My Husband the Medical Student
It’s not easy being married to a medical student. I knew it would not be before I married him, but I was a nurse, and I thought we could manage.
The first years were the hardest. We lived in an attic apartment at Ohio State University. Since Everett was in medical school, he often would need to study far into the night. Besides a tiny kitchen and bath, the apartment had one main room with a dormer window. He would sit in the dormer window with a study lamp and prop up pillows to block the light from the rest of the room so I could sleep. The only income we had was what I made as a visiting nurse. It was not much in those days, but by making every penny count, we made it work. I was counting the days till he would be out of school.
I was a new bride and I knew how to cook, especially when it came to baking. My dad had been a baker during the depression. After the Depression, my folks bought a farm. Growing up we had an orchard with pears and apples. We also had a garden with all kinds of vegetables and strawberries. We butchered every year, so we had lots of meat. We had plenty to eat. It was a good life. But when I got married, I didn’t know how to cook for only two people. The first time I made coffee cakes it turned out to be seven cakes. I was use to cooking for thrashers – 6 pies, 3 cakes, 6 dozen cookies were usual. Now I didn’t know what to do with seven coffee cakes.
We had no freezer. I didn’t want Everett to know what a mistake I had made, so I took five of them and gave them to the neighbors. The problem was when Everett came home all the neighbors came out and thanked him. I had to confess. I had a lot to learn as a wife.
Finally, he finished school and went into his residency program in Akron, Ohio. By then we had our first daughter, Beth. Those days were tough. He made $99 every two weeks, but it was barely enough. I was only able to work when I had a babysitter. We looked forward to the days when one of our folks would come for a visit and bring eggs, vegetables from their garden and fruit to last a month. We never wanted them to know of our struggles to make ends meet. The drug companies gave us baby food for Beth.
Finally, with 2 of the 3 years of residency over, Everett joined the military and was stationed at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. It was like a 2-year vacation with pay. It was a joy to be there. They paid Everett well. Because he went in as a captain, we could even go to the Officer’s Club. There was a babysitting service called ‘The Stork Club’ which we could use for pennies. Everett learned to fly. I wasn’t going up with him unless I knew how to land the plane, so
I also took flying lessons at the Aero Club and soloed to get my license.
Then it was time to go back for one more year of residency. This time things were different. We had saved some money for this final year and we sailed right through it. Everett was gone a lot more as a resident. One Friday evening he came home about midnight. He woke me up to ask if I had prepared any dinner. “Yes,” I told him. “It is in the oven. It’s been there since Tuesday.”
The following June 12th it was over and Everett graduated. It took 13 years, including our time in the air force. A doctor at last. Finally we were ready to open his practice.