7 Things I Remember Vividly About Growing Up Poor

I grew up in rural Florida, in a 100-year old farmhouse, in a town without even a stoplight.
  1. 1.
    The sweltering stickiness of no air conditioning
    A big deal in Florida. We used fans and left windows and doors open all summer. To cool off, we bathed in the nearby freshwater springs at 5:30 every evening.
  2. 2.
    The fresh, warm smell of laundry that had spent all afternoon drying on the clothesline.
    We didn't have a dryer, either. It's hard to beat this scent though. It doesn't come in any detergent I've found.
  3. 3.
    Racing to pull clothes off the clothesline as the first drops of the afternoon storms hit.
    The downside of drying clothes outside in Florida summers.
  4. 4.
    The watery taste of prepared powdered milk on my morning cereal.
    I can't even look at this stuff now.
  5. 5.
    The sweet taste of homemade grape jelly.
    Our property had grape vines that still produced. The grapes were tart and made my cheeks pucker, but with enough sugar added, the jelly was a treat.
  6. 6.
    Playing outdoors in the dirt driveway.
    My imagination was endless, and so was the sand.
  7. 7.
    My father telling me often that despite having no money, we were rich in love.
    And we were. I didn't realize how financially poor we were until years later.