Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some Tears And A New Jeep

…so where were we? Oh yes, kissing my handsome sailor goodbye, trying not to look like a blubbering fool while standing and waving goodbye to all those Coasties.

After Pete sailed away I was left in a new town with an old beat up car, very little cash (being a wife was making it hard to work crazy waitress hours and go to school), and 1 friend. My saving grace during that whole first year of marriage, Melodie! Where would Pete and I be without her? I am not sure I could have endured that first year if not for her. She was a seasoned Coast Guard wife and she was glad to show me the ropes.

We hung out all the time and sometimes would hang out with another wife whose husband was gone. She had a baby so we were not always sure what to do with that (the whole having a baby out with us crying and stuff), so sometimes we just didn’t do anything. My point is I had two Coast Guard wives teaching me how to be a Coast Guard wife during a time when no husbands were present.

Now, on to the lamp and the Jeep….

One day about a month after the guys had left the three of us went shopping. I wondered around a store and came upon a Tiffany Lamp that I fell in love with. I was having a hard time leaving the lamp behind because I did not have enough cash on me to pay the $40 asking price. The girls made their way over to me and asked,” What’s up? “I confessed, “I don’t have enough for this lamp, but I love it.” They both try to hide their giggles, “Didn’t Pete leave you with money? You know you can buy things with his money. You guys are married now, it’s both of yours” I reply, somewhat stunned, “He left me with a check book to pay the rent and right before he left he gave me a debit card with my name on it but I think he only wanted me to use that money to pay bills with. I can’t buy a lamp with his debit card.” I will forever remember that instant, which was the moment where my world stood still…Could I use his money? I instantly felt like my mom…using my dad’s money from his work because it was “their” money. Was this OUR money? I decided to go for it. I picked up the lamp and took it to the counter to pay, fully expecting the clerk to deny me the right to purchase this lamp because the debit card said Lisa #$@^&%$ and I was not her for very long and I was not sure if I earned the right to use “our” money. The sale went through and I left their feeling like a real wife. I made my first purchase with “our” money. It was fun, and I am reluctant to admit that the flood gates were instantly opened…..

It did not take long for me to enjoy the instant increase in cash flow. I still worked, but never hesitated to request a Saturday night off to enjoy shopping with Mel. The only bummer part was my car. I was having a hard time keeping the car running and I desperately needed a new car. Pete was in his 2nd month of being deployed and we were not able to talk for almost 30 days. During this time the car really took a turn for the worse. Every time I went to shift gears I had to pump the clutch 4 to 5 times just to shift gears. My calves were enjoying the new driving regimen, but I was getting worn out. I called our bank to get some quotes on loans. I was just collecting data so when I talked to Pete I could ask him to call the bank and get the loan set up so I could buy a car. Once I was on the phone with Navy Fed I explained my situation. I can’t promise you I did not shed a tear or two because by this time I was feeling the effect of being by myself and missing my guy. The nice helpful bank agent asked me if I had a Power of Attorney, which is customary for deployed sailors to leave for their spouses. I suddenly perked up. I did have one of those. I remember Pete gave me one right before he left and told me this gives me the power to sign for him. Might I be able to fix the pumping the clutch 5x every 3 minutes situation before talking to my “husband” ? Might I be able to get this loan in his name without him here? Might I buy a car with “our” money without even asking him? Yes, yes and yes. The check was mailed to me in the next 3 days. I got a loan for $12,500.

I called in sick to Applebee’s that Saturday, I hopped in the barely patched together car and drove through the Alameda tunnel in my Toyota Corolla for the last time and headed into Oakland to find a Jeep Wrangler with my name (really Pete’s name…but I had the Power of Attorney) on it. You see when Pete and I were in High School he drove a Jeep Wrangler to school. The first night he picked me up, the night I decided I wanted to marry him; he picked me up in a Jeep Wrangler. This was the car I wanted with him. I found one that day, signed Pete’s name and drove away in my black soft top Jeep Wrangler with a lift kit. And then waited patiently for Pete to call so I could thank him for buying me my dream car….


  1. Oh man! Now Greg is hooked too. I suppose we could've just invited you guys out for dinner at a time when we lived in the same zip code, but this is way more fun! Keep going, please! :)

  2. You told me once you had a jeep, but never went into details!! Love it, you know how I feel about jeeps - I think you and I should go in for another one.....but here's my question for you Lisa - Jeep = wind; what about the hair?? :) Love ya!

  3. Lisa ~
    I do think I remember the Jeep thing and I know I remember the lamp purchase! Your blog is neat....Looks like you have your hands full. We have 3 of our own and homeschool too! This is our first a couple of months we will be done with year 1! Take care.

    Sherri Thomas....formally of Alameda too ;-)

  4. Welcome to Homeschooling. It is so fun and so hard. Thanks for reading my blog. I have fun writing it!