Finding a Pot of Gold

Thursday, March 20, 2014

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone.

I didn't find a pot of gold, but then I'm not a leprechaun.

What would I do with a pot of gold? I'm not talking about the lottery, but a pot of gold.

How much would that be? Five hundred dollars? Five thousand? More?

Now if I won the lottery, I'd buy my son a spanking new truck. And I'd pay off my daughter's mortgage, free and clear.

Beyond that, I really don't know. Maybe buy a new purse.

My mind doesn't calulate in millions

I think in dollars.

I learned to think in dollars while married to a military man.

We pinched pennies and saved money to buy gas to go home and see our families in Southeast Missouri.

There was the time we had a minor fender bender on one of those return trips back to the military base.

We were a young couple traveling with our newborn daughter and we were strapped for money.

No one wanted to be delayed or to get insurance companies involved, so the fellow in the other car accepted what little cash we had, which happened to be our gas money.

What would we do?

We stopped enroute to a friend's house and borrowed just enough dollars to buy enough gas to get us to our military home.

A pot of gold would have come in handy that night.

We would have used some of that gold for better housing too. We rented many types of dwellings during our early military life.

We lived in duplexes, fourplexes, a converted garage, small apartments, including one with with a pull down bed,

We lived in one apartment where we shared a bathroom with other tenants, taking turns.

We lived upstairs and downstairs in California, New Mexico, Indiana, Louisiana, Washington State, Arkansas, Missouri, and Florida.

But we didn't find a pot of gold at any of those places.

We did find some wonderful military friends and civilians too.

In Indiana we rented a cottage on the creek from an elderly civilian couple. At least we viewed them as elderly because we were a young couple with two young children, one a newborn.

The Indiana man was a rural postal carrier and she was a stay at home homemaker. No one could have been nicer to us than that couple.

Instead of gouging us for rent, they lowered the rent for us. They brought us fresh tomatoes and strawberries from their garden and invited us to their home to cook hamburgers in their fireplace in the wintertime. She always had a chocolate cake for dessert, a real treat.

She gave a bushel basket of red apples to us at Christmastime and other gifts for the children.

When we were cramped for space, they added a small room to the cottage. They provided us with firewood for our front room fireplace because the winters were so cold.

You might say that Indiana couple was our pot of gold.

In the military, I met friends who became lifelong friends. Because we were lonely and away from our families and hometowns, we bonded.

Our children played together, went to school together, grew up together. Our husbands worked together, served our country together.

We wives supported and depended on each other while our husbands had overseas duty and were away from home for long periods.

When we were eventually separated by military transfers, we kept in touch by letter writing and phone calls.

No, I can't say I found that proverbial pot of gold.

But I did find a few rare coins along the way.