I just read an article on the internet – Disabled single woman with six children traded her house for a used minivan.  The house was worth approximately $96,000.00 and she traded it for a minivan, worth between $5000.00 – $8,500.00, for the purpose of getting her children to school.    She said that she had better offers in the form of cars that were worth more but she felt the family she gave the house to needed it the most.  Things aren’t as bad as it sounds, this woman bought another house at an auction for $3,600.00.  After I finished reading this piece, I finished cleaning the kitchen which was a  mess from our dinner.  As I was washing dishes looking out the  kitchen window,  I started to think –  traded a house for a minivan and bought a house at an auction for $3,600.00.   The houses I was looking at through my window were all bought  for prices  ranging between $350,000.00 and $500,000.00 depending on the year you bought into this neighbourhood.  Then another thought came to my head – I just bought and paid for hearing aids – $5,000.00.   This woman paid less for her house than I did for my hearing aids – how crazy is that!  We also have a 1977 trillium trailer that we paid $5000.00 for and it barely sleeps four.  This woman gave away a 4 bedroom house for a used mini-van.  Standing there looking out my kitchen window at all of the houses beautifully decorated for Christmas,  I wondered how many people in this neighbourhood have comfort in knowing that their houses are worth more than $500,000.00.  What if things get so bad that we are forced to sell our house for the price of a used mini-van.  Scary thought!  The more I thought about it, the more my house became just four walls.  That’s right four walls, every room in the house has four walls  – that’s all there is to it.  If this house depreciates in value so much so that it is literally worthless, would the house be important to me – I don’t think so,  the livelihood of my children would be the most important thing.  All of a sudden these four walls are just that, walls and roof that gives my family shelter and protects us from the elements.  Sure I like to decorate the house so I’m comfortable and I’ve always held the belief that your house is your castle.  It’s the one place you can be who you are and be accepted.   The more I thought about it the more I realized that my home is wherever I find my family.   The four walls of my house are not my comfort zone.  My family is what gives me comfort.  As I put the last of the dishes away in the cupboard a thought came to my mind.  “It’s a good thing we bought that 1977 trillium trailer because if we ever have to sell our house for a vehicle, I’ll make sure the vehicle can pull our trailer”.   The four fiberglass walls might be my future comfort zone!

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Just taking one step at a time and writing about the simple pleasures that make me smile.


  1. Wow that really is interesting, but yet I can so see that happening. The people I deal with on a day to day basis are always coming up with someway to survive. Barter and trade is a common system here for those that have a minimal to no education, but want to provide for their children and hope they have all options that others do. It is still very hard to comprehend.

  2. When I really thought about it – bartering a house -people put way to much into what their houses are worth – ie “when I retire my house is worth this amount and I’ll size down and buy an apartment ect. People are counting on their houses as part of the retirement package – blew me away that this woman traded a house and bought another one at an auction. I’m sure you’re eyes are opened on a daily basis – I keep reminding my children that the world is seeing some tough times right now!

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