Saturday, February 04, 2012

1987: What a crappy year

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:
The old spiral notebooks are seldom looked at... most of them are from my young-mother days anyhow, and are pretty humdrum.  There are even bits and pieces of diaries I kept when I was single.  I've torn a few pages out of those.  Not always for the reasons you might think, although I did sow a couple of wild oats.    
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.  
In Germany.  
Oh yeah.  
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.


  1. Yeah I have a few of those years where it seemed everything went wrong. It made the new year something to look forward too. As it turns out 1987 was not a good year for me either.

  2. Marla8:48 AM

    I am impressed that in spite of what was going on in your life, you had the self-discipline to continue documenting. I don't even keep my telephone logs current. Now that I have e-mail I let them build up - sometimes I have to look back at them to remember when I did something. I really enjoy your blog, you inspire me without making me feel guilty. Thank you.

  3. I guess we've all had years like that. I know I did anyway. Like you, I agree, living on social security is a breeze compared to some years I had. Hang on to the good thought there!

  4. One stressful, sad thing after another in some years. My last two years have had too much tragedy. I'm ready for a break.

  5. Marla, that's one of the best compliments I've ever received. Thank you.

  6. The very fact you kept writing inspite of it all is a testament to your willpower and character, like Marla said. Those journals of yours are hidden treasure. Don't bury them.

  7. 1987 was a very bad one for me. Mel died in August. I lived alone for eight years after that.


I love comments!