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.