Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston – A quart low and a dollar short

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We are living in a time when everything around us is more expensive. But help has arrived, because this week I’m sharing with you my many years’ experience of finding ways to survive! The late 1970’s and early 80’s was a time when people lined up at the gas pumps. Fighting was commonplace and people started arming themselves with guns. The violence was as terrible then as it is now. Big truck companies went on strike, which sure didn’t help us, as there was danger to them. One trucker was killed. The truckers wanted to hold onto what they had, which was big pay and good benefits, and there they were having to crunch like the rest of us.
During that time, home interest rates shot up to 13 percent. I was glad I had grown up as the daughter of a brick mason and learned early life what it was like to live knowing that when it rained or snowed, my dad could not work. My mom must have been somewhat of a miracle, as she still pre-pared delicious southern meals. We never suffered in that area. However, as a child going to school with most of the other students coming from families who made much more money, it was clear to me that I was different in many ways. Now I’m glad to have gone through those times of realizing that it’s not how much money you have; rather it’s the way you spend it. This realization helped me through rough times when money was tight.
Being a quart low and a dollar short recently turned into a personal situation, as I ran out of gas only 10 feet from the pump last week. My granddaughter had wanted to stop and get breakfast, and afterward as I drove away, my car started dying. I prayed that I would make it across the busy street to a gas station but failed to make it far enough.
My first step was to ask the gas station clerk if he had a funnel. He handed me a paper cup. Returning to my car, I soon realized that the cup was not strong enough to hold the little metal thingy that must be open before the gas will enter the tank.
I don’t know what made me see a flathead screwdriver in the back floorboard. Gas covered my hand and was pooling around my feet when I told my dear granddaughter to please help. I instructed her to hold one of the cups, as I held the tool into it and held the metal piece down with the screwdriver. Slowly, and with Bre’s help, there was enough gas to crank the car.
Unfortunately, my dilemma was not over, as my bank card was rejected and I had to pre-pay inside the store. We were already late for an appointment as I sped off with Brea screaming at me to slow me down. What a change – a teenager telling her grandmother to stop speeding!
In the old days, people saved money by sewing their own clothes, but now, shopping at thrift stores is the way to save. We are professional shoppers. A few thrift stores are set up like retail stores with sizes and prices easily displayed. My friends tell me that I’m the only person they know who will find a deal from sale racks in a thrift store!
There are several discount stores in the area to buy bread and snacks, a convenience that saves money when you have as many mouths to feed as I do. My great-grandchildren are young but eat as much as an adult. I’ve learned to use the food quick enough to where it doesn’t get moldy!
Buying a hot plate instead of using an eye on the stove is a wise move. I’ve been told that un-plugging the stove, and central air or any appliance cuts down on your power. bill. A letter from the power company confirmed this, so it has to be true. It is in black and white!
My last tip happens to be one many people may not have thought of, but our local public transportation is free right now. I’ve used this service for trips to doctor appointments. They are very easy as they work with you on a schedule at what time to pick you up and when you are ready to leave. It takes one phone call, and the transportation is there! If more people did this, they may not have time for me!
Don’t forget to find a place where you can look at the sky, trees and flowers, because the beauty of nature will help you relax and know you are not alone. Please take care of yourself!
P.S.: A few weeks ago, my outside office was completed. It is a place I can go to where it is peaceful and quiet. I’m going to place a sign out front that says, “Rosie’s She-Shed. Knock before entering!”
Keep smiling, Rosie

Rosie Preston may be contacted at rosie.preston@yahoo.com

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