5/13/2005

Poor

The white house is where I learned we were poor. I never knew the concept before we moved. For us it meant we ate a lot of goulash, chili, boiled dinner, bean soup and other budget stretchers. We didn't know that was bad. There was plenty of milk, corn, on and off the cob, peas, peaches, apples and more from the farms or we might have been worse off. As it was, we all grew like weeds and were generally healthy.

What brought it home to me that we were poor, as in not having enough money, was when I asked my folks when I could get a bike and they kept saying later or pretty soon. I guess I asked one time to many because one day Mom told me to stop asking about a bike. I wasn't getting one because they couldn't afford it.

Now, part of the problem is that they couldn't afford four bikes. Those that grew up with sibs know that it wouldn't be fair for me to get a bike and have none for the others. Unless you asked me. I would have said "I had to wait till I was 9 to get a bike, they can wait till they are nine, too!" What a whiner. I hated that I couldn't do something till I was 12,or whatever age and the sibs got to do it a year or more sooner.

All the neighbor kids had bikes. They would even share sometimes but it meant we couldn't ride together - not enough bikes. I was ready to have my own, darn it! I could RIDE!

A bike was the ultimate possession for a kid back then. You could go all over town and back in a flash! You were free! You could sleep in a little later because you could get to school faster! You could race the other kids! Man, I just had to have a bike!!!

So I started learning about money and how to get it. I would get my OWN bike. I mowed lawns for all the relatives, watched little kids, ran to the store for people and put all the dimes and nickles in my bank for the bike.

It was my first attempt to save my money until I could pay for something. It seemed like I had very little for all the work I had done. It was going to take years for me to save up for a bike. I got discouraged but kept working at it all year. I was 8 and a half.

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