September 28-30, 1970
After my harrowing drive home from work, the next morning Nate made an announcement. “I’m going with you to Danville today.”
“I’m pretty sure I’ll never see those two guys again,” I said.
I loved him for loving me in this kind way, so rather than fighting it, I just enjoyed his presence all day – and had fun showing him off to the staff. He loved chatting with “my children” and found them to be as charming as I did.
When the weekend finally came, I couldn’t wait for Sunday school and hoped Martin would be there. Though both of us knew he wouldn’t dare insult the pastor again, the whole class had loved watching Nate elevate truth over lies.
Martin and his wife did attend, but he remained quiet. Later I wrote in my journal, “Today they didn’t get into any verbal battles. Too bad.”
On Sunday afternoon, I began typing Nate’s endless pages of Estate Planning papers. Difficult as that was with so many 50-cent words, at the end of several hours I felt a deep satisfaction in having worked in tandem with my husband. And for once, rather than him always helping me, I’d finally been able to help him.
Our financial woes continued, despite my teaching checks coming in regularly again. I earned about two-thirds of what I’d made in the Chicago schools, and we were way behind in tuition payments.
One day I got an idea. I would try to sell some articles to magazines. It wouldn’t pay much, but even a little would help. So I resurrected my college writing files, including several “A”- graded assignments from a writing class during senior year. Without much trouble, they could be polished into articles that might sell.
Nate down-played our poverty. “At least we don’t have to buy anything for our apartment,” he said. “Remember what it was like last year at this time?”
It had been mostly empty then, our footsteps echoing on the hardwood floors. Now it was warm and inviting, and we lacked for nothing. Actually, because of wedding gifts, we had a hutch full of silver, crystal, and china that looked out of place in the home of two poverty-stricken newlyweds.
One evening the pastor came over, and I served him his coffee in a bone china cup with a sterling spoon on the saucer. He ate his piece of cake from a silver plate and had a linen napkin in his lap. “Oh my!” he said when I put it all down in front of him.
But the truth was, we had wanted to have him over for dinner but had had to settle for “just dessert” instead, because we didn’t have enough money to buy the meat. All we had were hot dogs — silver, crystal, and hot dogs.
But we were happy, and a far better income was almost visible as we stepped closer to 1971. We could make it till then.
“In all toil there is profit.” (Proverbs 14:23)