Looks like we did it. We raised the $10K for the pooper. Matched, we raised $20K. That leaves about $10K, but allows construction to start this summer. Yippee and yahoo! I’d still rather have the man than the project, but this brings me joy.
I managed to talk about sex on this blog without anyone disowning me, without anyone canceling their subscription, and without mortifying my children…well, maybe they were a little embarrassed. So, I thought I would bring up another topic nobody talks about. Money.
As a child, I was taught not to ask anyone what their income was. It was rude. Now that I am a widow, so many people ask me about money. I do not think it is rude. I appreciate their care.
When Jim and I were first together, he was a grad student at OSU. He had done his undergrad at UVM. I met his mother shortly after I moved to Corvallis. As Jim escaped to the bathroom (some habits start young), she took my hand across the table and said, “So, what besides his gorgeous blue eyes do you see in this debt ridden son of mine?” I replied, “Well, he brings so much more to this relationship in other ways. And, life is rarely 50/50.” When I first moved to Corvallis, I was still raw from the grief of my sister’s death. Jim saw me through that. It was something money couldn’t buy. I told him to stop taking out loans, and we set up a plan for paying them off.
Jim and I worked hard to pay off our school debts and live within our means. There were times when I made more money than he did, but he had the pay check with the benefits. We never had credit card debt, we bought life insurance, and we took out a 15 year mortgage to have the house paid off before Emerald entered college. My mom helped with things like house down payments and college funds for grandkids. Mom won’t let me buy her lunch, says she would rather spend her money on me while she is alive to enjoy it, and we sit down with the same financial planner to discuss “what will happen after she croaks”. Other than passing on the lesson of living within one’s means to my children, I’ll never be able to re-pay her for that sense of security. Life is rarely 50/50.
When Jim got sick, he was able to tap into the sick leave bank. This allowed Jim to stay on full salary and family health benefits until the day he died. The community raised money to cover what insurance would not. The left over money paid funeral expenses, and allowed me to open a health savings account. COBRA is not within my means, so we have catastrophic coverage now. It is still my largest monthly expense. For now, I am back to work part-time, life insurance lump sums give me a year or so to figure out my life, and Jasper brings in a little SSI as a survivor, until he turns 18. We are living within our means.
I don’t have a lot of money, but it is enough. My financial future is secure…well, as secure an anyone’s is. I can’t fly off to Europe for months, but I can go on river trips, and travel with Jasper to check out colleges. I will not starve, and I can maintain my house and vehicles.
I’m not sure why people don’t talk about money. It is certainly an easier topic than sex. Jim was a public school teacher, in Idaho. I did not marry him for his money. We didn’t stay together for the money. Money just isn’t that important. Talk about it.