The Story of Vera and Her Family, Chapter 9

7 02 2008

CHAPTER 9  Mom Goes Back To College

The cold winds of January , l986 blew hard. Each of you children came down with strep throat. I made beds out of blankets in the living room. It was the same experience I had when the chicken pox hit our family. It was just so much easier to give out your medicines during the night.

Twelve inches of snow fell to the ground the week of Valentine’s Day. School was dismissed for a week. I had not seen such snow since I was a young girl. The whole neighborhood was festive. Children had their sleds out. Our home is on the corner of a hill . This made it all the more fun for all of the children. However, once again, each of you came down with strep throat. In those days, the book keeper, of Pediatric’s Associates, let me pay a small amount on the bill each month. I had seen her at the Kroger store and made arrangements. She had grown up with my mother. Therefore, she was glad to help me.. That day and age is over for good. But how thankful I am that it still excited in l986.

Spring finally arrived and so did the arrival of our first kitten. We had some friends who persisted– until they got us to accept a kitten from a litter at their house. Actually, they just dropped it off with a litter box, some food and a bag of litter. How can one say no to that?

I had never had a cat or dog in my life. Brad’s dog, Harpo, was the only animal that I wasn’t scared of. I was so afraid of the little kitten that Fred and Jan dropped off. You children named her “Tinker”. I made her stay in the basement the first night. Then I felt sorry for her and let her upstairs. From the beginning, she was an indoor/outdoor cat. She followed each of you children– wherever you went. It took me a few weeks not to cringe ,when she got in my lap. By the end of the summer, Tinker and I were very much bonded.

All summer I had been working on plans to return to our UK Community College and finish my associates degree in Liberal Arts. I was not doing well with my driving( I never drove much anyway) so Jim dropped me off at the college each morning and I walked the four miles home each day. I would arrive home around l:00 p.m. each day. I would quickly change into my jeans and get a load of wash started. I would grab handfuls of home made granola to stave off my intense hunger. I didn’t have time to sit down and eat– I had to keep going–fast! I still remember Tinker following me to the clothes line each afternoon. I remember one particular afternoon when I had a white T shirt on and my jeans. I don’t know why , it just remains strong in my memory. I had to push to get wash hanging out ( once again, we didn’t have a dryer) and some studying done before you children arrived home from school. Tinker would also take naps on my desk while I studied. I grew so very fond of her.

My studies were demanding because I hadn’t been in school since l974 . I remember that you liked to drill me on my biology. You even memorized some of my chemical equations. (You turned out to be equally gifted with science, math and the liberal arts.) I certainly have never equaled your abilities. You and Maria were still students at the elementary school. However, Ben and Sandy graduated to the 5th and 6th grade center. Each of you tugged at me for special attention. It was stressful to keep up with my studies, the housework and laundry. I worked hard to keep up with meeting everyone’s emotional needs.

As the weather got colder, I enjoyed my walks home. My Aunt Mildred always picked me up if the weather was bad. She was the widow of my Uncle Jack ( mother’s brother). I don’t know what we would have one without Aunt Mildred. She didn’t live far from us and often would show up with a loaf of homemade  bread, muffins or a cake that she had baked. She was a tremendous help to our family.

Life was never dull at our home. In the midst of my studies and balancing out all of my duties, Grandma and Grandpa came for a visit form Iowa. This was Dad’s mom and step dad. I was completely stressed out. However, the week turned out to be fun. I’m so thankful now that they came. I don’t believe they ever were able to visit again.

Our little Toyota finally died. Mimi and Billy gave us their l970 Oldsmobile. It was a sure tie in ugliness to old Beulah. At least it wasn’t chained down. We drove that car for many months. Brad and Susan were finalizing their wedding plans. Brad asked me to represent mother. Phillip still had his preaching license, so he agreed to perform the ceremony.  Phillip and I went down the night before the wedding.The three of us spent the evening at Brad’s home telling our stories of “growing up”years. It was a precious time. Billy and Mimi loaned Dad one of their cars to drive to the wedding. After the wedding and reception, we all went over to Brad and Susan’s home and watched them open wedding gifts.

Monday morning after the weekend wedding, I started my finals at the college. I made straight “A”s. Christmas was lean once again. We went out to the country and cut a Christmas tree down from a friend’s farm. Tinker the cat, was also the special joy of that season. I didn’t have the maturity in those days to realize that such times were only a tiny slice of life and that we should always live in the moment. Depression hit me hard during the holiday season. I look back with regret that I was so short sighted.

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5 responses

8 02 2008
shadowlands1501

Nicole3
I am having some trouble on my blog…you can check it out in the comments part of the Wedding Album…I may have to take the blog down and I don’t want to loose contact…my email is shadowlands6822@comcast.net…I have enjoyed your comments on my postings so much, just pray that I don’t have to take it down because my blog has become very important to me and a healthy release during this time….but, anyway…bye for now

10 02 2008
Shadowlands

Nicole3
How true that somehow in the midst of the hussle and bussle that we believe that it will always be that way…I remember thinking that my son just grew up overnight. One day, he was ten, the next he was 14 and I realized that I couldn’t call him by his nickname anymore because it was for a younger boy, not this very young man…I have told my children that when they enter in the years where everyone has extra activities and they have their obligations to fasten the seat belt because they are in hyperdrive…Great years to remember. Wouldn’t mind to walk back there and visit once in a while…Thanks for you help with my blog, Nicole3 and your advise…

10 02 2008
nichole3

I’m so glad you are up and running again. You have many wonderful things to say to the world. Thanks for your friendship and for reading my little “Vera” stories.

17 02 2008
David Web

I thought I had done a lot of walking in Hoptown. I had no idea you traversed back from Community College on foot.

Your memory serves you well also, and I share in that ability to remember vividly, the details of seemingly mundane circumstances, which sometimes are brougnt to mind out of nowhere.

I guess I missed out on Brad’s wedding also, yet he was good enough to represent me at Karla’s, when I wasn’t really able to make that trip.

17 02 2008
nichole3

Yes, I wouldn’t drive in those days. That was a long time fear-I had to work through. It was good for my figure though. I was so very slim and in great shape. I had to have a physical education credit. The professor let me have my credit with walking the four miles each day. Thanks again, for writing.

Love,
Sis

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