Looking back on our fifty years together, I couldn’t help thinking of our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife. We’d been married two whole months, living in Monterey, CA in a “room with kitchen privileges” while awaiting Larry’s next Army assignment. We debated about going to his parent’s home for Thanksgiving, since we barely had enough money left for gas for the 175 mile trip. But we knew they were anxious for us to come, and would send us back home with plenty of leftovers from the holiday dinner.
Our new marriage was wonderful, but we were starting to feel a definite financial squeeze on Larry’s monthly paycheck of $127.50. Eventually, I would get a spousal allotment, but that hadn’t started yet. Larry wasn’t permanently assigned to Fort Ord, so I couldn’t get a job, since employers knew I would be gone as soon as he got orders. When I got an unexpected traffic fine that used up our rent money for the rest of the month, we had our first serious discussion about finances. It didn’t take long for us to agree that regardless of what was in our wallets, we would continue to follow our life-long discipline of tithing.
We arrived at Larry’s parents home late Wednesday evening, happy to be off the road. As we headed to the bedroom to put away our things, Larry’s mom said, “Oh, by the way, there’s some mail for you on the dresser.” Larry picked up the envelopes and said, “These are addressed to you, Carolyn, from the US Army.” Surprised and curious, I ripped them open, and found not one, but two checks for my spousal allotment, totaling nearly $200. We were suddenly rich, and our thanksgiving prayers the next day were definitely heartfelt!
To find out how a sci-fi loving guy from dusty California connected with a horseback-riding girl from the foothills of Mt Hood, read our love story!
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