Although not in Appalachia, I was an impoverished single mother, too. So I know a lot about the kinds of creativity and ingenuity that unintended path calls for!
These are lovely sentiments, Ms. Stine:
"What is living in poverty if not constantly being creative?"
"When I feel like I have nothing, I can give my son the gift of creativity, the gift of imagination, the gift of spending a happy hour painting cardboard on the porch."
I never had more than $100 to my name and sometimes it was inordinately difficult if rent and utilities came due at once. But I also noticed that so long as I had an attitude of being WILLING to give, that opportunities presented themselves literally in the nick of time.
Sometimes my phone would not be working and I'd run into someone who wanted me to do a job. The synchronicity proved amazing to the point of miraculous.
I couldn't get my car fixed when the transmission was going so I tried to park it ONLY where I could exit without having to go into reverse. One time someone managed to park in front of me--blocking a driveway--and by the grace of God, on several tries (each time the car inching closer to the offending vehicle!), it managed to go in reverse to get me out of that squeeze.
At other times the car just wouldn't start up. I took a metal stick from the baby crib, opened the hood, and from time to time used that stick to get a spark going that WOULD start the car. I laughed and told the kids it was my magic wand.
People that have a lot usually have little appreciation; and those who have little are forced to see the blessings in what they DO have.
I think those were the most spiritually gratifying years of my life because I was so attuned to the WAY that Spirit answered when needs arose.
Depending on attitude, there can be beauty in just about any situation... if one knows how to seek and find it.
When I moved to Key West with my 2 daughters, we lived in old navy housing (turned over to private owners) that had such lousy flooring that if I wore high heels, they'd pierce the shoddy floors.
I used to tease my daughters that when God ran out of gifts, he gave money; and that while they had little of that, they had looks and intelligence which money could never buy.