Monday, October 21, 2013

10- My Story, God's Story - Pre-Children Years

It's been quite a while since I have blogged another chapter of my life and the path God has brought me down.  First of all, an update on our current situation.  

Paul and I both resigned our positions at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp effective in July.  Paul received a two month extension to give guidance to camp directorship until they found new leadership.  An interim executive director started the first of August, and his term will be over October 31st.  We have not heard of anyone filling that position when he leaves.  

Paul has not received a paycheck since August 1st.  He has applied to several camp and corporate positions from Michigan to North Carolina, but thus far has had no interviews.  Because he resigned, he is not qualified to receive unemployment.  So we are without income and without insurance, while the nation struggles over obama-care and government shut downs.  Crazy world right now!  Sure glad we have our anchor in Jesus Christ.  Thus far God has supplied our needs, and we know He will not fail us.  

We are anxious for work, and would like to move south.  However, we must wait on God and be flexible in His plans.  It's not always easy to be patient, but it's the best choice we have at this point!

Back in 1976 when Paul graduated from Michigan Tech he took his first job with Olin Chemicals in Charleston, Tennessee.  We moved to Cleveland and rented a two bedroom townhouse apartment in a new complex that had a club house and a pool.  This was luxury to us!!  Little by little we started to purchase furniture, but for a while we sat on the steps, and ate at a card table.  We must have made a bedroom set our first purchase, but I don't remember it.  I also don't recall sleeping on the floor.  (The house we had rented our first year of marriage was furnished). 

In trying to get to know the city layout, I would go on drives down different streets to see where they led.  If I got lost, I just got out the city map, and found my way back to familiar territory.  What a nice town we lived in!  We loved the climate, especially in the winter!!  Cleveland had everything we needed, but we would drive 25 miles down I-75 to Chattanooga for entertainment.  So many historical sites to see and fun places, like the Chattanooga Choo-Choo complex and Lookout Mountain.  I found it strange that I had honeymooned in Chattanooga with my first husband, and now Paul and I lived half an hour from the city and sites.

Our first winter in the "south" we were amused when it snowed, perhaps accumulating a couple of inches.  Remember, we came from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where record snowfall was up over the clothes-line.  When it snowed in Cleveland, it pretty much shut everything down.  They did not have equipment to handle plowing snow, since it never stayed long.  Usually it was melted within a day or two.  Kids would take lunch trays and slide down the mall parking lot, which was slightly sloped.  They were so excited to have snow to play in!!

I found a part time secretarial job, but I didn't stay with it very long.  Not sure why.  I was involved at the church....Cleveland First Church of the Nazarene.  I worked with children in the Caravan program and children's church.  I had met a good friend, Judy, and the two of us teamed up together in the children's department.  Paul sang in the choir.  Seems like we fit right in, and everyone was so accepting of us.  If the church had a young people's hay ride, it usually ended up being for the whole church.  It was a small church, but very much a family.  We were teased about our "Yankee" accent.  I so wanted to be able to talk like they did, but I can't fake accents.  I just had to learn to talk more slowly so they understood me.

I started to take classes at Cleveland State Community College, but soon found myself pregnant with our first child.  During this time we had a period of discontentment with the church and decided to move to Chattanooga to be near a larger Nazarene church.  We rented a large two bedroom townhouse duplex with a nice size yard.  Paul had a longer commute to work, but he didn't mind it.  Also, he traveled quite a bit on job assignments and flew out of the Chattanooga airport, which was not that far from where we lived.  

He had been gone a week, just getting back home, when I began to have labor pains.  We went to the Memorial Hospital around 7:30 in the morning, and our first son was born around 1 p.m.  Baby Cory.  What a bundle of joy to behold!!  And that's a story for the next chapter in our lives!

Post Script:  It's hard to make the memories from 38 years ago come alive again.  After I posted this I recalled a couple of extra things to add to those pre-children years of our lives.  We bought our first home after living in the apartment for a year.  It was a very nice home...a three bedroom, three bath tri-level with a large front porch with Spanish arches, and a two car garage and workshop.  The lower level was finished with a family room, bathroom, and laundry room.  It had a large fenced in private back yard...but we didn't have any dogs or kids yet.  Believe it or not, we purchased the home for $35,000.  It was in a nice neighborhood also.  Back then I remembered seeing a home for sale for $100,000, and I thought to myself "we will never live in a home that cost that much!"  Now days even $100,000 doesn't buy very much.  Times and economics have drastically changed!

With all the space we had in our home, we invited Judy to live with us until she got herself established in a job and could afford her own place.  That was a good relationship, she felt more like our sister.  Before long she moved out into her own apartment.  Soon after that she married Bill and moved to a new home they built in Polk County.  They were some of the best friends we have ever had.  Their lives changed eventually, but that is their story, not mine to tell.  We do still keep in touch with Bill on occasion.

No comments: