Post # 332 My First Home Alone

January 14, 2015 at 8:58 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 332 My First Home Alone

For no other reason than I thought I should, when I was about 20 or so, I moved out on my own.  I was working for my dad at his gas station.  I made decent money, but I had no idea if I was capable of paying bills on a monthly basis.  Some of my friends had moved out on their own and were successful.  I knew if the chips were down, I could always raid my parents’ fridge.  So I did it and moved out.

I lived in town that was about 40% reliant on tourism, mostly the retired winter visitors, we called snowbirds.  You probably know about them.  So there was a large market in used RVs, travel trailers, and the like.  There were also lots of places to park them.  So I bought a large travel trailer and parked it in a trailer park owned by the family of a friend of mine from high school.  When I moved it in, they adopted me, particularly the grandmother.  It was nice, and green, and shady, which in the desert can be the difference between sleeping and not sleeping at night.

So, I hired another family friend to actually move the beast to my rented spot, and my brother and I packed up my stuff and moved it into my new home.  As I looked around, I suddenly realized, I had about $20 to my name until payday, several days away, and no food.

“Hello, mom?”  She didn’t have any spare cash either, but asked what I needed it for.

“Oh, shoot,” she said. “Just come out here and take food for the week.  You’ll be fine.”

This was Saturday, and I had to have food until Friday.  And I’d never really planned meals like that before.  Mom always did the planning and I did the cooking.

I ended up with two pizza kits of indeterminate age, a box of macaroni and cheese, several pounds of hamburger, two cans of Spam, and four cans of soup.  I also had a bag of frozen buns, a loaf of bread, a bag of cookies, a box of crackers, peanut butter and jelly, and mustard.  I also took one plate, one bowl, one fork, one knife, one spoon, and one paring knife.  Then mom gave me a crock pot, an electric skillet, one medium size pot, and one small skillet.  With my $20, I bought a head of lettuce, two tomatoes, and a picnic salt and pepper set.  I still had $17 left.

I ate with my parents that night.  It was kind of a poignant meal for us all.  I took some leftovers home with me.

On Sunday, I wanted to have a pizza.  You all know how much I love pizza.  But I didn’t have a propane tank yet so I couldn’t use my oven.  So I figured, “What the heck?”  I made the kit and put it in the electric skillet with the top on.   Turned out perfect!  And I got to eat the whole thing.  The next morning, for the first time in my life, I had cold pizza for breakfast, and started a lifelong practice.

I’m not going to list out what I had for dinner every night that week, except to say that I was happy and not hungry, and living on my own.

The following Saturday, I looked at my money, knowing I had to put some aside for bills, etc.  A friend was sitting with me, and I was trying to decide what to have for my week’s upcoming meals.  I’d liked the pizza so much, I wrote it down on my list.  And I’d like the mac and cheese, too, so I wrote that down.  And I like hamburger, so that went on the list.  There were a few variations, but mostly it was exactly what I’d had the week before.

My friend looked at the list and said, “You’re in a rut.”

But it was a good rut, and I was happy spending $30 for groceries.

At that time, I was riding my bicycle everywhere I went so all my groceries had to fit in my backpack.  One time, I had stocked up on canned goods, to the point where I couldn’t physically carry the pack and ride my bike.  My dad’s gas station was on my way home, so I stopped there and asked him to drop the pack by on his way home.

I had to wait several hours for my food to arrive.  Good thing I had some cheese and crackers.

That was the Christmas mom got me my first cookbook.  Things changed after that.  Big time changed.

Enjoy

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