Updated: Mar 17
guest writer for "The NZDream" blog
When I was around twenty, I decided that I wanted a girlfriend. I had been busy working and going to college and had a full plate in front of me, but something was missing. I decided it was a soulmate, or at least a female companion.
One of my friends worked in a bowling alley. He let me know that a new league was forming and surely there would be loads of girls there ready to be swept off of their feet by me, of course. I came down as instructed and found that there was a group of older people and one gal about my age. She was sweet, and we hit it off. There was little competition for either of us. We dated for three years before we got married.
That isn't the interesting part of this story. The interesting part is that we started to save money by recycling papers, bottles, and cans. Our dating consisted of her driving her VW bug down the road and me throwing in the bottles and cans that were lying in the gutter in front of us. It was a lucrative pastime. Over time, we had several friends save newspapers, bottles of all sorts and colors, and aluminum cans for us. The bottles were half a cent apiece, as were the aluminum cans. The paper was twenty dollars a ton during this time frame in the late seventies. It took us three years to save three thousand dollars. We used that to buy our first condominium. We never rented and waited to get married until we had our own place. I know how many cans and bottles it takes to get three thousand dollars scraped together. A lot. I think the harder one works for something, the more one appreciates it. I may be wrong, but I don't think so. Ask some of your older friends when they were the happiest. Most will say, "while we were struggling to reach our dreams." One's dreams are seldom as rich as the journey to achieve them. R.C. Hand.
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