You know those hard times when it’s a “whatever’s-left-in-the-cupboard-is-what’s-for-dinner” kind of night? That’s what’s cooking in my household this month. For lunch today my daughter and I shared a tin of beans warmed in the microwave. I nearly bust out and started smoke dancing through the kitchen when I found a box of lemon pudding mix hiding in the back of the cupboard. That was the va-va-voom to our Family Day weekend. Whose bright idea was it to schedule Family Day when many families are still broke from Christmas anyways?
I remember when my oldest daughter was small. Each week I’d make a budget and for about a hundred dollars I could feed my family for two weeks. Fast forward to 2014 and it costs me twice as much to feed us for half the amount of time. This is insane! What if I had six kids? Or if I was a single mom? I’ll bet I’m not the only one out there who feels like I am pedaling faster just to keep pace.
Feeling defeated, last month I gave in and bought a lottery ticket. And not the scratchy kind either; those are worth the three bucks just for the fun of scratching off that grey stuff. No, this was one of the boring computer printed kind. The kind you buy when you’re fed up and temporarily embrace an, “I give up, this sucks.” attitude.
That night as I drove home from the store I said a little prayer to God that if I won millions of dollars I would steward it well. Although my lottery ticket didn’t make me rich it got me thinking; what would I do with millions of dollars?
I don’t really have a list of things I would do aside from the obvious sharing it with family and paying off my student loan. However here are some of the extravagances I would look forward to if I won the lottery.
First of all, I would never dread grocery shopping again. Nothing makes a parent feel more like a loser than hauling your kid through the grocery store and having to explain to them mid-tantrum that they can’t have the sparkly Scooby treats in their lunches because they cost three times more than the ugly no-name fruit cups. FYI, explaining anything mid-tantrum is never successful.
Next, I would build a house. I wouldn’t build a large house, just something average sized where everything is finished. No more holes in the linoleum or cold bedrooms. I would fill my house with cozy furniture, plush carpets and warm blankets. My house would always smell like sweetgrass, vanilla and sage. There would be a quiet area for reading, a place where I could bead, and a TV room where I could watch ‘Young and the Restless’ without being disturbed. In the middle of the house would be a welcoming kitchen where my family could come over and eat corn soup from perfectly sized corn soup bowls and corn soup spoons, ‘reserved’ only for corn soup eating. Pun intended.
I would buy myself a dishwasher, because if I was a millionaire I would never ever want to wash a dish again… ever. In my imagination, only millionaires can afford to run dishwashers on reservation water systems. If we’re talking extravagance I would also throw away each and every pair of socks and underwear in my entire household and start over. Incidentally, what is the ‘fruit of the loom’ anyways?
At some point, I would buy a bus. I would paint the bus with beautiful flower beadwork designs and it would be called “The Pow-Wow Bus”. This bus would run all year round and bring the people of Six Nay to pow wows in our area throughout the season. It would also bring people from other cities down the bush for longhouse, family events or other ceremonies whenever they needed a ride because nobody should be blocked from togetherness because they can’t afford a ride.
When I really think about it though, who knows how much would change in my life if I had a million dollars. It’s nice to daydream about these things even if it is just pie in the sky. But at some point you put the daydream away, fill up the sink with soapy water and just start scrubbing away at the pots and pans again. Dishes aren’t so bad anyways.