Tony and Mary were born in the early 1900s. They lived through the tail end of WWI, survived the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, were impacted greatly by WWII, and watched the politics of Vietnam and the Korean War unfold in the newspapers and through radio broadcasting. Their marriage, faith and family bonds held them together in great times of hardships.
Because of these events and the coming age of globalization, Tony and Mary thought that they needed to hold on to their material things in case these tragedies struck again. Held on they did.
A flood came. It wasn’t “The Flood,” but it was one enhanced by a lot of rain and a backed up sub-pump in a basement. This particular basement was full of games, books, a bar full of fine wine and cheap ale, fancy dresses, Christmas decor and linens from the 1940s. As these things were dug out via their adult children, Mary proceeded to dry these aforementioned items, while Tony secretly shoveled the destroyed games into the trash so that his grand-daughter wouldn’t cry for them.
Most items were saved and paid for it by smelling like mildew for the next twenty years. The Christmas tree trimmings remained and are still used on relatives trees, many of the books fill shelves in their great-granddaughter’s bedroom, and yellowed linens are hidden inside of china cabinets. Treasures of old couldn’t simply be tossed or donated. They were treasured by a man and wife who dreamt about simple times while storing away their treasures for future generations.
Mary talked of simplicity a lot.
She mended socks, and wore the same style of pants for decades. Her simple makeup and the staple perfume never left her chest of drawers. Tony hoarded papers, bills, and newspapers, but nourished their family out of his simple garden and thrifty grocery shopping. Mary didn’t drive and Tony stayed local as to where they spent their time.
Simple prayers were made in the glow of the night-light in the hallway in their home. Simple meals were placed out before loved ones and visitors. They stuck to the same routine, the same schedule, and the same path. Their hoards of pots and pans, paperwork, and Christmas decorations didn’t deter them from the simple worship they found themselves on Sunday mornings or Wednesday afternoons. They remained true to their living, and left a legacy of simple faith and sweet memories.
Matthew 6:21 ESV
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Their treasure wasn’t in those garment bags or frilly handcrafted linens. Although treasured and saved, Tony and Mary delighted in relationships, prayer and good deeds. They helped the needy, prayed for the sick, and loved on their grandchildren like no other. Their simple life was sometimes scoffed at and when they did stumble, some were quick to scoff or judge. Those attitudes didn’t deter them from propelling forward in their life of servitude and love.
Psalm 116:6 ESV
The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
They survived though adversaries tried to get them down. Tony and Mary simply lived even when the enemy attacked. They flourished when the naysayers looked down from their lives of material abundance. Their simple lives left fond memories for those who truly saw them for their beautiful selves.
14 thoughts on “Simple Life”
What a beautiful post that honors their memory. Thanks for sharing.
What a beautiful testament to a beautiful life! They are a great representation of storing up our treasures in Heaven! Their life is appropriate to look to in this day where things and stuff are put above all. This was my favorite: “Those attitudes didn’t deter them from propelling forward in their life of servitude and love.” Thank you for sharing such beautiful lives with us! <3
Beautifully written! True contentment is really precious especially when it is tested in situations like this
My grandparents lived through the depression and WWII. Their style of life was simplier. They weren’t wasteful ans used everything they had. I remember making mud pies and smelling flowers with them.
I enjoyed my grandparents as well. I loved gardening with them and the trips to the pond to feed the ducks.
What a touching story.
I collect (and use!) vintage linens, so your photo at FMF caught my eye. Your story of Mary and Tony and their undying love for life and each other is a beautiful one. They obviously understood that, while they gathered and accumulated “stuff”, it was the day-to-day memories they made together that mattered most. Such a wonderful example of commitment for all of us. So glad you shared!
What a great story and wisdom to treasure that what really matters! Materials things don’t last but faith and family do!
A beautiful way to see the world, through these two eyes! My have times changed, as my generation and my kids struggle with contentment because of the “I need, I want” overload my hearts prayer is that in all of it that my kids find that true contentment is only in Christ alone.
Such great wisdom. Material things will never last nor give satisfaction. So glad for the simple faith they passed on so sweetly.
What a lovely story. In our current world of more is never good enough, I love the story of their contentment. Thank you for sharing.
My heart is so blessed that you remember them this way.
This is precious and sweet. In this short post, I felt like I was there, and they were my family. Good people serving God the best they knew how!
This is such a beautiful piece, worth emulating. They lived like young children who never worry about tomorrow and God played his part. It’s a legacy that will never die.