(Because of “technical difficulties” [translated “my ignorance”], I cannot send you the blog from a young friend of mine that I promised. But it’s a great piece, and as soon as I can figure out this one little hitch, I’ll get it to you.)
I find it very interesting that we go from a season of giving thanks to a season of give me more. One day we're sitting at a beautifully-set table loaded with food, thanking the Lord for "this our bounty," and the next day--literally--we are out there fighting the crowds for more "bounty"--more stuff on Black Friday. That is, typically, the biggest shopping day of the year in America. It is referred to as "Black Friday" because many businesses operate in the "red" (debt) most of the year, and it is not until "Black Friday" that they become profitable (operate in the black).
I've included below something that my favorite co-blogger--my husband--wrote, and I thought it was appropriate because it is his take on Americans and our "stuff."
I am amazed at America! The financial picture is miserable, and Americans are in horrible financial shape with a gloomy financial forecast, according to the experts and the news media. If that is true, how do we explain all the STUFF that we own?!
I remember when I was in grammar school. My parents purchased our first house with a real garage. In prior years, our family car had sat out in the yard or the driveway. But even after we got a garage, the car was not kept in the garage. (Read on to find out what happened to the garage.)
As I began to grow a little older, still in grammar school, times began to get better, and people began to have a little extra money. So what do you do when you find you have extra money after the bills are paid? You find some STUFF that you’ve been wanting, and you buy it. People began buying new STUFF and extra STUFF. Then they needed a place to put the old STUFF because it was “too good to throw away.”! They didn’t throw anything away because it was still good STUFF, and the adults remembered the tough times of the 30’s and 40’s.
So—some smart person began manufacturing small metal buildings that you could buy, assemble, and put in your back yard. It had no flooring—neither concrete nor wood. You had to stoop over to enter to store your STUFF or retrieve it on the rare occasion that someone wanted to borrow something that you had stored. You rarely went looking for the STUFF on your own because you had all new STUFF and didn’t need the stored STUFF. However—you had it whether you needed it or not!
Then—some genius began manufacturing the little metal storage building with (get this!) flooring! Plywood! Now you could store your STUFF and not have it sitting on the dirt. As time passed, the economy began to boom, and we began buying more and better stuff. This trend was within the reach of most people because Sears initiated a layaway plan that you could use, or you could buy and buy and continue to buy, using (drum roll!) your very own SEARS CREDIT CARD!
But our little backyard storage buildings became too small and not quite good enough for our good STUFF. So—another genius began manufacturing (Are you ready for this?) larger backyard storage buildings that came with (Ta Da!) a floor attached to the building. This dude was framed out with wood studs like an actual house that we lived in! It even had, of all things, roofing shingles just like our house as well as a window and a house-style door!
As I mentioned earlier, I remember the first real garage that our family ever had. It had a concrete slab, with wood studs, a shingled roof, and double doors on the end where you drove in on the concrete driveway! Talk about “movin’ on up”! But guess what! Our car never—never ever—got parked in that garage. Guess what was housed in that nice garage. A metal, twelve-foot fishing boat and outboard gas motor for that boat—plus the rods and reels, tackle boxes and lures, and boat paddles—STUFF!
As time passed, kids grew up and got married, moved out, and then there really was money at the end of the month! Guess what came next! You got it—more new STUFF to go inside the house and more good STUFF to go into the garage or the new improved, floored, house-doored, windowed, shingle-roofed outside building in the back yard.
As we continued to buy more STUFF, the good STUFF that had to be put into the storage building got to be too good and too valuable to be put into the back yard storage building. Then—yet another genius decided that there was an enormous number of backyard storage buildings in the back yards of America. Sooooo—this genius decided that there had to be a market for people to store their really good STUFF in a commercial, guarded storage facility. That’s when we began seeing rental storage buildings springing up near every subdivision. Apartment buildings, condos, and townhouses began springing up faster than rabbits on steroids, and it became even more evident that people needed some place to accommodate all that great STUFF that had to be stored in a better and safer environment.
Then—another genius (or maybe it was an older form of the genius that created the commercial storage building in the first place) decided that there had to be a dire need for “Climate-Controlled Storage units” for all that good STUFF that needed to be stored in a heated/cooled space. After all, this is great STUFF that we will
dump pass on to our kids one of these days when we’re dead and gone. And the kids will probably be grumbling the whole time they’re having to go through all of our junk great STUFF because they’ve had to take days off from work for this little chore, and none of this great STUFF is anything that they can/would use in their own lives. So—much of our great STUFF that we have lovingly preserved for years will find its way to the nearest trash dump! Appears to me that there’s something just a little wrong with this picture, but it seems to be the “American way.”
GOD BLESS AMERICA!! And God bless those natives in the darkest, poorest parts of the world who labor every day for just the basic necessities—no vacations, no coffee breaks, no cruises, no shopping trips, nor the financial means to buy STUFF. Makes me wonder—are we really better off than they are?! Hmmmm!