Our Second Trip to Vermont

It’s now 1960 and the experience of my trip to Vermont four years ago has been tucked away in my memory. You can read that post in my Archive “ON A WING AND A PRAYER.” Now I’m ready for another flight back east. It’s time to visit my dad and my older siblings;  Ellen, Ray, and their families who live in Vermont Jeff was now two years old and Susie was five. How difficult could it be to fly with two kids!

Susie was fourteen months old on that fateful trip back home from Vermont to California four years ago. We were at the end of our visit from Vermont and changing planes in Chicago was uneventful. Finally we were settled in our seats with Susie ready for a nap and I for a cup of coffee. The plane had been in the air about an hour when the Captain’s voice came over the loudspeaker. He announcement that he had to turn the plane around and go back to the Chicago airport. The airplane had a malfunction with the landing gear. We made a crash landing!  Luckily no one received any physical injuries. The mental anguish was another story.

John worked at United Airlines as a mechanic and one of the benefits was a fly free pass on United Airlines. The down side of flying on a free pass was that you were on standby until there were seats available. This second trip back East was planned for a night flight. Fewer people fly at night and less chance of being bumped.

We were fortunate that the plane had available seats. Susie and Jeff were getting sleepy, well Jeff anyway – he had fallen asleep in the car on the ride to the airport. Susie felt she would miss something if she were to sleep.

John handed me Jeff when we were to board the plane. Now with both kids in tow I made my way to the back of the plane until I found three seats together.  Much to the children’s delight the other passengers that filled the back of the plane were the “San Francisco Giants” baseball team. Some of the players were stretched out in the isle trying to rest. But that wasn’t going to happen! The other men  were in a jolly mood ready to celebrate! 

Jeff at one year and Susie at 4 years.

So much for my two children sleeping.They were having too much fun with the attention from the team. Susie remembers talking to them. Jeff, being only two, doesn’t have any memories of that flight or that trip back to Vermont at all. Not being a fan of baseball or ever watching a game I didn’t know if the team’s excited mood was from celebrating a win. Someone that followed the Giants would of known them by their names.

Half of our trip was over when we landed in Chicago and changed planes for Vermont. I had Jeff in one arm and Susie by her hand. I found it difficult to maneuver through the moving crowd. Jeff was content to be carried. Susie struggled to be free from my hand which I held tighter. I’m rethinking that it’s just as easy to fly with two children as one!

It’s fall and a chill was in the air in Vermont. I’m thankful I was mindful to pack sweatshirts and light jackets for the children.The peak color of the foliage was about over and leaves were falling. Our first visit after landing in Vermont was at my brother’s in Jericho.It was wonderful seeing my nieces again. Rose, Helen, and Robert, my only nephew, who I had to babysit when they were babies and I was a teenager. Now they are young teenagers. In the future Rose and Helen will babysit Susie and Jeff when they come to live with me in California.

The girls raked the leaves into a pile for the younger children to jump in. Susie and Jeff were a little hesitant to jump in the leaves. They hadn’t had that experience living in California with fruit trees and an occasional weeping willow. Their two year old cousin Donna showed them how it was done. Then there was no stopping them! 

While visiting we took a boat trip on the Ticonderoga out of Burlington. Jeff was fascinated by the water and peeked through the rail to get a better look. His sister panicked and wanted him away from there. He never listened to her. She was just an annoyance to him. This was a pattern of their young lives and ON..Jeff deliberately would put himself in unsafe situations to make Susie freak out.

One instance that stands out in my mind and memories happened during a shopping trip, at the time we lived in San Jose, California.  Jeff was around two and a half years old. I had a hold of his hand and Susie was by my side. I remember letting go of Jeff’s hand for a second to look at some sweaters that were folded on the counter. When I looked down to take his hand again he wasn’t there!  Now I panicked and frantically searched the store, he was nowhere to be found. I was sure he was kidnapped!

By this time Susie was crying. I hurried to the information station and told them what had happened. The doors were instantly locked down and the search began in the store. Recently a young child had been kidnapped in the San Jose area so this was not taken lightly. The police were notified and began a search outside.

I finally went back to where I was looking at the sweaters. When I looked down I noticed a cupboard door was open. I bent down and looked inside, there curled up on a pile of sweaters was Jeff  fast asleep! It was a great relief to find him safe and with quite a bit of embarrassment for all the commotion we had caused I immediately went to the store clerks to inform everyone he was safe. Everyone was happy he was safe.

Image result for white draft horse
From Horses – McCafferty American White Draft

 Back to our trip in Vermont—-The highlight of the trip for Susie was the day the girls brought this huge white horse named Milk Punch around for them to ride. Jeff was the first one put on the horse. He didn’t like that very much and wanted down. When Susie was on Mike Punch one of the cousins led the horse around. Susie of course didn’t want to get off. That was the beginning of her love for horses. I already knew it was a given she would have dogs and cats in her life. I’m glad she didn’t have the opportunity to see a monkey….she would of wanted one!

The last of our trip was a visit with my sister Ellen and her family. Our father was at her house also. It was fun catching up on family happenings. Our last venture was a hike in the woods. Ellen had packed a picnic lunch of fried chicken, potato salad and, for dessert, delicious brownies. We had not walked very far when Jeff decided he had enough waking. He laid down in the middle of the path in front of us and would not budge. I had to carry him Jeff was a chunky little guy and was dead weight. When it was time to stop and bring out the picnic lunch he had no trouble running  over to where the food was.

The last of the trip went smoothly as long as I sat in the middle seat and separated Susie and Jeff. There was too much togetherness on this trip.

We were three weary travelers as we exited the plane IN SAN FRANCISCO.  I retract my statement in my earlier post “HOW DIFFICULT CAN IT BE TO TRAVEL WITH TWO KIDS!’  

Until we meet again!



On a Break – Literally

Hello to my family, friends, and fellow bloggers.

I am taking a break from my memoirs for just a few more weeks.  Actually I fell and broke my wrist in two places so that explains the “break.”  I’m making out alright with my right hand but typing has been a little awkward.

I hope everyone is having a good summer in spite of the heat. Just give us another month and it will be cool.

Take care.

Until We Meet Again!


A New Year and A New Baby

Jeff and Suzie in 1962

It is now January and I’m expecting my second baby in a few weeks. I was packed with the outfit to bring baby home in and what I would need in the hospital. The nursery was ready with a crib and bassinet. It was simpler times in the early 60’s; we made do with what we had.

Well..the scheduled time that was calculated for my baby to be born has come and gone! I had only signed up for nine months. Now I’m a week passed the due date. I was anxious to know the gender of the baby. There was no ultrasound so you did a lot of guessing. The baby’s clothes were generic colors. SO BORING!

The last week before my baby was born it rained every day. Susie is a month away from her third birthday. She is constantly asking when her baby brother or sister would be here. Our dog Caesar was pacing the floor and looking out the window but was reluctant to go out in the rain. I searched for his green plaid raincoat and then put it on him. With a little encouragement he slowly went out the door. I wasn’t thrilled about having a wet smelly dog in the house. We both had to deal with it.

Thursday late afternoon I started getting labor pains. John was still working nights at United Airlines as a mechanic and during the day he was in training and studying for his commercial pilot’s license.

John wasn’t known for being on time and he had an hour drive home. I called him at 6:00 pm I wasn’t taking any chances that he would be late. John’s night shift wasn’t over until 12/30 am. To be ready to go

I put our packed suitcases by the door. Susie was awake and patiently sitting on her suitcase ready to go. She will be staying with the neighbor that took care of her when I was working.  

Susie was born in The Children’s San Francisco Hospital and this baby would be born in the San Jose Hospital.

John made it home and after a short time in the hospital my son Jeffrey was born.  He arrived at 1:26 am. He was healthy but he didn’t look pleased about being born. He would stare at me and had his hands on my chest like he was pushing me away. After a few days he relaxed and figured he was stuck with me and he would make the best of it!

Jeff was  an easy baby. He didn’t have colic like Suzie so didn’t have the discomfort of colic.  He especially enjoyed his bottle and being held until he fell back to sleep. Diapers were still cloth with pins and rubber pants but preparing formula was easier. The playtex bottles had arrived with a plastic lining that you threw  away. No more sterilizing bottles!

After being home for two days and up for night feedings I really needed some sleep. I put Susie down for her nap and then  wheeled the sleeping baby and bassinet over by the couch where I had laid down.. I instantly fell asleep. Soon something woke me up with a start.  I looked in the bassinet and Jeff was not in there! I jumped up from the couch in a panic. Then I heard a noise coming from my bedroom. I rushed in to the room to find Jeff on the bed and Susie feeding him cheerios. I was so relieved that he was safe…except for the cheerios. After calming my heart down my  first thought went to how did this three year old pick up a newborn from the bassinet. I’m sure she didn’t support his head. It was more likely by an arm and a leg! He never made a peep and seemed content to be on the bed gazing up at Suzie. I should’ve known she couldn’t wait to get her hands on him.

Until we meet again!


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!