Dearest Ruby B.,
Good afternoon, sweetie. Granny and Grandpa Jud are at our time-share villa in Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico. We had hoped you and your parents would be joining us this year, but because of the current doubtful and frustrating economy and the fact that you need to learn to sleep through the night, we will have to wait until next year to have you join us in Cabo.
We will be here for the next seven weeks and it is a fabulous place with mid-winter weather in the 80’s during the day and lots of sunshine. We purchased fractional ownership of this Mexican villa in 2006 and have enjoyed it most winters since then. It was an extravagant purchase for us. We do not normally spend this kind of money on ourselves; however, we justified it by thinking of all the friends and family members we could invite down for visits to share this marvelous and unique experience with us. Over the years, we have done just that.
Truth be known, with the exception of a couple of expensive cruises since we sold our business and retired, this is one of the few non-frugal expenditures we have undertaken in the last seven years. No, actually, it is one of the few we have undertaken in our lives.
I think your mom and your Aunt Brandi would tell you, there was never anything they ever wanted for in their lives that your Granny and I did not provide for them as they grew up. With the exception of Barbie Dolls (ask your mom) and the year we searched but could not find one last Cabbage Patch doll on the market at Christmas time, I do not believe they can identify one thing we withheld or did not provide for them in their formative years. I believe we provided for their every need and most of their wants. It was our privilege to do so…we wanted to do so. But still we taught and promoted frugality. Which kind of brings me to my next pearl.
Thirty-Fourth Pearl: "Be Frugal With Yourself and Extravagant With Everyone Else"
When your mom was a young girl, your Granny taught her how to use discount coupons at the grocery store. She taught her how to clip them out of the magazines, newspapers and flyers. She taught her how to put them into a coupon box or folder and take it to the store. She taught her how to look for the bargain products and sort through the box to find the $ .25 and the $ .50 and even the extremely rare $ 1.00 coupons to get discounts. The double and triple coupon days were like special holidays for your mom and Granny to go shopping.
Your mom and Granny would go to the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores in downtown Toledo to find bargain clothes on the shelves and on the hangers that were inexpensive sartorial treasures.
Your Granny taught your mom and Aunt Brandi the value of a dollar and how being frugal with your money was not only a virtue but a blessing. Both of them learned their lessons well. As they became adults, they took those lessons to heart and shunned the trappings of their generation, Generation X, which prized wealth, possessions and instant gratification beyond all else.. Even when your mom lived in the capital of Generation X in Southern California and was a part of the Hollywood scene, she still shopped at second hand stores, looking for the next great bargain. She never looked better.
Your mom cares for you more than you will ever know. She and your dad will spare no expense to see that you have everything you need to succeed in life. They will be extravagant with you and with their friends, as they always have, to make certain each has what they need and most of what they want, while being frugal with themselves. You would be wise to learn that lesson well.
I love you, sweet Ruby,