Saturday, February 27, 2010


To grow up and never hearing loving words or any one caring what happened to him, you can understand why he was so rebellious most of his life thinking no one loved him. All through school he displayed he was not dumb. Not having any one to encourage him made him a loner. He had been in more than 14 foster homes both in Indiana and Michigan. This was his life all through school.

To graduate the eight grade he was to make a current events booklet with newspaper and magazine cut-outs. Where he was staying there weren’t any. Needless to say he did not make one and when he was told he wouldn’t graduate he got up and left the class and never went back. The foster parents did not even try to find out what really happened and rather than stay there Carl left home running away from that home.

He stayed with a lady who had a son and also named Carl who was two years older and he too had quit school. Her husband had died and she was struggling to manage the food and bar business alone. Carl had pick up some odd jobs to have spending money. He worked in the bowling ally and one day while walking to town he met someone he new and asked him where he was going? As they talked his friend said he was going to join the army. That didn’t appeal to Carl but the navy did. Carl was living in Michigan while in grade school and used to look out the window seeing the large ships on Lake Michigan and wanting to be on a ship. His friend and he headed for Detroit to join the Army and Carl the Navy.

When Carl got to the recruiting office he found out there were a lot of things he did not have that he needed to join the Navy. First he needed a birth certificate that showed his date of birth. He did not know for sure what that was. The recruiters told him it is a certificate proving how old he is and where he was born. He had to go through the Children’s Aid Society and the court to produce a document birth certificate so he could join the navy. When he found out he was 6 months shy of being 17 the needed age to join the navy, he had to wait until then.

Now the judge asked him what his name was and he said Carl M. and the judge said that is not what the paper he was holding indicated. Carl was given a different name at every foster home he lived so who knows what the judge had in front of him. The courts between Indiana and Michigan gave him a birth certificate from Fort Wayne, Indiana where he was born. It read his mothers name as Elsta M. and Father as Henry H. S. and a male child given mothers last name M.

The mother and father were not married at the time of his birth, and they did not marry until a month later not giving the child his birthright name. In fact he grew up thinking he was an orphan and that his parents were killed in a car accident. He did not learn any of this until he was grown. He lived in many foster homes and realized no one cared what he did. While in foster care they were obligated he went to school because they were being paid by the state. He went to school where you stayed in the same room all day with the same kids some of which were very well dressed and had a mother, father and brothers and sisters.

In his mind he began to question where was his family and why if he was born in Indiana, he was now in Michigan. Needless to say he became restless and bored as he approached his 17th birthday he sat in school staring at the boats on lake Michigan going out of sight. He decided he would leave school and join the coast guard. The next stage in Carl’s life was a period of growing up and learning that there was so much more to learn. He enrolled in every school the Navy had to offer and when I met him he was in the waiting process for yet another school and now I begin my story in how I became his wife for 58 years. Until then, I am IMMIGRANT DAUGHTER.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


As I write this story with the Lords’ help I hope to convey that we are nothing without depending on Him.

"Without love, we are nothing." 1 Cor. 13

I want to tell you a story about a man who grew up thinking he wasn’t loved. Perhaps when you hear his story you too may think he wasn’t. This story takes place in the early 1920’s when two people conceived a child out of wedlock. Now your probably thinking so what that happens all the time and nobody cares. But at that time good names were not to be tarnished. I will explain more about is as the story progresses.

The two young people came from opposite sides of the tracks socially. One family was rich and one, poor dirt farmers’ who worked the land to provide for education past public schools. How the two met is anybody’s’ guess. It was a very small community. The farmers knew the importance of furthering their education in life that many of their offspring went on to become teachers and professionals in other fields.

Now the daughter of one of the farm families had ideas and dreams of her own and was determined she was not going to be stuck down on the farm for the rest of her life. She wanted some of the finer things that life offered, servants, car, clothes and all things money can buy. Now you probably figured out the boy was from the wealthy family, and your right. Now here iswhere the story begins.

I will now give the two young people names, Elsta and Henry. At this time their last names are not necessary. It isn’t known whether the families knew the Lord or even raised their children in a Christian environment, but obviously they strayed. The one thing in their favor is that they did not want to abort the child.

When Henry informed his family of the situation I believe they loved each other and wanted to marry, but his family was ruled by the matriarch who was in control of the money. Now she gave Henry a choice he could marry now and be cut off from receiving any money or wait until the child is disposed. I don’t think she cared either way as to how they should get rid of the child.

Now Elsta has seen how people with money live and she did not want to give that up so they decided to go ahead and have the baby and decide what to do with it after delivery. In fact they married one month after the boy was born. Now she new the importance of getting an education and knew how hard her family had to work to make schooling available for her to finish. I’m sure they had many fun times together and making plans as to what to do with the baby and to get married to keep in the good graces of the great grand mother. They move to have the baby elsewhere and hoped the grandmother would change her mind. She did not and this is how they gave him up at birth .

There was a formal adoption by the Millers that had a little girl from Michigan. The baby was a week old when the Millers adopted the boy and had him four years then Mrs. M. got sick and couldn’t care for him. He was taken to the Children’s Aid Society. This began a long list of different foster homes. You can better understand why he felt no one loved him because he never became part of a family having someone celebrate his birthday with cake and ice-cream or even getting a present. The hardest to endure was growing up without hugs or anyone caring about him.

To be continued, until then, I am Immigrant Daughter

Saturday, February 20, 2010


We were certainly enjoying our Chris-craft on Lake Texoma every weekend. The company that C worked for promoted him again and guess what, we had to move once again. This time it was Chicago and of course C’ territory was much larger that meant traveling the mid-west states. This opened up an opportunity to explore the records of the Children’ Aid Society to find out who his parents were. Each time he tried to find out they would tell him the records are closed. I will tell you more about the outcome a little later.

Going back to Chicago was like going home for C because he lived most of his life in and out of different foster homes in the Detroit area. The water was still drawing him in his free time. If you ever lived in the Chicago area you know that it is spreadout and one township spreads out into another and suddenly you are in and out. For instance we lived in Schaumburg then Roselle, because we trying to find the easiest traffic to drive through to the airport. There just weren’t any.

We finally move a bit south of the city to Geneva, Illinois where we purchased a home.
I was able to get to my job easy enough in Schaumberg. Our back yard was closed in by a chain link fence had an alley that across the back. It was affordable and away from all that traffic and easy for C to get to O’Hare airport.

One day while we were enjoying our coffee on the patio we were watching the lady whose yard was across the alley working diligently in her garden. She had grapevines all across the back fence and you know I just had to ask her if I could pick the grape leaves.
It was then I found out her husband who was long gone was of Mediterranean decent and she knew about stuffed grape leaves.

Eva was 75 years old and still going strong doing all her own work both inside and outside the house. She was very generous with her vegetables with all her neighbors. She taught us a lot about vegetable gardening. She loved to watch soap operas and really didn’t understand they were only make-believe. When I tried to explain it her she would just say, “I know what I saw on the Television”.

C put in a garden and was digging out the grass just taking his time and one day during the week when he was working she came over with her tiller and finished it for him. She told him it was too hard doing it the way he was doing it. Here is a picture of C’ garden. I must tell you I hated to weed and it seemed that job fell on me. It was hard keeping dogs and cats out of it.

The year we moved to Illinois that next winter it had the worst snowfall it ever had. The place literally shut down for a day untilthey could clear the roads. We had a long driveway and Eva called and asked C if he needed her to clear the driveway because she had a snow blower. We both had a good laugh about her offer. C had to get on top of the house to get the snow off the garage because it didn’t have a pitch roof like the rest of the house.

We still had Sandy my fox terrier and we were dog sitting a golden retriever puppy named Camille for our second child and son-in-law, and when the snowstorm hit we had to shovel a path out back for them to go do their bathroom away from the house. The snow was so deep that we couldn’t see the dogs when they were in the path. I happened to have a picture. One of the joys of having animals is to run a catering service when needed.

Lake Michigan just seemed to be calling C and his urge for having a boat was becoming prominent. He wanted to be on the water so we made a trip up to Traverse City, Michigan that is located at the north tip of the lake and we are located at the very base of the lake. We went up the west side of the lake stopping at many marinas along the way and when we got to the Travis City marina C found a used 37ft Gulf Stream that had two cabins one forward and one aft with a galley and head in between. This boat was a motor sailor that had a shallow keel and easy to sail. I did not have any knowledge of sailing so C enrolled us in a sailing school in Tampa, Florida. That was the best way for me to learn because they divided the couples so your spouse was not in the same boat, they found out couples learned easier without the spouses by their side. This was a dream come true for C having his own boat on Lake Michigan.

We made arrangements with church friends who were experienced in sailing up to fly to Traverse City with us and sail down to Benton Harbor, Michigan which is on the East side of the lake where we made arrangements to rent a docking space. It took us several days to sail down and we had quite a learning experience in light wind. This was no racer so we so we used the motor instead of sails to get back in time for C and J not to miss work.
I have more stories but that will have to wait until next time, until then I am, Immigrant Daughter.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I would like to take this opportunity to tell you something about the family pets that helped raise our children. Some are humorous and this will give you a bit of a break of everything being so serious about our life.

I already told you about dogs: Debbie, Midget and MIssy. There is one more story about Missy. She was a good traveler because she just wanted to be with the kids in the back seat. Going home we had developed a habit of stopping at the end of Radio Road for a frozen custard. Mind you, we could have fixed a cone at the luncheonette before we left, but it's not the same.

Number two child always shared hers with Missy because she was an easy touch. There came a time when Missy would not just lick, but bite the custard, leaving the child with just the cone and crying. So we had to end up buying the dog her own. The people who owed the stand became friends. He drove one of the large back-hoes that dug out the lagoons and was a customer of the luncheonette.

for us at home was a Siamese cat whose name was "Satchmo" that ended up being called "Sam." The Siamese cat is an Oriental breed with short, smooth hair on a large slender light colored body with dark colored paws, ears and face and with bright green-yellow eyes. This cat was ever bit as eccentric as Siamese cats were given credit for. Our cat climbed up the drapes to get to the valance and would just wait for the dog to come by so he could pounce on her. Never a dull moment!

I finally changed the drapes for venetian blinds to keep the cat from assaulting the dog. This was before Missy. When this cat was outside, he climbed up the street lights and found out quickly the light shields were too hot from the sun. She would howl to no avail and finally got down and did not do that again! This cat was not dumb, and for the life of me, I can't remember what happened to Sam. I guess when my kids read this, they will remind me. I guess this forgetting comes on a little with age.

We dog-sat my brother's boxer, named "Baron." He was old for a dog and one day he ran into the hallway wall hitting the wallon both sides. We took him to the vet and the vet said it was a seizure and it would not bet better and that each seizure would last longer. He advised putting him down, which we did. My brother could not be reached at that time, and when we told him what happened, he said he was aware of the problem and was glad we made the decision for him.

C loved boats and the water, so we always had a boat starting with a pontoon boat that had a canopy that we put on the lake. C was always thinking of me, knowing I wasn't too sure of the water, so he was thinking of safety first, knowing if I was scared I just would not go. It was not his choice of a boat, because it was not a boat, but we did well and enjoyed the lake. One night after going to the lake we came home and, lo and behold, no Missy! We had just forgotten her at the lake while we were packing up the car. She had gone off to do her business, and we did not notice she was not in the car until we got home. So I put the kids to bed and C went back for Missy, who was patiently waiting on the pontoon.

C had a ruddy complexion that burned easily even on a cloudy day. I asked him how he survived in the Navy so long aboard ship, and he remarked, "You get used to it and do what you have to do, especially when you like the water."

When he went out he always wore a large brimmed canvas hat and covered his skin with sun shield. In fact, I still have his hat; I just couldn't part with it.

We purchased a Boston Whaler to pull behind the care that made any water available for the kids to water ski. Number three child was the best water skier. She got up in the skis the very first try. I don't have to tell you where I was: When I tried, you guessed it, in the water! I could never get up on the skis! But I loved watching. I never really cared about going that fast in the water or car.

One time when we went to the lake for the day taking food and umbrella to set up on the beach, so Missy and i could enjoy ourselves, too. When C and the kids came to shore to rest and eat, C got the bright idea to pick MIssy up and wet her. She did not like that at all! She swam to shore and came out shaking off the water, walking on the shore line and finding a place where the fishermen left some fish skin and bones. They were smelly and yuckey then she rolled in them. She came back to where we were and found C's clothes and rolled back and forth on them and got up and looked at him as if to say, "No, there!"

One Anniversary while living in Dallas, C came home with a smooth-haired fox terrier as my gift. He figured Sandy would be good company for me because by this time the kids were grown and in college. He had been given a promotion, and his had 12 men who he had to supervise. This caused him to be out of town during the week, and he thought I needed a dog. Sandy was a pedigreed dog with a name that was too long to remember, so I called her "Sandy."

In the next door house a single girl rented the upstairs, and one night she was raped and no one heard a thing, so that is why I was given Sandy. She was a great watch dog as all terriers are yappy. I worked downtown Dallas for an insurance company. I would ride the bus back and forth to work and I left Sandy in the house and she never had an accident. She must have had the largest bladder possible to hold it all day.

One time we had a thirty-foot Chris Craft that we bought that needed a lot of elbow grease to make it presentable. C had to get the engine reconditioned because that needed professional mechanical work. When we put it in Lake Texoma, it served us well. WE had many enjoyable days on it, and Sandy loved to jump off to swim when we were anchored close to shore. Sheloved to get on top of a tire tube while we were in the water. We slept on the boat many weekends, coming home tired but still looking forward to the next weekend. More about that later. Until then, I am Immigrant Daughter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Immigrant Daughter # 19

We are still in New Jersey in Toms River and opened up a luncheonette in Mystic Island. From Toms River it took us 45  minutes to get to Tuckerton the town on the map where Mystic Mystic_Isles_NJIsland was being built. That part of N.J. was swamp that was being filled in to make lagoons for water to come back a couple miles to the mainland. The owners were out to make money, selling homes on the built up lagoons to city folks from both Philadelphia and New York. These home were cottages on  small lots on the water. And had three floor plans to choose from.  When the tide was in you were able to take a boat out to the ocean and to get back you had to wait for the tide to be in again.

luncheonette The luncheonette did very well on the weekends with the city people wanting to get out of the city and enjoy a home on the water that was affordable. The workmen started early and left around 4 o’clock in the afternoon.  I always cooked a noon meal so the workmen would have a choice of buying a hot meal instead of sandwiches.

C worked on weekends selling homes and we were able to counterworkmen   purchase one of the three bedroom cottages at a discount. When school was out in the summer time we just stayed at Mystic Island. The kids had chores to do at the luncheonette and then they were able to go swim in the lagoon. They washed dishes, waited on customers, and got to read comic books we sold. We were the first business to open up mystic1960sin the 5-store unit. So we carried a lot of sundry items and milk, bread and luncheon meat.

Hiring good dependable help was a problem of sorts. When I first opened up I had to have someone open early before I could get there. The one waitress I hired was not ringing up all of the countermoney. It would be one for me and two for her.  The workmen noticed this and told my brother-in-law who was the accountant for the firm that owned Mystic Island. He got to know the men very well because he made out their paychecks for the firm. I really appreciated their loyalty. When she was let go my sales jump up immediately.

I hired a retired, beautician, who live on the island who was 50 years old. She was an honestindividual and treated the business like her own.  She was a slow and methodical and made very few mistakes. She was well like and not afraid to work. The winter days were very slow because the workman had to find work elsewhere to meet their expenses. counterandstools
I closed the luncheonette between Christmas through New Years. I gave my waitresses a bonus and one of them said she never worked anywhere that gave a bonus. circuilar

We were able to spend two weeks at home in Toms River having a  grand time attending church and marina functions that were many. We were able to help with the year- end church dinner and just enjoy the fellowship. Our bowling buddies were architects and lived on the river and when it froze they would invite us over so the kids could ice skate on it behind their house. C grew up un Michigan where they skated most of the winter. Our kids took to skating like a duck to water no one had to teach them. I couldn’t even stand up on the skates. I was the spectator.

One day the weather rough was windy out in the ocean off the coast of N.J., which caused the tide to come in and not go back out causing the water to flood the island where the luncheonette was located. We couldn’t get to Mystic Island for a week and when we were able to check the store and we had two feet of water in it that ruined all the compressors. The ice cream and deli boxes smelled so bad they all had to be replaced.  The water reached the golf course that was a mile closer to town past us. Our cottage also was flooded but easy to clean up. This was a year of several mishaps.

I always made a bank run before the weekend to make sure we had enough change for on hand. One day while going to the bank one afternoon on the return trip to Mystic Island my falcon was hit broad side and completely wrecked. The police were called to the accident and didn’t issue any tickets because the other driver was the son of a politician who was on the shady side of political affairs. We went to court and the Judge ruled in his favor by falcon dismissing the case. I had the right away and he hit me from a stop street by not stopping. Does that tell you anything about N.J.’ shady politics and who rules the roost.  My insurance company was left with replacing my car.

My father was on the town council in the town I grew up in that was just a half an hour away and one day he was approached by one of those favored few wanting to buy him a new Stetson. He was attempting to buy his vote on an issue dad was not supporting in the council meeting. My father told him no thanks when he needs a hat he will buy it himself.

Dad was respected and admired. He was a proud man and raised his family according to American values. Family wise he had a big job of raising four girls and two boys by himself because mom died when she was only 45 years old.,  I was 12 years old the youngest and the oldest 21 years old.

When C and I opened the luncheonette dad was pleased and would come and see us every chance he could. One weekend C and I gave him surprise birthday party inviting his sisters and moms’ brother and sisters. They came to the party in Toms River to surprise him. He truly was surprised and we all had a good time. C and I had just completed remodeling our basement in an Hawaiian motif that dad had not seen.

My oldest sister gave the kids a small dog that we named midget. The kids loved playing with midget outside and one-day midget ran out in the street and was hit by a car. The lady driver was so upset she offered to replace it with a purebred collie pup from a litter her dog had. We declined telling her it wasn’t her fault but the dog’ running out in front of her car.

That Christmas my other sister gave the kids a buff color cocker spaniel that we named missy that lived in our family for sixteen years. She died when third child was 19 years old who found it hard because she couldn’t remember a day without missy. Someone who had an English cocker spaniel which was multi colored contacted us and wanted to have the dogs mate giving them choice of the litter. Well missy only had two puppies.
And she was not very cooperative giving birth. Missy was near delivery date and we always went to see dad after we closed on the weekend and felt that the trip would be too hard on her so we left her home. We were only gone a couple of hours and when we go back she did not have the puppies in the whelping box that C had made for her, but on the couch. She had two puppies and pushed one off the couch that did not survive. The one that did was a tri color. She was a beautiful pup and the kids named her Debbie. Her disposition did not match her beauty. One day at the cottage we had her on a leash in the grassy area and lady came up and said what a cute puppy wanting to pet it. And the kids said don’t pet her she is not friendly. But she wouldn’t listen and bent down to touch her and Debbie bit her hand. We finally did sell her.

I better close for now because my post is getting too long. Until next time, I am Immigrant Daughter .

Sunday, February 7, 2010


As we traveled back to New Jersey which is home we enjoyed going through the Southern States and going up the East Coast. We couldn’t dilly dally because we now had two of the kids in school and it was already the end of September.

The California school system had started a new program that did not teach Reading, Writing and Arithmetic and the grading system were not A – F, but check marks. The report cards were teacher’ remarks on each subject pass, needs more effort, can do better.
No child failed. Believe me this created a problem in the New Jersey school system.

Our children according to California were ahead in all subjects and New Jersey did not know in what grade to place them. They gave them a written test and placed them in the grade they thought they would fit. In the 5th grade my son had the same teacher I had when I went to school. They remembered me and my brothers and sisters. They never forget and always bring it up when they can to the student always comparing. Our kids were behind according to the N.J. schools.

All through school my son would not apply himself to do better, he sat and dreamed away his time and on his report card were all c’ and the comment would be, sits and dreams, he could do it, just won’t apply himself. When my children went to school I saved all their report cards and saved just a few of the work brought home. One year after they all married and left home I made a scrap book for each of them. I filled it with all the report cards and the work that referred to year including pictures of them. They liked them and I was happy to find a home for all those savers.

Both my girls did well in school and it was a pleasure read nice comments, “pleasure to have them in my class”. My two girls wore their hair in pigtails until they were 14 years old. The second grade teacher of my youngest told me that she kept getting her pigtail pulled by the boy sitting behind her and he wouldn’t stop and one day my child just turned around and belted him and knocked him off the seat. The teacher said she never had any more trouble with that kid.

I felt at this age they could take care of their own hair and I was glad I didn’t have to wash and comb out their hair anymore. Of course it became easier when hair conditioner became available making it easier to comb through the tangles. They both chose to cut their hair. They are as different as their hair, except it being straight, one had thick light color hair with body, and other had fine dark hair like mine. One was tall and the other short. Sisters that did not look alike.

new job at Lakehurst, N.J. was very interesting. The blimps were several stories and filled with helium. The bag part that held the helium had a ladder in a sleeve going up through it allowing the men to get out on top of the blimp. C told me the top was several football fields wide so there was no fear of falling off. The blimps were used to protect the coast from being infiltrated. They were capable of staying low to the ground or over the water for patrolling the coast.

The blimps can also hover without movement. Landing was a challenge for the men on the ground holding on to the landing pole for the blimp to hook up to. When the blimp was low enough they would grab the lines hanging down to hold it still for hook up.

The gondola beneath the bag held the men that flew the blimp and it had a kitchen, a head (the bathroom) and bunks giving them what they needed. I think the motor home copied its’ compact design, a place for everything and everything in its place. After use it was necessary to put things away.

One trip out the men climbed up through the bag to get out on the top of the blimp. Often the men did this to get exercise by playing ball and horsing around. The base got so many calls from the public that the officer in charge radioed the blimp and said “get those b------- off the top and report to base immediately. Some heads did roll, because this happened close to N.Y.C.

Every year Lakehurst Naval Station would have an open house for the public could see the blimps and the hangers where they are stored. The hangers are very large because they house more than one blimp. allowed the people to get in the gondola and see how the men lived in close quarters. But the people were not allowed go up through the bag because the helium when ingested is quite dangerous. It changes your voice to a high squeaky sound and cause unconsciousness.
The last time C monitored the airways from the tower he was involved with directing traffic to help the crash victims of a blimp accident off the Jersey Shore. One man died and others hurt. The newspapers had a hay day with this because of the Hindenburg accident that happened years before, ending in flames. Wind has quite a bit to do with the move ability of the blimp, making it hard to control off shore. Blimps can get close to the shore in emergencies allowing men to get off to help.
C had 20 years in the Navy and decided to retire. We had purchased our first home in Toms River and liked the area because it was on the water. C had been working with the court system and Judge Novins had taken him under his wing and paved the way for C to go to school to become an attorney. C did not graduate from high school, but had taken many courses the Navy offered and he had more than the required credits needed. He received his GED certificate but needed a foreign language for college entrance.

Plus he had the common sense learning you can’t get out of books. While doing this court work he sold real estate for the Singer Real Estate firm and his boss also encouraged him to further is education. C just lacked confidence but their encouragement made him want to enroll in college. We lived across the street from a lady that was that was a French teacher in the local school. She told C she would help him with French, the language, he needed to get into school. But he just believed he couldn’t pass.

In the meantime my brother in law came to us and said Mystic Island is looking to find someone to open a luncheonette so the workman would have a place close for coffee. Until next time, I am Immigrant Daughter.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Our time was growing short in California and we did do a lot trips gear for the kids but there was one trip we did for just for us. We visited the wonderful wineries in California. They had tours and wine tasting with cheese and crackers. I think Inglenook Winery was C favorite. We use to save the labels from the bottles in a scrap book and C got to be quiet a coinsure and when some of the officers were having dinner parties they would consult C what kind of wine to serve with their meal. I don’t want to imply that we were winos it is just that C was fascinated with growing grapes. Now me as a Greek girl I was more interested in the leaves. The Greeks have a dish called Dolmathes. They are grapes leaves stuffed with ground lamb, rice, onions, olive oil, mint and lemon. The ones my parents made are definitely tastier than some I’ve been served in restaurants. You can also purchase them in very large super markets. They do not use meat of any kind in them.

I am so glad C had a good appetite because he would eat whatever I put on the table. Oh, yes there was only one thing he didn’t like and that was okra no matter how it was cooked. He loved the avgolemono soup the best. Our kids ate well also they have a few more dislikes than their dad. Peas happen to be one of them. At one meal our youngest stuffed her pockets with the peas on her plate and asked to be excused to go to the bathroom thinking we didn’t see what she was doing so she could flush them down the toilet. I am sure most of you could match some of these stories.

When we traveled we had our cereal for breakfast with juice and toast and lunch was usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Then for supper we usually let them have whatever they wanted. They knew ahead if time they needed to eat the first two meals well to be able to choose what they wanted from the menu at supper.

Our five year tour of duty in California was about over and I was preparing for our trip to the next duty station. C had enrolled in another school that was called “lighter than air school”. It was switching from airplanes to blimps and the school was in Lakehurst, New Jersey instructing them how to land and tying them down so they wouldn’t blow away in a strong wind. We were excited when he was chosen because Lakehurst was only an hour or so from dads’ house.

The cereal boxes use to have toys and games in them and I started to save them. I also bought Golden Books and small toys that could be wrapped. The dime store had little toys like cars, ball and jacks, crayons and comic books that really were comic books. I took the time to wrap each one and put them in a bag and then let the kids pick a prize each day. It worked out well. They had something to look forward getting in the car. Kids could care less about scenery.

We started our trip and C was planning how far we could drive a day before the kids would be unbearable. He planned that we would stop at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico for a good part of a day. Well when we started the kids we unruly, fighting with each other wouldn’t eat their breakfast and wouldn’t keep their hands to themselves. C had enough and said, “If you kids don’t settle down and behave we are not stopping at Carlsbad Caverns”. Well they didn’t stop and neither did we. I saw this cartoon in the comics this past week and cut it out because this is exactly how they behaved. I had a good laugh and had to include it because I know my kids will remember when.

Some many years had past and I saw an article in the paper about Carlsbad Caverns. Our kids were grown and I made a copy of it and sent it to them so they could see what they missed. I did get comments from them and now that they have their ownchildren they understand fully. Kids will be kids no matter whose they are.

My second child loved fried chicken and every night for her meal she chose fried chicken. The one place we stopped the waitress said child’ portion and she piped up a said no I want a big piece. The waitress said “Honey that’s a half of chicken” and looked at us thinking we would say yes a child’ portion. C spoke up and said she would eat it. Well the waitress could not believe she ate the whole thing by herself.

When we reached Texas we stopped in the panhandle and that night for supper our son copied his father and had a steak. The waiters were always surprised at how much our kids ate leaving very little or none most of the time. We had lots of good memories of our trip coming back to New Jersey. My dad was so glad to see us as were my sisters and brothers.

Lakehurst added a phase of our life that was memorable. Until next time, I am Immigrant Daughter.