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The Art Of Bartering Is Not Dead Yet

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The Art Of Bartering Is Not Dead Yet

I dreamed of the day when another of my children would take their education to a higher degree. Amie was the first when she achieved her masters degree in music theory. And she did this on her own terms – got a loan, worked a job, and depended solely upon her own finances. 


Now it’s Andrews turn and he’s stepped up to the plate as well. There was no graduate assistant position open in the spring – which is usually the case for spring semesters – but he had a music scholarship and money coming in from three ensembles he was a part of. School loans picked up the slack. 

There wasn’t much left for room and board but we would manage I suppose. A job would be hard to fit in his schedule with all the rehearsals and practicing he had to do. Then, out of no where he got an offer of taking up residence in the basement rooms of his percussion instructor with meals included if he wanted. 

The cost? Free! There was a catch though. Mr. Percussion Instructor is a single father of a five-year-old daughter. He needed help picking her up from school some days or taking her to school, entertaining her when he had business to attend to, being there when he had to be out of town for clinics. The list wasn’t long, but quite scary for a twenty-four-year-old single guy. 

Some of you know how hard it is to be a single mother,  and I can only guess how much harder it is as a single dad – to a daughter. I wouldn’t want that job. 

Andrew thought long and hard about this offer. He had qualms. He had questions. We had qualms and questions too. 

In the end he decided to give this ordeal a try. So far he has learned how to take care of a sick five-year-old throwing up in the middle of the night while her dad was out of town. He even took her to the doctor and bought her popscickles. Washing yucky bedclothes and stuffed animals brought questions he got his sister and me to answer. 

He’s found run-a-way dogs and lost grandmothers, learned to cook scrambled egg whites, and make better food choices. He even ordered a sweet potato for his side when we went out to eat! I never knew he ate sweet potatoes. Neither did he until that was all that was offered! Mr. Percussion Instructor insists on healthy meals for his daughter. Corn dogs and mac-and-cheese still are a preference when he’s on his own though. 

He said keeping a kid entertained is hard work. There’s no time for sleeping in when he’s on duty. His time is not his own. Last weekend he offered to take the dog to his sisters for his planned weekend in Atlanta because there would be no one home to care for him. He’s always wanted a dog of his own, but has decided dogs are sometimes needy too. 

Andrew has adapted well and I tell him it’s character building. One day there will a lucky lady who catches his eye and she will be thrilled to know he has real life experiences she can rely on. 

So while he’s driving around as a single guy with a pink car seat in his back seat, the ladies are eying him with wonder. 

He’s also been told this experience is a great birth control! He agreed…



About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

3 responses »

  1. Andrew sounds like he will be a well-prepared man when he decides to take on the responsibility of being a husband and a father. Oh… and a pet owner. 😀

    Liked by 1 person


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