Use it up, Wear it Out, Make it do or Do Without

Tennessee Intentional Community

This was my mother’s mantra when I was little.  Having survived the great depression in her childhood, she was a raving evangelist of frugality.  That didn’t mean I was deprived in any way.  My Halloween costumes, made from pieces of this and that, were always extravagant pieces of art.  I was always the best dressed kid in my school, consistently walking away with the best costume award.

Speaking of school, when I decided to run for school president in the 6th grade, I easily trounced my opponents due entirely to my father’s artistic creativity.  He built an amazing, rotating sign from old wood scraps, a rotisserie motor, photos we developed in his basement dark room and his hand drawn Peanuts cartoons.  How could I lose with an endorsement from Charlie Brown?  Back in the day, that sign was so far ahead of its time, it became a sensation.

Some years lager, my wedding reception had a Hawaiian theme because my bride and I had lived in Hawaii as college students.  True to form, both my parents dialed up the heat.  My Dad created a replica of the church where we were married standing about eight feet tall.  The room was decorated with life-sized coconut trees and an outrigger canoe, all made from scavenged stuff, but looking like they came out of a Madison Avenue design studio.  The brides maids and grooms men wore authentic Hawaiian formal wear, made by my mother.  Hawaiian friends provided the entertainment.  They were willing to do the gig for free because they felt they owed my parents so much.

I guess that’s why this YouTube Video caught my attention.  Whether or not you buy into man-made global warming and the need to reduce our carbon footprint, it’s just way cooler to get the creative juices going and make great stuff out of almost nothing.  In our intentional community at the Village, we look for opportunities to be creative, together when possible, and as frugal as we can be.  It’s what I would call an abundant lifestyle.

Anyway, I hope this video inspires you to do more.  With some creativity, even a depression can be fun. 

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