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My Blog

Summertime on a Budget

Good morning...another scorcher today here in the Chicago land area.  I am staying indoors definitely today.  Heat and I are like oil and vinegar.  I saw the weeks forecast and see there is no relief in the near future, so painting it is!
I was thinking about the heat and so many years ago when my children were young.  I know that summers are the hardest part for moms.  Keeping those children amused in the heat. 
Years ago, when money was sparse, there were usually not a lot of options as to what to do.  The one nice thing about summer and the heat is that going to the pools were an option.  Now, in the city, the pools were jammed packed and you could barely more.  Back in the eighty's, the suburban pools were less crowded, but you needed to be a resident or pay an exorbitant amount to get in each day...and that adds up when you are on a budget. 
Now God was watching over me when he gave me a particular friend.  She lived in a nearby Suburb called Norridge.  She managed to get me a pass to the Norridge pool for me and my children.  So each day, we would plan the day at the pool.  I would pack a lunch and some juice and off we would head for a day of fun in the sun.  The girls loved swimming, I even had them take swimming lessons there.  We would spend the entire morning and afternoon there and when they took the afternoon break...if I recall correctly it was at 4, we would leave, stop off at the library, and get home for dinner, clean up and return. Now as for dinners, It was not easy being at the pool with the kids all day and trying to make the 30 minute drive home and have enough time for dinner, so I needed to be creative.  My mother had this old rotisserie oven that she had given me...so many night there was chicken on the spit.  It never heated up the house, or there were lots of BLT's or Omelets.  Whatever the budget would allow to do and whatever didn't heat up the kitchen.  Back then we didn't have air conditioning in the kitchen, We only had one unit and it was in the living room window.  I used to hand a sheet on the door of the Dining Room to keep the living room and dining room cool.  At least we had someplace to go to keep cool.   
Now, the Eisenhower Library in Norridge was great.  Now remember, this was the eighties.  I was able to reserve a projector and a movie and take it home.  At night, we would set up a white sheet in the lining room, set up the projector on the dinning room table and play the movie for the girls.  We always made popcorn and just enjoyed the evening.  It never cost me anything to get the movies.  What a nice way to enjoy the summer days.  I know that now, we can easily turn on the TV and pop in a dvd and enjoy, but back then, there were not a whole lot of options like that.
One day during the summer, the pool had an event where you could purchase tickets very reasonably for an evening of synchronized swimming.  The performance was outstanding.  My absolute favorite was when the did it to the music called the Conga.  I can still remember the way the girls stood at the end of the pool and diving in to the water to the beat of the music.  It was fantastic.  I remember my girls wanting to be able to do that.  I recall them being spellbound. 
We were very lucky to have this particular friend.  She made summers something to remember when there were not a lot of options.  The children never thought they were on any budget, they were happy, cool and content. 
We spent any extra time that we had at the library reading books and choosing places we wanted to learn about.  It was our dream about vacations!  We traveled to Africa, Asia, Europe all for free at the library.  We saw places we never dreamed imaginable. 
There may be something to having a summer on a budget!  I got to spend some of the most memorable moments with my girls. 
All I can say is thank Jeanni! 

2 Comments to Summertime on a Budget:

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Jeanni on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 8:09 PM
Debi....its called Friendship, Love, Karma, Concern, Sharing, counting your blessings.....and many more things...all of which the more you GIVE the more you have in return! Love You and Stan and the Girls!
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