I occasionally pull out one or two of my diaries and browse through them. Usually I choose one of the big, prettier ones like some of these:
Anyhow, this morning the most pathetic-looking diary of all caught my eye.
At that time I was attending the local Baptist Church. The book measures four inches by five inches, and I think everybody at church received one. Had I known what the year had in store, I would have tossed it in the trash unopened.
Oh, there were some bright spots. My daughter's graduation from high school, for instance. Unfortunately that was the same day my father died; it's hard to rejoice about your kid's accomplishments when you're planning a funeral. Three years after Daddy was diagnosed with lung cancer, he was gone.
As the year began, Cliff was working at R.B. Rice, which was a good job that paid well. 1987 was the year they closed down and moved that operation to Tennessee before the year was out, so he was out of a job.
The well we depend upon for our water supply gave us many nightmares in 1987. The year had hardly begun when we noticed that the water coming from our faucets had sand in it. We tried to ignore it but it got progressively worse.
The only solution was to have a new well drilled; the old pipes were metal, and had rusted through.
And Cliff had lost his good job by this time. We were going to get a loan to have a new well drilled, but then my mom said, "It's my well too; let me pay for it." I don't recall how much it cost; maybe around $3,000. There was a lot of stress throughout the well-drilling process. The guy doing the job didn't hit water the first time, so he had to try again. I would not recommend his work to anyone.
Cliff acquired a job at a meat-packing plant in Marshall, Missouri, fifty miles away. The pay wasn't great and the work was brutal. I think that's the only job Cliff ever had that he hated.
As if things couldn't get any more depressing, my father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August and died in October.
On the bright side, my first granddaughter was born in September.
It's a good thing I kept busy raising baby calves and milking cows that year or I might have gone crazy.
When I look back on 1987, I realize that getting by on Social Security is a piece of cake compared to the trials we went through then.