38 Comments

  1. Lovely, very evocative memories Mrs. G. Nothing like scent to get at primal memories.

    I don’t know that money is my comfort, (it’s likely family and family relationships) but it is difficult to be comfortable or to sleep at night without financial security.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thank you Emily. I think most would agree with you (and Suze Orman “People first, then money, then things”). I can’t say I put money before people but knowing I have enough of it makes me feel secure.

  2. This post makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. I love stepping back in time through people’s memories. I am nostalgic that way. This is a beautiful story.

    What allows me to sleep at night is knowing that we have an emergency fund in our bank, a peace and love that comes from God, and that I am not alone.

    Money is a sense of comfort for me but I know that things can happen and it all could vanish. So, ultimately what I have found to be the most comforting thing in my life is knowing that I have a loving Father up in heaven watching over me. That is where I get my comfort.

    Thank you for sharing Mrs. Groovy. I look forward to reading and learning more from you. You are an inspiration to me. Thanks again.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      You are so kind, Amanda. I wish I had the kind of faith you have. I do believe in God but I don’t have that personal a relationship.

      I’m so glad my words made you feel warm and fuzzy! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories, Mrs. G. I love being a fly on the wall near juicy conversations, even in a coffee shop where I don’t know the people involved, it fuels daydreams and helps my mind wander to fun places.

    My security is time, money, and my husband. I love knowing that our schedule isn’t packed to the brim with inflexible commitments. If I get a flat tire or the water heater leaks, we usually have some wiggle room in our schedules to get them fixed, and this wasn’t the case when I was working 100+ hours per week.
    Money is also nice, because along with time, it provides wiggle room in emergencies.
    Finally, though perhaps he should be first, my husband and I are each other’s back up everything, peripheral brain, and caregiver/assistant when we’re sick or need help. Plus, noises in the night aren’t so alarming when you’re not alone.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Oh yeah, I like listening in on those coffee shop conversations too (although sometimes I hear too much).

      I’m with you on time and being appreciative of not have an over-packed schedule. Life passes by too quickly when you’re ultra-busy. Funny you mentioned noises because during the two nights Mr. G was away, Groovy Cat and I got spooked by every sound when I (we) went to bed.

  4. You are such a great writer – I’m green with envy!

    Currently what helps me sleep at night is life insuance (odd?). As long as I’m alive, I can take care of my family. With life insurance, they’ll still be taken care of … fact, their lifestyle will probably improve (although they’ll be far too distraught at the lost of me to enjoy their newfound wealth I’m sure).

    Memory wise, the smell of fresh cut grass always take me back to that time in life when I didn’t have a care in the world. It’s probably why I love doing yard work so much.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Awww shucks, Ty. And my faced turned red from your praise. Thank you for the compliment. That means a lot. Mr. G is always encouraging me to write more and be more daring. It comes easier for him and I think of him as the writer in the family.

      Life insurance, especially when you have children, brings great peace of mind. I can see how it allows you to sleep at night. When you’re responsible for a family it’s critical to have protections in place. And by all means, keep doing yard work! Anything that brings us back to those carefree days is worth doing.

  5. What great memories! I often find how music takes me back to certain places and memories. It’s nice to reminisce like that, back to the days when life was simple as a kid, etc.

    Today, I’m right with you and your mom, money is comfort. And I’ve definitely felt more comfort as I accumulate more money. It makes certain unexpected expenses easier to swallow and decisions to make expensive trips easier knowing that the life experience is worth it and its affordable.

    I’m sure it will be the ultimate comfort when I reach early retirement too. Life will be more blissful, simple and carefree with that added comfort…just like it was as a kid!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thank you, Green Swan. I’m glad you mentioned music. Sometimes just a few chords of a song can remind you in a flash of where you were, and what you were doing, when you first heard it.

      I’m happy for you that you’re able to have those travel experiences with your family. That’s something you all will remember for a lifetime.

      I hope Mr. Groovy and I get to meet you before your next move. If you’re incredibly busy perhaps we can take you to lunch near your office when it fits your schedule.

  6. Beautifully written! I felt like I was there with you in Minnie’s apartment, wishing that I could sample her coffee. If your parents and the neighbors were like the Mertzes and Ricardos, I can imagine you enjoyed some healthy fun and laughter while you were growing up!

    What brings me comfort? Mr. Grumby, GrumbyCat, a safe and warm place to live, friends and family, healthy food, daily meditation and exercise, inspiring reading material (much of it from the personal finance blogosphere), and a relationship with money that continues to deliver greater freedom and happiness.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Mrs. G.

      Your comment made me remember a time when I was a bit older, around 12 or 13. My parents took my brother and me on a trip with “the Mertzes” to Florida and then we spent a few days in Jamaica. I recall taking a train ride to a rum factory in Jamaica. On the way back there were musicians playing calypso music on the train, and Minnie was singing “Yellow Bird” (Yellow bird, up high in banana tree….) on the top of her lungs! She had such a vivacious personality that I’m not even sure if she had a drink.

  7. What a wonderful story, Mrs Groovy. I feel like I was transported back in time with you.

    I have kept a couple of near empty tacky scent sprays (Impulse, for any Aussies out there) that I used as a teenager, because just taking the lid off transports me back to being with my wonderful tight-knit group of friends. It is really powerful.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thank you Mrs. ETT. I’m so happy you were transported with me. I understand how those scent sprays can take you back just by taking off the lid. I’ll have to do a Google search on Impulse to take a look.

  8. What a beautiful post. Your memories made me smile!

    Comfort is a tough one for me because I’m a natural worrier. My mom used to bring me comfort, and my wife Suzanne does now. Having money brings me a degree of comfort, but not enough to let go of the anxiety. Guess we’ve figured out what I need to work on!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      It’s a good day if I can make you smile, Gary! Thank you.

      I don’t know you that well but I have a hunch that your health issues add to your money worries. But you also seem to be in a better position now with insurance so hopefully over time, that will alleviate a bit of the stress. But anxiety isn’t always all bad. It can be a catalyst for paying attention to important things.

  9. Beautiful story Mrs. G! It’s incredible how our memories can be so vivid from something like an aroma.
    What brings me comfort? Mr. MSD, when my kids are both home and yes, money. My mom has always taken care of the finances for her and my Dad. I take care of all of the finances in our family too (we do “meet” about everything each month though!) The week we had $4200 of car repairs was a little stressful, but I wrote a check and paid the bill. Our balances went down some – but I still slept fine.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      So your mom took care of the finances too – does that have anything to do with your type A personality? (I say that lovingly, from one Type A to another.)

      I remember the week of the car repairs and the stress. But how wonderful to be in the position to just write a check and poof, away goes the stress. I hope you get to spend time with the kids over Christmas.

  10. Great memories, Mrs G. Does money give me comfort? I have to say that having sufficient funds plus a decent buffer makes retiring early a much easier decision. I have been in the position of living in overdraft and never having enough money in the past and I wouldn’t swap that for anything.

    I’m not one to sit around constantly counting my pennies and analysing my investments although I do, wisely, keep an eye on them.

    So yes, I’d say having enough definitely is comforting and sure better than not having enough.

    And now, I NEED a cup of coffee!!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Martin. The buffer definitely makes a difference. I’ve been in overdraft too and lived “hand to mouth” when I was a young adult. It’s not fun. Mr. G does the analyzing in our family, like you.

      I hope you enjoyed that coffee.

  11. Another fantastic and beautiful article Mrs G!

    For me personally, what gives me comfort is knowing that even if everything doesn’t work out well in life, I’ll still have an amazing group of friends and wonderful family to support me.

    Money’s not there yet, but I’m making progress towards it everyday!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thank you, TTW! Family and friends are definitely comforting. Just knowing they’re there to fall back on makes all the difference.

      Financial planning wasn’t even in our vocabulary when we were millennials (and millennial wasn’t in anyone’s vocabulary). You’re way ahead of the pack.

  12. You just invited us all to such a beautiful moment in time. It’s funny how a smell, sound, or taste can pop us right back to our childhood. That must be where the idea of time travel came from…one person walking down the stairs and getting smacked in the face with a memory from their past. 🙂

    I find comfort in my finances. I consider the fact that if something happens to me I am able to take care of myself. I don’t wish to be a burden on my mom or sisters because I didn’t plan accordingly.

    Your mom sounds incredible! And much like mine. We had a fair amount of convenience foods though my mom did cook from scratch every night. I wonder, looking back, what do you think Minnie’s financial situation was? That “real deal” fancy cheese and ground coffee beans…was it a symbol of wealth to you (compared to the plastic cheese and sanka) or was it old world tradition they hadn’t broken from?

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thank you so much Miss, M. Mr. G and I are also conscious of the burden factor. We finally got our wills and documentation together a few years ago and had conversations with my brother and Mr. G’s sister. But pretty soon we need to hand that off to a niece and nephew because none of us are getting any younger!

      That’s an interesting question about Minnie. Sol probably earned much more money than my father but I think the differences between Minnie and my mother had more to do with responsibilities. Minnie and Sol’s daughters were older. They had no kids to look after, while my mother had two. And she also had my grandfather living with us. He was my father’s father, a tough old European immigrant, which didn’t make things easy for my mom. I think she naturally gravitated towards convenience where she could.

  13. You had me at coffee, Mrs. Groovy! More than that, though, this post was positively fantastic. You completely transformed me to Minnie’s apartment and your memories. Thank you for an excellent read! 🙂

    Without a doubt, my comfort is my husband. It doesn’t matter what my day is like, I am delighted at the end of each day to see him walk through the door. I wish I had the words (like yours above) to adequately describe the peace I feel when we are together.

    Money comes in second. I remember the days of debt and stress all to well to deny that money brings me a sense of peace and comfort. I love knowing we can cover emergencies and my family will be taken care of if, God forbid, the worst were to happen.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      “You had me at coffee” – love it! Thank you for such a nice compliment, Amanda. I also love hearing you describe how your husband makes you feel. That sense of security is something money can’t buy. Yes, those of us who’ve stressed over money (i.e. most of us) are lucky if we come out the other side and gain a healthy respect for it, and the peace it can bring to our lives. Thanks for commenting.

  14. I definitely like the article and yes having sound finances has fundamentally changed my take on life by providing comfort. My parents were poor with money. While making a good wage there was nothing saved. I remember as a teenager honest discussions on living paycheck to paycheck. The fear of job loss risk. I remember my family wanting to pay for my undergrad degree but not even being able to take the loan let alone pay. That fear I carried with me in my career and swore I’d never be in a situation where I’d have to choose what I wanted based on the money I had. Now at a younger age this took the form of trying to make ever more money, but as I have aged I’ve learned to focus more on what I value and choose what I truly want only. So ultimately I take comfort in knowing I’m now at a place in life where I will never have those experiences again, and neither will my kids. For the record, one of my parents turned it around mostly thanks to a pension.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      My parents struggled, too, FTF. I don’t remember being poor, exactly, but there was never much extra. And my father worked six days a week. It’s great that you don’t have to pass on that sense of fear to your children, and I’m glad to hear that your parent was able to turn things around. Thanks so much for sharing.

  15. Wow, I’m really late to this party (guess that’s what happens when you still have to travel for work!!).

    Love the word picture, could actually smell the coffee and taste the sugar cubes! Seemed like a scene out of a movie.

    My comfort comes from knowing we’re in a place where we’ll be financially secure for life in <18 months, my wife, my dogs and my God.

    Keep up your great writing, always love your posts!!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      We’ll have to hear all about your NY trip when we speak. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. Eighteen +/- months will go by in a flash.

  16. With Christmas right around the corner I love the smell of cinnamon around this time of the year. The smell of burning candles and the fragrance makes me smile of when I was younger spending time with my family.

    It’s amazing how smells transport us back in time. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thank you MSM. I love the smell of cinnamon too although I don’t have too many memories associated with it. But it is amazing how smells can transport us back in time. There are a few other scents, particularly of certain candies, that instantly remind me of my grandmother because she used to carry them in her purse 40+ years ago.

  17. What a gorgeous memory! Did I not know that you grew up in BK? My mom is from Bensonhurt, not far from where you are talking about. My grandmother lived downstairs from us and always gave me coffee as a child, filled with sugar! Coffe and saltines with butter. To this day the combination of those two smells fills me with incredible warmth.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Linda. My mom grew up in Bensonhurst. I grew up close to Marine Park. They called the neighborhood Sheepshead Bay but we were a few miles from the Bay. As a teenager I was a camp counselor at the JCH on Bay Parkway. And when Mr. Groovy and I were last in NY in August for a wedding, we went to Spumoni Gardens for pizza with my brother!

      Grandmothers are the best! And coffee with saltines and butter works for me, even now. (Just about any carb with butter works for me.)

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Financial freedom is what it’s all about. Money is just a symbol – in and of itself it has no value. Thanks for your comment, Dennis.

  18. What a joyful scene you evoke. I’m also similarly comforted by good freshly-ground coffee. My girlfriend knows that and has made a habit of buying me beautiful coffee mugs so that I have the feeling of her being with me as I sit in my apartment and prepare for my day..

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, ZJ. I really appreciate your comment. It must be nice to have those beautiful mugs to remind you of your girlfriend. I have many mugs but tend to use the same one every day. It’s made of glass.

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