Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nov. 22, 2005: Precious Parents

I was struck tonight once more by the preciousness of my parents. Right after supper, while the kids played with friends, we played a few hands of cards with my parents. Dad and I were eating Hershey's kisses, and we joked about saving the foil wrappers until we had enough for a sheet of foil. Mom said: "You know I used to do that." I'm thinking that nothing surprises me about my mother's Depression-era frugality. So she goes on to explain that, as a girl, she used to save bits of lead foil until she had enough to sell. This was just one way to earn a little extra money to help out. (First we had to comprehend that the foil was actually made of LEAD!)
Then Dad goes on to tell about how once, while out hunting foil along the road, he found an absolutely unheard of treasure: a $5 bill. His mind was spinning with all the possibilities of what he could do with $5, maybe even buy a BB gun! When he got home, his parents were obviously in a heated, worrisome discussion. Turns out his Dad had lost a $5 bill somewhere that day, and they were absolutely distressed about what to do. He was making $50/month, so that $5 represented a tenth of his income--and their mortgage was $22/month.
I cherish these card-game moments. It seems the best stories always come out around the table. My grandfather used to always say, "Are we gonna talk, or are we gonna play cards?" A little of both, Pa, a little of both....

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