I’d like to thank my parents for teaching me the art of planning and the importance of preparation. My dad was career Army and brought home much of the structure of the military life into our upbringing. My mother was mostly a stay-at-home mom who hardly threw anything away just in case we needed it later. Long before the modern day catch phrases of being “environmentally friendly,” “going green,” or the Earth Day driven mantra of “Recycle, Reuse, Reduce,” as being the responsible way to help save the planet, my mother was already utilizing those measures to help save her family. Old margarine containers held leftover dinners; empty milk cartons became water jugs; paper grocery bags were turned into garbage bags, and even one of our favorite treat — homemade pickles — was from the reuse of watermelon rind, which my mom carefully cleaned, cooked, and canned to enjoy long after the summer season. My parents weren’t trying to be socially “hip,” in the 60s and 70s. They were raising six kids on an enlisted soldier’s salary, and it was pure survival for them to keep us out of the poor house.
Because of that, I learned early how to make a little go a long way. So that even when I started making a pretty good salary at my former job, I never felt the need to spend all of what I made. A car was for transportation, not showing off. I didn’t care if it wasn’t the top of the “cool people’s” line. I resisted the pushing from certain associates of mine to buy a home in a particular area. I didn’t believe in spending more money to get less house, just to have a certain zip code. Sure, I liked the comforts of home, eating out at a nice restaurant, and shopping in my favorite antique district. But I regarded all of those as special outings, not an everyday lifestyle.
So in 2008, when the sand unexpectedly shifted under me, as it did for dozens of other people I knew personally, and thousands of other Americans across the country, I quickly realized I was going to have to rely on many of the things I used to know, and let myself remember how to once again live life to the fullest, on less. Some of my adjustments came rather immediately, even though I didn’t know exactly where I was headed and for how long I’d be there.
It was on one hot summer afternoon, as the clouds grew darker, and the winds picked up, that I gathered my water buckets and strategically placed them at different places on my deck. I had done this routine several times before, as this was now the third summer since life as I’d known it had changed. But when I was asked by a house guest what I was doing, I said without hesitation, I’m catching raindrops in water buckets! I could tell by the look on her face what her next question was, so I continued, “so I can water my plants later in the week after the rain stops for several days again and the summer heat returns.” And just in case she still didn’t get what I was saying, I finished with words I’d come to love, “and it’s free!”
And that’s where Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets began. My desire is to inspire, encourage, and share suggestions, tips, and new discoveries of some ways to live life to the fullest, even when the pantry, bank account, gas tank, and perhaps even your physical and mental reserves are close to empty!
Gloria, this is so inspiring to read! You are quite the writer so that the “reader” actually visualizes the story! Congratulations on your blog, and I can’t wait to read more!!! Thank you for inviting me.
Thanks Cyndi. Please feel free to share this page and invite your friends to follow my blog here. The more, the merrier!
Great blog sis. Can’t wait to share you tips and inspiration with others.
I love this, Gloria! Having two in college for the last few years has forced us to look at ways to save in as many different ways as possible. It is our goal to give our kids an education and start life debt free. It’s not easy but it can be done. Just this week I made a commitment to not going to the grocery and to use things in our refrigerator and pantry instead. I was shocked at how many meals we were able to get out of the food we already had on hand. Sadly, it is food I would have thrown out at other times. All that to say, we can always learn something new to achieve the goal of living richly without living beyond our means. I’m looking forward to sharing in the community!
Thanks Jenny. And you are SO right! When we say we don’t have anything to eat, what we really mean is that we don’t feel like fixing anything with what’s in the house, or we’ve decided that today, we suddenly don’t like anything in the house. But when you’re trying to watch where your money goes, it’s amazing how creative we can get with what we have. Thanks for sharing!
Love hearing from you…always creative, uplifting and motivating! You are a great Life Coach!!
Hello Gloria, thanks for taking the time to write what a lot of us are doing,thinking about or just need someone to say Dive In and save yourself from so much debt.I will be reading.
This is awesome!! You know you spoke to the theme of my new album…learning to love the uphill climb…eventually you will reach the top and my what an amazing site it will be to see everything from up there lol!! After having my son I’ve also had to learn how to be super creative with what I have especially clothes…I never knew I had “vintage” stuff in my closet that still looks great!
I just found this in my filtered messages. I would enjoy this very
Much. I have the need to be frugal.
I really don’t mind.
If you are still sharing this program I would enjoy it as well as hearing from you
Hey Gloria. So great to hear back from you. It’s so weird typing my own name. HA! Thanks for being a part of this community. I will be sure to add you to the Facebook page as well. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com as well. I hope all is well. Look forward to catching up.
Love the way you came up with a name for your blog !looking forward to reading more!
You are amazing! So many of us, who have lived a little longer, remember much of what we I just read. The key to happiness true happiness for me is being in the Lord and always being thankful for who I am and who I belong to! Happy New Year dear friend and many blessings! RBH
Ahh, thank you. I really treasure a lot of what my mom taught me; things I wish I could tell her today that I heard from her, and that I learned by watching, and that I still live by today. My parents’ wise counsel, and me watching their sacrifices, and being bought up in the church, learning to not only trust in God, but trust God…has served me well in my adult life.
Happy New Year to you too! Here’s to 2018 being filled with many blessings!!