Did I tell you???

I am calling this post “Did I tell you” because it is full of interesting things that I wanted to tell, but  they didn’t fit in with the other posts.

Did I tell you that when I was in high school that I was a library helper?  Did I tell you that one day the school librarian called me into her office to tell me that I was too young to be engaged and I was wasting my life?  The nerve of some people!

Did I tell you that one day while Ed was overseas I got an anonymous phone call from a male?  Did I tell you that this male proceeded to say to me “I know about you and Rick with the blue Corvette!”?  He also said that he planned to tell Ed about “us”.  Now, I didn’t know anyone named Rick and I sure didn’t know anyone with a blue Corvette!  This unfounded accusation caused me much worry.  I was innocent, but I couldn’t figure out who the accuser was or why.  Many months later, the person who called(one of Ed’s acquaintances) confessed to making the call, admitted that he’d made a mistake and apologized.  Gee thanks!

Last but not least, did I tell you that my friends, Holly and Bo, took Ed and me to the beach on graduation night?  The four of us decided to ride down to Tybee Beach, about 70 miles away, just to walk the beach and have a little fun.  It was one of those things that we did on a whim.

It was pretty late when we arrived at the beach since it was after the graduation ceremony.  The four of us just walked the beach and laughed and talked.  After a while, we got back in the car and headed back home.  Several miles down the road, after we’d left the beach far behind, we got pulled over by a cop.   The cop began to tell us that there was a curfew at the beach and we had violated it.  We explained to him that we weren’t aware of a curfew and that nobody had said anything to us while we were on the beach.  He went on to say that we must pay the fine right then or go to jail.  We were horrified!  You never saw so much digging and pooling of money to come up with the money!  Luckily–or unluckily– now that we think of it, we had enough money between us.  We paid the cop and came home.

We’ve thought about that incident many times and now we believe that the cop put the money in his pocket!  We’ve never heard of any such thing happening to anyone else.  We believe if the cop had been “on the up and up” he would’ve stopped us at the beach and ticketed us.  Of course we were young and foolish and scared to death, so we paid the money without question.

If I’d known then what I know now, I would’ve told the cop that we didn’t have the money and he’d just have to take us to jail.  I wonder what he’d have said to that…..

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Published in: on April 30, 2009 at 2:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Tiny tales that I forgot to tell….

Before I go any further with this blog, I have to back up and mention a few interesting things that just didn’t fit in with any of the other posts. 

First of all, if you read my posts from the beginning, you will remember that  Ed and I double dated on our first date with Tim and Sue.  Did I mention that Tim and Ed joined the army together.  Not long after Ed and I began dating, Tim began to date a girl named Pat.  Pat was two years older than me, but we became friends.  Here’s where the story takes an interesting twist…

Pat’s parents didn’t like Tim.  He had a bit of a bad boy reputation.  Well, Tim came up with this idea for Ed to pick up Pat at her house, meet him down the road and switch off before Ed picked me up.  Pat’s parents had no problem with Ed, in fact he’d dated Pat before,  so it worked like a charm…until I started thinking!  I thought, what if Pat gets pregnant?  Everyone will assume Ed is the father!  Not long after that, Ed stopped picking up Pat for Tim!!!

matching swimsuits

matching swimsuits

Pat and Tim continued to date, despite her parents disapproval.  Pat and I spent a good bit of time together while the guys were in the army, while they were gone to Texas, but before they went to Okinawa.  We kept each other company while the guys when the guys were away.  We both liked to sew and once we actually made matching bathing suits!  We also had a moment of insanity with a bucket of paint and a brush one night on a country road….

roadside graffiti

roadside graffiti

Time marched on and Pat graduated from high school that same year– 1970.  Later that  summer, after a few months of dating,  Pat and Tim eloped!  So, Pat went to Okinawa with Tim, while I stayed home and finished high school…

I am sure having Tim and Pat over in Okinawa made the tour over there a little more pleasant for Ed.  He’d go over to their house and visit them sometimes.  He and Tim also spent some time diving and doing stuff together.   Pat  wrote letters to me and life in Okinawa sounded so different. I was sort of glad that I wasn’t there.  I don’t think I would’ve liked it very much except for being with Ed.

Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Class of 1972

Karen, Kathy, & Holly

Karen, Kathy, & Holly

Time didn’t seem to pass as quickly then as it does today, but eventually I found myself a senior in high school.  The beginning of that school year marked the halfway point in Ed’s tour of duty overseas.

The school started a new program that year which allowed senior students to go to class part of the school day and work part of the school day.  I believe they called it VOT back then(vocational office training).  I took part in this program, so I finished with school at 1:00 every day and I continued with my job at the department store.

I know that most students get “senioritis” at some time during their final year of school, but I was just the opposite.  I studied harder that year than any year since the eighth grade.  I don’t know why, but I did.  I still remember doing my last term paper for English.  The paper was entitled An all volunteer armywould it work?  The army was a subject near and dear to my heart for obvious reasons, so I put my heart and soul into that paper!  I made an A.

I was a little more social that year than I had previously been due to the fact that most of my friends had their drivers license.  Oh, the thrill of riding back and forth from The Dairy Queen to Reese’s 301 Drive-inn!  There wasn’t much else to do in our tiny town.

 Karen P. was my best friend all through  high school.  She and her family moved to town our freshman year.  We usually brought our lunch and ate together.  Karen was the oldest of five children, which I thought was great because I love big families!  She was also very smart, in fact she was class Salutatorian.  Karen and I remain friends even now, 40 years later.100_02601

Another close friend of mine during that final year of high school was named Holly.  She and I shared the same birthday as well as the fact that we were both engaged.  There weren’t very many girls wearing engagement rings in high school!  Holly was engaged to a really sweet guy named Bo.  She and Bo spent a lot of time with me that last year while Ed was gone and I really appreciated it.   Since I didn’t drive, Holly would give me a ride to school or work–where ever I was going.100_02611

The school year passed and soon it was almost March–the month that Ed was supposed to get to come home.  We all got a very unexpected and unappreciated surprise when the army decided to “extend” Ed’s tour of duty for another two and a half months!  In exchange for this extension, the army would release Ed from the service six months early.  I liked the last part of the deal, but I was devastated about the longer tour.  Many tears were shed on my part over that news…Ed never said, but I wondered if he may have shed some, too.

Our caps and gowns were in,  final assignments were completed, and it was time for graduation practice and the last few days of school.  I had quit my job by then.  I don’t know why I quit early, perhaps I wanted to have a little more free time or maybe just rest up  before Ed got home.  Anyway, I was “knee deep” in anticipation of graduation AND the fact that Ed was FINALLY coming home!!! 

 Holly, Karen, and I planned a little “senior trip” to the beach.  This was a big deal for us because we planned to spend the night–with no chaperones!!  Would you believe a couple of days before school got out and we planned to leave for our overnight trip to the beach, I got the news that Ed was stuck on the island (again) and wasn’t going to get to come home afterall?  Yes, it’s true!  I can’t tell you how upset I was!!!  Finally, I got myself together and decided I was going to put a smile on my face, go on our “senior trip” and have a good time, even if it killed me!  We did have a good time, the three of us girls, on our beach trip.  Of course we came home tanned and tired!

The following morning, after getting home from the beach trip, I was asleep in bed when the phone rang.  I answered it and it was Ed’s mom asking if I was ready to go and pick Ed up at the airport!  I just about dropped the phone!  Somehow, Ed had managed to get off the island after all!  I’ve never moved so fast in my life!  Within two hours we were at the airport!

I can’t begin to tell you what a feeling it is to see a person that you are in love with, but haven’t seen in almost 2 years.  It’s something I can’t explain.  I’d gone from a barely 16 year old to an almost 18 year old, so I may have changed the most.  I’d let my hair grow the whole time Ed was gone, so by then it was down to my waist.  Ed had grown this huge handlebar moustache!  We looked different, but the spark was still there!

All is well that ends well, Ed made it home–and with a day to spare before my high school graduation.  I was so happy that he would be there to watch me receive my diploma!

Now comes the part of the post when I ask myself, if I could go back, would I do anything different?  As I look back, I wish I’d studied more all 4 years of high school.  There was never any pressure on my to study, other than what I put on myself, my parents were just glad that I stayed in school.  I could’ve been an honor graduate if I’d tried a little harder.  Today I would like to be able to say “Iwas an honor graduate”–even though I did get voted  “outstanding senior” that year… Ah, hind sight is 20/20.

Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 1:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

My first job…

As I mentioned earlier, my first job was working at a department store wrapping Christmas gifts.  After Christmas was over, I started working  in the store waiting on customers.  In those days, the clerks would walk up and ask the customers “Can I help you find something?”  (Does anyone remember those days???)  That was called personalized service!  After a customer finished their shopping, the clerks would total the purchase on an adding machine, take the money from the customer, and  actually count the correct change back to the customer after figuring the amount in their head.  There weren’t any electronic cash registers to tell one how much change to give back!

At first, I worked only on Saturdays.  Later I worked on Tuesday and Friday afternoons, also.  I worked a total of sixteen hours a week and was paid one dollar an hour!  I can only imagine what you are thinking, but that was a lot of money in 1971.  I could buy lots of things with sixteen dollars, and I did.  I bought clothes, clothes, and more clothes.  I also bought all of those household items for my “hope chest”, that I mentioned earlier.

I was the only girl “my age” that worked at the store.  The other ladies were my mother’s age and older.  I never quite acted my age(always older) so I got along well with all of them.  In addition to clerking, I did inventory, and put out new stock.  Eventually, the store manager let me do the store window display.  It was so much fun!  I picked out all of the clothes to put in the window and dressed the maniquins.  I decorated one store window and another clerk did the other.  We had a friendly competition going to see whose side could look the best!

The most surprising thing that I learned from working in a department store is that an amazing amount of people wait until the last minute to do their shopping!  On Easter, Mother’s Day, and Christmas Eve you could bet the store would be FULL of people when closing time came.  I vowed then that I would NEVER be a last minute shopper–and I’m NOT!

Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 2:49 am  Leave a Comment  

My future in-laws….

I feel like I just have to post about my in-laws.  Some people don’t like their in-laws, some people hate their in-laws, but I have always loved my in-laws since the day I met them back in 1969.

Kathy visiting Ed's family

Kathy visiting Ed's family

I felt at home with them from day one.  My mother-in-law says she can still remember me sitting on the steps of their carport watching Ed work on his car.(Ed did a lot of working on his car in those days…) 

My in-laws were the kind of people who treated everyone like family.  They never met strangers, and I was no exception.  They invited me along for the ride each time Ed left for a new destination in the army, and they invited me along for the ride to pick him up at the airport when he came home.  In addition to that, I spent many weekends at their house while Ed was away.  It wasn’t uncommon for Ed’s mom and me to go shopping on a Saturday.  I felt a part of Ed’s family long before he and I ever got married.  I think being with each other helped fill the void we felt during

Huge red dog

Huge red dog

 Ed’s absence.

There are two things that I remember in particular about Ed’s parents from those early days.  First of all, they bought this huge red and white stuffed dog that I’d been admiring in a store downtown,   and surprised me with it at Christmas.  I was so thrilled!  I kept that huge dog on my bed the whole time Ed was overseas.  The second thing that comes to mind is the goats that they had back then.  Ed’s daddy had lots of goats, all colors and sizes.  They were so funny!  They’d eat virtually anything.  Goats like to climb and Ed’s daddy built a ramp leading from the ground up to the boys’ old treehouse and taught those goats to walk the ramp up into the treehouse. 

Goats in the treehouse

Goats in the treehouse

 What a sight that was!  Those were the days…

If I could go back and change anything, would I?  Absolutely, positively, no!  I can honestly say, without hesitation, that I was blessed with the best in-laws anyone could ever have.  They always treated me like a daughter, and I’ve always loved them like parents.  How blessed I was–even way back then!

Published in: on April 23, 2009 at 4:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Counting down the days…1971-1972

The Japanese Geisha Doll from Okinawa

The Japanese Geisha Doll from Okinawa

Once Ed left for Okinawa, I began counting down the days until his return.  I had a calendar on my bedroom wall with the days numbered…all 548 of them!  Each night I would put an X over the day.  It somehow made me feel better.

As I stated before, I immersed myself in high school.  I was in the eleventh grade.  I had a couple of girlfriends that I spent a little time with after school, but I was never a big socialite.  Most of the time I just went to school and stayed home writing letters to Ed.

Ed was gone for two Christmases, which was  hard, but I made it through.  He  sent me a Japenese Geisha doll for the first Christmas.  She was beautiful, all dressed in her red/white kimono.  She came with a lovely glass case to store her in.  Unfortunately, the postal service must have played kickball with the package because every piece of the glass case was broken when she finally arrived.   Of course I was disappointed, but Ed’s wonderful daddy took the case and had it repaired for me.  When he returned it to me, it was as good as new. 

The same Christmas that Ed sent the doll, I landed my first job.  Sharon, a friend of mine, had been hired as a gift wrapper in a local department store.  It was a two week job.  At the last minute, Sharon was unable to work and suggested me to the manager as her replacement.  I got the job! 

I’d stand in the back of the store and wrap whatever gifts that the shoppers  brought to me.  I loved it!  I’ve never had so much fun making money.  At the end of the two weeks, the store manager asked me to continue working part-time as a clerk in the store.  Of course I accepted!

Time passed more quickly once I began to work.  I had less free time and  I also had spending money which helped.  I began a “hope chest” in my bedroom.  It started out as a small box beside my bed, but eventually took over the whole side of the bedroom!  I bought dishes, flatware, towels, glasses, etc.  I was ready to set up housekeeping!

 The second Christmas that he was overseas, Ed sent me a set of Noritake china.  It was white with delicate white flowers all around the edges.  I loved it so much!  I was probably the only girl in my senior class that got a set of china for Christmas.  Like me, Ed was thinking ahead…

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 7:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

“…I was king of the world when daddy let me drive”

I love the song by Alan Jackson called “Drive”.  Just in case you haven’t heard it, it is a song that tells about Alan’s experiences learning to drive and goes on to tell about him teaching his own girls to drive. 

Driving is supposed to be a milestone for every 15 to 16 year old person.  It’s just assumed that a person will learn to drive and get their driver’s license when they turn 16.

daddy's '69 Firebird

daddy's '69 Firebird

I went through the motions of learning to drive.  I drove my daddy’s 1969 Firebird around and around the vacant lot beside our house.  I drove it around the block a time or two.  I also drove Ed’s old pink Mercury(yes, I did say pink) a few times with Ed sitting beside me.  The problem was, I never got a driver’s license.

I came from a family where  women weren’t encouraged to drive.  For some reason, my grandmother didn’t drive, nor did my mother.  I was now the third generation of non-driving females.  Now you would think that my daddy would’ve been happy for me to learn to drive since he had to take my mother and me everywhere we needed to go, but that wasn’t the case.  He gave me no encouragement to get my license.  As I have explained in my earlier post, I was shy and had very little self-confidence, so I eventually lost interest in learning to drive and depended on someone else for transportation.

Once Ed and I married, he did try to encourage me to get my driver’s license, but it somehow never worked out.  I did actually go to the State Patrol’s Office twice during the first years of our marriage, but each time I never had what I needed to apply for a license.

Finally, at the age of 26, I made up my mind it was time to get a driver’s license.  I got a book, studied a week, let Ed teach me the basics of driving, and went and got my driver’s license!  HooRay!  I was a liberated woman!  After years of being dependant, I was free–to drive.

Now, if I could, would I go back and change things?  Yes, I would!  I would pester my daddy until he taught me how to drive and took me to get my driver’s license!  If that didn’t work, I would definately have gotten my license as soon as I got married.  There is no way that I would spend 10 years of my life depending on others for a ride!!!

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 3:07 am  Leave a Comment  

The 15th year of my life, 1970

Me and Ed (taken not long after he joined the army)

Me and Ed (taken not long after he joined the army)

After the blind date with Ed, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see him anymore.  It wasn’t a bad date, it just wasn’t a good date either.  It’s hard to get to know someone at a drive-inn movie with another couple in the backseat. 

Ed must’ve decided that he wanted to get to know me better because shortly after that date he called me for another, and so our courtship began.  Before long we were seeing a lot of each other, but this was short-lived–and not for the reason that you are thinking…

As fate would have it, Ed and his friend Tim had joined the army just before  mine and Ed’s first date.  They were scheduled to go to boot camp at the end of October, 1969.  Ed and I had  been dating  not quite 3 months by then, but we were already in love.  I promised him that I would wait for him while he served his time in the army.

Ed and Tim did report for basic training in October, but were sent back home due to lack of room.  They were rescheduled for November 24.  I was grateful for the extra time together, but this meant that Ed would be going through basic training during the wintertime–something he wasn’t looking forward to.

At the end of November Ed’s parents and I tearfully said goodbye to him at the bus station and he and Tim left for basic training.  It turns out that we got lucky. Since Christmas fell in the middle of basic training, they let the new recruits come home for Christmas!  We were thrilled!

I’ll never forget that Ed bought me a princess ring that Christmas.  I loved it so much!  It had 7 little diamond chips in it, and I still have it today.  I wore that little ring proudly for a long time.

The year of 1970 was both good and bad.  I was in the 10th grade and Ed was in basic training and radiology school for the first half of the year.  There were tons of long distance phone calls.  Ed did manage to spend a little time with me during the last half of basic training–even though he wasn’t supposed to…Ed and Tim could be very resourceful when they wanted to, and they figured out a way to “escape” for a few hours on the weekends.  This wasn’t an easy task–it was a 3 hour drive one way to get home.  They also had to manage to sneak off the base and back on without getting caught.  They did this several weekends believe it or not.  I wonder how many other people have successfully pulled that off…

Ed and Tim got transferred to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas after basic training.  They attended school there for 16 weeks.  After that, both were transferred back closer to home and Ed could “legally” come home on weekends. 

Soon it was summer again and Ed and I were celebrating our one year anniversary of being together.  He had gotten orders to go to Okinawa, Japan by then.  He was scheduled to be gone for 18 months.  I was so distraught.  I wanted  him to marry me and take me with him.  Ed wouldn’t agree to it.  He wanted me to stay home and finish high school.  I’ve looked back many times and been thankful that he insisted that I finish school…I was so immature at the time–I don’t think I could’ve handled being so far from home AND being in a strange country–And being married–even to Ed.

Ed bought  a beautiful engagement ring and gave it to me on August 15, 1970–making our engagement official.  The plan was for me to finish high school, for him to finish with the army, then we’d get married.  Shortly after our engagement, Ed left for Okinawa, Japan.

The last 4 months of 1970 were very sad and lonely for me.  I missed Ed terribly.  We wrote letters to each other daily.  Some days I wouldn’t get any letters, others I’d get several.  Soon Ed bought a cassette recorder and sent to me so we could record messages to each other.  It was great to hear his voice again.  I immersed myself into my school work, marked off the days on the calendar, and waited…

Looking back, would I change anything if I could?  No!  I am so glad that Ed wouldn’t marry me at age 15.  I also treasured the time spent with Ed because there wasn’t much of it–it made me appreciate him more.  Ed also learned a job skill through being in the army that has served him well for almost 37 years.

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 2:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Boys, oh boy!

After my breakup with J, I began to date–at the “ripe old age” of 14!  Once again I wonder what were my parents thinking?

My second relationship with a boy was rather short-lived.  For the sake of his privacy, I’ll call this boyfriend D.  I got together with D through a friend of mine.  I thought D “hung the moon”!  He took me to the local fair and won two stuffed animals for me!  Do you have any idea how impressive that is to a 14 year old???

The problem with D was this.  Everything that we did together involved the friend that introduced us.  She was dating D‘s best friend and the two of them were “knee deep” in our business.  This soon led to a breakup.  I sent D packing, along with the two stuffed animals!

There was a lull in my social life, then I discovered I needed to invite a date to the Spanish Club dance.  I don’t know how his name came up, but I decided to invite someone I’ll call G.  G was from a neighboring town and didn’t really know me.  I got up my nerve and called him up.  We never did go to that dance, but we started dating.  Now G  was a “cutie”!  He had dark hair, dark skin, and piercing dark eyes.  He was always dressed so neat!!!  He was what people today would refer to as eye candy.  We dated for about six months, but things just didn’t work out for us in the end and we went our seperate ways.  It was mostly his idea to split and I didn’t take it too well.  I ended up getting myself a date with his best friend for spite, which wasn’t a nice thing to do I suppose.  I’ll swear that friend had more hands than an octopus on our first date, so there was no follow up date!

By this time summer was rolling around again.  The summer was slow for me socially.  After Mr. Octopus,  I only dated one other guy  a couple of times.  I went out-of-town to visit my older brother, who was married, and he introduced me to someone that he knew.  I can’t even remember the guy’s name, but he took me out twice–then I made the mistake of telling him my age!  I never saw hide nor hair of him after that!  I suppose that he viewed 14 as jailbait.

It was August and my cousin, Sue, was in town visiting.  She stayed with her family at another aunt’s house most of the time, but would usually spend at least one night with me.  We’d stay up all night and do crazy things like rub mayonaise in our hair!  Well, it seems Sue had an eye for boys, too.  Sue had just turned 16 and I was just before turning 15.  Sue had three boy cousins living at the house where she was visiting.  The oldest cousin, Ed, had a friend named Tim.  Sue had “eyes” for Tim.

Sue came up with a plan.  She asked her cousin, Ed, to go on a blind double date with her cousin Kathy(me).  Are you following this???  It turns out that Sue’s mother (Ed’s mother’s sister) was married to Sue’s daddy(my daddy’s brother).  I know it gets confusing, but Ed and I were both kin to Sue, but not to each other!  Sue went out with Ed’s friend, Tim.

The date was interesting.  We went to the drive-in movie and the original “Dr. Dolittle” was playing.  Ed was a perfect gentleman, while Tim was “all hands”.  Ed and I tried to watch the movie while listening to Sue fight Tim off the entire time.  Needless to say, Sue and Tim didn’t hit it off, but Ed and I did!  Remember when I told you about my seventh grade crush on my future hubby?  Yep, it was Sue’s cousin, Ed.

Now, before I end this post I have to reflect back and think if I would do anything different if I could go back…Nope, not a thing!  You see, I know I got the cream of the crop  when I married Ed.  As for those other guys I dated…J had a heartattack at an early age and I am not sure what ever happened after that…D died several years ago of cancer…and G never did get married–he still lives with his mother!

Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 4:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Summer of ’68

school pic taken just after the summer of '68The summer of  1968 was a milestone for me.  While I was still admiring boys from afar, suddenly a boy began admiring me.  I know what you are thinking–but no, it wasn’t my hubby!  For the sake of privacy, we shall call my first boyfriend “G”.

G began by calling me on the telephone to talk.  Pretty soon he was asking if he could come over to my house.  G was 16 and already driving, while I was still a 13 year old–a month or so away from turning 14.

After much pleading, my parents relented and agreed to let G come over and visit.  Now that I am reflecting, I wonder what in the world were they thinking!  Luckily, was quite a gentleman and behaved himself.  He may not have been the most handsome guy in town, but he was sweet and he sure knew how to treat a girl!

After spending most of the summer sitting around at my house, watching tv or playing board games, my parents agreed to let me “go off” with G.  I’ll never forget our first car ride “alone”.  He drove me over to my maternal grandmother’s house.  My parents followed us.

Believe it or not, it turned out that my paternal(not maternal) grandmother’s family and some of G‘s family had been involved in some sort of “family fued” since “way back when”.   Because of this, my parents told me that I would eventually have to break up with before my grandmother had a “hissy fit”.  What a bummer!  So eventually, I got up my courage and tearfully said goodbye to G, the sweetest guy that I ever dated–other than my hubby.  G didn’t give up easily and continued to call me off and on for well over a year.  He would be my shoulder to cry on in between boyfriends, always  asking to me out again.  How sweet is that?  “G” finally stopped calling after I began dating my hubby-to-be.

If I’d known in the summer of ’68 what I know now, I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

school pic taken just after the summer of ’68

Published in: on April 16, 2009 at 1:15 am  Leave a Comment