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.

1 comment:

  1. I love your family photos and stories! Such a lovely memoir.