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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor

April

The Architect

Clay

The millionaire in the patched overalls.

You people warm the cockles of my, my, my….what is that saying? You warm the cockles of my heart?

Anyway, thank you for all the kind words and prayers sent our way and especially for Virginia. She has been surrounded by her children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews and her house is full of love and warmth right now.

Clay and I went over a couple nights ago to deliver some food and we had the immense pleasure of sitting down at the kitchen table to share a couple of beers and watch the end of a basketball game with two of Ramone’s sons and one of the grandsons.

I was amazed at how accomplished are Ramone and Virginia’s children. A lawyer, a high ranking Navy officer, an engineer, an accountant were just some of the professions in the house that night.

Ramone valued education for his children. His kids were one of the first families to attend the private school in town and then he made certain that all of his children went to college.

It made me take a good hard look at their lifestyle. Ramone didn’t believe in credit. He borrowed money to buy his first house, but not from the bank. He borrowed the money from a strange wealthy man that rode his bicycle everywhere he needed to go and his house was filthy. Ramone was worried that the man would lose the title to his house in the mess so he worked overtime and weekends at the railroad and paid off the debt in a matter of months.

Can you imagine paying off your home in less than a year?!

Ramone still owns that home and a few others……all paid for. I remember Ramone scoffing at me when I told him I couldn’t afford to do something because I had a mortgage. He was right to scoff. What are we doing?! We take on so much debt for things we can’t buy! Ramone viewed debt as disgraceful, humiliating a failure.

I view debt as a bridge from point A to point Fairyland.

By living a simple, uncomplicated life Ramone was able to provide more than just the basics for his family. He drove old beat up trucks (most of them are still on his property being used for storage), mended his fences with bailing twine, patched the holes in his jeans, heated his house with a wood stove and grew his own beef and vegetables.

What an admirable way to live.

He left his wife with a suitable income and his children occupy the homes he bought. Even as an elderly man he was ensuring his family had all they needed and more. In return they are all at his house now comforting Virginia, taking care of the cows and honoring the memory of their patriarch.

I think we might all learn a thing or two from Ramone. I think it’s true that most of the wealthiest people in America don’t look wealthy.

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