Friday, May 15, 2009
Frugal Friday - Rent a Fire Lookout
Yesterday I walked downtown with my daughter. Walking is our transportation of choice for library excursions. On foot we listened to the birds chirp and watched them gather bits of twig and grass for their nests. We stopped and lifted our noses like curious dogs; inhaling the rock daphne’s fragrant aroma. We chatted about things to which I have no answer. Mom? Why does the wind blow? We pulled our windblown hair out of our faces and forged ahead hoping the rain would wait. At the library we checked out movies and books then stopped to sit on the couches with the huge teddy bears. Mama knit and little giggled as boys ran past. On the way home we detoured downtown for cocoa with extra whipped cream. It was a very lovely day.
On the way home I saw an ad in a shop window. I can’t remember exactly what it said but something along the lines of “come find yourself in Henderson Park.” In other words buy this over-priced piece of real estate and you will, finally, have the life you’ve always dreamed of. Me? I wondered what the taxes were and who planned on cleaning the place.
You see I think there are better places to find yourself. Camping for instance. What better way to get to know yourself than by stripping luxury to the bare bones. No silk sheets. No fancy bath bars. Just you, a tent and a cooler full of bean cakes. Or, if you’re really hard core, strip down to the marrow. Just you and nature. Mano a mano.
As great as this idea is I’m a bit of a wimp. My aging bones are not thrilled with a rock-laden bed. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no princess. I’ll sleep with a pea; or a whole bag if life necessitates. But rocks? Awww mom do I have to?
My ideal solution would be to buy a camping trailer. Specifically an Airstream pimped out sixties style. There’s only one problem: though an Airstream is cheaper than an extravagant condo I still can’t afford it. So here’s what I did instead.
I booked our family a mini summer vacation; two nights in a fire lookout. It has four walls, a roof, a propane stove and a bed. It does not have running water or a bathroom (though a porta-potty sits outside). And the best part? Our dogs can come too.
I am very excited about this trip. I expect to return fully refreshed and with a new appreciation for all I have (though I may want for a room with a view after sleeping under the stars). Had I opted for the luxury vacation I suspect I might come home broke and lamenting all the things missing from my life. 1000 thread count anyone?
It seems my brother and sister-in-law have been making fun of my frugal ways. "You both have jobs," they say, "why are you living like paupers?" I’d counter we aren’t living like paupers but we are living smart. We have debt. We’d like to retire. We want our children to go to college. Taking care of these things somehow seems more important than dinners out, TIVO or plasma screen televisions. Yes we both have jobs but contrary to popular belief brewers and veterinarians do not rake in the cash (laughs evilly as she drives away in her 2009 Ferarri - ha!).
Last year I read a story on Three Little Indian’s blog. This story resonated with me and described perfectly why we do the things we do. So make yourself a cup of coffee with the ugliest mug in the house and go read about hot chocolate.
Happy Frugal Friday!