So if we have chickens, a garden, we can sew, we can cook, we have useful skills.... we might be able to provide things that money cannot buy!
So I sat and sewed some more masks and gathered some eggs for my friend. I might as well have given her gold! It is as though all the normal things we get excited about are out the window! Now a bag of flour... rolls of toilet paper and antibacterial wipes get the reaction once reserved for much fancier stuff! This gives us a lot of ways to help others and in a significant way.
This applies in other ways too. I think it has always been lovely to send someone a hand written letter or card. But now it could mean so much to someone isolated. Many quite ordinary things are bigger now. We thanked our Pharmacist in writing for his help to us and this also got a reaction that was way more than I would have guessed. People seem to be so thirsty for some kindness and gratitude. This might come because I have heard the chemists are abused when they cannot supply goods in shortage... and that doctors, nurses and ambulance officers are being abused too. They could so with some kindness and a show of thanks.
Now I want to share something Rachel wrote to me. She bartered her way though a whole day quite miraculously. And I think this is inspiring and lovely!
MY AMAZING DAY!
Yesterday was an amazing day for me! I had been up early, and had travelled to town for the mechanic to do further testing on my car. It was losing large quantities of water, and the idea was to test another alternative method for repair, instead of having to replace a $250 part.
It was Dad who mentioned, in good humour, that I was there to clean the windows (as I now do window cleaning for income), and the mechanic said to go right ahead whenever it suited me! Since the supermarkets were not yet open, the mechanic shop’s windows, tracks and sills were treated to a rare cleaning! The mechanic was pleased.
Dad chauffeured me through the day. We visited several supermarkets so that I could buy basics. It was good to see that most stock was on the shelf. There was even flour in one shop, although I didn’t buy any because I grind wheat at home using an electric mill, and find this very satisfying!
I had shops to call back to regarding window cleaning. At the new little picker’s shop (selling antiques and modern items of interest), I was prepared. Another window cleaner had underquoted me, so I was ready to match his lower price and get the job back! As per prior arrangements, I took the owner a set of six tiny Italian, gold-plated coffee cups with saucers. He sat down to review the price that we would agree on. He had previously suggested bartering when he had seen that I was interested in a pair of easy-moving old sheep shears that would suit my hands when cutting greens for my chooks. When the owner said that he could not afford the window cleaning that day, with everything being so quiet, I made a suggestion, and he was very interested to carry it through! So, I contributed the gold coffee cups and saucers, which I had no use for, and I cleaned his shop windows. In return, I took home a very useful pair of shears and a kitchen tool which cuts a potato into chips!! Inside the bag, too, he had added a couple of chocolate bars for my Dad and I to eat on the way home!!
Back at the mechanic’s, to pick up the car, the apprentice gave us a message that my costs would be covered by my window cleaning. The boss had to bring my car keys back, and he confirmed the message. He said that, if I was happy, he was happy, and we called it even! The car was fixed, saving a huge bill, and the miracle is that it cost me nothing but my window cleaning!
I know that we can’t just make bartering happen, just as I don’t find window cleaning jobs just jumping out at me! Ha ha! What we can do, however, is to be prepared, and realise that money is not what matters most. If I do my bit, and people see that I am genuinely trying and doing a good job, then, somehow, there are some people who respond out of the goodness of their heart.
We bartered, and it was an amazing day!!
I love this, thank you Rachel! 💕
So we might not need goods to barter with but skills and acts of help or service. I am considering more what assets I have. Whether to barter with or to give to help someone. I have lots of pretty cards and writing paper. I can send mail.
My eyes have opened to more things I could barter with and gift. I made a short list in the last post. I knew eggs are good! I listed herbs and Bay Leaves. But each day I have realised how many more things I have! I can make laundry liquid and I have the ingredients to make loads.
So be encouraged, be productive and creative with what you can lay your hands on and what you have. If you want to make masks and have no sewing machine then hand stitch. If you have no fabric then cut up an old pillowcase. Be resourceful. Let everyone know what you are needing... people have all kinds of things in the back of the cupboard! It is ok to ask. I am about to ask for help with a few things I cannot do and I will be offering cooking as my trade. I have apples to dehydrate so bags of dried apple will be added to my list. Last year I did trade those to get the gutters cleaned out!
So wish me luck and I wish you every success as we realise our skills and many ordinary things are now worth more than gold! xxx