. :)