Through the Eyes and Mind of a Minister’s Child

I was blessed with having a Mother and Father that were both Ministers — oh, good times !  Being an animal lover didn’t fit so well in their organized life.  One Sunday morning my black cat, Inky, had her kittens on a pile of clean clothes.  On top of the pile of clean clothes was my father’s only white shirt.  As I sat down and petted Inky, I noticed there were six kittens laying beside her.  Three of them were black which is my favorite color cat.  I think I’ll keep those three. I sat there imagining the fun I would have playing with my kittens.  All of a sudden I heard heavy footsteps behind me.  I swirled around and there was my father, “WHAT THE HECK !”   Those may not have been his exact words but I was four, so let’s go with that.

The only other memory I have of that day after skedaddling is the fact that I did not end up with three little black kittens.

Until we meet again!


How I Met My First Husband.


I was 19 and lived in Marin County, California The only way to get over to Marin County was to cross over the Golden Gate Bridge.  I was missing Vermont and the small town I lived in there reminded me of home. I rented a small cabin on a hill surrounded by trees. The only drawback to this beautiful location was the fact I worked in the next town as a beautician and didn’t own a car. Fortunately it was only two miles to work which I walked each day, rain or shine.

One day I decided to take a bus trip to San Francisco and take in a movie. Halfway there I spotted a big sign that read “Commodore Aviation view San Francisco in one of our seaplanes. ”  My mind was racing, should I take a chance, I’ve never flown before, but I always wanted to. I stood up and pulled the cord, the bus came to a stop and I stepped out along the highway.

I could see the little planes on the water across the road bouncing around and splashing into the dock where it was tried. The pilot and a plane were ready for a passenger, so I walked down the dock to the sea plane. That was the easy part! The wind was tossing the plane around. Now I’m trying to step gracefully into a moving plane and hold my skirt down at the same time.

Finally i’m settled into the passenger seat. The pilot started the engine and.the next thing I remember is skimming across that choppy water, bouncing against the waves, picking up speed, and then a slow climb into the air. The first place we flew over was Alcatraz Prison which was still operating,  If the plane dipped down below 1,000 feet the guards at the prison were authorized to fire a warning shot.  Later I learned the prisoners would pay the pilots to pick them up. Which they never did.

Before landing I learned  that you could  also take flying lessons at Commodore Aviation. That sparked an interest in me so I asked the pilot how I could obtain more information. After landing and on ground again I was introduced to another pilot who taught the lessons. On the same day I ended up in the air again with John, who told me some of the fundamental parts of flying. The aircraft was a CB which was bigger than the Cessna I flew in earlier.

Before my lesson was over I tried my hand at flying the plane which wasn’t as easy as it looked. There were two control sticks that were used to keep the plane straight.; I guess I had a heavy hand, because when I took the controls the plane dipped to the left then to the right I never could keep it straight. I need more lessons!   By this time it was getting late. I had no idea of the bus schedule so John offered me a ride home which I accepted. By the time we drove up to the cabin where I lived we had a dinner date for the next night.

I remember choosing a green dress with a black jacket to throw over my shoulders as it was always chilly in San Francisco, even though it was the middle of August.

The time had passed when John was to pick me up.  I was feeling a little anxious then became furious when he arrived an hour later. I was going to call it quits. He apologized explaining that he had to accommodate a group of college students that wanted to fly over San Francisco after dark to see the city lights.

Being young and naive I alway believed his story. We dated for four months. We spent quite a bit of time at Commodore. Many of our dates were spent teaching me how to fly.  It was difficult landing the plane on choppy waters, but I did it.  I had a good time hanging with our friends and flying whenever I could. I never did solo,that scared me flying around up there by myself I had enough problems finding my way around on the ground!

Four months later we were married and moved to an apartment in South San Francisco. Three months after that move I was expecting our first child. That was the end of my flying lessons.  I had morning sickness that lasted all day and spent a good deal of time in the bathroom hanging my head over the toilet. John was habitually late, and being new to the city I hadn’t made any friends. I spent most of my time alone.


Until we meet again!




Celebrating a California Christmas in the 60’s

Aluminum Christmas Tree 2.jpg
Mother’s California Christmas Tree Photo from the Kansas Historical Society

Christmas morning I was laying in bed listening to the rain. John was snoring beside me and Susie was still asleep in her bedroom next to ours. I quietly slip out of bed and slowly head for the kitchen to make the coffee:The smell of coffee perking in the electric percolator was welcomed on this dreary morning. I was expecting my second child the end of January and Susie will be three the fifth of March.This pregnancy was easier than the first, I was able to work in the beauty salon up to the week before Christmas.

As I sat by the window and watched the rain splatter on the cement driveway, I was overcome with sadness. I’m missing Vermont this morning, and I would of been watching the snow drift softly to the ground instead of hearing the rain hitting against the window pane.  

I snap back to the present as Susie shuffles into the room in her sleepers snuggling her favorite blanket. She ran to the tree for her presents that John and I had stayed up the night before to get ready for her. Okay, it’s time to wake John up. Susie – go jump on Daddy! That got him up.

After opening presents and finishing putting the tricycle together (which was too much of a challenge on Christmas Eve), it was time to get ready to go to my mother’s house for Christmas dinner. My mother was now married to Joey, who was an accountant. They lived in Redwood City.  My sister Peggy, her husband, and baby Sharon would be there also.

Sharon was two years old and Susie was almost three. They could be a little rambunctious at times which didn’t set well with Joey. After a few cocktails he would mellow some. The turkey was in the oven cooking and It was getting warm in the house, so we opened some windows and a door. The rain had stopped, and the sun was shining. Temperatures were now in the high 50’s. Some of the neighborhood kids were out on the sidewalk riding their new bicycles.

Dinner is ready and as the tradition goes Joey carved the turkey.  During the meal he would get weepy and tell us that he won’t be around next year. But yet– when the next Christmas rolled around–there he was!

After dinner, we would all sit around Mother’s aluminum Christmas tree to open the presents with Joey continuing to be his difficult self.

Vermont Christmas is just a memory in my mind!

Until we meet again!