“The lazy man does not roast his game, but the diligent man prizes his possessions.” –Proverbs 12:27
After living overseas, including a year in abject poverty in Nicaragua, I struggle with how to deal with money here in the U.S. We have a lot. Others have a little. I don’t like it. I try to be generous. I try to not be greedy.
I’ve never written about stuff before. (Well, I’ve not written much of anything around here lately. This fall’s been active over on the blog for This Ordinary Adventure.)
But this holiday season, as I’ve swung from Thanksgiving into Advent, I’ve heard that song from The Sound of Music:
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
The proverb I opened with seems to me to indicate we should slow down to appreciate what we have. So sometimes thinking and talking about stuff is how we ensure we’re not caring too much about stuff. (Tweet this.)
So what are my favorite things?
- The Nields’ All Together Singin’ in the Kitchen first came across our radar when we checked it out for a family vacation last summer. This album is by some professionals but it pulls in their whole family. It’s folksy, it’s smart, and it’s funny. We’ve been singing it around the house to each other throughout this fall. It’s entered our family vocabulary.
- Tetley British Blend Tea is as good as any that I had in South Africa, but I can buy it here. I think it’sfresher and fruitier than any other mass-produced tea here in the U.S. At $.04/bag, it’s cheap, too.
- Reading books aloud to our kids is a fun tradition we’ve been doing for almost a decade. It started with But Not the Hippopotamus and other cutesy little board books. Last night there was a murder in our passage of Holes, by Louis Sachar. (We’ve come a long way.)
- Equate Junior Acetaminophen Tabs have been very helpful this week. Phoebe’s had a high fever, and I saw these, at 1/3 the price of liquid meds. Phoebe’s lovin’ ‘em.
- Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference by Philip Yancey has been on my morning reading list for the past few months. I’ve been a serious Christian for about 20 years, and prayer is still a confusing thing for me. This book is well-written, thoughtful, and honest, not smarmy.
- The Born Loomis II Oxford is comfortable, well-made, and I think it’s sorta stylish. (But I’m not the best one to make that call.)
- Duke Otherwise’s Creepy Crawly Love has recently supplanted The Nields as the most-played album in our family. We met the Duke at a concert a couple weeks ago. His songs are fresh, funny, and smart. I woke up this morning singing about “monster spray” today (yesterday it was “this song is not about bananas”), and I don’t even mind.
- Hot showers continue to amaze me. Ever since that hard hear with new friends in a remote village in Nicaragua, I say a prayer of thanks every time I step into running water. It’s a miracle, something we find totally commonplace but is the result of a lot of technology, planning, and wealth.
- Planet Fitness continues to amaze me. They just opened up a few blocks away. I joined for $10/month, no contract. I kept my expectations appropriately low. But it’s large, clean, always open, and has excellent equipment. I am very impressed.
There you have it, stuff that I am noticing, that make life easier or more enjoyable—a few of my favorite things.
What are yours?