Live below the line, day 4

These children live in a garbage dump

These children live in a garbage dump (Photo credit: GlacierTim)

I’m not sure if today was easier or harder…I had the day off work, so was actually surrounded by food and all of the possibilities that presents…I thought I’d go in the kitchen and bake a batch of cookies (hmm…with chocolate, anyone?).  And maybe prepare a pizza for dinner.  I actually have all of the ingredients for both in my kitchen right now, so I wouldn’t have to buy anything.  But I think that kind of goes against what this challenge is all about.  Yes, I have the food in my kitchen, but if I had to live on only $1.50 a day long-term, chances are I wouldn’t have what I need to make those yummy cookies. So I resisted, telling myself it’s just today and tomorrow.

And that’s where I think we can learn a lesson.  For us, it’s just today and tomorrow.  For the chronically impoverished, there is no end in sight.  They can’t say “I’ll make it through today and tomorrow on only $1.50 a day, then I can spend whatever I want on food and drink.”  For them, it’s a matter of how can I possibly stretch this money?  How can I buy the basics?  What do I have to give up in order to buy food today?  Where can I come up with a few cents extra today?

This really makes me sad.  When I think of how much money our country spends on our elected officials’ pet projects, all of the waste in our government, I get angry.  Angry that the people we elect have turned their backs on the poor and needy among us and are falling all over themselves to give additional breaks to the super wealthy and multi-national corporations.  Children, in our country, or anywhere else, shouldn’t have to go to bed hungry.  I would love to see some of my tax money going to provide additional funds for community gardens, for providing free seeds so people could grow a few vegetable plants on their patio or windowsill.   Helping people help themselves.

I always tell people to get out there and vote.  That voting the lousy politicians out is the only way we can implement the programs with which we agree.  But what if none of the politicians are supporting an agenda with which you agree?

Anyhow, stepping down from my political soap box now…how did I do today?  Fairly well…despite the desire for something sweet and yummy.


(Surprise, surprise)…2 slices of toast  10¢,  1 T peanut butter  6¢,  6 oz oj  14¢,  hot tea  4¢

Total for breakfast…34¢


1 chicken tender  30¢, 1 slice bread  5¢, radishes (free), celery  8¢, 1/2 banana  9¢, hot tea 4¢

Total for lunch…56¢


bowl of cereal  8¢, 8 oz milk  15¢, 1/2 banana 9¢

Total for dinner…32¢


hot air-popped popcorn…16¢, butter  2¢, Parmesan cheese  3¢, hot tea  4¢

Total for snack…25¢

Total for the day  $1.47

The popcorn really tasted good…I may actually eat that as a snack more often rather than microwave (convenient) popcorn.  So I managed to make it through another day…wow…this sure makes me appreciate my grandmother and her struggles a lot more…I bet she could have done this challenge easily…and probably preparing better food than I’ve been eating.

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And then we danced

Do I Hear a Waltz?

Do I Hear a Waltz? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Um, yeah, I’d love to dance with you, Sean.”

Sean offers his hand to Becky (just like the gentleman his mama taught him to be) and escorts her to the dance floor.  As they sway together in time with the music, neither of them gives a thought to what a striking couple they are.  Becky, the tiny, five-foot-tall, fair-complected blonde and Sean, the six-foot, six-inch, long, lean handsome young man.  For both of them, their only thoughts are how right this feels, how in tune they are with both the music and one another.  How perfectly they fit together as they glide across the floor, her skirt swirling around his legs as they turn.  They have eyes only for each other, sharing smiles and their passion for dance.

When the music ends, they step apart, hands still joined, eyes still locked, the electricity flowing between.  Still holding her hand, Sean begins to lead her back to her table, neither of them wanting this to end.  As they approach her friends, the band begins to play another country song.  Sean stops walking, a smile on his face.  “Uhh…you don’t happen to waltz, do you?”, he asks.

A huge smile lights up her face.  “Actually, I do.  That’s my favorite dance.”

“Well then…could I…have this dance?”, he asks as he jokingly bows toward her.

Becky responds with a mock curtsey and says, “Indeed you may, kind sir.”

As the music envelopes the young couple, the dance floor becomes their world, and they its only inhabitants.  They are matched perfectly, sharing the rhythm of the music, magic sparking between them.  No dance has ever been more meaningful for either of them.  No moment in time more full of possibilities.