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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: August 18, 2021      Views: 244
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BethShelby is retired from the printing and commercial art field. She is married and has four children and three grandchildren. She and her husband presently live in Tennessee.

Painting, photography, and writing are her passion. She has ha - more...

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Chapter 135 of the book Remembering Yesterday
The year 1993 ends and another year begins.
"Passing Another Milestone" by BethShelby

This takes place shortly after Carol divorce is final and she has moved into an apartment. Connie and Carol live in an apartment together and both work. Don and Kimberly have bought a house.

For new readers, who may not have read my author notes, this is written in a conversational way as I talk to my deceased husband. When I refer to someone just as "you" this means I am addressing my husband, Evan.

After leaving my job at the printing company, I signed with several temporary agencies, and they sent me on a lot of short-term assignments. Many of them involved replacing office workers and receptionists out on vacation. I got a chance to learn more about computer work. I wanted to learn even more, so I took a night class in basic computer skills. Even simple computers were very expensive, and I needed to know more about them before I purchased my own.

Connie took a couple of classes at Chattanooga State during the fall and planned to get back into college full-time for the spring semester. She continued to have episodes of high fever and sore throat.  As soon as she was able to get the infection down with antibiotics, we took her into day-surgery for a tonsillectomy. She bounced back much quicker than Carol had, when she'd had her tonsils out. Carol had been too sore to eat for a few days and had lost ten pounds, but Connie wanted food as soon as she left the hospital.

In addition to your garden, you worked on building a new and larger back deck and reworking and painting the railing around our front deck. Since Don was out of school and wasn't working, you paid him to come down and help with the deck building.

A severe wind storm came through and blew some shingles off our roof. Our insurance company replaced our entire roof, and all we had to pay was the deductible. Another expense and task you had to deal with happened when our downstairs heating and cooling unit 
had to be replaced. Our carbon monoxide detector had gone off, and when you called someone to have it checked, they shut our system down and told you we needed a new one.

You grew up with a fear of tornados. Because of this, you had dug into the retaining wall between our back deck and the steeply sloping lot and built a storm shelter that was 7’ X 8' with benches inside. When bad weather threatened, you often tried to get me to go into it with you. I usually refused. In spite of the fact that I’d been swept up in a tornado as a child, I wasn't as concerned about bad weather as you were. I was more alarmed by spiders which had taken up residency inside. After one severe storm passed, we learned that a  million-dollar home, being built in our subdivision, had been flattened due to a microburst.

In October, you and I took a short vacation trip together. Other than day trips, we hardly ever went anywhere without some of our children being along. We decided to go to Washington, D.C. When we got there, we parked in a city park and walked over to the Smithsonian mall area. You wanted to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, so we walked over and checked it out and afterward, visited some of the other memorial sites. We enjoyed taking a tour of the U.S. Capitol and walking over the grounds. After we tired of sightseeing, we started looking for our car. We took some wrong turns and were on the verge of exhaustion and panic before we finally located it.

We came back through Virginia, and you showed me Fort Belvoir, where you were stationed in 1952. I was glad your military service was over before we ever met. It had changed a lot since those days when you were in  your early twenties. We took the scenic route home, driving back on the Blue Ridge Parkway and making stops at tourist areas and motels. This trip was a lot less stressful than vacation trips we’d made with the children along.

Don and Kimberly took a trip to California as a celebration of his graduation from chiropractic college. They did the whole West Coast highway from Los Angeles north. I don't think they missed anything along the way,  including Alcatraz, the Hearst Castle, San Francisco, the Redwood Forest and a lot more. They came back with movie film of the trip for us to watch. I know they spent a lot of money they didn’t have.

I made the big Thanksgiving meal and also the Christmas meal, with all of my children home for both. The meals only involved family for a change. We missed having Lenny. Other years, Glen had been with us also. A year can make a big difference. At our Christmas celebration, everyone had a blast except me. I was always too tired to enjoy it until the next day when everyone went home, and we could relax and eat left-overs for a week. You had given me money for Christmas which I could use toward my own computer. I got busy reading the "after-the-holiday" sale ads, hoping to find a bargain.

The year 1994 dawned, and you and I spent a quiet day together. Shortly afterward, Connie started back to school at Chattanooga State. She would continue working part-time at the furniture store. She changed her major to nursing. I was sure it wasn’t the field for her. Christi had tried it for a while and dropped it, and I didn’t really expect Connie to like it. I had to spend several hundred dollars on books she needed for classes, which she was likely to drop.

I found a computer on sale for a little less than $1,300 and bought it. Carol helped me set it up and put some programs on it. I would still have to buy a printer, but for the moment, there were plenty of things I could play around with until I could afford one.

On the 17th of January, the Los Angeles area experienced the Northridge earthquake, which killed 57 people and injured 8,700. Everyone stayed home that day because of an ice storm. You and I were glued to the TV set. 

Before the end of January, we got some interesing news. It wasn’t really much of a surprise to me, because I’d been expecting it for a while. You and I weren’t the kind of people that go nuts when we hear something like this, but Kimberly and Don called all excited to tell us, hoping we'd be on cloud nine. It had just been confirmed, with a pregnancy test; they were going to be parents. She was only one month along, so the baby wouldn’t be due until September. 

Kimberly had already told Connie she thought she might be, the week before when Connie and a guy friend spent the night with them. Still, when I called Connie to tell her it was official, she was ecstatic. She said she had been hoping to be an aunt ever since Carol and Glen had gotten married. For us, it was mixed emotions. Of course, we wanted to be grandparents, but we'd hoped they would wait until Don was set up in practice as a chiropractor. 

Evan is 65 and a retired drafting supervisor from Chevron Oil.
Beth is 56 and has had a variety of jobs. She is presently working with a local printing company.
Carol is 31, a nurse, working at a hospital in Chattanooga and living in an apartment.  
Don is a twin. He is 30 and just graduated from Life Chiropractic College. 
Christi is Don’s twin.  She is working as a receptionist at a chemical company and doing massages on the side.
Kimberly Dye is Don’s wife. She is a nurse working in Atlanta.
Connie is our youngest daughter. She is twenty-one. She is a sophomore in college and is working at a furniture store.
Glen Egolf is Carol's ex-husband. He lives in Florida and works in Orlando.
Lenny is Connie's ex-boyfriend


The book continues with Life's Not a Fairytale. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
I'm continuing to recall memories of life with my deceased husband, Evan, as if I am talking aloud to him. I'm doing this because I want my children to know us as we knew each other and not just as their parents.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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