As I said, Joe earned good money at the plant, plus incentives for the second and third shifts, plus overtime. He was considered a hard worker who provided well for his family. He gave Mare money to run the household; every Thursday, payday he would put money on the table for her. He paid certain bills like property taxes, water and sewer, insurance, heating oil. She paid for everything else.
However, if Mare wanted something special or more for the household or children or herself, she went to work to pay for it. She worked at Burnam’s, a fine dress shop in Springfield and at a thread making company, Talon’s in West Springfield, and at Steiger’s, a department store in Westfield. After she retired from Steiger’s, Mare worked as a teacher’s aide in the West Springfield school system for special needs students.
Joe also worked on construction projects with his Uncle Albert Knapp whenever Uncle Al needed him and Joe had the time off. This brought extra money into the household.
My parents weren’t big spenders, neither were they especially frugal or tight with their money. They each bought what they wanted and always bought quality, never cheap. My father always drove a nice, new car and our house was kept up. Whereas my mother was generous with me and my brothers and even with Joe, I don’t ever remember Joe giving me, my brothers, or Mare a gift of any kind. I am grateful we had general prosperity and financial stability in the household, as I know many of my friends did not enjoy the same in their homes. I hope you see that they were two very independent people.
Mare told me that she and Joe gave large cash gifts to their grandchildren when they bought their homes. People do change and time mellows. Joe must have felt he had enough money to share at that point in his life to be generous with his grandchildren.
I don’t remember my parents ever fighting over money. However, I do remember one day when my father got the mail and there was a bill from a department store. He went into a rage, [remember, Joe is a rage-aholic] yelling and screaming at Mare, because he did not like credit. He thought you should pay cash for what you bought, period. Well, she won that battle because she had credit cards and she paid her own bills, period.
Lesson Learned~ Earn your own money, pay your own bills.