We lived on very little money in New Hampshire. Most things we needed were created on the homestead or bartered for with neighbors. Cordwood was traded for gasoline to put in the car we rarely used. We went to a community center and traded clothes with other families. We made old things new.
Another thing we did is what I like to call "dump shopping." It is pretty self explanatory. It wasn't the sort of smelly dump that you might think of. I would have remembered a bad smell. What I do remember is enormous piles of stuff mixed in with sticks. maybe it was going to be burned. We crawled across the treacherous mounds of tangled trash and found treasures to take home.On one occasion, Walt found many pieces of a metal Erector Set, and I found a damaged dollhouse.
I was too young to understand how this might have been perceived by the world. It was like going shopping, only I could actually HAVE anything I could find.
I have more to say about this, but the words aren't coming. Part of me, a big part, misses that freedom. Freedom from shame. Freedom from societal pressures. The freedom of a VERY simple life.