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?