Our existence took on the semblance of a routine. The boys were five and seven and school hadn’t started yet. I’d take them to a sitter and go to work in the beauty shop while DH pursued his flying lessons and prepared for the fall quarter at the university. My job turned out to be less than ideal. The atmosphere was fine as far as the other hairdressers were concerned but the boss was something else. I’d had it understood when I was hired that I was willing to be scheduled any time except for Friday evenings or Sabbaths. That was no problem in the shop I’d left behind.
If the boss was sitting at the desk, I had no appointments. There were times that I’d end up there and I’d schedule uncommitted customers (they didn’t ask for anyone specific) for myself. It was made clear that unless I would come in on Sabbath, I would have nothing to do. I didn’t have to pay booth rent but if I didn’t stay fairly busy, I wouldn’t make any money. I was working on a 55% commission but 55% of nothing is still nothing. Finally, the boss told me I could stay on if I would work as a shampoo girl. That was a letdown after the following I’d had “back home”. It didn’t pay much and tips were few and far between. I needed to do something to put food on the table. The income from the GI Bill covered only so much. Even though gas was cheap I was losing traveling back and forth and running to the sitter. After a long heart to heart with DH, we decided it would make more sense for me to stay home and we’d stretch the money we had.
It was the parents to the rescue. My stepfather and my father-in-law were both master gardeners and our mothers would can and freeze. We’d go to visit every few weeks and come back loaded to the gills with food from their pantries. I was thankful for it and it was all put to good use.
DH had aviation fuel running through his veins. Always wanting to be around flying and aircraft, in addition to majoring in Aviation Administration, he took a job at the airport in Nashville as a lineman. I found this job description online:
• Prepares work areas and sites by loading equipment, tools and materials required to perform the work assignment.
• Drives and operates vehicles to perform tasks assigned.
• Drives fueling trucks, truck to clear snow and ice and tugs.
• Washes and cleans vehicles and machinery.
• Fuels various types of aircraft.
• Assists in pumping fuel into storage tanks and fuel trucks.
• Tows aircraft into and out of hangar space.
• Operates equipment required to transact sales related to fueling aircraft and retailing ancillary items to aviation.
• Cleans and maintains the terminal, grounds surrounding the terminal, parking lot, and hangar.
• Monitors the aviation radio for local traffic, answers UNICOM calls, provides information requested, provides fuel, courtesy car availability and other related information.
• Greets and parks transit traffic and aircraft in need of fuel.
• Checks transit aircraft and offers to wash windshield with or without fuel sales.
• Determines need for maintenance and repair on vehicles and equipment, notifying the Airport Manager of deficiencies and/or maintenance and repair required. Performs repairs and maintenance as assigned.
Not easy but always around airplanes.
Now there was a new routine. If I needed the car for something, I had to take DH to the airport. It was a good hour or so away. I didn’t elect to do it often but I became very familiar with the route to the “business” side of the airport. It’s much different from the commercial side. Not much glamour there.
My life wasn’t even close to what I’d thought it would be. I don’t know if I was depressed, going through a delayed juvenile phase, had a naturally addictive personality or what but I turned to substance abuse. It wasn’t hard to do with the university crowd I was getting better acquainted with. There was lots of availability and I had time on my hands. I never got to the point that I couldn’t function. I did everything that I was supposed to do—cooked, cleaned, took care of the kids and my wifely duties—but I usually did it through a haze. I thought up all sorts of things to celebrate. The sun came up, the sun went down, it was Thursday. I don’t know if my mother ever guessed what was going on but she was no dummy. She never mentioned anything, at least.
I don’t know where DS1 was when all the picture-taking was going on. He has always been an outgoing type. Gregarious is what you’d call him and he has been since he was born, almost. He was probably off visiting with anyone willing to talk. At any rate, the other family members posed for a picture, “lined up like a picket fence” is how I heard it described recently.
DH had many talents. He played the piano, accordion, and musical saw. He took up photography in earnest and enrolled in a class at the university. There were times we went to the photo lab with him and I helped him develop and print a picture he turned in for a project. It was awarded an A+ and some encouraging notes from the instructor:
He also exhibited and he enjoyed taking pictures of whoever was around. Here are a couple of DS2:
Life had pretty much settled down. DH was busy with classes, flying lessons, and work. DS1 was in school. DS2 had his gerbils and a guinea pig, Henry Aaron. We went to church. As for me, I took care of the round of cook, eat, wash dishes, do laundry, everything that goes into keeping house. I thought I was happy but that’s the lie that comes with an altered mentality.
I had no idea what was going to come next but I was ill-prepared for it. That’s for another post. Stay tuned.