Monday, May 25, 2015

Junior High  School was such a big change from what I was used to.  We never changed classes in Elementary School, nor did we ever have lockers that we had to remember the combination to.  We were all so excited for this transition.  We were growing up.

The Junior High was just for seventh and eight graders.  We didn't have Middle Schools back then. Our school was Madison Heights and our Mascot was a Pirate.  Our slogan was "We are the Pirates, the mighty, mighty Pirates."  Our colors were red and black.

When lunchtime came we had to walk across the parking lot to the cafeteria which was in the High School.  Wow, what an experience that was at our age.  We got to see the "Big Kids."  Another difference was that we had sports teams and of course basketball and football games.  I wasn't allowed to go though.  I guess my parents thought I was still too young.  I don't know.  Remember, I said I led a very sheltered life.   I really don't remember a lot about Junior High.  One thing though was that I never missed a day of school.

Something did happen during that time frame though.  Some of the neighborhood kids started teasing me about being adopted.  I had never been told this so I asked my mom about it.  Her reply was, "Why would you ask such a thing?  Don't listen to those kids"  I never asked her or my dad ever again and the kids stopped so I forgot about it.

I also started going to church.  When I first started it was an Evangelical United Brethern Church, which was later changed to a Methodist Church.  Don't ask me why because I don't know. Kids my age were in a separate room than the older kids.  One Sunday I was sitting there by myself and some of the older boys walked through.  One looked at me as he went by and smiled.  As they reached the door I turned around to look at him and he had turned around and was looking at me.  Guess what......  Boys entered my head....  now I was really growing up.

To Be Continued.......

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When we started for home to Indiana after our Minnesota Vacation we would always stop at the Wisconsin Dells.  I always looked forward to that.  There was Storybook Land where all the fairytale stories were  recreated.  There was a Fairy Princess there with her magic wand who walked all around the place and she was so beautiful. One year we stopped at a place where you could take pony rides.  Of course I had to do that.  It was fun until I got off the pony and he stepped on my foot.  Ouch !  That hurt.  But I didn't care, I had fun.  They also had rides and I rode the ferris wheel all by myself.  Now, that was exciting.  I wasn't afraid at all.  Now you can't get me on any of  those rides.  They scare me to death.

Once we got home, that's when I got to play with all the neighborhood kids.  We'd ride our bikes around the neighborhood, played dodge ball, hide n seek, red rover, simon says, and roller skated.  We played until dark, and our parents never had to worry about us.  I wasn't allowed to do a lot of things the other kids did though.  I lived a very sheltered life.  I couldn't play on the Slip N Slide because I might get hurt.  I couldn't go with the car load of kids to McDonalds for french fries.  The town had a big public pool but I was never allowed to go there. My parents finally gave in and let me stay all night with my girlfriends but I had to be home early in the morning.  I was only allowed to do that twice.

The couple who lived across the street from us were an older couple too.  Their kids had been grown and married for years.  They were nice people who was friendly with all the neighbors.  Come to find out, the man was not very nice.  He was a Ham Radio Operator and he had all this equipment that you could listen to people all over the world.  I thought that was so neat !  He offered to teach me how to use all of it.  He told me to come over for the lessons but only when his wife was gone.  He said she wouldn't like me being there learning that hobby.  So when I saw that she was gone I'd go over for my lesson.  My parents knew I was doing this but I don't think they realized she was never home when I went.  It started out good.  We listened to people talking overseas and I was so excited I couldn't wait until our next lesson.  After a few lessons he started touching me in places he shouldn't.  I had no idea what he was doing.  My parents never talked to me about bad people.  There was never any penetration but it was very close.  This went on for one whole summer.  He told me not to tell anyone and I never did.  I also never realized exactly what was happening either until I was a lot older.

Our town had a Free Fair every year where they had rides and fun things to see and do.  I was never allowed to go but my best friend Cheryl went with her family to watch the Harness Racing.  One year one of the horses went through the wooden fence where Cheryl was standing and her leg was broken.  I would sit all day with her and sometimes my mom would bring us Root Beer Floats.  They weren't called that though.  They were called Black Cows.  We loved them.

Summer's over and it's time for Middle School.......

To Be Continued.........

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Before I head to middle school I want to fill in some blanks. You've read that I was adopted.  My parents were in their fifties when they adopted me.

Let me tell you about my parents..  Dad was born in 1898 and mom in 1900.  They were married in 1920.  They lived in a little farming town and they bought a small farm there.  The only animals I ever heard of them having was some sheep.  They didn't keep the farm long because dad couldn't stand the sheep being dirty, so everyday he would hose them down.  While they lived there they had a dance band.  It was called Smalley's Orchestra.  Mom played the piano and I'm not sure what dad played.  They were always booked and became quite popular.  I don't know why they gave it up but they bought an Airstream Trailer and set off to tour the United States.  They even made it to Mexico.  What fun that must have been.

I don't know all the exact years when all these things happened but in 1935, my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer.  She had surgery but was only given eight years to live.  She lived to be eighty years old and never saw a doctor after the cancer episode.

After touring the US, they lived in Anderson, Indiana and bought a grocery store.  Dad was the meat cutter and mom was the cashier.  They even had delivery service.  They ended up having two stores. After I came into the picture mom retired and stayed home with me.  Dad worked for a company out of Indianapolis selling grocery meat cases.  Dad retired when I was still in elementary school.

Every summer we would come to Minnesota to Himbers Resort in Cohasset, Mn.  It was a second home.  We always had the same cabin and we stayed for four to six weeks.  The same people rented the other cabins every year while we were there, so it was like one long family reunion.  The people who owned the resort became my Aunt Lil and Uncle Nick.  That was cool because mom and dad didn't have any other family except mom's dad who was very old and died when I was in middle school.  (By the way, Grandpa left me all his money....  three cents.)

I loved the resort and the people who came every year.  Some had children so I had someone to swim and play with.  Uncle Nick would take us rides in the wagon pulled by the lawn tractor and I always went to the dump with him.  It was so fun !  I helped Aunt Lil clean the cabins and do the laundry.  She had a ringer washer with two tubs.  We'd wash and rinse the sheets and laundry and then we'd take it up the hill and hang it all on the clothes line to dry.

I'd go fishing with the men sometimes and other times I'd take my own little wooden boat out and fish by myself.  I even cleaned my own fish. ( After Ed and I were married and went fishing I had to teach him how to clean the fish.)

To Be Continued......

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The first school I went to was Edgewood Elementary. It was an old school for first through sixth grade.  My first grade teacher was Mrs. Allen.  About the only thing I remember about first grade was that I wore wool pants one day because it was cold out and the school called my mom and told her that girls weren't allowed to wear pants.  lol

I know I enjoyed school but in third grade I was standing in the hall more than sitting at my desk.  There was this good looking boy sitting in the row next to me. I had never given boys much thought but there was something about him that I just couldn't quit looking at him.  His name was Edgar Sharp.  I guess my watching him never bothered him because he never said anything to me , but the teacher did.  Whenever she saw me looking at him she told me to go stand in the hall.  She never sent me to the principals office either.  I don't know why she just didn't move one of us. I can't remember her name now but that was the only year I got into trouble.

The summer before fourth grade is when I started my piano lessons.  I loved the piano and I still have that same piano to this day.  When school started I came home every day and mom and I would have a bottle of Coke and watch the soap opera "The Edge of Night."  Then I'd practice the piano for an hour.

The school was small enough that we only had one classroom per grade and once a year we had a talent show.  My bff, Cheryl and I teamed up and sang "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover"  I think we sang it three times !  With our voices I'm sure once would have been enough.

The summer before fifth grade I started my period. I guess my parents never thought about telling me about the birds and the bees because I thought I had something wrong with me. I told mom and she still didn't say anything about the birds and the bees but gave me a rolled up piece of flannel to wear until we could get some Kotex.  It was attached to my panties with safety pins.  So here I go, over to Cheryl's house, all proud, and told her I had started my Kotex.  My mom never did mention the birds and the bees to me either.

In sixth grade I had my first male teacher and we could walk across the street to a little shopping center that had a snack bar in the drugstore.  I mean to tell you, we thought we were "Big Time." Cheryl and I always had a fish sandwich.  After awhile the lady that did the cooking would have our sandwiches made and ready for us when we got there. That made us feel important too. I also had my first illness,  The Chicken Pox. I really hated missing school.

Elementary School was a time of innocence and growth.....  then on to Junior High School.

To Be Continued.......

Thursday, April 30, 2015

When I was around five years old we moved to the new house.  We were one of the first families to move into the neighborhood.  The house next to us had a baby girl and the house on the other side was being built.  It was a three bedroom brick with a fireplace, dining room, kitchen and two bathrooms.  It also had an attached garage.  The backyard was fenced and the yard was huge to a girl my age and size.  LOL

When the house being built was finished, a family moved in that had two kids.  A boy named Steve , who was two years older than me, and a girl named Cheryl, who was my age.  Yep, you got it....  my new best friend.  We were born three days apart and had the same middle name.  We were both a little chunky and that first Christmas we got identical watches. Oh yea, we were meant to be best friends.

As the neighborhood grew, other families with kids moved in.  Of course we all became friends and it was great.  We had a hill of dirt in the front yard and we'd play King of the Hill.  It was so fun. We'd spend the day outside and evening too.  The only breaks we took were for lunch and supper.  I remember my sixth birthday there.  The first party I ever remember having, but of course I never had any playmates until we moved there.  The only thing I remember getting was a metal cash register.  I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about.  I know I got other things too but that's the thing that stands out in my memory.

Then it was school time.  I had already been in pre-kindergarten and senior kindergarten.  I went to Mrs Day's private kindergarten and I loved it.  We would play cowboys and indians and I was always the cowboy.  Outside she had an enormous sandbox and a large Wheeping Willow Tree.  That tree was huge !!  The branches hung to the ground so it was like a magical place to go and sit.  We also had storytime and we'd sit and listen to Mrs Day read from the book called "The Timber Toes Family."  So when first grade came around, I was ready.  I knew my ABC"S, I could count to twenty, and even read and write a little bit.

To Be Continued.......

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My mom never learned to drive so every Saturday we would take the bus to town and a cab home. Before we left each week my mom would set me down on the couch and have her little talk with me.  She'd tell me that when we went into a store I  wasn't supposed to run off from her and run behind the counters. I was to stay with her. (I guess I did that in the J.C. Penny store).  When she was done she'd ask me if I understood that and of course I said I did; but sure enough when we hit J.C. Penny's, I'd take off.  Every time !  When we got home she'd tell dad and he'd tell her to spank me.  She'd look at dad and say "Oh Earl, I can't do that."  I don't know how old I was when I stopped doing that.  LOL I just loved that store.  They bought my Buster Brown Shoes there and they had that machine you stand on with your feet inside and you could see your bones.  I thought that was the greatest thing.

We did all our shopping for clothes uptown and we'd eat lunch at Walgreens. Sometimes we'd see a movie.  That was a special day for me.  Christmas time was the greatest.  All the store windows were decorated, the streets had lights up, and Christmas Music played out of loud speakers. That was a time when you didn't have empty stores.  There were so many stores and I think we hit all of them.  I know I slept good the night of shopping day.

When we were ready to go home we went to a place that was also a shoe shine parlor. A little old black man was the shoe shine man and he was always so happy. It was a fun way to end our "Big Adventure."

To Be Continued......

Monday, April 27, 2015

I was three years old when the adoption finally went through.  Since my dad, Bill, wouldn't sign the papers, the adoption had to be granted because of abandoment. We lived in Anderson, Indiana.  It's about 35 miles NE of Indianapolis.  At the time Anderson was a big General Motors Town.  Delco Remy and Guide Lamp were the main employers.  We lived in a small three bedroom house.  I've heard people say that they can remember things that happened when they were as young as two and three years old.  I don't remember anything until I was probably about four years old. 

My bedroom had a double size bed and mom put pillows under the bottom sheet on both sides so I wouldn't roll out.  They told me the first night I lived there, I got out of bed and went in and crawled into bed with my dad.  From that time on, when we went somewhere and had to stay overnight, I slept with my dad.  I did this for many years.

We never had company and there weren't many kids in the neighborhood.  I do remember going next door once.  Williams was their name and they had two or three kids.  I remember playing in the dining room under a tent we had made with blankets.  That's the only time I remember being over there.  The kids never came to my house to play.  I remember too that they had a sandbox.  Our yard was fenced and I climbed over the fence to play in the sanbox with them.  I was all dressed up to go to town too.  My mom said I could go outside until we were ready to leave and not to get dirty.  I remember she was a little upset with me.  LOL  I think they must haved moved because I didn't see them anymore after that. There was also a little girl who lived on the other side of us but I wasn't allowed to play with her.  She was always kind of dirty and her clothes were old.  Or so they looked like it to me.  She always had scabs on her arms too.  I only saw her a few times so maybe they moved too.  I don't know.

I don't know what kind of work my dad did but he had to go on trips at times and he'd always bring me something back.  The best thing was a stuffed dog that I named Morgan.  You'd squeeze his nose and he squeeked.  I loved that dog.  Mom had a real dog too.  He was a Boston Terrier named Bootsie, which was ironic because I found out years later, that was my birth mom's nickname.  I don't remember him having much to do with me.  Maybe we played together and I just don't remember. 

To Be Continued.......