Haven’t been blogging these few months. I really don’t like sitting at the computer but today I decided not to procrastinate any longer! So thinking of my childhood and getting in touch with my foster sisters, losing my Dad and some other family members and friends who have touched my life, I decided I better do this. My birth Mom whom I found just last year is in hospice care at assisted living home. It has been tough year for me, infact the last few years have been very eventful! My goodness! It is overwhelming at times. God and His Son has been my life line through it all.
A few blogs back I mentioned that I and my brothers were in foster care which would have been in the fifties and early 60’s. So I am going to revisit some of my memories I had in those days. Thankfully I now have some photos of those days. Thanks to my foster Mom, foster sisters and my endearing birth Mom Dolla.
I remember the home I lived in which was huge with four bedrooms and two baths. My foster Mom was a homemaker! Which she did very well. My foster Dad worked at a sawmill in Silverton, Oregon. My foster Mom had her folks down the road from us. They also had land for two horses, berries and walnuts. They were England born. They talked with a british accent.
I remember Grandma wiping me with her hanky. To make it wet she used her saliva! Who does that now a days! My foster parents drove a black car which smelled of leather and straw, maybe. My foster parents home was just like photos of the early 50’s. The furnishings and all. We even had TV! Had a wringer washer. Hung clothes out on the line. Had a big yard with trees. Had a small barn with turkeys, white feathered chickens, some banty chics. Harvesting these birds wasn’t pleasant. I won’t go into details but I do remember white feathered bodies bouncing around the back yard, steaming them and plucking feathers. So glad that is not one of my chores now.
I had two older foster brothers at this home. I don’t remember them having a bond with them. It could be I just don’t remember that part of them in my life. But I do remember having my dolls! They were my friends. I had high chair and basket stroller for them. I treated just like real babies with real feelings. They gave me great comfort.
I don’t really remember having too many friends. I do remember staying at friends overnight. School, no recollection of it except I like the monkey bars. I was able to wrap my leg over the bar and go around and around. I could even do it with both legs. I always was entertained by my sibling brothers. They were always up to something. Allen the oldest had an air gun which he proceeded to make my youngest brother Mike (Kit) and I targets. Then we had red pedal car that we were always arguing about who gets to drive.
I remember going to the creek nearby and catching crawdads. Many times I wouldn’t get into the water cuz of them. The creek was cool and refreshing to play in. As I mentioned foster parents had two ponies, one Shetland and Pinto. Both Mike and I loved to ride bare back mostly around the orchard at grandparents. I remember picking the berries there also. Walking down the basement stairs of their home after the harvest of walnuts and smelling them, plus cracking and eating as many as we wanted. I loved them with salt. I also liked my silver roller skates. I had the most perfect sidewalk to skate on but oh did I take some falls. My bottom got a beaten some days.
I remember family dinners at the kitchen table in the kitchen. My foster Mom loved to make us boiled eggs and set them in egg holder to eat. It was so fancy. Now the egg holders are just collector items. Another favorite was soldiers and warm chocolate milk. The soldiers were buttered toast cut in 4’s in length. Then you would dip them in the milk. Oh my that was so yummy. Another one was taking cheese squashing it with a fork and then putting vinegar on it! I’m not sure why!! My chore, I remember, was drying the dishes. I probably had others but that’s the only one I can remember.
When I was in trouble which wasn’t a lot, I remember I had to pick out my willow stick. Ouch! Sometimes it was sitting on the back porch in the dark. I had a great scary imagination. No wonder I was so scared of the dark. We also had a scary neighbor next to us that stories were told about so…. Another scary thing was the saying “Never take candy from a stranger”! OMG, I was walking home or to somewhere. I would always be watching for strangers in cars. I always thought there were “boogy” men under my bed. I would scratching noises inside the walls. There was some nights I would shut my door and put the high chair against so no one could enter.
I remember riding in the black car with Granny as I called her to visit friends or family. We would also go for drives in the mountains or to the beach. In those days one didn’t have to use sit belts. So for fun we would kneel and put our heads down in the sit. This way when we went around a turn, we would come unbalanced and fall on each other. In those days they didn’t have many rest stops. So my foster Mom would keep a can in the car so we could go potty! Must have been the English culture in her to have that idea. So funny when I think of it now.
I did watch Captain Kangaroo! Little Lamb with Sheri! I liked My Friend Flicka, Lassie, Lone Ranger, Sky King, Fury, Walt Disney shows and movies, Roy Rogers, and Dale Evans. I could think of more I guess. I didn’t like wearing jeans. I was especially fond of dressing up in dresses and black patent shoes with white socks. I really must not of liked anyone messing with my hair as I got older! As by many photos it seems I liked to do my own pin curls as they called them. My hair was such a mess. Holy cats! My parents let me go to school like that and even have school photos. Goodness. I must have been really stubborn! I did finally learn how to manage my hair.
I remember my Moms wearing aprons. My Mom used to can corn and fruit. We would do it together. I remember meals together as a family whether it would be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Mom was there preparing it.
I remember my foster homes. Most of them were very nice. I remember that there were other children in the home. The one foster home my brother Allen lived in was not so nice. I used to go visit him. It was a large farm with animals and vegetables. I remember the dairy cows and the calves would come and suck on your fingers. Those people were not very nice to their foster children. All they wanted them for is to work the farm. So I was very thankful I didn’t have to live there but I felt bad for Allen who did!
The first foster home family used to take us on trips in their black car. We would go to the ocean or to the forest. Probably Mount Bachelor for day picnics. Mom would always carry a can so we could go potty in it, instead of squatting. Plus their wasn’t any visitor stations in those days. The closest bathroom was usually a restaurant or gas station when you were traveling. I believe the third foster home we had been in Portland. They also were travelers and liked to go on day trips. I remember, my foster Dad would put me on his lap and so I could pretend to drive as he was driving down the road.
The third foster home was in a nice neighborhood. It was a Tudor home, made of brick and had a chimney. Had a nice drive way so my younger foster-sister and I could ride bikes. I was supposed to teach her a bit as to how to ride a bike! I was kind of mean, just pushed her and made her fall down. I had four sisters at this home. Three were grown! The second to the youngest Janice was getting married. So I got to be in her wedding. I remember the first time I wore nail polish. I got light-headed from the smell.
It was also the year I was in third grade, I remember I had to have my tonsils out. I was allowed to have jello or ice cream to sooth my throat. In the summer time, the best thing to do was to make mud pies. We would get old dishes. Make some mud and put it in the dish. Let it cook in the sun then decorate it with flowers. Probably foster Mom’s roses. What child does that these days. I don’t know of any! Not even my grand girls. As a child I remember the most expensive in my eyes for a present was tea sets with cups, saucers and teapot. Boy that was my favorite thing was to have tea parties with my friends and my dolls. I used lifesavers to flavor the water.
When I was finally adopted, I had true secure, loving family. I had real Mom and Dad! I’m sure I was a handful at times but most of the time I was pretty easy-going. I learned to have friends. I went to church. I could run free in my little town. I remember hot summer days playing with my friends. Cold winters sharing a snow hill with my neighbors and friends. Halloween parties with a horse drawn wagon full of straw going the back roads to a scary movie. Meeting my friends a a local movie house or to a dance. Being part of the activities at my school and church. Summer school being taught by nuns. Those connections were priceless. Like my friends riding bicycles. We learned how to make most of it riding up and down the hills to get to a friend’s home. My friend and I walked the rail tracks, picked bachelor buttons and yellow poppies, looking inside old homes. We also had good times at the river or swimming in backyard pools. We enjoyed flirting with the boys. Playing post office with them. That got us into trouble! We use to sneak out at night and kiss the boys also. Sure there was growing pains, being disobedient but not mean and hateful. Yes we did unkind things to people but then regretted it. We were a community that had its difference and diversity but when there was a fire, a hardship or a joyous occasion, we shared it together. Respected each other but pointed out the wrong but cared enough to help one another or be polite. It was good and wholesome. I cherish that part of my childhood! I keep that part of me in my life. Brings me happiness! Those ” Remembrances” I keep in my heart! That’s who I am!
Well I’m back to finish this blog! It has gone on and on! In my life remembering how I lived as a child takes me back to a time when I had to depend on others for my safety and well-being! Though I was in foster care until I was 10 years old the way and after I was adopted, my childhood made me appreciate the simpler things in life. I really don’t care for the fast paced life! I like to feel secure, loved and having hope! I don’t need a big house with big payments, “keeping up with the Joneses” attitude. My dreams are simple of enjoying my family, friends and events! I like working and being part of a team and earning my own money. I just always prayed for to be secure and be prepared for the happenings in my life. I’ve learned that my Dreams are God’s Dreams for me. That is my perspective. He tells me He prepares for every event or “God Happening” in my life! I don’t ask “why me” or just “why” anymore because it isn’t the answer I need to know. It is “What can I do”! Prayer is the most powerful and walking in Christ’s ways! Trying to be obedient when He calls me to do something! That’s my hardest part! I’m such a prognosticator or tell myself I’m not good enough! I hate turmoil and being powerless but I know that my God is in Control. That I only have to do my part whether in my community or with personal relationships! I can’t solve all the problems but my own. I can vent and I can be a Light to others as they are to me. I remember a simpler life as a child! But as a child there was a lot of evil things going on but I knew the blessings of hope for the future! That there were better days ahead. Where is that Hope today! I still have my Hope and my Prayers to my God. He is the One who keeps His Promises, who gives me Peace, Security and Comfort.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.