Skip to main content

It All Began With a Table Saw

Nearly 41 years ago our family began with a bargain.

We'd been married for two years when I decided I wanted to have a baby. As is perfectly normal, my 22 year old husband was not quite as enthusiastic. The usual back and forth about how can we afford it, along with things like there are still things I want. Okay, like what, I asked?

As a freshly minted Master Carpenter, naturally he wanted a table saw, and can you blame him? He bought one from Sears on East Colonial, building a rolling cart for it, allowing him to move it into our carport on Hargill Street. I have no recollection of how we paid for it, whether in cash, or in payments, as credit cards were only beginning to surface for regular folks like us.  What I do know is we made payments for our next big purchase....a baby!

One thing I've always disliked is waiting. I'm not a keen traveler largely because I hate waiting in lines. Well, when I did not become pregnant the first month we tried, I cried. Second month was the charm though.

Because we had no maternity insurance, we made payments to both the obstetrician, and the hospital during the ensuing nine months. Hard to imagine now isn't it? That said, in those days health insurance worked more along the lines as homeowners, or auto insurance, paying for major illnesses, not a pregnancy that we'd chosen to undertake! In any case, we began our life of money discipline back then, serving us well these many years.

Then along came Matty...
Because I'd done a lot of babysitting, not to mention working with babies in the hospital, I thought I knew what I was in for. NOT! It is a good thing that he was as cute as a button, or I would have gone mad. Beginning life as a very quiet baby, before long he made his presence known. As a 23 year old mother, I knew nothing. His cries could be heard in the backyard pool of our brother and sister-in-law who lived behind us! Pregnant at the time, she was petrified about what was in her future. (her baby was both a girl, and quiet).

So I became a Mom to a boy. Having been raised in a house full of girls, it was all brand new. We did the best we could. My Mom lived in Melbourne, visiting occasionally to see her first grandson. My Dad, still living then was mighty smitten too.
See, I told you he was a cutie! Although I made my share of mistakes, I, too, loved him with everything I could.
Going through the photo boxes looking for these, you can tell what era they are from by the size of the prints. Today everyone is so enamored of the square format of Instagram, but it ain't anything new, just a re-run of an older style! Furthermore, photographs were a little more special when our boys were growing up, rarely planned, and mostly reserved for holidays.

And then he was one....
No themed birthday party for this one year old! That would be Bruce on the left, and our niece Elizabeth on the right, sitting at our white formica dining table with the yellow chairs. :)

A move to California, a move back to Florida and then there were the twins. How I would have ever managed with my soon-to-be three year old, I have no idea. Working two jobs to keep us afloat, Bruce was rarely home. I, too, wished I was rarely home. Some woman love being pregnan,t but I'm not one of them, and that pregnancy was particularly difficult. A precursor of what was to become I suppose. Oh my goodness, was I miserable that first year of the twins life, as we all were I suspect. There were good times as well, don't get me wrong, but for the most part it was very difficult.
And then along came Jonathan, nearly four years later. I can only imagine someone seeing the above photo of Jonathan lying on the kitchen floor with Matt and dying!

Having your first child is like no other experience in the world, changing you in ways you never dreamed of. Reading all the books and articles about having a baby is all well and good, but actually having a baby, 24/7 is a whole 'nother ball game. It is a grand experiment in parenting really. That is not to say that you love your first child more, just differently, because you finally learn how to be totally unselfish for the first time in your life. I'm making generalizations of course, but I suspect there are mothers out there who feel the same.

The years flew by, and by the time I was the age Matt is today, he had gone off to college at FSU. Leaving him for the first time, I was sobbing whereas he was cross with me for wanting to do things for him. I should have known better because by the time he was just a little one, he could do most anything he set his mind to. Nearly two years later, he was our first college graduate!
Followed by his first Masters degree less than two more years later. My sister Lisa and her daughter Amanda, who has gone on to be amazingly competent herself, attended the first graduation. Below that is his paternal grandparents who made the trip to Tallahassee to see their first grandchild graduate with high honors.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how that sweet little baby would go on to do so many things- earning another bachelor and masters degree, traveling the world for both business and pleasure, not to mention live on another continent for the past ten years!! And so much more that cannot be summed up in a few paragraphs.

And now he has another family,
and we have a darling son-in-law!
All of that is wonderful, but perhaps the most wonderful part of it all is that he loves his parents, and for that we are sincerely grateful and happy.

I don't know what it is like to be a first child, nor do I know what it is like to be raised by very young parents, although Matt does. I dare say this experiment of ours that began with a bargain turned out pretty well.

Happy birthday to our son--may you live more than another 40 years!!!

with a full heart,

Gail

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Garment Sewing Continues

A headline I read online, from one of the local news outlets, caught my attention: "2017 Homicides in Vancouver on the Rise", or something to that effect. Thinking it might be worth reading, I checked it out learning that there have been 17 homicides here in 2017. No wonder a local homicide gets plenty of attention! Contrast that to the 84 so far this year in Orlando, and you'll get a notion why I feel so safe here.

For the record, there are still beautiful leaves to be seen, they have not all fallen, but lots of them sure have. The Japanese Maple trees are outstanding with such intense color it is hard to imagine.
The park workers, on the other hand, are working mighty hard to keep the lawns mostly leaf free.
In spite of the dire weather prediction for the week, we've had no rain until today, and what we are having is very minimal; good news for me as I'm taking Baxter to the vet in about 45 minutes. I'm not wishing it to be true, however, there must be some…

Winter is Coming

Early on in this adventure, I expressed my apprehension to Irene about what it would be like in the winter. Not surprising, having never been through winter as an adult because surely what we have in Orlando is clearly not what people think of when they think of winter. She assured me that it comes on gradually, so I would have time to get used to it. She did not, however, tell me that winter oftentimes, at least in the Pacific Northwest, means fog. How exciting then to experience such dense fog, even if it was kind of spooky and weird. When one gets to be a certain age, having new experiences is just the ticket to keep one on their toes.  I decided I would be remiss if I did not show you one of the most famous sights in Stanley Park, the totem poles, in this instance, shrouded in fog.
The plaque below explains some of their meaning, however, I am somewhat surprised that they have not changed this because using the term Indian is no longer acceptable in Canada. Either Indigenous or Ab…

Oh Baxter, Our Baxter

Just when we thought things could not get any harder with Baxter, they have.
We've managed to live with the wetting inside the house using the trusty "elder dog wrap", or that's what Bruce calls it anyway. Now however, he's begun defecating in the house and it is not good. During Matt and Tom's visit, one day we were gone for a long time, so although we'd hoped he'd wait until we returned, he didn't. That we could understand, however, for several weeks now, when we take him outdoors he goes a smidgen, then, when we are gone, he goes a lot inside, more particularly on the nice big rugs that don't belong to us. Now what?

Well, next we decided to shut him in the bedroom where his bed is located, and that is why I went looking for an additional water bowl so he'd have one handy. At least, in there, the floors are wood. One day, I left without shutting the door and you can guess what happened. It gets worse. He looks so spiffy in the photo abov…