Tales of a Blue Bug

by Natalie Venezio


I have a story about my mother that I'd like to share. Her determination and persistence and frugality have yet to be matched with this one: My mother, Nancy drove a 1969 blue VW bug for fourteen years. While my siblings and I were growing up we'd often ask when she was going to get a better car. After all, it was uncomfortable to fit all four of us in at one time; add to that groceries, and maybe a grandmother. Anyway she'd always reply, "In due time, all in due time."

You see, she was not only squirreling away every coupon cent she redeemed, she was also building our new home by hand while my dad worked as a welder. Her own father helped her build her house if she'd help him do the same as a mutual barter. So we move into this nice cozy new home and we're still being toted in the blue "bug". Years go by and that bug is still her only transportation.

Then in what we saw as a spontaneous moment my mother announces that she's going to buy a new used car. How can she afford it we all thought? Well here's the kicker: She saves every single coupon cent redeemed in a separate savings account that accrues decent interest and in fourteen years she pays cash for a one year old Mercedes. She has never been a payment maker or credit taker. Because of the barter she and her father did, which included the land, her house-building costs were limited to permits and materials. That is how she earned her new car. Wow! If only I could aspire to be so great!

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