Category Archives: Sharing

You Spent How Much?

How many arguments have been started with that phrase, I bet you can remember a few of your own.




It may be that whom ever it is questioning your financial savvy, just doesn’t understand the economics of

I love this

I want this

I need this

This is perfect for


I’ve been looking for one of these for years!

In some of those questionable purchases there are the seeds to some family stories, you just may want to save. Some are funny and some may be lessons to learn. Can you finally see both sides of the  conversation? Be sure to ask others for opinions as you develop a story. I am betting there are some really funny stories out there too. I am reminded of the Christmas Shoes story, a tear jerker that makes us all examine what emphasis we give on gift giving and value.

The funny story I thought of, was seeded by a antique shop yesterday. I stopped, because it was a convenient place to park while taking a picture I needed for some research. Of course I planned to do a walk thorough, out of courtesy and curiosity. I snapped my photos and headed to the shop door. There on the lawn in the bright summer sun was a wheelbarrow.  The story seed.

20150606_144051_resizedMy father came home from work one day with such a wheelbarrow. He was very proud of it. His had removable sides, which meant you could carry long firewood, sideways!  He carefully unloaded the wheelbarrow from his car. It had seen a lot of use, it was almost an antique itself!  It was part of the allure of the wheelbarrow, that it was experienced!  After a few moments my mother asked the question, “How much was it?” There was a long pause, the air seemed to hold still, slowly he smiled and looked up beaming at his prize, “Only eight dollars!”

The times were tough, eight dollars was a sizeable cut of the family weekly spending. Still with groceries, kids sneakers, dog food and  haircuts to put on the weekly tab, the eight dollars seemed a fortune to my mother! “Eight dollars, for that?” the tone of her voice was incredulous. My brother and I began the head motions of someone watching a tennis match, the volley’s were words. Dad praised the economic value of his purchase adding how it fit the colonial home we lived in. He gushed over the find on the side of the road, surely the former owner had traded that wheelbarrow in for a new shiny red metal one!

This was not going to be a battle, but more a game of words, quite possibly a retort to some item she had purchased. Dad smiled, “Best eight dollars, going to work and earn every penny of it.”

The wheel barrow did indeed work, for years and years. It hauled fire wood, dirt, garden plants, manure, pumpkins, bags of grain, hay bales, luggage, tools and so much more. Often  one of us would make a comment,” can you imagine spending eight dollars for a wheelbarrow that looks like that?” “That old wheelbarrow is like highway robbery – eight dollars, indeed!”  ” If I had eight dollars I could think of several good ways to spend it…!”

With a huge yard to landscape there was finally a need to add a second wheelbarrow. A new shiny one was purchased, but on its first day it helped pick rocks, it’s glossy paint was all scratched. By the end of the day the wheelbarrow looked old. It was there to work , not look pretty anyway. Within a few years, there came a day, the metal wheelbarrow fell apart. The eight dollar wheelbarrow rolled on by, still at work. My mother commented in a tone of awe, ” We sure got our eight dollars worth!”

Take a few minutes and remember a family story, then share it, if we don’t tell the stories, they die!


another post with family stories:


Report From  the 30 th  CT. Storytelling Festival

Report From the 30 th CT. Storytelling Festival

My Report from the 30 th  Connecticut Storytelling Festival and Conference April 29, 30, May 1, 2011 at Conn. College New London, CT.          Anticipation hardly covers the feeling of excitement  I feel when my car heads toward New London, CT. I know before long my brain will be swirling in a sea of story.… Continue Reading