Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lake Tahoe in the 60's

I don't really remember if it was in the late 60's or early 70's that I took the kids to the mountains for a week with another friend and her kids. Our husbands drove us up on the week end and helped us set up the tents and get camp ready for the week with 12 kids. (five were mine and 7 were her's). Michael was a baby so I guess it was in the 60's.

It was really fun even though we didn't have disposable diapers and we both had kids in diapers. We did have a little camp stove, but we cooked most of our meals over the camp fire. We washed clothes and diapers in a bucket and hung everything on our clothes lines. We took the kids on hikes and played games with them, but mostly they kept each other entertained. We even had time to read a book. It was surprisingly relaxing. We had it all planned so that all the hard work of setting up and taking down camp would be done by our husbands on week ends.

All good plans are subject to change. On Thursday I woke up with a strange foreboding feeling that we needed to get home. I asked Ann, my friend, how she felt and she said she had the same feeling. We acted on our feelings and began to pack the car and break camp as fast as we could. We both felt very urgent about doing this. Before we had finished getting everything we could packed up, and in and on our station wagon, I began to feel sick. By the time we were on our way down the mountain I had a high fever and felt so ill I could hardly drive. Ann was sick also, but the kids were fine. It was a four hour trip and by the time we reached home I was so ill I couldn't move except to groan. I had a very hard flu, the kind where you think you are going to die and afraid you won't.

We were very grateful for the prompting to leave when we did. If we had stayed with 12 kids and both of us were too sick to watch them it would have been disasterous. We had to leave the tents and some other things there as it had taken 2 cars to get us set up in the campground. Larry and Arnold had to go back up and bring the remainder of our things down on the following week-end. We had to get a babysitter for the children while he was gone because I was too sick to take care of them.

It was a wonderful vacation for 6 days. I think we all had a great time. I know I did.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Movie Night

Back in th 60's when there was no video, no IPod, no vcr's, no Dvr's, well pretty much no technology,we decided to have a big movie night at the ward. In those days you couldn't watch any movies at home except 8 mm home movies if you were lucky enough to have a movie camera.

Larry and I contacted Disney and rented a movie from them which was a 16 mm movie reel to reel. They sent it to us in the mail, which took about a week to get there, and we borrowed the projector for it from the stake or ward. We advertised the Movie Night to all our friends and ward members and assigned people to bring pop corn and little bags. We made home made root beer. We set up all the chairs in the cultural hall in North Highlands and Larry went over early to figure out how to get the projector to work. The movie was "That Darn Cat".

Our Movie Night was very well attended. The cultural hall was pretty full. The kids had fun. Remember, the only time any of us saw a movie was in the movie theater or on TV if there was ever one worthy of watching. We only had 4 channels on a 15 inch black and white tv with rabbit ears. No one had even imagined High Def!

I think maybe Jay or Sherry or Sandra may remember this event, but the younger kids from Victor down weren't even born yet. It was one of those memories that almost got lost...hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vacations Before Yosemite

Long,long ago before we started taking the family to Yosemite every year we had different vacations. As a girl I never had vacations. The first time I ever left home was when Uncle Bay and Aunt Marva took me to Utah when I was 17. So when we got married we had our first vacation when I was expecting Jay. We went to the Redwoods and went camping with our friends the Cranes. It was beautiful and I loved it even though we slept right on the ground in our sleeping bags.

I still remember that time and many activities we had. We were very young and adventuresome. We decided to climb down into a hole in the mountain and I was 7 months pregnant. Dad let me down by a rope and that wasn't so bad, but coming up was a little scarey.

We also went to visit Aunt Maude, my dad's sister. I had only seen her a few times but it was wonderful to visit with her in her own home in Arcata. Arcata was the town my Dad was born in.

Over the next few years we took the family to the Redwoods often for vacation. It was about a four hour drive from Sacramento. We also took them to Helen's in Washington and to JoAnnes in Provo. Sometime we went to Pollack pines or to the beach. We even went to Lake Tahoe once. We had a vacation nearly every summer. I am not sure if Jay and Sherry and Sandra remember some of those vacations, but I expect they do. We started the Yosemite phase when Mike was a baby.

I am so glad we had regular family vacations. I am grateful to Dad for wanting to have a trip every year. That is one tradition I highly recommend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Root Cellar

In pioneer times a root cellar was part of the structure of the family home. The practice of having them continued for many years and root cellars are still part of many farm houses. I can still remember my grandma's root cellar in her house in Sacramento. A root cellar is a great way to store your autumn harvest or to stock up on root vegetables for the winter. When we bought our home in Springville Larry decided that a root cellar was a very good idea. He made plans for digging one in our small backyard.

You have to dig down at least 6 ft. Larry planned to make the root cellar 8x10 suare and 8 ft deep. That is a lot of digging. Lucky for him Jay was a strong 16 year old and his friend Bill was willing to help too. The rest of the boys were too little, and although the girls did help some, most of the job was accomplished by Jay and Dad. We bought 100 lbs of potatoes from a local farmer, along with some apples, onions, and carrots. Those potatoes really came in handy as money was tight that winter. The kids can still tell you a million ways to cook, fry and grate potatoes.

Ever since the Lord told Adam to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow man has known that work is good. Every child needs to learn to work and boys need to learn that working so hard you sweat is good!

When we moved to West Valley in 1981 we had a new crop of boys. We needed another root cellar to teach that great principle of work til you sweat! This time Mark and Mike were the teenagers so they got life's great lesson. I think Dad even put Vic and Dave to work with a shovel. They were only 8 and 9. We did get a great root cellar again! It was even a little better than the first one and boxes and boxes of fruits and vegetables were stored for the winter.

Probably the best thing produced by the Root Cellars was strong boys. They learned that work is good and sometimes it really feels good to work until you sweat!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Christmas in the Mountains

In about 1967 we decided that it would be fun for the kids to have a white Christmas. They had never seen snow and they were very excited. We took our Christmas account and by adding to it we were able to rent a cabin in Lake Tahoe. We purchased our Christmas gifts at the Good Will since it took so much money to rent the cabin.

We left home for the mountains on Christmas eve day. What should have been a 4 hour trip took us at least 6 as we were in front of a huge storm. We had to stop and put chains on and we barely made it to the cabin when all the roads from Sacramento were closed. We were so excited to be in beautiful Lake Tahoe, and snug in our little cabin in the snow. We made dinner and did the Nativity Scene with the kids. After steaming cups of cocoa we put all the kids to bed. Jay was about 9 and Sherry was 7,Sandi was 6 and Mark was 4 and the baby Michael was about 18 months.

Larry and I set up all the gifts on a table and went to bed in anticipation of Christmas morning. What we awoke to was a huge snow storm. It had piled snow up to the middle of all the windows and we couldn't even open the door. It was beautiful. After breakfast and after the kids had opened their gifts we bundled them all up and went out to play in the snow. We shoveled off the porch and as Larry was just finishing up a huge pile of snow slid off the roof and onto the porch that he had just shoveled. We all had a great laugh. Then we went sledding and Jay found some 6 foot icecyles hanging from the eaves. He had one huge popscycle! We were snowed in for 2 days which was exactly perfect as that is when we had planned to leave for home. We had to dig the car out, it was completely buried.

The kids loved their first white Christmas and they didn't even notice that they had Good Will toys! I'm sure if you asked them they would still remember that Christmas as one of their favorites!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mike and the Donut Job

When we lived in West Valley,then known as Hunter, Utah, Michael took a summer job delivering donuts...actually spudnuts. He worked for a lady in the area, I think her name was Shirley. All the kids who worked for her would go over in the morning on Saturday and pick up from her the amount of donuts they thought they could sell. They would bring her the money and she would pay them their share of the profits. That's the best I can remember on the details. Well, Michael being the sharp business man that he was figured out that little kids would work for a donut. He would get the little 11 year olds to go door to door and sell his donuts for him and he would give each kid a donut when he finished his route. (Vic can probably expand on this as he was one of the little kids who sold for Mike) So when mike would go to shirleys to pick up the donuts he was picking up more than half of what she had to sell. He would sit at home and hand out boxes of donuts to the little pre scouts and collect the money from them. He got all the profit except for the small amount of donuts he gave the kids. Finally one day the lady asked Mike how he sold so many boxes of donuts every saturday. He honestly explained his business to her and she said to me, "he's doing my job!" It really was a win win situation. She didn't lose anything, Mike was cleaning up and the little kids were perfectly happy eating their profits. It is an example of American free enterprise at its lowest leval! I think I am the only one who lost! I was out two helpers every saturday and in fact spent more time than I"d like to admit in helping with the accounts and transportation. Ah well,such is Motherhood!