Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winter time and Snow

I had forgotten how deep snow can get. Here I am in Jackson Hole looking over the whiteness of the land. Wow! Twelve inches in one day! I haven't seen that much snow in ages. When I was a little girl, I loved to go out and play in it. We would build snowmen (of course), snow houses (like igloos) and pelt you with snow balls or cram it down your neck. Those days are gone. Now I am content to marvel at it from inside the house. LOL! I can honestly say that it is not my favorite season. What's yours?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Road Trips

We never called them Road Trips - we called them VACATIONS! Through the years, we had some great ones and also some road trips from hell! I think that's when we heard most of the Daddy-isms. "You can go 3 days without food" etc. Some of our not-so-great ones always involved food or animals. Do you remember the time Louie got car sick and barfed on Daddy's neck? And the fried chicken in the new car? What else? We were a poor sight arriving at motels with a car full of kids with pets. How about that moldy hotel in Tennessee? What other ones? One of the good ones was tranfering to Louisiana from N.J. We stopped in Alabama and ate dinner at a restaurant that was owned by Bear Bryant, Coach for the Crimson Tide. Kath, you were only 3 or so, Joe was a baby and Jane, just a little older. Anyway, they made a big fuss over you and made our day.

What other trips do you remember? And how about trips with your families?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Continuing the Saga

Joe had rented a four bedroom furnished house for us in a little farming village called Dancevoir about 18 kilometers from the base. The village was nestled in a valley with hills all around. The landlady's name was Madame Fleurette and she came just once a month to collect the rent which was around thirty dollars. :) While there, she stayed in a little bedroom apartment in the back yard. We had no indoor bathroom so had to use the chamber pot tucked in its own closet next to the bed. Most times, we used the one outside but had to use the pot at night. Ugh! When Joe left for the base in the morning, I was left to my own resources. The town mayor, his wife and family lived across the street and she came over and took me around to show me the "neighborhood" so to speak. When their two girls came home from school (they were about 10-12) they would come over too. Now I had two years of high school French and had to try to talk to them but was very lacking. I was lucky that I could count! When my hold baggage came (trunk), I taught the girls how to jump double-dutch with the clothesline I'd brought with me. The French use wire clothesline so I didn't need mine. In the evening, I would take my basket and walk with the village women in the surrounding countryside to find "greens" for the salad for supper.

The priest came riding in on a bicycle to say Mass on Sunday. So I got dressed in my finery and walked to the church. I remember all of the ladies wearing black or purple long sleeve coats or jackets and here I was thinking how nice I looked in my lighter colors. Well, what a surprise! The church was ice cold. I thought I would die, I was soooo cold! The pews had family names on them so I sat in the back. I couldn't wait for it to end so I could get back in the sunshine!

Tell us about your first home after getting married.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Adventure begins...

Joe & I married on December 13, 1952. He was stationed in Chaumont, France and I had the opportunity to go. I cruised on the SS United States to Le Harve in March of 1953. My parents, brother and grandfather drove me to the New York Port. Here I was, a small town girl going far away to a distant land and I was excited and scared. Luckily for me, there was a girl in my stateroom from Berlin, N.J. which was a couple of miles from home. We became instant friends. On deck were an assortment of young adults so we clustered together and had a good time. Charlie Carson, a guy from Belfast had an accordian and with another friend entertained us in the lounge. We also played hide-n-seek on the top deck much to the dismay of the crew as we would hide in the supply closets.

Joe came on board at LeHarve. I was so happy to see him! We spent two days in Paris seeing all the sights then took the train to Chaumont. The train reminded me of the one on the Orient Express with a corridor going along one side and doors opening to seats facing each other. We ate in the dinning car and the waiter kept putting my spoon in my coffee cup and I would take it out. This went one for a while and then he finally told me that it kept the coffee from spilling as the train clittity-clacked down the tracks!

Finally, we came to Chaumont. Joe left me with the luggage to get the car. As I was sitting on one of my suitcases, a Frenchman passed me and "blew a bunny" in my face. He turned around, smiled and said "pardon"............ !

How did you feel when you first traveled alone?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stories and Books

When we were little kids, Dad would tell us stories at night. I think he made them up but we loved it. We would all lay in the same bed and he would regale us with the adventures of Reddy the fox, Jimmy the skunk and all sorts of animals in the Animal Club which we got to know through him. He would really get into it and laugh along with us. He had a series of tales of Agnes and Alice who were very poor and of course, they had some adventures too. Later, we asked him to write them down but he never would.

My mother was the assistant librarian in Laurel Springs. She worked every Friday afternoon at the Laurel Springs school cafeteria. All along one side of the room were enclosed book shelves. My sisters Addie, Jeannnette and I would go over after school and help her enter the new books. Of course, we would pick out a couple to read and take home. Books were very important in our house. I think we get our love of reading from our Mom and Dad. When my parents bought the house on Trenton Avenue, my Uncle John had used the attic for his bedroom. He had all kinds of books up there and we would pick out the latest edition of the Hardy Boys, some other mystery/thriller tales. My Dad liked haunted tales and would scare us about the ghost of Mary who lived in the attic. (He continued this with you as well). If my mother asked me to get something for her up there, I would dash up, grab it and run down. LOL!

Do you remember your favorite books when you were a child?

Friday, November 28, 2008


Being an Air Force family, we didn't get too many out-of-state visitors. Our very favorite ones were Grandmom & Grandpop. They always managed to visit us wherever we were stationed. They came to Lake Charles, Louisiana accompanied by Uncle Bill; to Robins, Georgia, to Rhein Main, Germany and of course, McGuire in N.J. Do you remember any of this? (I recall Grandpop getting annoyed because of the 25 mph on the base at Robins)

Remember Berchtesgaden and riding the mining car in the salt mines, the slides with Grandmom laughing so hard she wet her pants? We had a great road trip visiting the old family homestead in Marienwhier. Another of our interesting visitors were Uncle Ben & Aunt Liz who were only going to stay a couple of days and ended up staying a week. And what was that Easter poem that Aunt Liz taught you?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Past & Present

Thanksgiving again and grateful for mine! It's interesting to remember only certain days of thanks. I think they more or less run into each other as they don't always stand out! In France our first Thanksgiving away from home, we ate in the mess hall with our new friends and the rest of the Air Force. Our new friends consisted of a baker, a butcher, a couple of cooks and mess hall sargeants with their wives and famiily. The baker would always remember your birthday with a gorgeous cake. (A candle stick maker was not needed in the AF). When we came back state side, we usually traveled to Grandmom's and that was always a treat. At all the other bases, I peeled enormous amounts of potatoes plus pies and other desserts. (I lied about the pies. I couldn't make a decent crust and still can't). Dad usually did the turkey - he was the expert! Now, I am grateful to be invited out. Today, I am bringing a Trifle - a new recipe I found on the internet. Anyway, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends and I'm certainly grateful for my wonderful family. One of these days, we'll get to spend it together again, maybe when I'm 90....plan on it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I have so many pictures in my folders but haven't found any that I want to upload. To continue with Dad...... . He started dating my girlfriend, Mary when we were fifteen. In fact, we double-dated one time. Funny, we went on the bus to Camden (it was nice then) to a movie. Afterwards, we stopped in an ice cream place and ordered sundaes. Here we are - four in a booth with huge sundaes and only one spoon so took turns eating before the waitress finally came back and gave us more. It was hilarious! Dad went to high school one year then dropped out to work in a stocking mill. When he was seventeen, he joined the Air Force. His dad had to sign for him. While in training, he was tested for careers and scored high in Communications but the A.F. sent him to Cook and Baker school in Massachussetts instead. Go figure! I wrote to him as well as Mary. I think that he was 18 or 19 when he was stationed at Adak. However, when we were seniors, she broke up with him and started dating others. After Adak, he was sent to Louisiana and we continued our correspondence. Finally, mentioned that he was coming home and if I wasn't going with anyone, could we go out?

I loved high school. I know that wasn't true for some of you. In my freshman year, Mary & I took bugle lessons so in our sophomore year, we got in the Drum & Bugle Corp. which was all girls. The guys belonged to the Band and we would march together at all the events. We had dances everyday at lunchtime and on Friday nights so would take the bus back to school. My sister, Addie played on the school basketball team. She was two years older.

Question: What did you like/not like about high school?

Monday, November 24, 2008

7th Grade & After

I was laying/lying :) in bed this morning thinking of your Dad/Grandpop. He was just a skinny kid in 7th grade. His step-mom and dad had separated again so was sent to live with his sister, Aunt Jane and she put him in St. Lawrence School and in my classroom. In 7th grade, I had a crush on Ralph C. so your father was just another kid. After 7th grade, he left to go back home to Bellmawr Park so he didn't come back to my life until 9th grade. He was a friend of a friend. We had a group of kids that hung around together. We didn't have cell phones but did have telephones, of course. If we wanted to go somewhere, we would check with each other in school. We walked everywhere. (My Dad didn't have a car until I was eighteen and already had my license so would take him out until he got his license). We walked to Clementon Park about two miles away, to the lake to swim and to each other's homes. My friend Mary lived in the next town so I would cut across the cow pasture (Rexon's Farm) to her house. You had to watch that you didn't step in "cow flops"...... . In spring/summer, we hired on to pick potatoes. We were paid ten cents a basket. It was hot, dirty work and I think I did it two summers and that was enough! I think the most I made was seventy cents. One summer when I was fifteen, I worked at Pine Lake @ the root beer stand. I had to get my Social Security card. Wow! I rode my bike or walked there. I also had a crush on the lifeguard. He asked me to his Junior Prom but my mother wouldn't let me go out with him. She said that he was too old for me. I think he was two years older. My aunt knew his family and told my mother, he was "fast" with the girls. LOL!

Question of the day: How old were you when you had your first date?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Getting Started

New blogger -Pay attention! Everyone should blog or so I'm told. So, I'm going to take you for a ride from the past to the present with lots of curves in the road plus twists and turns. FYI - I live in a small town; pop. 3000 give or take one or two. My children live all over the U.S. from Alaska to Wyoming, to Texas and N.J. where I am.

Today, it is too cold to stay out long. I managed to go grocery shopping with the "millions of shoppers" picking the same day as Thanksgiving is this week. Why didn't I think of that before leaving? So it goes.........