I was invited to tag along one day with my friend to spend the afternoon with her mom who lived on a ranch about three hours away. Her brothers were the ranch hands on a big spread.
The three of us were sitting at the kitchen table visiting when her son came in and asked, "Mom, do you have some hot dogs?..." She got up, reached into the freezer, grabbed some hot dogs and handed them to her son while he continued to explain that a coyote had gotten one of the calves. They would need to put some poison on the hot dogs to kill the coyote. I'll tell you what, those hot dogs barely touched his fingers before she snatched them right back quicker than lightening and quite seriously exclaimed, "NOT my OSCAR*MAYER wieners!" She then reached back into the freezer and produced a package of generic hot dogs for her ranch hand son. I about fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard!
I think of this fun story a lot, especially now in these hard economic times. This woman, who had lived through the depression, had learned lessons in frugalness and had continued to apply them throughout her life. Hers wasn't an attitude of 'It's ok, there's plenty more where that came from', but one of 'Waste not, want not'--even when times were good.
It reminds me of the story of Joseph in Genesis 40-41. After he was falsely accused and thrown into prison, he was eventually released after he interprets the fat cow/skinny cow dreams of Pharoah. Pharoah then puts Joseph in charge of managing the economic affairs of Egypt. Now Joseph was in an awesome position. He was living in the lap of luxury, second only to Pharoah. But he knew that Egypt was going to experience a horrible economic crunch, so he prepared and planned and taught the people how to be frugal with their income (crops) so that when the famine did hit, as predicted, they were prepared and even had enough to feed the people in surrounding areas, not to mention being reunited with his family.
I love the scripture Susan wrote in the introduction: Every wise woman buildeth her house; but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:11
Being frugal shouldn't be something that is only learned out of necessity, but it should be a lifestye of management in good times and bad.
Remember, NOT my OSCAR*MAYER wieners!