Grandfather’s Family Gifts

        The Flying Carpet         

Victor Yosnetsov Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Victor Yosnetsov
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The Rubber budget Account Book arrived in a brown mailer a few months after our 1957 wedding; the latest in the imaginative list of gifts my zany father-in-law thought might be useful for our future now that he’d retired from his World War II service and travels in China.

I was already stitching my first maternity top on the portable Singer sewing machine he’d given me. The Rubber Budget Account Book provided a column for each family member. I decided how to allocate the monthly money. The idea was to spread and contract the family funds like a rubber band as needs shifted, but avoid  overspending since the total monthly amount was fixed. A good theory

Through the years we raised five kids, and moved several times, along with various careers and hiatuses. We zeroed in on thrift shops and yard sales and sometimes drank powdered milk. I canned vegetables and also stitched drapes and made two slipcovers for the couch with grandfather’s sewing machine.

By the time the kids had their teeth straightened and headed for college, imbued, I hoped, with careful shopping habits, I was bringing thrifty brown-bag lunches to my office cubicles.

I’ve never missed those cubicles.  Writing is my magic carpet now. How I love  the ride. Sometimes reality gets in the way, but Grandfather did set the stage for that magic carpet.

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