Kathy’s Crowning Glory

When I was about 12 I decided to just let my hair grow…and grow…and grow!  I’d never let it grow very long before that.  My mother always disliked my straight, fine, limp hair and gave me a million home permanents as a child.  My school pictures are hilarious! 

By the time I was 12,  I could do my hair myself and refused any more permanents.   I still thought that my hair had to have curl to look nice, so I rolled it about a million times during the years that followed.  First I used those foam rollers–man what a curl!  Later I moved on to brush rollers, and finally I got my first set of electric rollers.  There was even a time in the 70’s that I rolled my hair on giant plastic rollers the size of soup cans!  The reason for rolling on those type of rollers was to achieve a straight, full, look.   Can you say headache, ’cause that’s what those rollers would give you!

First I rolled my hair to make it flip up.  When it grew too long to flip up anymore, I rolled it to curl under.  By the time Ed returned from Okinawa and we got married, my hair was almost down to my waist.  I didn’t roll it much then, except on the ends sometimes.  After Ed and I got married and I shampooed my hair,  Ed would comb the back of my hair out for me.  It took a while to comb out all of the tangles. 

Me & my hair on Valentine's Day

Me & my hair on Valentine's Day

My hair continued to grow until about 1975, which was about 9 years after I’d started to let it grow out.  I began to have headaches and felt like they were being caused by the weight of my hair.  One day I came home from work and just took the scissors and cut my hair off up to my shoulders.  Oh my!  I can’t begin to tell you what a mess I had.  One side was longer than the other and the back was awful.  Sweet Ed got the scissors and trimmed it straight across for me. ( He was used to doing that from giving me regular trims.)  I wore it shoulder length for just a short while then got it cut short in 1976.  Ed was sad, but I felt free and much lighter! 

When I see people that I haven’t seen since high school, they always comment on what long pretty hair I used to have!  I always comment that yes, it was long, but it feels so much better short–and I don’t even have to use rollers–just blow and go!

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Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 1:32 am  Comments (1)  

Strange but true, part 3

Not long after Ed and I were married, one of our friends from our old hometown needed a place to stay in the city.  Being the crazy newlyweds kind people that we were, we offered him our spare bedroom.  This guy was several years younger than we were, and it was just a summer job.  Anyway, Alan stayed with us for a few weeks.

One day Alan wanted to take us out to eat to show his appreciation for us letting him stay with us.  Ed and I agreed to go.  We rode into town to one of our favorite spots to eat, which happened to have curb service, so we didn’t even have to leave the car.  I know what you’re thinking, but that’s our kind of dining out!

We all ordered fried shrimp dinners and had a wonderful time—until it was time to pay for the food.  It was then that Alan realized that he’d left his wallet at home!  Unfortunately, Ed didn’t have any money with him either since he wasn’t expecting to need any…We  meekly explained to our waitress what the problem was and she kindly trusted us to go home and get some money.  Those were the good old days when you could actually trust people. We went all the way back home, got some money, and took it back to the restaurant.  That’s the last time we ever went anywhere to eat with Alan!  Strange, but true…

Published in: on May 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Strange but true part 2…

I never thought about it before, but in 1972 cars didn’t have built-in cup holders.  Instead, you had to buy plastic holders that fit on the doors.  Part of the cup holder slipped down into the window slot and the rest of it hung down over the door.  Ed and I had a habit of keeping our empty cups in the holders to put trash in.

One day Ed’s mama came for a visit while Ed was off and I was at work.  There was a small pharmacy/gift shop located close to where we lived and Ed drove her there to shop around.

In those days, Ed’s mama smoked cigarettes–a lot!  She was smoking when they arrived at the store so she dropped her butt into the cup that was sitting in the cup holder on my side of the car…

Sometime later, a person came into the pharmacy saying that a car outside was on fire.  Yep, you guessed it!  Ed went outside to find my car door in flames…Ed quickly extinguished the fire.  The cigarette butt had ignited the paper in the cup.  It was mostly contained to the cup and holder, but did manage to burn a hole in the door up by the window.  Ed’s mama offered to pay for the damage, but we never did get the door panel replaced.  It made an interesting conversation piece!

Imagine my surprise that afternoon when Ed picked me up at work and explained to me on the way to the car…that his mama had set our car on fire!  Strange, but true…

Published in: on May 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Strange but true…part 1

The following posts will be short and will consist of unusual things that happened to Ed and me in the early years…

One evening friends, Tim and Pat, had come over to our house for a visit.  This was when they still lived on the other side of town.  We were all sitting around our kitchen table playing a board game called Aggravation.  It’s a game to see who can get all of their marbles home first.  The secret is to keep someone from sending your marble back to start.  Now Tim isn’t much of a game player, but he had given in and was playing with us.

During the course of our game, Tim kept getting sent back to start, over and over.  He got frustrated, then mad.  He told Pat, “come on, let’s go home!”, but she was having fun and wasn’t ready to go.  Suddenly Tim got up, went out the door and left.

We kept waiting for Tim to come back, but he never did.  Finally, we took Pat to their house on the other side of town–and we never asked Tim to play a game with us again…strange, but true!

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Escape of the Christmas panties

I had to write an update about the Christmas panties…After being passed around in our family for nearly 30 years, the Christmas panties escaped  from the grasp of the Bacon family!  Without telling us, our oldest son, a teenager at the time, wrapped up the coveted Christmas panties and gave them to a friend (a boy) as a joke.  When we found out what he’d done, we insisted that he go and get them back, which he did.  Whew, that was a close one–Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without those panties…

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  

The Christmas Panties…

Would you believe that I’ve had more fun and excitement at Christmas after getting married, than I ever did as a child?  I know that may sound strange to some, but it’s true.  For various reasons, Christmas wasn’t always a happy time when I was a child.  I had no control over these circumstances, and I didn’t really know they weren’t happy times back then.  Some years were better than others, for sure, but my best memories are after marriage.

I can still remember Ed and I going to K-mart in 1972,  and shopping for our first tree and ornaments.  We chose a little 4 1/2 foot artificial spruce tree.  1972 was the first year that the new kinds of ornaments were made.  Prior to then, most ornaments were hand blown glass balls.  I chose little decorated angesl, bells, reindeer, santas, packages, dolls, and decorated satin balls.  I loved those ornaments so much!  I have added to my collection every year since then, but still continue to hang a few of those “original” ornaments on the tree every year.  Everytime I hang one of them, I think of that first Christmas…

me peeling potatoes/Christmas tree

me peeling potatoes/Christmas tree

That first Christmas we put our Christmas tree in our kitchen because it had a pretty bay window in it and we wanted to show our tree off.  After the sun faded some of my ornaments that year, I chose to move it to the living room the next year!

During the years that Ed and I lived in the city, we would load up our car on Christmas Eve and head to his parents house for Christmas.  We usually celebrated with my family the weekend before Christmas, when  my brother and his wife would come in from out of state.  Ed’s parents always invited my parents to their house on Christmas so we could all be together, which was nice.  I have tons of wonderful memories of shopping, decorating, and baking.

I remember one Christmas Eve some friends of ours(the same ones that camped on the oyster bar with us) came to Ed’s parents and spent the night with us.  We all stayed up all night long laughing and talking…I also remember going to the Christmas tree farm with Ed’s parents to find just the right live tree for their huge den…and of course the year that “B.B.” the cat turned over Ed’s parents’ artificial tree when she climbed it!

My favorite Christmas memory has now turned into a family holiday tradition.  Ed’s daddy was quite a character in his time.  He had a sense of humor and always wore a smile.  One day he went to the dumpster to take off the trash.  It wasn’t unusual for him to return with a “treasure” that he found at the dumpster.  On this particular day he found a VERY LARGE pair of ladies underwear.  I mean, they must have been the largest size available!  I know some of you may thinking how gross, but the panties were clean.  We all laughed and marveled at how HUGE those panties were!  On Christmas morning(many years ago), I can’t remember who, but one of us received those HUGE panties wrapped up as a Christmas gift!

 sister-in-law gets the Christmas panties(cir. 1980)

sister-in-law gets the Christmas panties(cir. 1980)

Every since that year we’ve passed those panties to someone different in the family every Christmas.  Whoever kept the panties for the year writes a note to the new recipient before Christmas, and attaches it to the box, on top of the previous message.  The box is now very old and has LOTS of notes attached to the top of it.  It always brings a laugh when someone opens up the gift of the panties and reads the message on top of the box!  (We definitely have a few “wise guys” among our family members!) Ed’s daddy passed away several years ago, but he still makes us laugh every year when we continue to pass around the Christmas panties!

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 2:09 am  Comments (1)  
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Buying a boat…

I am sure you know how it is when you get some extra income—suddenly you want to buy something.  Isn’t that the American way?  Well, the something for Ed and me turned out to be a  pleasure boat!  Never mind the fact that neither of our families had ever owned a pleasure boat, or the fact that we knew absolutely nothing about boating! 

We were living and working in a coastal city.  There were plenty of places to ride, fish, or ski in–both salt and fresh water.  We just happened to love the salt water the best.

Ed and I shopped around a bit and found a new 16ft baby blue bow rider that we really liked.  It had blue interior and seats for 6 people.  Those seats laid out flat and made two beds.  We chose a white Chrysler 75 hp motor to power our boat and we were all set to go! 

Ed & friend prepare to launch boat

Ed & friend prepare to launch boat

We bought this boat in February, so as you can imagine our first ride was rather cool!  We didn’t know anything about boats, or putting boats in and out of the water, so we chose to go to a place with a boat hoist.  As we were waiting for out boat to be lowered down to the water, there were several people standing around looking at our new boat.  One man stated with a drawl, “Chrysler, I wouldn’t use a Chrysler for a boat anchor!”  He was referring to our choice of outboard motor.  Well, I must admit, that put a small damper on our spirits, but in retrospect, we made a wise choice.  We never had one minute’s trouble out of that motor in all of the years that we owned it!

As soon as the weather warmed up a little, most weekends found us on the water in the boat.  We took our families and friends with us on many outings.  We rode for pleasure, fished(Ed caught a 3ft long shark once), and skied.  I don’t swim very well, so most of my pleasure came from being inside of the boat.

We hadn’t been boating very many times when we had an unsettling experience.  We were riding  in the water having a big time when suddenly we got pulled over by a coast guard boat.  We were not very familiar with rules of boating–remember, we knew NOTHING!  He asked permission to board our boat for a safety check.  Unfortunately, all of our safety gear was under the bow of the boat where it shouldn’t have been, some of it still in the packages.  We needed a boat cushion and didn’t have one, and our air horn wasn’t assembled.  We could’ve gotten a fine for these things, but they let us off with a warning instead.  Thank goodness!

I have two trips that really stand out in my mind.  The first one was when we let our friend, Tim, talk us into going several miles off- shore to fish around the jetties.  We’d been out in rough water before, but never out of sight of land.  Guess who got sea sick and thought she was going to die?  Yep, it was me!  That’s the sickest sick in the world!!!   Worse than any stomach virus… Needless to say, our trip was cut short because of me…

The second trip was involving another couple that we were friends with, who  had a young son at the time, probably around 2 years of age.  We all loaded up the boat with supplies and  rode out to an oyster bar–why, I do not know!  We unpacked and set up camp.  Later that evening the tide went out and left our boat stranded out of the water!  That was a very eerie feeling to be stranded on an oyster bar at night–with a small child!  It wasn’t the most comfortable place to sleep either!  Fortunately, we didn’t need to leave for any emergency that night, and the tide eventually came back in the next day so we could leave.

Now,  if I’d know then, what I know now, I wouldn’t have gone on either one of those most memorable trips!

Published in: on May 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Missing wedding rings…

I am sure this has probably happened to most people at some time or another—you’ve lost or misplaced your wedding rings.  It happened to Ed and me on more than one occasion!

our wedding rings

our wedding rings

We hadn’t been married very long when we went to visit my parents one weekend.  I decided to soak my rings in some ammonia to clean them and make the diamond sparkle.  I put them in a small glass with a little ammonia in the bottom of it and set it in the window over the kitchen sink.

Imagine my face when I went into the kitchen later and discovered the glass was empty and sitting in the sink!  Panic stricken, I looked in the drain of the sink and saw only the wedding band.  The diamond engagement ring was gone!  I remember being very distrought and telling everyone what had happened.  Ed very calmly got a wrench and took apart the pipe under the sink.  There in the trap was my beautiful diamond!  Saved once again by my hero!

During that same summer, Ed and I returned from a fishing trip at the rock pilings only to discover that his wedding band was missing from his finger.  It was always a little loose and apparently it had slipped off his finger somewhere.  The next afternoon we went back and retraced our steps of the fishing trip.  There  beside the road, where we had parked the day before, was Ed’s wedding band–squished down in the dirt from being run over, but not hurt.

The third incident was with my wedding rings again.  I was notorious for taking them off and laying them anywhere.  I missed them one evening and we began to search for them in our home.  I thought I’d taken them off in the kitchen and laid them on the counter, but they were nowhere to be found.  We looked everywhere.  Finally, Ed decided to go outside and check through the garbage since we’d looked everywhere else.  Sure enough, there were my rings in the bag of garbage!  Apparently, I’d laid them on the counter and they got wiped off in the trash can somehow.  Ed saved the day one more time!

After three times of being lucky, I no longer lay my rings around.  In fact, neither Ed nor I even wear them anymore.  We both agree that we don’t need rings to remind us that we are married–not after 36 years!

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Good friends and neighbors…

I’ve written a good bit about our friends Tim and Pat in earlier posts.  Tim and Ed served in the army together, and I met Pat after she started dating Tim–way back in 1970…

After getting out of the army, Tim and Pat moved to the same city that Ed and I did.  If you remember, Tim had a job at the hospital that later hired Ed.  They lived on one side of the city and we lived on the other.  Tim was, and still is, an avid hunter and fisherman, so of course they found a small apartment located near a salt water creek.    Quite often, Ed and I used to go over to that side of town and go fishing when we first married.

There was a bridge located on the highway over a deep salt creek, and there were large rock pilings beside the bridge.  Ed and I would go down and sit on the rocks near the water and fish. Once I caught a nice fish and it got off my hook and landed back in the water, stunned.  Ed jumped in the water and retrieved it!  My hero!  My parents were with us on that trip and you should’ve seen their faces when Ed jumped off those rocks and into the water…and came up with the fish…

  Anyway, after living in the apartment on the creek for a while, Tim and Pat decided to purchase a mobile home.  They found one that they both liked and bought it.  They decided to park it at Plantation Estates across the street from where Ed and I lived.  I was so thrilled!  We really didn’t know many of our neighbors, and the thought of having our best friends live across the street was like a dream come true!

Pat and Tim lived across the street from us for several years.  We spent a lot of time together.  We both had “cat children”.  We ate a lot of meals together, both at home and out.  We went fishing sometimes, and we even went on a vacation to Daytona Beach together.  We sure had fun back then!

Eventually, we both decided to purchase land and move out of the mobile home park.  Although, we live in different towns now, we’ve managed to keep in touch over the years.  I consider them our oldest and dearest friends.  A true friend is priceless…

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kathy goes to work in 1974

I was pretty happy staying home and keeping house, but I think Ed had other plans for me.  After we’d been married for a couple of years, Ed came home from work one day and said that he thought he’d found a job for me.  There was an opening for a receptionist/clerk in radiology where he worked.  I applied for the job and got it.  I’d never imagined myself working around anything medical–certainly not in a hospital.

off to work I go

off to work I go

The absolute worst part about getting that job was having to have a complete physical!  I’d been married for 2 years and still hadn’t gone to a gynechologist because I was so shy.  The only person who’d seen my body was Ed. Somehow I mustered up my courage and got the physical, but I was so relieved when it was over!  I was extremely embarrassed.

I have to admit, I enjoyed going out and buying the new clothes to work in!  That was the best part about going to work.  The job turned out to be fairly easy and very interesting.  I did some typing, filing, and answering the phone.  There were three of us ladies working in a small office area. 

I rode to work with Ed every day because we only had one car and I still didn’t drive.  We worked the same shift.  Ed worked just down the hall from me.  We were fortunate enough to have the pleasure of eating breakfast and lunch together almost every day.  We went out for lunch most every day.  There was a little fried chicken place just down from the hospital.  It was one of those little shacks beside the road that sold chicken, french fries and rolls.  Ed and I ate many chicken boxes in those days and we had some great times!  Eventually, we began eating in the cafeteria, and I must admit the food was pretty good there, too!

I really enjoyed the 3 years that I worked in the hospital.  A lot of interesting things go on in a big city hospital.  This particular hospital had a radiology school affiliated with it.  The students had to rotate through every room and department of radiology, including the office.  In a big city hospital, the radiiology department was made up of a lot of areas–such as the film library, where the x-rays were filed and kept, the darkroom, where the films were developed, and the office, where patient data was kept, flash cards were typed, and out patients were checked in, among other things.  I had the pleasure of teaching the students how to do my job during their rotation through the office.  

radiology was BIG

radiology was BIG

Some of the most vivid memories that I have of my time at the hospital was seeing the human brain stored in a container(a teaching aid) in the lounge, the day a person died while having x-rays done(this doesn’t happen often, but occasionally it does), the day a man was rolled in on a stretcher after having been hit in the head with a sledge hammer(major trauma),  and who could forget the day someone stole our eight-track tape player out of our car while it was parked at work!  We discovered the theft after work and also found that the theif had tried to steal the car as well!  So much for life at a big city hospital…it could be very exciting at times!

Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 12:59 am  Leave a Comment