My Frugal Life: Healing on the Oregon Coast

In 2008, I was in a car accident in Tennessee where I broke my back, my neck, crushed the right side of my face and head, de-gloved my right arm, was left deaf in my right ear, had to have my cheek re-built, and my eye sewn into place again. A month in a trauma care unit was not enough to heal from injuries like mine.

An RV with a minivan in front, at a campsite.

I wanted to move back near my grown children, so after a year of healing, in order to gain strength for the long trip, we bought an RV, pulled a U Haul behind it, and moved to the Oregon Coast, leaving everything behind. We believed this was the 'thriftiest' way to make our move on our limited funds and find a new life.

A woman in a neck brace

Our plan was to live in the RV until my husband found work. So when we arrived, we lived quite frugally in the RV at a campground and sought out our new life through online resumes, trying various churches on Sundays, and seeking out all the beautiful places we could find along the Oregon Coast. It was months before it all came together, but we kept our faith, believing God had something better for us.

A bird flying over the beach with people in the distance.

While we waited, our entertainment was walking the beach and taking photos of all the beauty. This doubled as my emotional and physical therapy. I took thousands of digital photos and put them into my computer; this never cost me a dime. I needed a lot of free therapy. My healing has been evolving with each sunset, each realization that 'we did this' - made a 3,000 mile move in spite of impossible circumstances and on very little money.

A woman at the Oregon Coast.

At the same time my husband got his job, a home on the water opened up for us to live. Now all our entertainment is free. Sunsets are free, and God never makes one the same. So each night, I get fresh therapy. Daily, the beaver swims by with a branch he has chopped down and is heading back to his den. I take it in and more healing happens in my soul. Right now baby ducks come and eat bird seed I throw out for them. The bag of seed cost me $4.99 on sale at Bi-Mart and is will last at least a month! :)

A beautiful view of the water and trees.

When the Opsprey lands in our tree for a high view to see the fish, and then dives at the water, and clutches his large trout as he makes his way to a perch for lunch, it is the greatest show on earth, and I don't pay a dime. That is as frugal as one can get! And when I want trout, I go out and catch one.

An osprey with outspread wings on the Oregon Coast.

God is the healer, and for me the 'Thrifty' way to heal is with His Creation. Breathing deeply of the fresh air is free! Sitting in the sunshine is free! Laying in my hammock, praying, and meditating is free!


I am a songwriter/recording artist of hundreds of songs and lost my high range, due to the traching after the accident. But do you know having enough faith to continue practice singing is free? I recently was asked to sing at a conference when their musicians canceled, and I found stirring up the courage to go and do the conference was free. All went well, and getting moving again - pulling myself out of this hole - was free. I just had to do it. Free is about as frugal as anyone can get!

A woman at the the beach in Oregon.

The home we rented came furnished, so we bought the furniture at a great price. Now hubby works, and I take photos of everything in sight while I continue to heal. A large skin graft was done to cover the huge scar on my arm that will always look like a shark bit me. I now call the arm my scarm! One might as well keep a sense of humor, right? Humor, even toward the worst kinds of wounds is free and good for the soul!


I have included a few of my photos so that 'you' might get a little therapy for free right here on Thrifty Fun. I encourage you to believe and have faith that things can get better when everything looks so bleak! There is so much more to tell, I am writing a book about it!

So as Forrest Gump would say: That is my story and I'm sticking to it. A sunset with a woman with outstretched hands.


By Songbirdcindy from Oregon Coast

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June 24, 20110 found this helpful

Although I wasn't as badly injured as you, Cindy, I, too took time by the beach to heal after a breakdown. As luck would have it, I had just met my future husband, had a place to stay by the beach, & had inherited some $ to pay the bills for a while. So, we took a hiatus & I devoted myself to healing. It was an investment in my health which I never regret.


Too often modern day medicine wants to believe that it's all faster than the speed of light or the internet, but traditional wisdom is that you have to take time out to heal. And then you truly can recover! Sounds like you figured that out, too. I am so glad!

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June 24, 20110 found this helpful

I am going to take you ladies advice. Like you I was brought up short last year first I ended up in hospital with life-saving surgery. After coming back from that, I was making a stop in Tenn. and again found myself in a life and death situation.

I was rushed to Cooksville hospital and was told I had chf and copd. They did great work and once again I was on my way to Texas for a stay with my daughter. To make a long story short when I got back home this spring, I took a nasty fall.


I did not come back as fast as I wanted. I went to my doctor. She took blood test, and told me my numbers were up for another heart attack.

I'm not doing as well as I like, but I will take my time and live as frugally as I can. I'll try to do my winter thing with my husband again this winter. The good lord willing, I will make it back to Tenn, Texas, and Florida. Thank you for your story and I will remember you as I try to heal.

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June 24, 20110 found this helpful

This was a beautiful story, and I am glad you are healing in this way, this is so wonderful and thank the Lord you survived! You have inspired many people, thank you again!

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June 25, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you for sharing your heart warming story and beautiful photos.
My life changing accident was back in 1999. To me, nothing is more peaceful than a sunset or sunrise.Being at a beach or a calm lake is a bonus.


God Bless.

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June 26, 20110 found this helpful

Wonderful and inspiring story. Many people need healing of the heart and mind as well as the physical, and I hope they read your story and are able to see parts of themselves in it. Maybe you've helped many who never knew where to start to help themselves.

I pray that God keeps you strong and Blesses you to continue those things that are still inside you to give.


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June 28, 20110 found this helpful

This is such a wonderful and inspiring story. I'm so happy that you have maintained your faith and have received the rewards! I'm so glad that you share this with us. Thank and bless you!

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June 29, 20110 found this helpful

What a wonderful story. God bless you for keeping faith and may He continue to help you heal. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

Wonderful story! I listened to some of your songs; they're beautiful, just like you! May you continue your journey with peace and love.

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful


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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

Dear Cindy,

What a lovely story! I'm so sorry for your injuries, but glad that you are mending well. You're proof that keeping a positive attitude and enjoying what's good in the world is so much better than whining & despairing; it helps you to heal better.


I've been noticing your photos in other postings & you have a real talent for photography. You might, if you like, be able to earn a little money with that. Just a thought.

I am interested in listening to your songs, like dusty6788 did, but I don't know where to find the link. Do you have a website?

Best wishes for health & happiness always!

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

Dear Cindi,
You are right Mother Nature is here to help us heal all our wounds...physical and emotional. Glad to hear you are in a much better place in your life!

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

Your story is inspiring and your photos are beautiful. If that (literally & figuratively) is where you live, no wonder your mind, body & spirit are healing! I think too many people are so busy they become disconnected from nature & the healing properties of just taking the time to go outside away from the noise pollution & listen to their inner voices.

Thank you for sharing your story, ant the lovely photos with us.

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you for sharing your challenges and triumphs! God is good! :)
Your photography is beautiful. The scenes remind me of some greeting cards I saw at the natural history museum near my home. I believe you could use that talent to bring in some income if you so chose.

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July 6, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for including the details, like the osprey having the trout. Your story is stirring, and am glad you found your way.

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July 6, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you for sharing your inspirational story and wonderful picture's.

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July 8, 20110 found this helpful

Wow! How inspiring. I'm 57 and every time I feel like I'm just falling apart, I see articles or people themselves who have mountains to climb in their life and it makes me grateful for what I have (and don't have!) I also pray for those who have inspired me. You have a gift to share and you have shared it with me and so many others. The gift to see and appreciate the simple, awe-inspiring everyday presents from God. Also to distinguish what is actually important and what is not to live a good life. I think it was God who said, "Keep it Simple". Not really, but I know He gave us simple rules to live by, To have faith and believe in Him, and Treat others as you want to be treated. Pretty simple stuff. Didn't mean to babble. I don't usually write comment, but had to in this case. Bottom Line: Thank you! Jean

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