My blog posts have become fewer and further between in recent days, partly because I have been painting more regularly, and partly because I have a part time job which is helping me to pay my mortgage. It is quite a relief.
This has also prompted me to think about a woman that I met in Brisbane some years ago. I was renting a house at the time, and I walked to the shops daily to collect whatever I needed... and so did the woman that I'm thinking of. She was a tiny little woman in her eighties and we walked the same path to the grocery shop, and so we began to talk. At the time, I was trying to buy myself a permanent place to live, but couldn't afford to do so without work, and jobs were hard to find for someone who'd been home with house and children for many years.
It turned out that my friend had been engaged to be married before the second world war, but her fiance had been killed and so she had never married. She was still wearing her engagement ring. She was well educated, and became an draughtswoman or perhaps an architect... I'm not sure, but she had a good, permanent and well paying job. She decided to buy a house for herself and her mother, but of course she couldn't get a mortgage. (It was much the same when I tried to get a credit card in the seventies... women couldn't have credit cards or mortgages even then.) And so my friend just decided to go ahead and buy a house anyway. She saved the money and paid cash for it!
When I met her, she was living alone in her house and, as I've described before, she walked daily to the shops and back, with whatever she needed... completely independent of everyone else. She was one of the most contented people that I've known.
I assume that she's no longer there, though one never knows... she'd be nearly 100 years old.... In any case, her independence and her confidence in her own abilities was quite an education.
I have my house and my garden, almost paid for... and once I own my house, I'll be saving for the repairs that it needs... and still thinking of my independent friend in Brisbane.