The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How far we've come.

If you've ever moved you know that you can often find treasures you didn't know you still had. It's like an archaeological dig of your own past. We've moved many, many (many) times so we're frequently uncovering the same things, but after you see them again, you put them away and forget until the next move.
M and I were going through some old files in the filing cabinet the other day and came across some stuff that made us laugh. There were letters we'd sent back and forth when he was in basic training (oh, I miss you, I can't live without you, I can't bear the seperation, blah, blah, blah), photos of crazy stuff we did the first time we lived in Germany (1997), a target he'd used for weapons qualification in 1998 where he hit the bulls eye (that would be the heart-these are people shaped targets) more than once. Far more interesting than all of that though were a stack of old LES's. That stands for Leave and Earning Statement and is basically military speak for "pay stub." He, for whatever reason, had kept the majority of them from his entire career (he gets 2 a month and has been in for 12.5 years-that's a lot of paper). We decided to shred them, because, well, why keep them? We did decide to keep a very select few though. Like the one from May 16-30, 1996. He had been in the military for 2 months. His net take home pay was $327. $327! For 2 weeks! Granted we lived in post housing so we had no rent, electric, water or sewer to pay (thank heavens), and had no children but still. $327? That's almost laughable. I had just moved to CA to be with him and had not found a job yet, so his salary was it. I'm utterly amazed that we somehow lived on less than $700 a month. In CA, no less. I remember those days and they were actually not too bad. Sure we ate a lot of mac and cheese and rarely went, well, anywhere that wasn't free, but still it wasn't bad. We lived on love, I suppose.
He maked significantly more than that now (thankfully, because a girl's got to have shoes you know) and we live a fairly comfortable lifestyle. It's nice to see where we've come from though and to know that we absolutely stuck it out through "poorer." Now if only the "rich" part would come along. Mama would really like a few pair of Ferragamos.


Rue said...

You are so funny. I hope you get those shoes ;)

Are you ready to move yet? After reading about it, I can't imagine how hard it is. I hope your stuff is there for Christmas.


Jessica said...

Good luck with your move. Thanks for being such a selfless, loyal military family for all of us freedom lovers. :) BTW, I think back to what we used to make too and it's amazing to realize we were just as happy!

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