Gentle Kindnesses and Tender Mercies

"I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessing on this house...."
--John Adams

I once heard a story about an immigrant family who, after arriving in this country, owned virtually nothing but the clothes on their backs. They were living in a tiny shack that had stood empty for years. When a group of charity workers came by with food for this family, they were startled by what they found inside the shack.

The first thing they noticed when the door was opened to them was the old wooden floor--it was scrubbed clean and gleaming from a wood wax. The smell of apples and cinnamon wafted through the air from a simmering pot set upon a circle of coals on the hearth. A gentle fire crackled in the river-rock fireplace.

A large round table, in the center of the one room, was covered with a floor-length cloth of dark-green-and-white-checked gingham. (They later discovered the table was an over sized spool discarded by a cable company.) The windows were clean and framed by simple curtains, made from the same green-and-white-check fabric as the tablecloth. They hung, not from metal rods, but from thin branches of a willow tree.

"....let us face the tasks of living with joy and embellish ordinary days with comfort, beauty, and a renewed faith in the fact that the most precious things in this life are those things that no amount of money can buy."

The most amazing thing of all was an evergreen garland that graced the chipped plaster walls. It was composed of ordinary items from the local woods. Boughs of evergreen and pine cones were tied onto a length of heavy twine with torn strips of the same gingham fabric. it was looped into swags and hung just under the ceiling. It looked for all the world like an expensive wallpaper border. The ladies from the aid society were asked to sit down on what looked like a small backless sofa with bright red cushions. In truth, it was a series of wooden fruit crates, draped in a loosely fitted slipcover made of the same green-and-white gingham. The lady of the house graciously offered a drink of fresh water to her visitors, while thanking them for their generous gifts to her family.

Perhaps this is an extreme example, yet it beautifully illustrates the philosophy of frugal luxuries. With this attitude in mind, let us face the tasks of living with joy and embellish ordinary days with comfort, beauty, and a renewed faith in the fact that the most precious things in this life are those things that no amount of money can buy.

Excerpt Above From: Frugal Luxuries: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul, by Tracey McBride, 1996


scrappy quilter said...

Even after reading your book every year since it came out, I still get goosebumps when I read this excerpt. Oh to be content with what we have!!

I remember a number of years ago, back in 1984 when we lived in Sask. A couple with 4 children had moved to the province from a very poor country. They had no food and 4 kids with chicken pox. Hubby and I called our church family and collected a truckload of food. The joy on their face...nothing quite like it. They were thrilled. Thanks for the wonderful memories of that time by reading this again today.

Anonymous said...

I love that excerpt from your book. It truly touched my heart! ~Laurie

charmaine said...

hi Tracey! you are so amazing! i love this post, very touching and motivating. you know what i love about you so much, your beautiful heart and your love of share and create such amazing things. i love how your blogs are about appreciating the simple things in life. holding on to what you have and who you have and taking good care of it. your beautiful spirit always motivates me to appreciate everything God has given us. His beautiful people, His beautiful animals, His beautiful earth. you have such a gift to help others really appreciate everyday life. to be creative, to give and care and love others. that's what i feel from you. you love and care for others. i just know you are this kind of person and i truly appreciate you for that. what's most important in life is not material things, money or status but of the greatest gift given and that is "LOVE". your family is truly blessed to have such a wonderful inspiration like you. God Bless you Tracey and i pray that God will continue to use you to touch and inspire others with your beautiful spirit everyday. God loves you and i do to! also, thank you for your always sweet comments.have a blessed day my friend!

God Bless,

Angie Bailey said...

I’ve nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. To get your award go to my blog: eclecticcatladylad, copy the badge and see directions in my post about the award.

Storybook Woods said...

Oh thank you for reminding me of this story, I just love it. It encompasses what I am teaching my girls, as a matter of fact I will read it too them today xoxo Clarice

Tracey McBride said...

Thank you my kind, kind friends. For the good, words, for the encouragement, for the award ;)...for the friendship. Today I am feeling very rich.
Love and best thoughts from...
Tracey. xoxoxoxox

blushing rose said...

Such a rich loving story ... never know what is behind a closed door ... beautiful!

Secondly; judge not, lest ye be judged.

Have a snuggly warm eve.TTFN ~Marydon

The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

A warm Thank You to all kind souls and kindred spirits who generously take the time to leave a comment...your encouragement, trust and support are deeply appreciated...please know that we read each and every message and will respond as time allows.


Frugal Luxuries
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"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

After more than a decade, FRUGAL LUXURIES has never been out of print and is now more relevant than ever.

"It's our hope that a new generation, faced with a teetering economy, will also find this information helpful and enlightening."

Sending Good Thought to Our Special Band of Kind and Kindred Souls!

Frugal Luxuries Book I

Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons Book II

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