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Three $20 bills ago, I had an empty gas tank.

It’s not that I miss my $60 because that full gas tank represents freedom for me and my family. I would rather have my freedom than my $60. It seems like a fair exchange for 350 miles of go anywhere you want to go unrestrained freedom, but it started me to thinking – twenty years ago, $60 meant different things to me.

Twenty years ago, I would have to mow 4-5 yards to make $60.

I probably had a dozen or more lawn customers. At the low-end I would get $7 and at the high-end $20 per yard. I did have one customer willing pay $30, but I ditched them because they were 10 times the hassle of my $10 customers.

Twenty years ago, I would have to put in 20 hours at the local pizza place to make $60.

My dad got me a job at the local pizza place one summer back in the ’80’s. Funny thing, I really liked that place until I started working there. Since I didn’t have much enthusiasm for my job, my boss didn’t have much enthusiasm to put me on the schedule.

I never got fired, they just lowered my hours from 20 a week to 10 a week to 5 a week to 3 a week to check back next week. Eventually, I just quit checking back… I had lawns to mow!

Twenty years ago, my Grandma would sneak me $60 every once in awhile.

Her first husband died several years before I was born. I called her second husband “PaPa” and loved him very dearly. However, it wasn’t until “PaPa” passed away that I figured out Grandma didn’t have a whole lot of freedom to spend money. She had to scrimp, sneak and salvage to put together a little bit of cash… which she would then promptly pass on to me and my siblings.

Funny thing is, I always thought Grandma’s came pre-loaded with $20 bills to hand out at all the special occasions or for no occasion at all. Right about now, I would give back all those twenty’s and double it for another Thanksgiving with Grandma.


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