The last piece about the newspaper that canned me, long ago, was a rock in a pool of collective memories. The ripples touched on hard times, hard work, pride in our own ability or that of friends and siblings. I had an awful time keeping it in my plus or minus five hundred words a post range, probably because of the facts that Mark Twain lets me leave out of a good story.
My life has been the tale of getting into, through and out, one chapter at a time. Some ironic, some ending with sincere gratitude for having a page to turn, and some with sincere appreciation for being helped along.
The last fifty years of seven plus decades are the result of the chapter called “How your father and I came to be married.” It’s the ironic chapter, the foundation of the rest of my life. The writing needs some thought.
I left off the last post earning a master’s degree in American Literature and nailing my dream job, teaching freshman English at our community college. I didn’t intend to carry on from there, but it’s an interesting story, so, editing by Mark Twain, here it is.
The teaching gig was night classes; a hopeful start at low pay. I kept my day job. There remained a scarcity of money, so I added a weekend job, cashiering at the local drug store. My husband was immersed in getting his sales career up and running, but he was available to watch the girls while I was teaching and on weekends.
And so things went on for two years. I know it was two years because I just made a time line. Funny how some things come together as one. Way over in Washington D.C., Congress was not funding liberal arts budget items. All over America PhD professors were out of work at universities and flooding the bottom of academia, community colleges. My contract was not renewed.
Back at my day job, I took a phone call from a collection agency threatening to garnishee my wages. After supper that night my husband went off to sell insurance, as he did almost every night. I put the girls to bed, and began going through the bill desk. I was unfamiliar with its contents; my husband handled that end of our partnership. You can guess the reason.
Everything was months behind. There were credit card bills in my name; there was a loan in our names that I found had my name forged. I made a tidy list and hired a lawyer. The next time our paths crossed, after the children were in bed, I told him I had filed for divorce. His reaction: “You sure know how to hit a fellow when he’s down.”
Thanks to Mark Twain I can exclude the anguish, how awful divorce is for children, and skip to the part where I realized my day job would not pay the bills. I opened the newspaper to the want ads and looked for a profession that earned decent money. I found it, midway down the first column. Accountant!
Back to school again for a degree, Bachelor of Science Accounting. And I had just paid off my masters’ loan!
To tidy the loose ends, my husband married my best friend and lived happily ever after. Sadly, for him, and for the girls, ever after ended a few years later; he died aged 44 of a massive heart attack. He was his wife's second husband, and she buried him in a single grave, for the reason, she explained to his parents, at graveside, she expected to remarry. Love those little tidbits.
The end. I believe I’m off the nostalgia train for the time being.