Life is what happens while you are waiting for something else to happen. Existence on a dirt road with unusual neighbors was all I knew. If it is all you know, it is what is normal and what is home. I don’t have any idea if we were normal, but it sure seemed like it to me.
I learned about business from Van, learning is a generous word, it was more like: ‘here, I have another job, you can have my paper route. Don’t forget to collect every week.’ I would carry that dumb paper bag around everyday filled with inky newspapers. When my shoulders got tired from the weight, I decided to strap it across my head. I had one of the strongest necks in East Ann Arbor. After Van gave me the route, he disappeared. He had his own friends and was not one to hang around with family.
Dad would trug off to work at the University of Michigan everyday to earn some daily bread. (On Saturday’s he would work in the bakery and make real bread.) I don’t think he liked the work, but it was a job and it was steady work. I believe he enjoyed the repairing of TVs and Radios better. But, he did teach me that there is honor in getting up every day and doing it all over again.
Mom had tried her hand at the stay-at-home gig for 5 or 6 years. She was just not into it. The obvious thing would be to use her musical talents to bring in a few extra dollars. She started to give piano lessons at the house. She was making a few bucks and really enjoyed it. Her reputation as a good instructor spread and soon she could not accommodate all of the parents who wanted their kids to take lessons from Mrs Flanders. She was very good.
An Ann Arbor music store was having people come in to buy pianos because their children were learning so much from a Mrs. Flanders. The store manager called Mom and asked if she would come to their store and use their studio to teach kids. They would pay her a lot more than she was making at home. It was a long discussion with Dad, but in the end, the money won out and Mom started her career at the The Ann Arbor Wurlitzer Store.
Gramma Rossbach took over a considerable amount of the care of Bonnie. Gram also did our laundry for many years. Most blessed of all, Gram did enough of the cooking to spare us from Mom’s meal preparation…she was sure not into the whole cooking thing.
Life went on as we all waited for something else to happen.
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