The Story Of Vera And Her Family, Chapter 24

8 09 2008

Sandy started her freshman year at our community college.  I was excited when Sandy and Rob decided to paint our living room over Labor day weekend.  I paid for the paint but I let Sandy pick the color she wanted.  She chose a dark hunter green.  I just let them paint away.  It was so nice not to have to do the work myself.  I went to Wal-Mart to pick out some new curtains that would match the dark green paint.  Later on in September, I painted our master bedroom and bought  a new bedspread and curtains.  There was just such a spirit of new adventures in our home– that were actually fun.

Ben and Pam came by often.  Pam’s birthday was on Halloween.  I remember giving her a 5 quart crockpot for her birthday.  Sandy was doing well in college.  She knew that she loved math and accounting and excelled in those subjects.  Little did she know that one day her math teacher’s wife– who was a certified public accountant –would be her boss. 

Vera, you continued to love science.  I just couldn’t believe the joy you had in disecting a rat.  You continued to talk about wanting to be a veterinarian.  Maria ‘s friendships formed around those that were on her speech and debate team.  She especially enjoyed her friend Ross.  They did everything together but they were not sweethearts.  They were like a brother and sister.  It was her junior year in high school and she even went to the prom with Ross. 

Around Christmas time we began talking about getting a word processor.  We felt it would be sufficient for the growing needs of our family.  Sandy was not happy about our getting the word processor and it turned out to be a waste of our money.  She pouted that we gave it to you children as one of the family Christmas presents. 

On the happy side, Phillip had moved back in with his wife Teresa.  Teresa was still working on her master’s degree to become a school psychologist while living in North Carolina. They came to visit Teresa’s parents during the Christmas season and came by the house.  I remember Phillip making himself quite at home as he watched a murder mystery in our newly painted living room.  He loved the hunter green.color we had chosen for the walls. However, he would not talk about his life in a personal way.  Teresa and the boys were still involved with the group that I believed was a cult.  I knew Phillip was under a great deal of pressure to conform to their ways.  Yet, I know he didn’t bend to all of their demands. Therefore, although he lived in the same home as Teresa –they were more like room mates.  Teresa was cordial but kept her boundaries very tight.  And I kept thinking that her studies in psychology should be helping her to leave this religious group.

With the Christmas season over–Ben and Pam began talking about getting married right away.  They didn’t let us know the date of their wedding. They just walked in  our home one afternoon in late January announcing that they were married at the courthouse.  Her parents were at the wedding but we were not invited.  Your dad and I were devastated but we tried not to show it.  Pam began withdrawing from our family shortly after her marriage to Ben.  Wheras she used to seem to love to visit with us–now she only came over if we were having a family function.

Although I couldn’t emotionally connect with Ben and Pam– I coped because there was still a great deal of excitement over Sandy having set her wedding date for July 15, 1995.  We began looking at wedding dresses and thinking about all of the little details of planning a church wedding.  Sandy also convinced us to buy a real computer and printer.  It was an expensive investmnt in l995.  I think the computer cost $2,000.00 and the printer cost $500.00.  We didn’t have that kind of money in savings so we used our credit card.  We never had credit cards the first 15 years of our marriage.  That was a big mistake buying something that we had not saved our money for.  Yet, it did seem that  the computer was a necessity for our high school and college girls. 

We were fast becoming the all American family who lived by borrowing money.  Our home had reached the point where it needed some necessary improvements.  In early spring we decided to have all of our windows replaced.  Then we decided to have the exterior of our home painted.  It took some time to get a second mortgage.  Finally, in late May our big house remodeling project began.  We got our loan to replace all of our windows, have our two porches and window trimmings sided—-and to have the exterior of our home painted.  My head was spinning with all the debt we were accumulating.  Moreover, we still had a wedding to finance.

Jim was working six days a week on a regular cycle.  I can remember taking all of that over time to help with financing Sandy’s wedding. Even so–we still ended up putting a great deal of the expense on our credit card.  Rob lost his factory job and so we gave him the job of painting our home.  His uncle was a professional home painter and told Rob the kind of primer and paint that would last a long time.  He also gave Rob many tips on how to paint.  Rob started blasting the old paint off our home on Memorial day.  He finished painting our home a couple of weeks before their wedding.  Our home did look a great deal better .  The work did need to be done.  However, we were over extending ourselves with debt.

Sandy and Rob’s wedding was beautiful. Even today–many years later– I still enjoy looking at their beautiful wedding pictures on our living room wall.  Sandy was a raving beauty.  Vera, you and Maria were also very lovely. I was only 43 years old and two of my children were already married.  Sandy was still only 18 years old.  She wouldn’t turn 19 until September.  Thankfully, Rob had found a job working with a heating and cooling company.  They enjoyed a short honeymoon.  Sandy had to get back to work and plan for her second year at the communtiy college.

It was hard to believe that Maria was going to be a senior in high school.  Vera, I just couldn’t believe you would be a junior. And what about dear mom? I was beginning a new adventure of taking care of an elderly lady.  With all of the debt that we were accumulating–I had to help provide some of the money to take care of our family.  I didn’t want to work as a substitute teacher.  I thought it would be a nice change to help an elderly person.  Little did I know that I would be taking care of her dog almost as much as I would be taking care of her. 

Thus, the summer of 1995 was ending.  Sandy was back at work and starting her sophmore year in college.  You , Vera, and Maria were back in  high school.  Ben and Pam were busy with their own lives and I was about to begin a five year stint of taking care of an elderly lady and her dog.

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