Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

A Look Back

People confuse poverty with simplicity.”  Coco Chanel

I can still recall the home my sister and I grew up in with our parents.  It was a modest sized, wood frame home with one bathroom, small closets and a really big yard.  The home reflected the priorities of the time for working class families – minimal storage but big yards.  My sister and I lived outside when we were young.  We played with all the neighborhood kids, dads called us in when dusk settled over the neighborhood, dinners were homemade by our moms.  Yes, it was a simpler time.  Yet I know my parents stressed over money, I know they budgeted, I know unexpected expenses occurred periodically and they juggled their money around to pay for the whatever.  But, our happiness and yes, success as a family, was not based on money, goods and purchases, or achieving any particular status.  It was based on love, respect, lots of time spent together and some great dinner conversations .  Our treats were Sunday lunch at the local cafeteria after church services, the occasional movie at the theater, a periodic weekend trip to a new place in Texas to explore or visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in Hico, Fairy (there is a story that explains that name!) and Stephenville Texas.  As I reflect on my early years I can’t help but think about what our lives didn’t include:

  • shopping used as a pastime, buying unnecessary items
  • dining out several times a week (I was in high school before I ever tried pizza!)
  • having routine garage sales to get rid of the excess
  • reading lots of articles in magazines on what to do with the excess!
  • watching a lot of television – if we tried Mama came along and told us to turn it off and go do something!
  • supersizing anything
  • getting bored!  I’m sure there were times when my sister and I were bored.  But we typically found something to do.

So, does the above list have to be relegated to the past?  Let’s work on a collective NO! Instead, let’s turn one of the above ideas into a positive – let’s work towards less so we can actually have more!

xo, Carolyn



4 Replies

  1. I can totally resonate with this. I did grow up in the city but my family was really good at just making do with what we had. We did go shopping sometimes and we did have a few extra things here and there but it wasn’t till I got much older that I realize my family was not like the typical American family. Sometimes I definitely miss being a kid but my outlook on simplicity makes me want that for my own family one day. Thanks for sharing this. Made me smile

    1. Carolyn

      I’m so glad that I made you smile! That made my day! You know, I have a better appreciation for our mothers and grandmothers who knew how to make do as opposed to the constant running to the store to get what we think we need. They really were beautiful, creative women!

  2. Alice

    I thought I was the only one who never had pizza till a teenager. Thank you for sharing your memories. Simple is better, a little more peaceful anyway.

    1. Carolyn

      Alice, there is comfort in knowing there were at least 2 of us enjoying pizza “late in life”!

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