April 4, 1970
Once we flipped the wall calendar from March to April, summer seemed almost on top of us. Both of us needed to find summer jobs to help with tuition payments, and our savings badly needed a boost.
Nate’s work doing taxes for H & R Block had been a gift from God, paying well and allowing us to catch up a bit financially. But in less than two weeks that job would disappear, and we’d be back to living on my slim teaching salary — with nothing coming in all summer.
Since I had several months of waitressing experience, I figured I could get a serving job without too much difficulty, and Nate said he was willing to do almost anything. He also hoped to take a couple of law classes over the summer to lighten his fall load, so he could continue working through his last semester of law school.
He was using every spare minute to write 3 long papers, one about 30 pages. I volunteered to type for him, but he was a good typer, too. Besides, he would have had to spell out all the legalese.
So, when my friend Connie called to say she wanted to come for the weekend with 3 of our former campers (from Moody Youth Camp) I said, “Yes!” ….promising Nate that the 5 of us would find entertainment away from the apartment so he could work in peace.
It was a treat spending time with Connie again and reconnecting with these energetic high school girls. Gail, Debbie, and Laurie were a lively trio that loved action, so we took them to Allerton Park for the day and ran around the 1500 acre estate until Connie and I were ready to drop.
Robert Allerton (son of Samuel Allerton) managed his family’s large property near Champaign while his father tended to businesses in Chicago. Robert’s true passion was art, with a special fondness for sculpture. He believed art could enhance nature…. and vice versa.
On the Allerton property, then, are his collected works throughout the manicured gardens and natural areas.
They were also delighted to get inside the gorgeous mansion, astounded to see how “the other half” lives. And all of it was free.
Meanwhile, Nate plowed through the day pursuing his studies, and we shared the dinner hour with him before Connie left with the girls, promising to bring them back for church in the morning. We would share lunch afterwards, then wave them off to Chicago.
That evening Nate went back to his typewriter after the meal, telling me he’d have to labor well into the night. My heart went out to him, and it didn’t seem fair that my life was so easy compared to his. But the end was in sight: summer school, then the fall semester, and in January of 1971, graduation!
I was extremely proud of my man and his gritty diligence. So, before I went to bed by myself that night, I told him so.
“The wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)