Sunday, March 1, 2009

Odds and Ends


I was reading Jinksy's Napple Notes last evening. Jinksy is no mean poet, and I enjoy reading her verse, and her prose. Her most recent post, March 1, titled "Move Over February," contained a lovely poem she has titled "Timing."

Jinksy's poem reminded me of one of my favorite poems, "April Out of Stone" by Laurence Pratt. Many years ago, I copied Pratt's poem into a tiny notebook I carried around with me, which notebook, much the worse for wear, I still have. (I've been known to keep a variety of things far beyond the level of their importance, or usefullness. "Mama Pack-Rat" is my nickname.) Be that as it may, since I knew where the notebook had been deposited (upper left hand junk drawer of my desk) I burrowed through the plethora of odds and ends to find it so I could refresh my memory.

Pratt published "April Out of Stone" around 1939. I am too lazy today to look up the copyright laws which might pertain, but will err on the side of caution by not reproducing his words here except to say that it contains a reference to lichens, thus the photograph above. Suffice it to say, I love this poem, which has now been read, again, several times today, and reinterred in its messy resting place.

The poor little notebook now contains only three wrinkled and yellowed pages, among which I found the following (this is where the pack rat comes in):

Expenditures, June, 1967

Cash on hand $2.86

Coffee, .10

Coffee and cookies, .10

Coke, .10

Dinner, $1.03 (includes .10 tip)

Coffee & cookies, .10

Cashed check, $5.00

Lunch for 2, $2.58 (a splurge, I'm sure)

Coke, .10

Fritos, .10

Parking lot, $6.00 check

Baby sitter, $34.50 check

Kids' Sunday School money, .65

Coke, .10

That's all the entries I made; probably it was too depressing to note how little money I had. At the time, I was a single parent of four children, living with and sharing household expenses with my mother. Daddy had died in 1965. Although I have no absolute recollection, I think the parking lot and baby sitter were weekly expenditures. I do remember how small my monthly income was at the time, and the baby sitter, in particular, took a large percentage of my take home pay.

This page also has been reburied; I just can't bring myself to throw it away. I'll leave that task for my executor.

6 comments:

jinksy said...

Bless you for those very kind words - I shall look for the poem you mentioned on the internet, and will let you know if I find it. I think you did a wonderous job with you finances, by the way! xxx

Rose said...

The day lily above is beautiful, but I love the expenditures page...I think it is amazing what we used to get by on. We may have more money now, but we sure have more expense.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Pat, My first job in 1965 (high school teacher) had a whopping salary of $4110 a year. Times have really changed, haven't they??

My Mom never worked but I thought I lived a pretty good life growing up. When I applied for a scholarship to Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, TN in 1960--I remember that Mom and Dad were afraid that I wouldn't qualify for a scholarship since Daddy made $5000 a year. I did--and had it all four years. Isn't that a hoot????

Have a great day.
Hugs,
Betsy

Annie said...

I am a little wondering at the number of cokes you drank?

;-)

was that a one day page..or a week?

;-)

ps Betsy, I also earned a scholarship to uni..as my father was earning next to nothing on a farm...wouldn't have been able to go if I hadn't got it! I was a lucky one! And I had to pay board to Mum and Dad out of it!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

ANNIE -- regarding the cokes...it was at least a full week. I don't even know if it was "Coke" I drank, or some other soft drink that I just called coke. Might have been just about anything. I was surprised myself to see three "cokes" on the list, as I haven't consumed carbonated beverages at all for years. Whatever it was, the cokes and other consumables would have been bought during the day time from the snack bar at the place I worked; I couldn't afford to buy "cokes" to drink at home, kids being the guzzlers that they are.

BETSY -- at the time of these expenditures, I was earning (before taxes) $275 per month, or $3,300 annually, and that was with 8 years of experience under my belt.

George said...

In 1967 we were paying 25 cents a gallon for gas in Indiana and griping about the high prices! If we only knew. You got a great picture of the lichens.