Totally still reading, mama, and loving your words!
Originally Posted by Delight
Along the same lines...living within one's means is just a foreign concept these days (I'm not directing this at you...just in general). Honestly, even though on paper we make enough money to "afford" a big house, it would be foolish to do it with all of our school debt. I know there will be some that disagree with me...but I really think that lenders /realtors etc. do people a disservice when they offer all of these no money down, no closing cost home deals. That's how we got into our house...and it wasn't out of our means based on THEIR calculations (they don't care if we pay off debt for 50 years). I guess what I'm trying to say is...along with changing perceptions about your living space, it would be well to change your perceptions about standards of living, etc. It's all along the same lines. Once you simplify and downsize your space/life, you can't help but downsize spending, simplify commitments, etc. At least this is how it's been for us. SO...enough rambling. Is anyone still reading?
I wanted to add an addition to your comments, above. I live in a desert community. This past summer, many homes in the surrounding area were washed away by 'record' (i.e. only what they KNOW
) flooding. Some of the areas that were hit the worst had the most extravagant, beautiful, mountainside homes. In the past, my dp and I had always felt uneasy about the popular notion that it was only a matter of money/privilege that divided these people who were building custom homes in the desert from the rest of us. They often even called themselves environmental enthusiasts. They spared no expense, and they'd typically install high-tech alarm systems b/c, in their
mind, the most realistic, potential threat was burglary.
Well, a good friend of mine happens to be a personal assistant for one of these homeowners. His property is one of the most elaborate in these parts, in fact. There were multiple dwellings whiched housed offices and guesthouses for his various employees and visitors. His personal home was HUGE, and he had an olympic-size pool (definitely questionable in the desert) as well as an elaborate garden and greenhouse. The flooding that hit his property destroyed nearly half of the structures. Whole buildings were washed away. The local washes were widened to almost 4X their original sizes (some of them joined together), and new washes were formed. The water lines busted from the pressure and caused flooding of their own. Some of the employees were even trapped in their offices from the mudslides and had to be rescued. The swimming pool cracked apart in the middle and the greenhouse was completely destroyed.
Needless to say - the mess was absolutely horrendous
. The owner of the property was out of town when the floods came, so he just instructed his crew to clean up/repair/re-build while he stayed an extra few weeks away.
My friends who worked there cleaning up could not even put into words the disgusting nightmare that quickly ensued. There was no running water to wash with, and the germs and stench began making the crew physically ill. They were knee deep in moldy mud, INSIDE THE HOUSE, as they cleaned.
The most remarkable aspect of this story is that my friend (who was actually there when the flooding happened) told me that the damage occurred in only a few minutes.
It just began to rain, and soon there were heavy sheets
of rain that pounded down and caused the resulting damage.
It really had me thinking, yk? I mean, this guy *could afford* to make it all look like it never happened. And he could stay away, oblivious to the damage. He specifically requested that they not email him the photos of the damage, even. He didn't even want to know. And, *because he can afford to* he's having the place re-built.
What I concluded from it was gratitude for my simple and humble abode. The fact that such massive damage could occur so quickly - even with all their expensive and fancy, high-tech geolgists and infamous architects, they're all still only *small* humans in the face of Mother Nature, yk?