Those Were The Days…

my friend, we thought they’d never end. We’d sing and dance, forever and a day. Thankfully, they did end. No, I was not singing and dancing. I was going through the grocery store in three laps.

The time was in the early seventies, the place Glenview, Illinois. My husband Dave was in serving in the Navy.

We lived on a tight budget. People find this hard to believe, and even I marvel how we ever made it through. Dave was fresh out of boot camp and brought home $77.00 every two weeks. That covered paying on a mobile home we were trying to sell and rent for our furnished apartment. Furniture that I could pick up with one hand.

Our lives were much improved over that earlier time when we had two to five cents between us by his next payday. But now we had a baby and they don’t come cheap. We were stationed north of Chicago, but still under the dictates of the city. The meat packers union decided to close the meat counters at 6:00pm. To go grocery shopping after six, you would find the meat counter under cover; unable to purchase anything there.

At that time, we were a single-car family, making it impossible for me to shop early in the day, as Dave had the car at work. He would race home, so our little son, Jamie and I could hop in the car to get our weekly groceries.

Our first stop was at the meat counter. Fortunately, we could purchase meat after six; getting it into our cart before six, our battle was won. Then we would go up and down each aisle picking up the bare essentials.

Oh! Did I mention our little clicker? As we carefully selected each item we added up the price in our handheld clicker. We used mindful caution not to break the bank. This was before the day of a calculator on our cell phone. If anyone spoke of carrying a telephone around wherever we went; we would think they were nuts. Today, people go nuts if they’ve mislaid their cell phone.

The third trip though the store was if we could afford any pleasures. A brownie mix or package of cookies, you get the idea. People speak of the good old days, I’m here to tell you, not all of them were so good. Every era has its short-comings, every generation has an opportunity of obstacles to overcome.

What is amazing is we live to tell about it. Kids haven’t a clue what some of their parents went through, life was not always what it is today. I include myself in that statement; how I wish I had asked my folks what times were like way back when.

It is an eye-opening experience to comprehend what we can both live with and without. One day at a time, the good Lord sees us through it. That is the cool part, he provides what we need, when we need it. If I were to get all my life blessings at once, I would have used them up by the time I entered kindergarten.

One hour at a time, one day at a time; that’s how he rolls.

Our Tennessee Waltz

4922080300_7000d2b30b_bWe didn’t realize what was on the road ahead of us.

We were expecting our first child and were dancing on air. I was sicker than a dog but certain it would all be good. Even better when my husband, Dave’s tour of duty in the Navy would be over and we could get on with life. He had just completed training in the Navy.

Within a month we would receive orders on where he would be stationed. Having no ‘home’ to return to we relied on our parents. Two weeks each should get us through the wait.

We loaded our goods in a small rented trailer and headed for Michigan.  Living in Millington, Tennessee was much like camping. We were there a mere four months so only had the bare essentials.

As we traveled, Dave commented, “Soon we are going to have to get some gas.”

Then I feel asleep. Allow me to note here, nagging can be a good thing and sleeping on the job not so good. We ran out of gas.

I was awake by then and we reasoned he would walk up the incline to see if there was a gas station nearby.

Did I mention this was wintertime? The poor guy was wearing those lovely polyester pants so popular at that time. They had zero warmth and the wind was blowing.

I glanced around our stranded location. It occurred to me I should have warned him not to accept any rides.

Don’t be silly, he’s a grown man. He wouldn’t do anything as risky as getting into a stranger’s car.

My gaze returned to his path in time to see him climbing into a car that pulled over for him. Panic seized me and instantly I lost it. Mentally I knew he was going to be slaughtered and thrown out in some ditch. I sat there sobbing at the side of the road, waiting for the police to come tell me the horrible news.

I was going to have to raise this child alone. What would become of us?

As expected, the police came. Having seen our car at the side of the road, and Dave walking back my way with a gas can, they picked him up. How dare he be alive and well! I was still in my devastated mode trying to figure out how I would carry on without him.

After settling me down, we traveled on, stopping for the night. We awoke the next morning to snow. A lot of snow. Dangerous driving kind of weather.  But continue we must.

The traffic made two ruts of the road. In front of us cars were losing control left and right providing several close encounters. Miraculously no one hit us. It’s frightening to have a vehicle heading right for us and seeing the passengers inside screaming.  However, they did clear a path allowing us forge on.

We were almost at our destination when the transmission gave out on the car.

Lord, what more?

I’ve since learned not to ask him that.

In that month long wait, a family member got me a doctor appointment concerning my excessive morning sickness.  The meds were costly, but they got me over the hump and I felt much better.

Looking back at that ‘season’ of life I’m in awe of God’s protection. True, we experienced some thrills and chills but thankfully nothing on earth lasts forever. His love does.


Honoring Dads


Oftentimes I have heard that girls marry someone like their dad; likewise boys marry a girl like mom. Sort of I did, I know my husband definitely did. I could go to great lengths telling you of the fun my mother-in-law and I shared, but today I celebrate fatherhood.

Just like Dad.

My husband is a hard-working devoted family man. Just like Dad. The two of them served in the Navy. Both men are thinkers. But that is pretty much where the similarity ends. My marriage partner is a man of few words and a problem solver at heart. He enjoys a challenge and gets aggravated at things that keep him from achieving his goal. Giving up is never an option. He teaches me patience.
This love of my life loves and supports our children. But he’ll redirect their thoughts if he deems it necessary. He desires to always be available for them, which is hard when we all live in different parts of the country. Some decisions are made for us, so we deal with them.

A character.

On the other hand, Dad was a talker. Always thinking up ideas that were mostly wishful thinking. I can still see him tapping his forehead saying, ‘Twenty-four hours a day,’ indicating his mind never stops.  To say he was a character is putting it mildly. I still laugh to recall my dad trying to figure out how the light went out on our regrigerator, nearly shutting the door on his head in the process. Dad was a hard-working man, his first job was delivering newspapers.  Even in his nineties he could give you the names of those on his route that refused to pay him. He readily accepted responsibility in providing for his widowed mother along with his own family. He taught me appreciation.


I’m grateful for both of them. My life is what it is because of these two influential men. Oh yeah, God too. He knew exactily the kind of men i needed. Open-minded problem solvers that know how to have fun. I love you guys dearly.

Happy Father’s Day