Honeysuckle Air: The Pickle Money

It was time to move, to retire, to simplify my life in order to be a full-time 24/7 caregiver for my hubby.

My house was on the market and I had found a fine condo in Florida, close to a son and his partner as well as medical care. Next we had to agree on a purchase price. Real estate prices were still running on the low side, lucky for me. So I scraped up all my remaining retirement savings which were left after raiding it for cancer copays, blood transfusions, and the odd and sundry expenses of chronic illness.

The agreed-on price kept edging up till I had to put my foot down. I had already stopped trips to the grocery store–what else could they want?!! Even then, I was several thousand short. So I began to sell off stuff with a vengeance. I had multiple garage sales and burned up the web with my offerings. Great friends helped by taking photos and helping me connect with buyers.

I was getting close, working 3, even at times 4 jobs to keep us afloat during the transition. I subbed in the daytime, tutored in the afternoons, and wrote were articles in evenings or during the night. Then I delivered flowers on weekends and other available hours. I knew in my heart I had to keep nourishing my soul, so I continued singing in two choirs and going to a support group. And sometimes I slept, arggh!

Looking back, I am amazed that I somehow made it through while caring for a sick husband and weaving my way through a seemingly impossible undertaking.

But it wasn’t enough. Every bit of extra cash went in a jar since I had no time to make bank trips.

The day finally came and closing was imminent! I went to the bank with my big jar of cash. I had gotten used to it, so I didn’t realize what a furor it would cause when they opened the pickle jar! The lady yelled and other employees rushed to see the drama. It seems the fragrance of pickles had infused itself into each and every bit of the cash!

I sheepishly explained that was the only jar available to use, rocking between embarrassment and hilarity. The tellers were kind and understanding but they couldn’t avoid wrinkling their noses at the many pickle flavored bills. As they patiently counted the money, it was obvious they were trying to hold their breath!

We all had a fun time, albeit a bit unusual, and the closing progressed as planned, to the penny! Saving money in a pickle jar made me quite pleasantly infamous that day. I can assure you each of the folks at the bank had a story to tell at the supper table that night!

And, oh, to be a fly on the wall as people opened their billfolds to a pungent pickle smell. Must have created quite a rush to spend those bills so someone else could deal with the twinge of pickle in the nose!

Since I’ve always felt life has much to teach us each day, I would have to say the lesson of that day was in my funny bone. Perhaps the best medicine for hard times and impossible tasks in life is found in humor. So smile, giggle, laugh, chuckle, or even cackle as my midget grandma used to do. But that’s another story:-)




About grantutor

Career educator in both public and private schools. Has tutored all ages. Writes about education, parenting, & seniors. Sings harmony with folk/rock group and a choir. Caregiver for spouse who dealt with Stage IV cancer. Happy person committed to nature and conservation of a green world.
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