A group of friends just came back from a trip to Alabama to help repair homes damaged in the recent tornadoes. They came back with some heartrenching stories and pictures. I was raised in tornado country so I've seen the results before. But never on this scale.
For the most part they worked on cleaning up and reroofing the home of an 80+ year-old WW2 veteran who didn't have home insurance. The whole neighborhood was a shambles. They estimated the damaged area to be about 6 square miles. There was so much stuff blown around that FEMA had just gone through the area and bulldozed some of the debris into huge piles.
As we looked at pictures of those piles one of the guys mentioned that he decided to go "looking for memories" among the debris. He pointed out something that I had missed when I first looked at the picture. There were dolls, family pictures and other items that had survived the storm but were now mixed in with trash. His hope was that he could pull some items out and return them to the person who shared those memories.
It occurred to me that our lives are like that. We look at the big picture and don't see the details. A closer look reveals that no amount of money or insurance could replace those 'memory' items. And, that when everything is taken away from us the things we value most are our memories of those we love and shared our lives with.
So instead of trying to buy my way to happiness, I think that I'll spend a little more time making memories. Hopefully I won't have to lose everything in a storm to recognize where my treasure really is.
Keep on Stretching those Dollars!