Through the looking glass

The other day I jumped trough the looking into the surreal life of the ‘haves’. I’m telling you, these people have more money than God. I toured their house – and it was amazing. I won’t go into the gory details of it, but suffice it to say, they don’t lack much (except their as of yet unfinished 6th home with a 17-car garage). Let’s just say my minivan had plenty of space in front of their 4th home.

As I drove away, I was quite pleased to find myself in my more humble, comfortable surroundings. In fact, it seemed that I was waking up from a surreal dream – only I couldn’t remember any of the details of it. All fuzzy. I was glad about that. I’d worried as I walked through their home that I might go back to my own coveting their ginormous laundry room, wine cellar in the basement, perfect spaces for entertaining – but no fear. I feel quite at home in my surroundings, and in hindsight their home didn’t feel quite right to me. I truly felt like I’d gone to the other side of the looking glass.

The funny thing is, I spend lots of my time with another family, new to the US. They struggle financially. They rent a very nice home, but for the first few weeks slept on the floor, ate their meals on the floor in shifts because they didn’t have enough plates for everyone to eat at once. Now they have furniture – mattresses, a couch, and a kitchen table and chairs. They have a computer, and I introduced them to Goodwill, where they bought dishes and sheets and things like that. It’s like stepping through the looking glass when I go to visit them, too. Weird. But somehow I feel at home there.

Seeing both sides – the richer side and the poorer – makes me appreciate what I have so much more. I realize that all those nice shiny things at the house that should have its own zip code require maintenance, and they don’t make the home any more comfortable than mine already is. I don’t need that stuff. And spending so much time with this other family helps me appreciate everything I do have. Contentment is a happy place to be. :sigh: And by the way, we had snow crab legs for dinner last night after the kids went to bed. What could be a better way to end the day? Contentment. Now if I could just capture this feeling and keep it…

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3 thoughts on “Through the looking glass

  1. *warning – completely random and unrelated thoughts*

    Wow. 17 car garage. I need to sit and think about that for a while. Their garage alone must be bigger than my house.

    Ok, I’m done thinking. Sort of. I like big houses, and different rooms to play in. Read in one, sleep in another, watch tv in another, eat somewhere, have puzzles set up in another. But at the end of the day, someone has to clean all that crap up. I always hear people say “winning the lottery will ruin you.” My response is always that I’d still like to try…

    But honestly, it’s fun unless the house payment is stressing you out. I’m starting to think we should move somewhere with less room inside, and more room outside. I grew up on a 200 acre farm and was rarely bored. “Outside” was a constant source of activity and enjoyment. (no, we weren’t rich, it was Wisconsin, and I’m betting it was like a buck an acre…) Wonder if there are any jobs in Montana?

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  2. Exactly, Kathy. Contentment, real contentment can’t be bought. A simple life is so much better. You might say, less IS more.
    Also, thanks so much for the nice comment and reminder about the SWTC, how could I have forgotten them? “Duh” award winner! Hee,hee.

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  3. I agree. I see big houses and rich things and for a moment I want them. Then I realize that my little apartment with the saggy ceiling, mismatched furniture and the not-enough-room-for-my-books thing is perfect because it’s filled with love and tons of laughter and family. And all the money in the world can’t buy you or bring you that. Good post! ~ L

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