Thursday, May 31, 2007


Anybody know of a great place to stay in downtown Victoria, BC?

Another Meme

Friends - I am making this an optional meme, since we have all been hit lately. . .

INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:

Mom of 2 and Wife of 1
It's A Schmitty Life
Life is short, buy the shoes
Ponderosa Pinings

Next select five people to tag:

Kellogg Bloggin'
Silver Valley Stories
Gathering Around the Table
Myrtle Beach Ramblings
Scrapping Servant

Answer the following questions:

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago, I was working at Baskin-Robbins and realizing that I needed to go back to school and finish my degree. With much persuasion from my husband, I went back to school in the fall of '97.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

One year ago, I was recovering from job trauma. I had worked 12 hour shifts at the INL (plus 1 hour travel each way) for 8 months. I was "low man," treated badly, and nearly had a nervous breakdown.

Five snacks you enjoy:

M&Ms (plain)
Bridge Mix
Lays Potato Chips with homemade Avocado Dip
Cookies (any kind, but lately love Macadamia & white chocolate chip cookies)
Mixed Nuts

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:

Only five? . . . song lyrics pop into my head for all occasions. . .I'll do the Beatles . . .

Hold Me Tight
Twist n Shout
Till There Was You - (found out this was originally from The Music Man)
Fool on the Hill

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

Give more to God's work.
Upgrade our home & sell it.
Buy land - build a home on part of the land with a father-in-laws' quarters for my Dad.
Hire a gardener to weed & plant big stuff, like trees - and a housekeeper to clean.
Try something entrepreneurial - like a whatnot shop with tons of ambience and tables to serve tea and goodies.

Five bad habits:

Staying up too late.

Trying to do everything at the last minute.
Eating too much junk.
Making excuses not to exercise more.

Five things you like doing:

Playing computer games
Painting (watercolor)
Organizing (buttons, beads, etc)
Selling Mary Kay Products

Five things you would never wear again:

Hot Pants
Anything double knit polyester - particularly pants.

Five favorite toys:

Sewing Machine
Tea set
Watercolor Paints

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pinehurst: Fifth Grade (3)

Flood & Native Speak

Oft times in the Silver Valley, about every 10 years - give or take a year, there's a flood. There was a flood in '64, '74, and in the mid-80s - (unsure of the year, but my parents took "movies") and probably one in the 90s. Now the floods in Pinehurst usually don't occur during the "spring run-off" when most floods occur - they usually happen in December or January. Yea. Dead in the middle of winter.

Northern Idaho generally starts getting snow in November (sometimes late October), and the snow continues to fall throughout December and into January. But in certain years, instead of the snow continuing through March, winter is disrupted by a "Chinook wind." A Chinook is a warm wind that comes off of the Pacific Ocean melting a portion of the snow pack. As the snow pack melts, it fills the frozen streams with excess water, then rushes into bigger creeks and rivers. I am not sure if it is because the ground is frozen, but winter floods are the biggest in Northern Idaho.

Now the geography of Pinehurst is such, that the creek (pronounced "crick" by the natives - Pinehurst natives) used to flow through the middle of the present town. My parents bought property on Main St. and the entire back yard was full of river rock. . .You guessed it. Right smack dab, in the middle of the old crick bed.

Of course, we were safe from flooding. Pinecrick crick (yep, that's what we called it - so as not to confuse it with Pinecrick, the town, "up Pinecrick") wasn't anywhere close to the property any more. Years earlier a dike (not to be confused with dyke - which is fairly recent term) was built to route the water around the southern end of town to the western side of the settlement and northward to the lead (led) crick. There used to be a road on top of the dike, aptly named "the dike road." As Main street leaves town on the western border, there is a bridge that crosses the "crick" and leads to the Bauman Addition. Prior to January 1965, that bridge was made of wood and held up by wood pylons ("pilings").

The flood came early that winter. It was a few nights before Christmas, when we got the call from Dorothy Clemens. " The dike broke! You've gotta get out of there!" Mom got us up, and we hurried out to the car in our pajamas, shoes and coats. Dad pulled out of the driveway and headed for 6th street. We went up one block and turned left, but the water was getting so deep that a small row boat floated past the front of the car. So he backtracked to Main, turned right and drove east to Division street. My parents had some friends who lived on "D" Street, which was situated higher than our house, so we went to there.

My sister and I crashed on a couch, chair, or floor to finish sleeping. I heard the adults discussing the possibility that the water could get high enough to flood our living room and destroy the presents under the tree. To avoid further catastrophe, Dad and Stan braved the waters back to our place, and put the packages up on the furniture.

The next day the water had receded enough for us to go home. When we pulled into the driveway, there was a thawed "frozen turkey" in our yard. Mom surmised that someone must have set it out on their porch to thaw the night before. People don't do that anymore.

I don't remember what we did for water. Usually when the water gets really high in the crick, and a Chinook starts to blow, we'd fill the bathtub with water to flush the toilet. (Used a pan to scoop the water and pour enough into the commode to trip the flushing mechanism.) We would also scoop water out to boil for drinking. Maybe we did the same with the flood water that year, I just know we got by somehow.

That could have been the year there was an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Kellogg. From the story I remember, some lady contracted Hepatitis and started getting sick while she was preparing food for St. Rita's Bazaar at the Union Legion. Everyone who had eaten there was urged to get vaccinated so they wouldn't get sick. Unfortunately a number of people who attended the bazaar contracted Hepatitis - including my husband and one of his sisters.

The flood destroyed the bridge at the west end of Main St. The waters were so deep, some of the "pilings" broke and washed downstream taking other "pilings" with them. In fact there were numerous wooden bridges around the valley that were washed out that year. Rumor had it that the "Pinecrick kids" had to cross the "crick" by walking across on a large pipe and holding onto a cable, just to catch the school bus once school was back in session. . (I remember hearing about it from the kids at school, but it has been so many years ago, some of them would have to verify if that information was factual. I know I believed it as a child.)

With the bridge to Kingston wiped out, those of us in Pinehurst were stranded. This was before the freeway was built, and the only way out of town was across that bridge. . .now I could be mistaken, but the other end of town was where slough met the "crick" and flooded the old road, blocking that exit. I think if there had been an emergency in town, we would have needed helicopters to get out.
(I know helicopters were used as emergency vehicles during one flood, but I don't remember which one.)

The bridges were given temporary support as the waters receded, leaving sometimes one lane to drive across. As soon as weather permitted, we got new bridges made of concrete and metal. I "kinda" missed the old wooden bridges. They had a certain quaintness and familiarity that the new bridges didn't have.

In addition to the loss of bridges, the Pinehurst Fifth Grade playground was reshaped by the flood. A once sloping grade up to the equipment, now had a large crevice right down the middle of it, where the creek had raged toward the school. Nevada street also had a fissure cutting a deep gash across it, one large enough that our elderly neighbor, Mrs. Trosch, was inattentively stopped in her tracks when the front wheels of her car dropped into it.

In Pinehurst, the dike was reinforced with gigantic rocks from the freeway construction, so that it held better than ever. And though the Chinook of winter, brings a big flood about every 10 years, I don't think the dike has broken since Dec. '64.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pinehurst: Fifth Grade (2)

Four Eyes

Besides all the drama I had in the fifth grade, there were changes. I had to get glasses. Now for a girl who is maturing, glasses are not something you want to have to wear. First of all, they change your appearance. Instead of seeing you as you are, the glasses introduce themselves to others before you get a chance to speak. "Look at Me! Look at Me" - and they say it so loudly, that if you should remove them, people think, "Man, you look funny."

Additionally, the style of glasses I got were passe'. They were on their way out, but who knew? And being 10 - 11 yrs old and fond of color. . .I got the blue ones, baby blue cat-eye glasses. "Snazzy." Mom also permed my hair that year - and I got it cut into a bubble. So here I was the curly-haired, cat-eye girl with "dizzy spells". (Just the kinds of things to give one confidence as they approach puberty.) [Picture to follow as soon as I find it.]

In fifth grade, we were considered too young for women's upper foundational underwear. Our bodies didn't know that however and continued to change. One girl in our class, who was nearly a year older than the rest of us, did wear such a contrivance, and was teased mercilessly by boys and girls alike. It was the days of white blouses that buttoned up the back -(talk about stupid couture). So blouses were translucent and gave away just enough information to make such teasing possible. Add to the white blouse our plaid skirts and we were wearing the quintessential Catholic School Girl look. We probably wore saddle shoes or some other industrial strength footwear suited to function and not style. It was nerdy and I was the ultimate poster child for that look.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pinehurst: Fifth Grade (1)

Old Lady Vitamin Pill

When I was in the fifth grade at Pinehurst school, our classes were held in the Annex on the South side of the school. The annex was the newest building at the school. It contained 4 classrooms, a girls' bathroom and boys' bathroom. The fifth grade consisted of 3 classes, and the fourth room was used by the Jr. High.

My fifth grade teacher was Mrs. Allman - who was referred to by the older kids as "Old Lady Vitamin Pill." Apparently a few years prior to my stint in grade 5, OLVP would give each of her students a "One-A-Day" vitamin pill each morning. Now this was in the days long before school offered breakfast to students from low-income families, and I imagine she was just doing her part to help the students to succeed in school. However, as an adult with grown children, it is "chilling" to think that a teacher, no matter what her intentions, could give each student a pill before class every day. Added to the fact that in those days, the schools employed full-time nurses who were able to administer drugs legally, the thought of a single teacher taking on the dispension of pills to kids is rather "bizarre."

However, by the time I was admitted to her class, the practice had stopped. There had been a law passed that made it illegal for anyone, including the nurse to dispense as much as an aspirin without parental permission. This was a great move, as parents who have abandoned the rearing of children to the state, did not forsake the responsibility to care for their children's health. (But I pontificate.)

Mrs. Allman was not an impressive teacher. She was old, very thin, pale, and dyed her stringy hair a dark brown. Her clothes were nondescript dresses of a matronly style and color. She seemed nice, and probably liked me, as most of my teachers did, but I don't remember anything distinctive about the class - except for learning the state capitals and the first paragraph of the Gettysburg address.

"Dizzy Spells"

Perhaps it was because I was changing. My body was growing in new ways, and I was beginning to notice boys more. Not just one or two, but many nice looking young bucks. One sat behind me most of the year, who was quite nice looking, and may have liked the way I looked a bit also.

I had some screwy ideas about boys and how they thought about girls and the whole notion of sex - that I prefer not to mention here. Suffice to say, a friend of mine and I had concocted a whole explanation from bits and pieces we had heard and seen. It would be laughable, except that neither of us ever learned the truth about our "theory" until years later when other bits and pieces we learned contradicted what we first believed. Sad that our mothers lived in a time where what is natural had been deemed nasty - and they were never comfortable to speak of things to come.

However, there is another explanation for why I may not remember much of my fifth grade year: the "dizzy spells" as I called it. I started having strange sensations of acute self-awareness coupled with impending doom. In the course of the ordinary, I would suddenly feel disembodied, as though I was an observer as well as a participant in life. I could disassociate myself from me, and yet feel trapped in time and place with a heightened sense of needing to escape.

It was as if my mind belonged to a higher order of being, and didn't want to be trapped in a 10 yr. old body locked in that classroom at that time, studying insipid books. I became claustrophobic and terrified. I had to get out of there and fast! The only way I could cope was to put my head down. On more than one occasion, I would get down on my hands and knees, because I felt like I was going to pass out or die on the spot. Usually, I would end up going home, unless my Mom was working - which was most of the time, then I would be taken to the nurses office to lie down.

As soon as the strange feelings left, I felt stupid. My mom thought I was faking it. She took me to the doctor who said there was nothing physically wrong with me. (Physically there wasn't. . .but physiologically there was - I was having panic attacks.)

In those days, doctors didn't know about panic attacks. They might have suspected "mental illness" - but in all other ways, I was a normal kid. I didn't act out, didn't display anti-social behavior, in fact, I was a model child who tried to please my parents and teachers. There was no logical explanation at that time for my behavior. My mom thought it was a ruse and I thought I was dying.

Fortunately, I had a lot of ear infections that year also, and one of the doctors said I had some kind of allergy, as he found boils in my ears. As a result, he also said that it could be the cause of the "dizzy spells." This alleviated my mother's accusations that I was "faking it" and she apologized for not believing me. It calmed my fears, as I no longer believed that what was happening to me was fatal.

Regardless, all of this uproar, was a huge distraction my entire fifth grade year. No wonder I don't remember much about the classroom than the "dizzy spells."

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Simple

Sunday Scribblings seems like a great site. Everyone who participates seems to enjoy the topics, the writing, and everyone else's vignettes. I enjoy the variety of pieces and to see what people are thinking.

This week's topic was "simple," and I thought that is what makes Sunday Scribblings so popular. The topics are simple. Anyone can have an idea when they are given simple words to write about.

Now if I were to give writing assignments, I would not give simple topics. I would set up the thinking person's writings with deep topics, unpredictable words, and encourage specification and even pontification. I would like to see random writings about the absurd, the interesting, the stuff that hides in the recesses of the mind.

I would choose words like:


Sure, the words are not simple and they would spur potential writers to express new ideas, to stretch their minds in new ways. Some may even have to "look up" the word in order to begin the writing process.

I would also propose "forms" to follow. Examples would be: limericks, epigrams, proverbs, essays, anagrams, haikus, etc. I would give the form, an example of the type of form, then allow the writers to choose their own topic.

What do you think? Anyone up for a mind-bending challenge?


Let it be known that Myrtle Beach Whale has me laughing so hard I have invented a new acronym that supercedes other acronyms for laughter. LSHISTA (la shish' ta) Means LAUGHING SO HARD I'M SCARING THE ANIMALS!

You know when you've reached LSHISTA when your animals, children, neighbor's come running scared to see what all the screaching, gasping, and guffawing is about.

Excuse Me!

Excuse me if I smell like cat urine. I know it's not the stuff of posts, but you see, our cat is dying, and I was cleaning out his litter box today. Our Master Bath reeks, as Colonel has had a few misses lately. I used Resolve to kill the odor, but some of it must have oozed into the grout around the shower stall.

I am divided. Last week, I was determined to take him for tests and pills and to keep him as healthy as possible. . .but when they said daily injections - I faltered. My youngest daughter, S, said, "He won't let you do that!" (But she remembers Colonel the fighter, Colonel the attacker, not Colonel the dying elder.) Colonel has become the "puddy tat" who no longer fights the Vet if I am there to comfort him. The cat who trusts me implicitly, yet knows not that I hold the keys to his future. I don't want to make that decision - the one I know is coming, if he doesn't die on his own.

We all love Colonel. He has been a great cat for nearly 14 years. He was the great grey hunter that kept our house free of mice when the back yard was just a field near the airport. He has killed voles, and chased off cats and birds and probably squirrels. He'd even go after a dog if it came in the yard - but those days are past. He stopped fighting other cats a few months ago. He rarely goes outside except to stand on the back porch and survey his domain. He has stopped attacking Ozzy, our chocolate lab. He sleeps most of the time now, is losing weight, drinks a ton, and wets a ton.

Which leads me back to the beginning. He goes through a tub of litter every week or two now. . .and I am tired of the smell. Injections every day - or the smell of urine - or one fatal injection. . .but I can't go there. He must know. . .he just came in beside me to be petted.

So excuse me if I reek. I can't kill my cat.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pinehurst: Snippets from '63 - '64

Three cents for the Governor

I used to get an allowance to spend each week. When I was in Smelterville, I think it was 50 cents - but in Pinehurst I think it was raised to $1. I would walk down the street to the Post Office / craft store. In those days, the Post Office took up half the building, and a craft store was in the other half. The craft store had a lot of yarn, and the lady who worked there was usually knitting something. I really liked to buy these animal crafts in boxes with styrofoam, feathers, pipe cleaners, etc. that cost 99 cents. The one I specifically remember was an Ostrich you could make with the styrofoam balls painted lavender for the head and body. After it was made, it would stand up on it's pipecleaner legs, and it may have hung by strings so you could make it walk.

One summer day, I went down (probably on a Friday - when I got my allowance) to purchase one of these animal kits. When the lady rang it up she said, "One dollar and two cents, please."

I replied, "I thought they were 99 cents, and I only have a dollar!"

She explained, "Well, now you have to pay state tax of 3 cents on a dollar."

"I guess I can't get it then," I offered. "I'll have to go home and see if I can get 2 more cents." But I was thinking, What a rip-off. I have to pay 3 extra cents for nothing. When I went home I had to have one of my parents explain to me why a kid has to pay money and get nothing for it. They called it tax - but it really wasn't anything.

Banana Bikes

Sometime after we moved to Pinehurst, I got a new bike. I think it was for Christmas. It was larger than my first bike, and I'm pretty sure it was turquoise. (See picture. This is a 1964 Murray jet fire girls bike. Except for the seat - which was likely 2-toned turquoise and white - it looked like that.) It was a great bike, and I would ride it down to the store (Morbeck's) on the southwest corner of Division and Main. (Many of you will remember it as Wilber's store in the '70s). I'd ride it all over the playgrounds at Pinehurst school. I loved it, because with the larger tires, it would go further with each petal, than my smaller bike had.

The next year, however, bicycle styles changed, and since my bike was only a year old, I couldn't get one of the new stingray bikes - but I think my sister got one. (She may have inherited my older red bike, and was now old enough to have a nice bike of her own.) My dad didn't want me to feel like an odd ball with this old bike, so he bought me a "banana seat" and the "sting-ray" handle bars to put on my bike. (Try doing that with a kid now-a-days!) Now my bike was a monster. It was the Grandmammy of all sting rays - twice as big as most, with the cool seat and handlebars. Dad even removed the flat part of the back fender, so the transformation would be complete.

I don't know how old I was when I realized how ugly that bike was, but I eventually quit riding it - banana seat and all. Everyone else's bikes were small enough to do wheelies, and mine was a morphed-out Brontosaurus. I couldn't get the front two wheels up for anything. It was embarrassing.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Random Musings


The Hunk and I were married 27 yrs ago today. Unbelievable! Doesn't seem like we could possibly have been married that long! The Hunk took me out to dinner last night at a favorite Italian Restaurant. We tried to converse, but the place was full of screaming little kids. : ( Now I know why the people who frequent complain about people taking their children to restaurants around here. There is no discipline and no "keeping it down to a dull roar" (borrowing one of Dad's expressions). Fortunately, I had some painkillers with me, that I took as soon as the water arrived, or I would have had a migrane by the time we left. Other than that we had a nice time, and the food was really scrumptious!

We couldn't make plans for tonight, as the Hunk will be travelling this weekend. He leaves tonight - right after work, and I won't see him again until Monday night. I am busy with dressmaking and other projects that need to be done before S leaves for the Palouse. I was hoping to ride along, but with my work schedule and the fact the vehicle will be packed with necessities - keyboard, cedar chest and new bicycle. . .there's no room for Mom. : (

I am trying to console myself with the fact that I won't be "cramping their style" (another of my Dad's sayings) - because they can crank up their tunes when I'm not riding along. Besides I need to feed the animals and vacuum and stuff. . .LOL!

Well, I'd better get back to the sewing, so they will have complete dresses for the wedding tomorrow night!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Where were you? (3)

Eruption of Mount St. Helen's - May 18, 1980

It was a Sunday afternoon and the Hunk and I were scheduled to be married the next Saturday. He and his brothers decided to go to an air show at Fairchild Air Force Base. About the time they got to Coeur d'Alene, they heard on the radio that the Air Show had been cancelled. They were really miffed. "Why would they cancel the air show at the last minute?" they fumed.

From the west, a large dark cloud began to sweep across the sky. It was similar to a storm cloud, but very dark. Then they heard on the radio that Mt. St. Helen's had erupted. "Wow, was that cloud from the volcano?" Interestingly, they had the Hunk's super 8 movie camera, and decided to take some movies to document what was happening. The western sky dark was as a starless night, and the eastern sky was still daylight.

They decided to turn around and drive home, but stopped briefly at the edge of Coeur d'Alene Lake and take some more movies. Then they drove back over the Fourth of July pass to the Silver Valley.

In the meantime, I was home and heard about the eruption on the television. Everyone was told to stay indoors. (No one knew at that time, whether or not the ash would be toxic and it was heading our way.) I was really scared about my groom and hoped they would not be caught in the fallout. The Hunk arrived at my house before the cloud of ash began to fall. We drove to his mom's place in Kellogg, and he dug out his industrial respirator - just in case.

Soon the ash started falling in Kellogg. He put on his respirator and went outside to take some movies of the ash falling onto the cars. I didn't want him to go out - but you know men - they love danger! Unfortunately, he ran out of film, and couldn't take any more movies that day.

Soon the news report said the ash wasn't toxic, but it would be harmful to car air filters, and to reduce the amount of driving you needed to do. The ash kept falling for several hours. We ended up with about 2 inches all over. (Further south in Idaho, they had to deal with about 4 inches of ash all over.)

The ash hung in the air like ground fog. It was eery. When cars drove down the street, it kicked up into the air again. And now, we had a delemma. Our rings and the tuxes were in Coeur d'Alene - 30+ miles to the west. The marriage licence was in Wallace - 12+ miles to the east. Some of our attendants were from out of town. We had to travel - or postpone our wedding.

Besides all of this, I discovered I was allergic to the ash. I couldn't breathe in it. I went to the doctor for anti-biotics, as the ash had irritated my throat and lungs and I had a sinus infection. So, the Hunk did most of the traveling, and checked his air filter frequently to make sure it wasn't clogged. I stayed in as much as possible, and wore mask-like filter to keep the ash out of my nose, throat and lungs. (I looked so cute ----HA!)

On Saturday morning, May 24th, I was still wearing the mask outdoors. I had to get ready for the wedding at home, then finish up at the church. My mom or dad took a short movie clip of me with wet hair and the "mask" on. It was sooo embarrassing! At least I wouldn't have to wear the mask at the wedding ceremony since it was indoors.

Someone took a picture of us after the ceremony, standing by the Hunks pickup. The hills were covered with grey ash. It almost looked like a dusting of grey snow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Where were you? (2)

Sunshine Mine Disaster

I wrote on this a bit earlier, but not in detail. I was a Senior in High School when this tragic event happened in the Silver Valley (then the "Fabulous Valley") of Northern Idaho. It was May 2nd and the Kellogg High School Track team had gone to Post Falls for a track meet. It was our last track meet before Regionals. On the way home, our bus was stopped by a police car on the flats near the Cataldo Mission. At first we thought it was funny that the bus driver got pulled over, but then L. Johnson was removed from the bus and put into the police car. All they told us was that she had to go home right away.

When we got to Pinehurst, where I was dropped off with all the other Pinehurst kids at the school, someone told us there was a fire at Sunshine Mine. (How could there be a fire at the mine? It was all rock and dirt - what could burn? I thought.) I walked on home with my track bag in hand, thinking about the absurdity of a fire at the mine.

When I reached the edge of our driveway, it hit me. . ."Where was MY Dad?" My dad worked at the Sunshine, and so did L. Johnson's dad. . .in fact a lot of people's dad's worked there. As I came through the front door I hollered, "Mom - Where's Dad?"

"He's in bed sleeping." Whew! Then I began to discuss the mine fire rumour with her. It wasn't a rumour - there was actually a fire underground somewhere in the mine. Some men had been killed. Later, on the radio, the first victims were identified. One was L. Johnson's dad.

Now, the Johnson girls had been life-long friends of mine. P. Johnson was my age, and had gotten married and dropped out of school earlier in the year. Her husband worked at Sunshine, also. The Johnson girl's dad, was one of my dad's best friends. They met during WW2. Both of them served on the USS Comfort - a floating hospital ship. Dad was a Medic, Paul Johnson worked in the laundry (He may have done other jobs, but I just remember my dad telling me that Paul used to starch the nurses undies - or something like that.)

Paul had been the one who urged my dad to relocate from Utah to No. Idaho to work in the mines. It was great money for a guy who was willing to work. My dad had first gone to N. Idaho in 1948 - to visit Paul and try out mining. Although, I don't know when Paul & D got married, my dad said it was there relationship that inspired him to find a bride. In 1952, Dad married Mom, and and they honeymooned their way back to N. Idaho where Dad had been working again for at least a year.

Paul & D were very good friends of my parents. I'm not sure if it was planned but all their kids, and all of us kids were born within months of each other. P was one month older than I. My brother Steven was born one month before L, and J. Johnson was born 3 months before my sister R. We grew up together, we played together, we went to school together. We were close.

When we heard that Paul was gone. We mourned. We drove up to see the family. We didn't know what to say. How can you comfort someone when you have never experienced what they are going through? How can I know how they felt - when I still had my dad? It was sooo hard - but a thousand times tougher for them.

Fortunately, P. s husband had made it out alive - barely. He said, someone reached out, grabbed him, and pulled him into the last "skip" (elevator) out of the mine. Otherwise P would have lost both her dad and her husband. (Some women did lose more than one family member).

Everyone was in a state of shock. Life continued on. We had school and graduation. I spent my evenings after school babysitting the children of the people who's loved ones were still unaccounted for. I wanted to do something - anything to help.

Another friend lost her step-dad. She was in the hospital with appendicitis when she found out. We still had track practice. I was a high jumper - (and for those who don't know me, I'm only 52" and I couldn't run very fast). I jumped the highest I had ever jumped in practice that week. I cleared 4' - a new record for me. I was looking forward to Regionals, but I set Regionals aside that year for funerals. Except for Steven's, when I was two - my first ever.

Graduation that year was bitter sweet. Some students had been in a car accident at our Senior party up the river. The valley was in mourning for the miners, and so what if we were graduating? Some people wouldn't be there. Some very important people. Somebody's dad would be missing. . .and missing. . .for a long time. . .

Monday, May 21, 2007

Where were you? (1)

The Day John F Kennedy was shot.

I remember the day JFK was shot. (Nov 1963). I had just gotten out of school and was waiting for my mom or someone to pick me up. I came out of the Pinehurst school by way of the office doors - which was weird, since I was in the old building for classes. Maybe we had PE in the gym before school let out. . .(not sure). A friend of ours, D. (Caldwell) Phillips came by to pick me up. As she walked toward me, she said the President had been shot. I was only 10, so I didn't really understand the magnitude of what had happened. I thought, "Why would anyone want to shoot the President?" I didn't realize it was a mortal wound.

When we got to my house, I think the TV was already on, and my mom was "glued" to the set. For the next few days, that's all that was on television: The President's motorcade, the shots, the President slumping over, First Lady Jacqueline, leaning over the President. News of the President's death, swearing in of Johnson, the first family in black, Little John saluting the casket as the funeral procession went by. It was sad, but I think it was more sad for my mom. She was older, and understood the sorrow of the President's death on his family. I remember the images, but I don't remember the pain.

The Lunar Landing

I was at the Carver's house sitting on the living room floor watching Neil Armstrong step onto the lunar surface. I was glad I shared that moment with my friends. It would not have had the same impact if I had watched it at home. The moment was exciting. We had been anticipating such an event since our early grade school years, when we read books like: Someday, You Will Go to the Moon. We knew this day was history in the making, and unlike a national tragedy, this was national triumph. We talked about what exciting days we were living in, and the posibility of space travel in our future. It was difficult to imagine that the moon we saw in the sky, was actually where our astronauts had travelled and had now set foot. "This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Myrtle Beach stirs memories. . .

Gotta check out MyrtleBeachWhale's post on "masks" today at:

Here's the comment I left after reading the post:

Great post! I remember going to Mrs. Watts house in Smelterville, but didn't remember the performances!

Did most of my "trick-r-treatin'" in Pinehurst. And - don't beat me up - we used PILLOW CASES! Our take was that they were sturdy enough to last the evening and we didn't have to buy anything to carry our candy in. (Maybe my mom rationalized that since she bought and gave out FULL-SIZED candy bars - and we usually got around 300 trick-r-treaters - that her kids should make "a haul."

You brought back great memories. . .even of the cheap "masks" available at the time. I had forgotten about the elasitic string held by a staple on each end. What a joke.

Also loved Rob's post (comment) within your post about the playground equipment. I remember those "hot" slides - if your legs were bare - as in short pants or DRESSES - (Arg!) -you'd STICK to the slide and burn your skin off. . . Thanks for the email about your post. It was great!

Now for my add- on: I remember one time my sister tried to go down the slide on the 2nd - grade playground at Pinehurst school. It was summertime, and we had gone there to play. She had on shorts, and when she started down the slide, her legs stuck to the surface. They were burning and she was upset. I'm not sure if someone came to her rescue, if she tried to "scoot" down, but she was MAD! (And you never wanted to see my sister MAD!)

I do remember several people trying to "scoot" down the slide, by lifting their knees and easing their backside toward their feet. There was a sort of "screech - screech - screech" sound as they alternately stuck and scooted all the way down. You never wanted to be the first person on the slide when it was in the sun. You learned that the slides were much better in the shade of the afternoon - or after 30 or so kids had just gone down, and the surface was cooled to body temperature!

I'll need to blog about Halloween later.


What happened to my comment link??

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Party List The Party

I got to the party late, but did my best to finish at least one challenge Beautiful picture and lots of links to great scrapbooking stuff. Didn't see a place to leave a comment. Cute layout, pictures and soft color. Fancy layout. Quite a feat for a Homeschooling mom! Wow. Love the scrapbook pages. A celebrity! Fun place to see what's going on in the scrapbook world. A fan of "The Office" - wished I could have seen the American version. Sounds like it was "da bomb". Another wow. Nice scrapbooking, jewelry making, and loved the print from the Easter service. Festive site. Great Motivations for Moms. Nice family feel. Where did she get all those Keith Green song clips??? Lots of Pink and lots of fun. Gotta see her Palooza Head! Gotta love the title and her photo. She worked hard on the party. Nice site. Cute family. She also worked hard on the party. Great photos. Lots of fun & very nice scrapbooking pages. Yummy recipies and nice photos. Lime green. Cute family photos. Nice layout, recipies and family stuff. Lots of great recipies. I got my link to Carolyn's party from her!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Short and Sweet

Our youngest daughter, S, has been home this week from UI. It's so good to see her, when she isn't running here and there visiting friends. She, V, and I went out to lunch a couple of days ago. Today, she came by my work to select pattern and material for a dress. I am making dresses for V & S for an upcoming wedding next weekend.

Had a 3 hour nap after work today. I'm often tired around 5 or 6 pm, especially on days when I work. I usually take painkillers on my break, but forgot today, so by the time I got off work, my feet were screaming. I took a couple of IBprofin and reclined on the bed to wait for the pain to subside. My husband didn't even wake me up for dinner! (Thank heaven for microwaves and husbands who cook).

Between the working, the sleeping and the sewing. . .my post is abreviated. So much for Friday night fun!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pinehurst: Snippets of '64

Piano Lessons
I took piano lessons for two years, but didn't get very far. In fourth grade I took lessons from a High School guy who lived down the street. I didn't like taking lessons from him. In fifth grade, I took lessons from a lady who lived on 3rd street across from the Pinehurst school annex. I liked her a lot better, but since I played by ear, I had trouble "counting" the beat. When it came to both hands doing different things at the same time, I dropped out.
My parents either bought a piano from, or had been given a piano by Schaffer's. It was a beautiful, dark carved wood upright. Some of the keys were missing their ivory, but otherwise it was in good shape. I was so sad to see it go, when I quit my lessons.
Barbie clothes
Early in '64, when I had my 10th birthday, Dorothy Caldwell had Shirley Edwards sew some Barbie outfits for my doll. There were probably 10 outfits, and one was my very favoite. It was a green satin circle skirt with white fur trim, and a top out of the same material. (Think "White Christmas" outfit - but dark green instead of red, and satin rather than velvet.) My Barbie was so beautiful in it. (And since she was my alter-ego, it made me feel good when she wore it.)

Beatle Songs
The Beatles came on the scene in 1963, and by '64 they were the hottest group around. I used to listen to their songs on the radio and at friends' homes. I memorized a ton of them. I was in love with Paul McCartney, but I knew he was too old for me. (I also figured we would never meet, so I'd have to wait until I grew up to marry someone who was as good looking and talented.)

Bowling Tournament Weekends with C. Clemens
My parents were bowling on a Mixed League - mixed meaning men & women, not diverse in the modern sense. They bowled with T & D Clemens and a couple of other people. One time they went on a tournament to Cheney, and my sister and I went. I think C. Clemens may have been there also. The biggest thing I remember about the trip was the "teen" magazine I read that gave me all the info on the Beatles and introduced me to the term "Beatlemania. I determined I was definitely a Beatlemaniac - but I wouldn't faint if I saw them in concert. (That was just too dumb).
The next time my parents went on a tournament with the Clemens' I got to stay with C. Clemens at her home with her and her brother. (He was older, and didn't bug us.) We listened and danced to all the Beatle songs she had on 45 rpms (Forty-five revolutions per minute records) for hours.
Since she was only two years older than I, we got along famously! We were able to eat what we wanted, too. I had asked my parents for a package of chocolate stars, because I looooved chocolate. (Still do.) Anyway, I started eating the stars and they tasted so good, I ate the entire bag. Next thing I knew, I felt really sick. Not exactly nauseous, but just full and yucky feeling. I thought, I'll never eat chocolate again. (That only lasted a day.)
I think we ate macaroni and cheese with hot dogs for dinner. Can't remember much else about that day. I do remember that C.C. introduced me to cinnamon toast. I liked it so much, I made it for snacks a lot of the time at home. (I even blamed my weight gain on the cinnamon toast with butter, but actually, I was growing.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Summer of '64

Mom Goes to Work
Mom got a job, and we got a babysitter. I don't think I was happy about the fact that my mom went to work, but the babysitter was great. Her name was P. Adams, and she was in high school. I was 10 and my sister was 4.

It was weird to me when Mom went to work. We had to leave our house early in the summertime and go to P's house for the day. Sometimes P would bring us back to our house before Mom got home, but most days we stayed at the Adams'. I wasn't used to be unsettled, but at least I could take my Barbies to P's house. Sometimes P took us swimming at the creek, but that was really rare. I wanted to be home. I wanted to be able to have friends over and play in my own yard. Something didn't seem right about Mom being gone all day.

Dad wasn't too crazy about Mom getting a job, either. He was old-fashioned and believed it would reflect badly on him (as if he weren't a good provider). He couldn't understand why she wanted to work when she didn't have to. I think she just wanted to get out of the house and she wanted to buy "nicer" things.

Mom as a Homemaker & Bowler

Mom was a great homemaker. She cleaned well, she cooked well, and she had a ton of energy. In addition to her work and household duties, she bowled at least one night a week, and sometimes in as many as three bowling leagues. She was a good bowler. She threw a 16 lb. ball like some people throw a 12 pounder. She bowled in tournaments as far away as Seattle and Portland. She was an avid fan of televised bowling.

Mom made a lot of her friends from bowling. One of her friends, Dorothy Clemens, was an avid knitter, and made bowling sweaters for all the ladies on their team - at least twice. Mom had a red sweater and a black one. The team would wear them when they went on tournaments & used them to proudly display their award pins. Mom was really proud of her 250 pin she won at a tournament. I think she was always looking forward to getting a 300 pin, someday.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pinehurst again, summertime (2)

(I acturally don't remember if Dad taught me to swim before or after 4th grade.)
Dad Teaches Me How to Swim

We began to go to Pine Creek (the swimming hole near the bridge on Main street) in the summer time to cool off. One day I was there with the family, and Dad taught me how to swim. (Apparently this wasn't my first swimming lesson, as my mom had taken us to the Kellogg pool when we were younger, but all I remember is that I hated putting my face in the water.)
Now, I was practically grown up, and at 10 yrs old, my Dad figured I needed to learn how to swim. When Dad taught me how to swim, he decided he would teach me the way he learned, and that was to swim "underwater" first. His reasoning was that if you learn to swim underwater first, then you aren't afraid of going under while you are learning to swim on top. He demonstrated his technique, then I tried it, swimming parallel to the shore. After I was comfortable in the shallow water, he let me venture until I could easily swim in water over my head. It wasn't until I was proficient at underwater swimming, that he taught me how to swim on top.
He may have taught me how to float on my back first, then dog paddle, and finally the Australian crawl (overhand). Whenever I got tire of "crawling" I would usually float, because it took less energy. Regardless, after I learned to swim underwater, I lost my fear of the water.
Dad even taught me how to open my eyes underwater, so I could see where I was going. It was so much fun to swim around and look for pretty rocks along the bottom of the creek. Sometimes my friends and I would cover a rock with foil and dive for it. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Northern Idaho, the creeks and rivers are naturally clear, because they flow over rocks, rather than dirt or silt. Occassionally, there will be a sand bar, but for the most part there are rocks everywhere. Most of the rocks are smooth from rolling over other rocks in the river bed, or smooth and flat).
Dad also taught me how to dive when I was a little older. He taught me how to dive shallow, so that when I dove there would be little chance of hitting my head on the bottom. I used to be able to dive into 3' of water - but that was probably before I stopped growing taller, and definitely before I grew "larger." Just like my Dad, when I went swimming up the river (North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River), I wouldn't get wet gradually. . .I would run and dive right in. (I don't think my body could stand the shock of that now - having stayed out of really cold water for a lot of years!)

Does anyone know, why after numerous attempts, I cannot separate the paragraphs????

P.S. I spoke with my dad last night (May 15), and he told me about learning to swim when he was 10 yrs old, and living in Placerville, Ca. during the summer of '34. His cousin Wayne (I think) bought him a two week pass to the pool (or recreation center) for 50 cents. Dad learned to swim underwater first - just as I thought.

There's a story that began with their stay in Placerville. My grandfather, Art Lewis, took a job working for his older brother Hugh Lewis and Hugh's son at a machine shop - aptly named Lewis & Lewis. My dad and his dad got such a kick out of the name, they started to refer to themselves as "Lewis & Lewis." (Now whether they began in Placerville, or when they moved back to Utah after my dad's 5th grade year, I am uncertain.) The joke stuck, and as my dad grew to adulthood, they called each other "Lewis." I never heard either of them call each other by their given "first" names: It was always "Lewis."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Smelterville Rollerskating add-ons

I spoke with my sister, R, who called me for Mother's Day. (Our mom has been gone for nearly 17 yrs now - so we talk to each other. Since she lives close to Dad, he was invited to her daughter's house for their Mother's Day celebration.)

She had a couple of memories from the Roller Rink in Smelterville in the early '60s. She remembered that Dad also taught hockey at the rink. I remembered playing hockey, but didn't remember that Dad taught it. (The hockey season, may have been in '63 after we moved back to Pinehurst. The rink wasn't open much after that year.) She remembers going to the rink almost every Sat from the time she was about 2 yrs old, although I don't remember her being there as much as I was.

She asked if I remembered the grape and spearmint (green) licorice they sold there. I had forgotten, but they did have some exotic flavors. She remembered eating purple, green and brown (chocolate) licorice there. She also remembered the candy bar machine with the pull knobs where you could get 5 cent candy bars. I had remembered it also, cause I would ask Dad for money and usually bought candy bars. She said, "There was probably a cigarette machine right next to it." I said, "There was."

She also remembered having ice cream at the soda shop between the rink and Wayside Mkt. She thought mom was working at the Wayside then, but I told her that Mom didn't work there until after we moved to Pinehurst.

It's kinda funny how I had a stay-at-home mom until I was 10, but she only had a stay-at-home mom until she was 4. So our outlook about growing up was quite different. For her, Mom pretty much always worked, but for me it was quite an adjustment to not have her at home when I became sick at school, etc. I'll blog more about that in the next installment.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Test Run

We took the boat out today. I was able to make the maiden voyage, but I only lasted about 5 min, before I had the Hunk turn the boat around and take me back to the dock.

We put the boat in at the southern Gem Lake boat launch - a place we just checked out a few days ago. It's a good sized reservoir - long enough for waterskiiing and wide enough at the south end for tubing. The water was a bit choppy from the wind, but not too choppy. As I slid into the passenger's seat in the front, my water vest rode up, so the shoulders were about mid-ear. I was wearing a wide-brimmed gardening hat to keep the sun from my face, and now the brim touched the shoulders of my water vest. Regardless, I was excited to try out my daring, and ride in the boat.

Our daughter V, and her friend from ISU, Zayne, climbed into the rear facing seats, the Hunk stepped in, and we pushed off. (Actually, the Hunk and I had to paddle away from the dock with the oars, as we were drifting towards some rocks). Then he fired up the 429 Chevy engine, and we slowly chugged away from the dock.

We were out a little ways, and I said, "Don't go fast!" But he gunned it a little and we started to fly.

He hollered, "I think this thing could really move!"

I'm squawking and sputtering, "Slow Down, I think I'm gonna lose my lunch!" Actually, I wasn't exactly nauseous, but I was getting claustrophobic. With my hat and vest wrapped around my head, I felt like I couldn't breathe, so I started to pray, "Lord, help me not to get scared. Help me calm down and breathe." But before God could help me calm down I said the the Hunk, "I think you'd better take me back to the dock."

I squealed a bit when he turned the boat, because the water was splashing up over the starboard bow into my face, what little of it was uncovered. I tried to remain calm, as we straightened out and headed back to safety.

It was good to be on flat ground again. I whipped off my hat and traded vests with Zayne, so she would have a vest closer to her size, and let them go. I knew as soon as I was out of the boat, they would be free to try it out for speed. And they did. The engine roared and they were off.

I lied down on the dock with my hat over my face to enjoy the warmth of the day, and the cool breeze over the water. I wish I had brought a book to read, but figured I could tan my legs a little now, and bring a book next time.

Remember Smokey the Bear?

Today I was thinking about the song: Smokey the Bear. We learned it sometime in grade school. I asked my husband if he had ever learned it. (I sang it for him to see if it brought back any memories).

Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear.
Prowlin' and a growlin' and a sniffin' the air.
He can find a fire before it starts to flame.
That's why they call him Smokey,
That was how he got his name.

Smokey the Bear song

Smokey the Bear Website

He didn't know the song! (Of course, he went to St. Rita's Catholic School until he entered Jr. High, and I suppose since they were not a "state supported" entity, he wouldn't have to learn songs about Idaho History). Hum. . . wonder if he learned, "And Here We Have Idaho"?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Pinehurst: Fourth Grade (2)

I was upset about one thing about fourth grade when I moved to Pinehurst. Mrs. Smith put me in the middle reading group! Now I was only in the fourth grade, but I already knew that I really belonged in the "high" reading group. I must have had a bit of pride about my reading ability. . .or the fact it was the fast reading group. It didn't take too long for her to switch me, but I was a bit traumatized at first I guess I didn't want the other kids would think I was just average. It was bad enough being "new."

For the first three years of grade school, I had ridden a bus, but at Pinehurst I walked to school. The walk wasn't that far, but I didn't like it when the wind blew. On windy days the trees would swish and roar. Because the wind blew from the west, it blew in my face on the way home, and I thought it might take my breath away. I didn't remember ever being afraid of the wind when I was younger, but then I always rode the bus. How I wished I could ride the bus on the windy days.

I started having stomach aches again that year. I don't know if they were caused by the move, change in schools, change in friends, the wind in my face on the walk home, or a combination of all of these. My mom got so concerned, she took me to Dr. Scott, and he put me in the hospital. I was really scared to stay in the hospital, but after I got settled in, I was fine. They did a bunch of tests on me, including putting a tube up my nose & down into my stomach to check on the fluids there. (Wasn't too keen on that.) They took chest x-rays, and who knows what else. They even tested me for tuberculosis. (They thought I had a tiny spot of tuberculosis on my lungs, so they gave me another patch test, and it was okay.) They really didn't find anything wrong.

Someone gave me a loom to make hotpads. It is a square metal object with teeth to stretch elastic bands across. I stretched the bands over the teeth across the loom in one direction, then I wove some bands the other direction - in and out of the original bands. When I had the loom filled, I removed the ends that were looped over the teeth by slipping the second through the first, third through the second, all the way around. The last end piece is slipped through the first one, tied in a knot, and becomes the loop used to hang the potholder.

I went through 2 bags of bands during the two days I was in the hospital. One bag had primarily cotton bands of black with blues, pinks, and whites - maybe other pastels or reds. The other bag was full of polyester green bands, with oranges, yellows and who knows what. I made hotpads for everyone who came to visit me, including Dr. Scott.

Fourth grade was the year we took a field trip to the Cataldo Mission for Idaho history. I thought it was a long way from Pinehurst, and in those days, you had to take the old road, as the freeway wasn't built from Pinehurst to the west, yet. We packed sack lunches and all the fourth grade classes went to the Mission in several school busses. It was cool to see the hand prints still in the mud of the walls, and to know that the entire structure was made without nails. (They used hand-made wooden pegs). We ate our lunches on the lawn. We might have toured the White's house next to the Mission, but I can't remember. I know I was in there one time, but it may have been years later with Mary Jo White. At the time we went, there was no visitor center.

The Beatles came on the scene in 1963, and we were all crazy about the Beatles and their music. There were four boys in Mrs. Wright's class who dressed up like the Beatles and "performed" some of their songs. I think it was just in her class, but all the fourth graders thought it was the most cool thing ever. I wish I could remember for sure who they were, but I think E. Hanson may have been one of them.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pinehurst: Fourth Grade (1)

Mrs. Smith was my fourth grade teacher. As I already alluded, I was disappointed that I didn't get to be in Dorothy Caldwell's class, and I didn't have either of my close friends in my room. Mrs. Smith was strict, but a good teacher. I liked her a lot. She read some very interesting stories to us after lunch, which was the practice in those days. One story was about an island that was slowly sinking into the ocean and how the people who lived there were going to cope with the situation. I have always wanted to find and read that book, but haven't any idea of the title. We were also introduced to Laura Ingalls Wilder, and had her first two books read to us that year.

At the start of the day, after roll call, the pledge, and lunch stats, the teachers would typically read a passage from the Bible to us. I remember Mrs. Smith explaining to us, that teachers were no longer allowed to read the Bible to us in school. I wondered why, but being a kid, I quickly moved on figuring "that's just the way things are." (This was Sept. of '63 when prayer and Bible reading were taken out of public schools.)

The third and fourth grade classrooms at Pinehurst were in the old building, east of the main building, across the 2nd grade playground, but connected by a breezeway that ran between the buildings. (The breezeway was a covered walkway, that kept the snow and rain off but allowed the wind to "breeze" through.) The one at Pinehurst school overlooked Main street, had 4x4 painted posts and bordered a driveway for the busses to pick up and drop off students. The old building where we had class was sided with "wavy" aluminum, and contained only 6 classrooms, a teacher's lounge, boys & girls restrooms. I was probably the "original" Pinehurst school building. My class was the second on the right coming in the front door, and overlooked the 2nd grade playground. (The old building has since been removed and replaced by a larger play area.)

Our playground area was to the east of the old building in a large dirt area with a few bushes and Ponderosa Pines. We had some swings a little south of the dirt area. We had to share our playground with the 3rd graders. There was also a large cement structure the school used to burn old textbooks and papers. It drew the curiosity of many a student, and after school hours some kids probably climbed inside, and were covered with soot. There wasn't a fence along the side, and the older (Jr. High) kids would cut across our playground to get to the stores during lunchtime.

Along the front of the playground, there was a strange "fence" made of posts strung with wire cable. (The cable was thick, and before and after school we would try to walk along the cable, like we were high wire acrobats). During recess we would swing on the cables. We also played on the breezeway, mainly jump rope and Barbies. And after the 2nd graders went inside, we got to play on their playground.

One of my favorite "games" in the fourth grade was to pretend I was a queen. E. Larson and some other guys would be my body guards and horses (draped with a jumprope for the reins). My castle was in one of the bushes. This particular bush had a "doorway" made from two upright branches and a root that ran across the bottom of the doorway between them. Past the doorway, there was only room for one person - "me". I would stand inside the bush at the doorway, and give instructions to my minions, who immediately obeyed me without question. Since I was a "good queen," I never asked them to do anything bad. (Mostly, they just waited on me.)

I learned a lot of jump rope rhymes that year, and I loved to jump. We did the usual jumping with rhymes and double dutch (with two ropes going opposite directions at the same time. ) I loved to "run in" and "run out" of the ropes & jump along with others. My favorite jump rope game was "high jumping," where we would raise the rope (like you raise a high jump bar), and we would take turns jumping over the rope. If you caught the rope with your foot or couldn't jump over it, you were out. I was usually one of the highest jumpers. (I was also one of the tallest in my classes, until I reached 6th grade, also).

My love for high jumping may have been one reason I went out for the High Jump in track during my High School years. I wasn't tall enough to score points, but it was a personal thing to see how high I could go. (Besides I was a lousy runner and we had to participate in two events.)
But I digress. I made a lot of new friends at Pinehurst, many of them on the playground where the girls mainly played with girls and the boys with boys. (Except for the pretend things like being "queen.")

I met one girl on the breezeway, who had a broken leg. I remember she had silver crutches - something I had never seen before - and she liked to swing those at people like she was going to hit them. Her name was N. Colombo, and I thought she was really mean. But after her leg healed she and I used to high jump together, and she was really good.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pinehurst again, summertime (1)

During May of my third grade year, my parents bought a house in Pinehurst. It was on the main street, about a block from the school, and was painted "Battleship Grey." I was excited because most of my life-long friends lived in Pinehurst (or the Bauman Addition across the bridge toward Kingston), and attended the Pinehurst School. Originally my parents had considered buying a lot behind the Johnson's in Bauman Addition, and wanted to build a split level home. Apparently this house was more in their price range, so they bought it. I was a bit disappointed that we weren't going to live as close to the Johnson's, but at least I'd be in school with PJohnson.

In addition to being close to the school, we lived close to everything in Pinehurst. The creek was just down the street a few blocks to the west, and the stores were a few blocks to the east. I could walk or ride my bike to the Caldwells, who lived next to the Post Office, or to the Carver's who lived on 3rd St. across from the school, about a block and a half away.

I spend a lot of my summers playing or hanging out at the school yard up through my eighth grade year. It was the hub of socialization for me and a lot of Pinehurst kids. We rode our bikes all over the school grounds and on the breezeway. We sat on the swings, the merry-go-round, the slides, and the curbs on the breezeway talking and sharing our lives.

Of course I related to you the story about KV and her cousin DB straightening me out on who KV liked and who liked her, lest I try to compete for the same guy. So silly now, that we would be so serious about boys when we were only 9 yrs. old! I really didn't care what she said. I knew that he and I were friends first, and that wouldn't change no matter who came and went.

I looked forward to entering the fourth grade, and was hoping that I would get Mrs. Caldwell for my teacher. PJ got her, but I didn't. I think it was because she was like a grandmother to me, and it would have put each of us in an awkward situation. I didn't have either P Johnson or G Carver in my class as I had hoped, but I became good friends with D Hokanson - who's mother was my second grade teacher at Silver King.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Hunk Runs Old

Tonight the Hunk went for a run at the nearby High School track. He said there were some other people there, but the one that caught his attention was a 5 or 6-yr. old girl who was sitting in the stands. Just as he was finishing his last lap, she hollered out to him, "You run pretty fast - for an old guy!" Having just turned 50 this year and getting letters and cards from AARP - - -tonight was just the icing on the old cake.

Tagged, I'm it! (Meme)

I was tagged by Silver Valley Girl to participate in a meme (rhymes with dream).

Here are the rules for the meme:

Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves.

Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules.

You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names.

Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

7 random facts / habits about me:

1). I am a night person. I love the time after everyone in the household is asleep (even the animals) so I can spend uninterrupted time by myself. It's the time I use to wind down. I can spend it on the computer: surfing, researching, writing. Or I might read a book, work on projects, watch a movie, etc. When our girls were still at home the quiet time in the evenings was about the only time I had to myself.

2). I am a cognitive person. I spend more time thinking than doing. I like to take the time to wrap my mind around something, before I delve into it. I need to analyze, understand, and outline a project (in my mind) before I tackle it. For example: I sell Mary Kay Cosmetics, but before I held classes, I needed to see others hold classes, learn the order of their classes, the illustrations, the why we do this first, then that, etc. It had to make sense to me. (I guess it is a perfectionistic tendency. But although I need to wrap my brain around something before I can do it well, I don't expect others to do things my way).

3). I am a natural born teacher. I have a tendency to teach others. If someone is having a difficult time undestanding how to do something, I can usually assess where they are, what they do not understand, and how to bridge the gap between the two. This ability came in handy when I taught math in private schools. If a student had a gap in their learning, I made sure we filled their gaps before moving them ahead in the curriculum. (I could do this because I usually had only 2 - 5 students in a class at various levels and sometimes different types of math.)

4). Repetition drives me crazy. I had a difficult time reading to my girls when they were very young, because the books were boring and repetetive. I taught my oldest daughter how to read just before her 4th birthday, because I didn't like reading the books over and over. (Later, I learned to "read" books to them like my husband did. Instead of reading the words verbatim, he would tell the story in his own words, asking them questions and embellishing the story each time. This made the mundane a bit more interesting. (Thank heaven for a creative husband!)

5) I love a clean house, but I don't like doing what it takes to keep it that way. (Another repetitious task: housework.) I have learned to keep it orderly, but I don't keep it sparkly. Some people get a real high, when their house is clean. The feeling they have makes the effort worth it. I don't get that feeling. The harder I work at doing the same thing over and over, the worse I feel. For me, end does not justify the means. I would rather be creating or deconstructing something - not just maintaining. Fortunately, the Hunk is not opposed to pitching in to keep things orderly and with two of us the work gets done faster.

6) I miss being on Worship team at church. The Hunk and I did worship off and on throughout the years, and in our last church we did worship for nearly 10 yrs. I miss leading worship, and doing harmonies, etc. Our new church does worship differently, and I haven't felt the desire to join the team. The music is similar, but to me, the team is more of a performance group than one that leads people into worship. Additionally, this church is very time conscious, so they follow a strict formula. Two fast songs, two slow songs, then one song following the sermon. There is no room for flexibilty in the moment. I miss getting lost in the moment with God, and listening to what He has to say as I worship Him.

7) I am very serious about my relationship with the Lord. Without Him, I can do nothing, but I can do all things through Him-Who strengthens me. I went through a very dark time recently, with my chemical depression. My meds stopped working, but I was unsure if it was meds. at first. From October, through mid-March, I was very low. I didn't feel like doing anything. I spent a lot of that time pouring my heart out to Him. He comforted me with His Peace, He gave me His Words of Hope, and He also had ladies order a lot of make-up, so I could make my credit card payments. The orders were coming in daily, somtimes 3 orders in a day. All of this despite the fact I didn't feel like selling, holding classes, calling customers, etc. He assured me that I was loved, and that He would do what no man could do. . .and He did. After I was able to get back on some meds that worked, He no longer had to hold my hand, and the orders stopped coming in.

Since Silver Valley Girl tagged the only people I knew on the web, I decided to make some new friends and enlisted the following people to tag:

1] Life is Short...Buy the Shoes

2] Sarah Cool Recipes

3] The Northern Southerner

4] Temporary Librarian

5] Winters Day In

6] Trust The Children

7] Silver Stamping

Monday, May 7, 2007

Smelterville: Third Grade (2)

Map reading

We learned how to read maps in the third grade. I remember this, because it took me a few years to get my mental map straightened out. We sat in our classroom facing up the Silver King draw toward the Zinc Plant. I think it is roughly a southern orientation. However, when we read our maps, the north was always at the top. I equated north with the direction I was facing (top of the map), and south as the direction behind me (bottom of the map.) A few years later, when I was talking to my dad about some of the landmarks around the valley, we both realized that my orientation was backwards. I took me some time get re-oriented. (There have been other times throughout my life, esp, when I first move to a new location, that I get turned around at first. I have to put the new location on my mental map, and force it to comply with the correct directions, until I have the new map correct in my head.)

Ramp to Auditorium

One of the coolest things about Silver King school, besides the attic, was the ramp to the auditorium. I had only ever seen stairs going up and down between floors in homes and other buildings, but Silver King had a ramp that went from the back of the school down to the lowest floor. It had one or two turns in it. There was a strong temptation on the part of some students to run up or down the ramp. Teachers dealt with this tendency by making us walk single file, with the teacher walking close to those for whom temptation was irresistible. I think it would have been fun to have had a petal car or anything on rollers to "drive" down the ramp. Regardless, it was fun to think we had a secret passageway to get from one floor to another, without utilizing the main staircase at the north end of the school.


I vaguely remember being a Brownie (young Campfire girl) for one year. We made a wreath at the Douglas' out of cardboard with paper leaves glued on it, and then spray painted them all gold. In Brownies was also where I learned to thread a needle and tie a knot at the end, inorder to hand stitch something. It was only one night a week, so on that day I rode the bus to the other side of town and took my $.50 cent piece for dues. The only other thing I remember about Brownies was the time we went for a nature hike and learned to read trail signs left by the group ahead of us. We walked all over the back streets on the hilly side of Smelterville and up the draw, until we found the other group.

Chicken in the Egg
Remember film strips? Well, we saw a film strip - in the same darkened classroom where I drew the Christmas Angel - on how chickens developed in side eggs. I think it was black and white drawings, but I am not sure. Regardless, I couldn't eat another egg after that, for fear I would crunch on a beak or find an eye or some fur or something. No one explained that the eggs had to be fertilized to develop into chicks. But then in those days fertilization was only a word used in gardening, and had nothing to do with gender.

My mom didn't understand my concern. "You've always liked eggs," she would reason, not understanding the depth of my trauma. But I wouldn't budge. Even scrambled, I could imagine all sorts of parts being present, though undetectable by the eye. Heaven forbid, that I should accidentally bite down on a piece of eggshell, and believe it was a beak.
I don't know how long it took for me to venture to try eggs again. Today, although I know a bit more about the fertilization process, egg candling, etc. I only eat my eggs scrambled or in omelets, and I prefer to cover the scrambled ones with cheese. I gag to think that soft-boiled was my choice as a young child, and I used to love hard boiled ones. . .especially the yolks.

Other things about Silver King school:
Smelter Smoke - the brown air that burned our throats each morning, early recess, and sometimes into the afternoon. (Sulfur-dioxide from the Smelter)

Sonic Booms - fairly new phenomena, used to make me jump in my seat.

Trains of Ore - trains that ran from the Bunker Hill Smelter just over the hill to the Zinc Plant up the draw from the school (and back again).

Playing marbles - my favorite game once Spring came. I loved the clear marbles with the little bubbles in them and some of the cat-eyes. (Especially blues, reds, and greens.) I wasn't crazy about the white opaque marbles with swirls of brown and green.
Speaking of marbles, we sometimes used a larger marble as a shooter. Some kids used shiny metal balls, we called steelies for their shooters. I went to S. Milot's house one time, a block or two away from my place and she showed me her steelies. She had the biggest steelies I had ever seen. Some of them were 3 - 4 inches across, and I thought if she ever brought those to school to use as shooters, she'd break everyone's marbles to bits. She said her dad had got them for her. (I later found out, when I was a tour guide at the Sunshine Mine, that her steelies were actually the balls used in a ball mill to crush the ore into smaller pieces. The ball mill operator would throw them in the ball mill, and as the mill turned, the balls would grind the ore into smaller pieces. By the same process the balls would become smaller and smaller, and need to be replaced by new, large balls.) I extrapolated from this, that her dad must have worked in the ball mill at some time.