For Richer Or Poorer

The writing prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is For Richer or Poorer. I submit the following:

When I said “I do” 35 years ago, I thought I knew what the words “for richer or poorer” would mean. I envisioned that there would be times of belt-tightening and times that we’d have a little left over to go out to dinner. For the most part, my thought process was dead on. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined the ride we have been on for the last 16 months.

We started feeling the weight of the economic crunch over two years ago. My husband’s employer of 22 years needed to move to a larger facility and after a lot of searching in our state, they opted to move south to North Carolina where the cost of living and taxes are lower. Apparently, it’s also less expensive to do business in North Carolina.

So last November, my husband moved south to work. I was to follow after we got our house sold. Then a crazy thing happened the first week he was gone – I was laid off from my job.

Truth be told, for 30 of our 35 years of marriage, I have been the bread winner. If you’re wondering why we decided to move south for his job, it was because he’s older than I am and it would have been harder for him to get a job at his age than me at my age even though it’s only a two year difference. But I also work in technology which makes it easier to find a job. And we often talked of retiring in NC so it seemed logical.

So there he was with a newly rented apartment and here I was with our house and mortgage. We had two utility bills and two grocery bills. There was the prohibitive price of gas as he commuted back and forth most weekends. He didn’t get cable or a land line or satellite TV so we only had our cable and Internet and land line bill up here. I could go on about how bad it was but the reality is, we were way better off than some people.

This year, I am working here in New Jersey and he has returned from his Southern sojourn. He didn’t like that area of NC and the living arrangement was getting to him. He’s out of work now but he’s getting unemployment.

This Christmas was very low key in our home. Really, we’re together so there’s nothing more that we want or need. We have each other and we’re doing ok so far. Honestly, we didn’t even get gifts for one another but the wealth of spirit that I felt this year was overwhelming.

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18 Comments

Filed under Life

18 responses to “For Richer Or Poorer

  1. Wow – I’ve read so many blog posts today that discuss the hardships folks are enduring with this bad economy. I hate it. I hope you and your husband have better times in 2009… there is always hope!

  2. Thanks, Michelle. We are just fine. We are together and we are happy and healthy.

  3. I know exactly how you feel. My man went to Maryland for three months for work, then we moved to Georgia for his job, then I was in Maryland alone again while he went back to Philadelphia. It’s hard, but I’m glad you are finally together.

  4. Rinkly Rimes

    You may be poorer than you were, but you’re also richer.

  5. What is it about hardships that makes us appreciate the little things? A well-written piece!

    Best of luck to you in 2009!

  6. Thanks for your insight, all. It’s true that while this Christmas was lacking stocking stuffers and big bows, the greatest gift is the gift of each other. Isn’t it funny how presents and presence sound the same.?

  7. This is such a candid well written piece I am so sorry for your economic woes. I am very similar to you except for differing circumstances. I speak often of the richness of spirit that holds to my heart! With a roof over my head, food on the table, friends and family at my side I feel so blessed! Thank you for stopping by and leading me to your blog! All the best to you in the future.! Wishing you a better New Year!

    Peace Giggles

  8. Your post is a reminder that wealth is in the details, and your appreciation of them goes far toward explaining your 35 years together. I hope 2009 brings you joyful blessings.

  9. maleesha

    There are so many stories out there like this. I sure hope things pick up in the rest of your departments, but it sounds like your attitude in life will get you through just about anything. We cut back a lot this year. I hope this is a trend that will continue, because I haven’t heard anything about those blond ditzy celebrities in months! I guess we finally all have something more important to talk about… :)

  10. So many people are experiencing hardships now – glad yours have been lessened somewhat – good luck!

  11. missalister

    Aw, that is such a great recounting of what sounds like such an awesome relationship!

  12. Your writing brings the prompt for richer or poorer right to reality which you’ve managed so well. Thank you for a very well written essay on love, relationships, compromise and grit. We sometimes feel we’ve escaped the “devil in the details” as we’re recently retired and living “on the road” at less expense than in the US. Thank you also for visiting my blog. May 2009 be a better year for you.

  13. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am sorry your husband didn’t like NC. That is where I live and I love it. It seems many people are having hard times right now, but I believe things will be better soon. I am out of a job at this point, but I know I will find another one soon.
    I enjoyed your blog.

  14. MammaPeg, thank you for your comment on my “richer, poorer” post. I am so inspired by you and your husband. It seems that no matter what the situation you always find a way through it and manage to grow stronger. I wish you an easier time in 2009<3

  15. Redheels, we love NC. He just didn’t like the area where his company was located. Someday maybe we’ll end up there but for right now, family is close in NJ and that’s perfect for us.

  16. Keyser and I lived apart for seven months when my oldest girls were two and three years old. I didn’t work, but I remember thinking that it was a really good thing that “real” single moms worked because I was the only one “on call” 24/7 and was Losing. My. Mind.

    We were so broke that some weekends Keyser didn’t have enough cash to get home to us for a visit. At the time, it seemed to last forever. Looking back, it made us what we are today – strong, solid, stubborn, and extremely tenacious.

  17. Exactly, Sissy. My 78-year old aunt claims what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I just say there but for the grace of God go I.

  18. Isn’t it amazing how the tough times reveal our true colors?

    Hang in there –

    ;-)

    SIMPLY SNICKERS – weekly poetry prompts

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