When I had money
Now that I have seen 77 birthdays come and go, I get to thinking and comparing my past life with today’s reduced circumstances. I started out poor, gained ground through the married years, and enjoyed some perks of having excess money to spend. I then returned to watching the pennies and keeping a strict budget.
So what was it like to have extra money?
While living in a new four bedroom house in John Wayne country I would hop in a Cessna 172 and with a girlfriend in a separate plane would fly off to some other airport a hundred miles away just to have lunch.
If you have ever eaten at any airport large or small, you know it is nothing to brag about.
I would hop in a classic sports car and zoom out to a glider port to fly around in a fiberglass sailplane, not going anywhere but in circles.
Well, I did achieve some altitude over the glider port of Lake Elsinore, but that was not really an outstanding achievement.
For a family outing I planned a month long vacation in Europe, first buying a car at the Volvo plant in Sweden, and then touring down to Yugoslavia for the New Year’s celebration in Dubrovnik.
Even after my divorce, I joined a sailing club in San Diego and sailed under the Coronado Bay Bridge just to go to lunch at a bayside restaurant. This outing took all day, but I was not in a hurry.
Later on after working in New York City and enjoying the sights of same, I took a cruise on the Mediterranean, and saw many ports of call, including Monaco and Istanbul.
Even before that, I had purchased a small house of my own in Western state New York, and signed up for a trek to Tibet in 2006. I consider that the high point of my travels, and especially since there have been such curtailments of travel in that country, so that the vistas we enjoyed in the Kham region are no longer offered to tourists.
Yes, when I had money, I could go to fancy restaurants, shop at Tiffany’s, and wear designer clothes.
Now my meals are all homemade; I buy my clothes from thrift stores, but no one can buy my memories of when I used to have money.