The Story of Vera and Her Family, chapter 12

23 02 2008

A New Roof, Dad Rebuilds The Car Engine, Mom Becomes A Substitute Teacher

I can remember so well the January day that the roof was replaced.  I had stayed home from my teacher’s aide job, because one of you girls was sick.  We snuggled in bed with our cats Max, Tinker and Julie.  Oh, yes, how could I forget about Max.  You brought him home from Hazel St. in October of l987.  He was a special part of our family for many years. (He died in l999 of cancer)

My last obligation to my teacher’s aide job was to help take the children on a field trip to a nearby state park.  You and Maria were already out of school.  I asked the teacher if you could accompany us on the field trip.  The kindergarten children really enjoyed both of you girls.

I was so glad to be finished with being a teacher’s aide at the academy.  I finally qualified to be a substitute in the public school system.  I had made an A in my developmental psychology class.  That class turned out to be very important to my own personal life.  I used the material I learned to help me understand my own life. 

Paper routes were  an excepted part time job for children in small towns.  My brothers , when I was growing up–always had paper routes.  Now, a paper route opened up for you and Maria.  You actually split the route.  I saw it as an opportunity for each of you to have spending money.  Goodness knows–your dad and I certainly had no extra money to pass out.  Ben and Sandy made good money. They were looking forward to getting Christmas tips.  Again, I promised to help fold the papers and deliver them if needed.

With the fall of l988 –I was finally on the public school substitute teaching list.  I had a rude awakening–when I never got a call.  In those days, the principals called their own substitutes.  They had their favorites– and of course–no one knew me at all.  At last, in late September, I received a call to help accompany some deaf students back to the deaf school in Danville, Kentucky.  I was reluctant to take that job as it was Sandy’s birthday.  I got the call on Sunday afternoon–so I went ahead and baked Sandy’s cake. 

By October, jobs started coming to me on a more regular basis.  The principal of the new 5th and 6th grade center started using me a great deal.  He gave me ample work for many years–until I took a break in l992.  One of the middle schools also provided me with steady work.  It was hard to get to my jobs.  Once again, we had car problems.  I had to call my aunt up to take me to work.  Your dad just rode his bike to his job.  The engine was gone in our blue station wagon.  It was very disheartening.  I wondered if we would always have to live with broken down cars, sickness or other mishaps.  I did have a beautiful figure though–with all of the walking I did.  That didn’t comfort me though–I lived with a kind of low grade depression.  I functioned through my day because I knew I had too. 

We had been so excited to visit my brother Brad and his wife Susan over Labor day weekend.  They had bought 18 acres of land out in the country.  We only made it about ten miles out of town before the engine started smoking.  On the trip back to our home–the engine completely gave out.  Dad knocked on a door of a stranger to use the phone.  Some friends came and picked us up.  Later, we had the car towed home. 

We had no money for a car or to even fix our car.  Some friends in our Sunday school class helped us pay for a used engine from a junk yard.  I can still picture your Dad hoisting the old engine out of the car.  He spent a couple of months in his spare time , working on putting the used engine in the car.  Again, he had to hoist it up and then down into the car.  When he was done–a dentist in our church paid a mechanic to look over dad’s work.  We didn’t get the car project done until the week of Thanksgiving. 

Jim’s boss gave us twenty dollars for Thanksgiving.  We celebrated by eating out –rejoicing that our station wagon was on the road again.  Finally, we were able to visit with Brad and Susan in their new home on Thanksgiving Day.  What a joy it was to be in the country.  We took a long country walk before eating.  After our meal, we enjoyed the warmth of the fire in their fireplace.  It was great fun seeing Harpo, their dog.  They also had a cat named Rusty.  Rusty was enjoying sleeping in their rocking chair close to the fire. 

Christmas was fun for each of you children because of all of the Christmas tips that were received.  We also enjoyed Julie’s kittens that had been born in September.  I didn’t have a teaching job that day in September. I had seen Ben through a terrible time.  It hurt me so bad to see signs of depression in his young life.  I just cried and cried for Ben the day Julie’s kittens were born.  Those little kittens provided a much needed relief from worrying about Ben.

We knew the kittens had to have homes–so once again–we placed an add in the newspaper.  A home was found for each kitten.  I especially missed the little kitten that had a large mane of hair– almost like a lion.  You missed the little brown one.  You begged me not to give that kitten away.  However, a poor family can’t keep acquiring animals.  The humane society had a program that neutered or spayed animals.  We had Tinker, Julie and Max taken care of.  There were never any more kittens in our household.

We ended up the year of l988, with a man dressed like Santa Claus knocking on our door.  He handed us a check for $300.00 dollars.  We never found out who the man was and the check was made out so that we couldn’t know who the giver was.  What an exciting way to end l988.





2 responses

7 03 2008
David Web

Hi Nichole:

I’m kind of working through the backlog and enjoyed this story a great deal.

The paper routes were very good business experience for Ben and Sandy as well. To this day, Mary and I still read the newspapers. It seems as if 1988 turned out pretty well dor you after all.

Little Brother

8 03 2008

Hello David,
Glad you enjoyed this story. Yes, l988 ended up on a positive note. I hope to work on part 13 this afternoon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: