The Umbrella Man
Back when my Mom and Aunts were growing up in the Depression, they did have one old umbrella, and the kids also had one to share. There was no money for a new one, but there was also no car and they walked to school and everywhere else.
This is really my their story, but it's one of the good memories so I wanted to share it from a time when poor was normal and accepted (ok, so that's true now), but it was also a simpler time, when the little things meant a LOT.
There was an umbrella man who also walked around, selling his umbrellas or fixing the ones that people had. He came every year. My grandmother could never afford a new umbrella, so each year, she saved a little aside so he could repair hers. Instead of repairing hers, he was kind enough to take hers to repair, but would always give her back a newer, better one.
My Aunt and sisters also had one between them and they'd wait for the umbrella man every year. He'd take theirs, and with him, he also carried a whole bunch of new umbrella handles, in all colors. Every year for them, he'd put on a fancy new umbrella handle in a new and different color. At no charge.
Nowadays, that might mean nothing to most, but to them, it was one of the best gifts that they could get. Maybe we ought to concentrate on the little things and see them as they are -- bigger for their kindness and we'd be more satisfied with what we have and not keep wanting more? The best things in our lives are usually the small things and they're also the things we hold close to us when life hits us with some hard times. Kind of like a shiny new umbrella handle.
mn - 2007