Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Being thankful for the blessings we didn't want

I got an email from my sister the other day. In it she talked a bit about some of the things she was grateful for that she didn't expect to be. A while back she and her husband had been trying to by a house. All they wanted was a small starter home, but things just never worked out. She was quite frustrated. She had taken on a rental management job to cut their living expenses and earn a bit extra so they could buy the house. She hated it. Recently her husband lost his job. The rental management job that she hated now supported the family. And, since they weren't saddled with the $7000 a month mortgage payment for the starter home they wanted, (they DON'T live in rural OH, I can't imagine that kind of a house payment.) they will survive until he can find a job.

Last night found me thinking about the unexpected, sometimes unwanted, blessings in my life when a knock came at the door. It was EG, our neighbor, just back from the first day of gun season. He had five deer in the back of his truck and wanted to know if I wanted one. My first thought was "NO!!! I don't want a deer right now." The last thing I need is another all day project added to my crazy schedule. But then I thought of my sister, of the tough economic times we face, and of how happy we may be for a freezer full of venison sausage, chili meat, and cutlets, and said "Yes, Thank You."

So, today I will rush through my cub scout preparation, the kids school, and the basic chores, so I have enough time to get the deer skinned and cut up into manageable bits. The sausage will have to wait for a less busy day, but the rest will get done. When it is I will be thankful for the unexpected, unwanted blessing.


jack-of-all-thumbs said...

Clearly, you've earned the mantle of self-sufficiency far more than I could hope to. I've been planning to bring in some venison, but that got placed on an increasingly large back burner. Any plans for a how-to post on that, or is this second nature to you?

inadvertentfarmer said...

Once again you have me thinking. Yes the unexpected 'blessing' can be the greatest ones, even though we don't know it at the time of their giving.

Thanks! Kim

Alan said...

Jack, I shot a lot of deer as a young person. The rule I grew up with was "You shoot it, you eat it." Made me hesitant to shoot skunks and other less eatable creatures. I don't think I'll be publishing the butchering details on this one. It's hard to work and photo at the same time, and since it will be in the mid 20's while I'm doing the basics, I don't think I'll pause for photos. Maybe on the sausage making.

Robbyn said...

Oh, how cool is that?? You'll be thankful you went to the extra trouble when you're frying up some deer sausage on a cold winter morning! congratulations :)

our friend Ben said...

Er, Alan, please tell me that the $7,000 part of the "$7,000 a month mortgage" is a typo. Please. How could anyone afford that?!!!

Alan said...


I double checked with my sister on the mortgage. She said "The $7000/month mortgage around here buys you a small starter fixer upper in a mediocre neighborhood." Here you could buy a small town for that price. Guess I've found another reason I glad I don't live in California.

nancybond said...

Smart man. :) Charlie is given a turkey each year at work -- this year's turned out to be a *27* lb Butterball. (I'd much prefer a Grade A or ultility to the Butterball, but we don't look a gift horse in the mouth!) I'm concerned about cooking the darned thing because we only have a small, 24" "apartment" sized stove. Charlie suggested that we give it to someone in the family (none of our family is in dire straits, or anything) if it was going to be *that* hard to cook...never mind, says I, I'll put it in the oven on the diagonal! :)

Like you, one just never knows when an unexpected expense will cut into the grocery money on any given week/s, and there's a whole lot of meals on a 27-lb turkey! So, I'll cook it, remove the meat to the freezer, and save the carcass for delicious soup! 'Frugal' has become more than just a catchword. Your stove looks very cozy.


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