We Move to Marysville

Frank came home from work one day and announced he had been lay-ed off. We didn’t know what to do. He had made friends with a guy who wanted to start a Bail Bond Business. Frank thought that would be interesting to chase down bail jumpers. He got a concealed gun permit and they put their names up in jails for Bail Bonds. In the mean time he started working for a man who had a security company and he would go to work around 9 or 10 at night and ride around checking on business over night. Since he was away at night they gave our phone number as a number to call for the bail bonds. I would get calls at all hours of the night. They had not really told me what to do beside take a message. I did not like having to answer the phone from drunks needing bails. Then Frank was not able to get bonded so he could not participate in the business. Yeah, I didn’t have to answer the phone anymore.

We learned that we could get a really good loan to buy a house. We found a place in the county just outside of Marysville, Washington. Marysville is a small town north of Everett about ten minutes away. The house was new and had never been lived in. It was a ranch style house. Three bedrooms, one bath, a car port and quite a large yard. It sat up on a little hill above the street. A slopping front yard and the back yard ran into a line of trees and underbrush. Our kitty loved the freedom. We had a couple of neighbors but I didn’t get to know them very well.

There were hardwood floors through out the home, except in the kitchen and bathroom. We had very little furniture and so we slowly purchased things as we were able. We purchased a washer and dryer. What a relief to not have to go to the laundromat.

We had purchased a Ford Mustang after we got to Washington and Frank decided that it was not the right kind of car to have with a baby so he traded it in on a Truck. How is that better than a Mustang? He said the payments were less. I guess. But I liked the Mustang.

Shortly after we moved in a couple moved into a house just behind us through the trees. David and Kay Putnam, they had two little girls. The oldest was a couple of years older than David and the youngest was just about David’s age. Kay and I became friends. She had lived a very interesting life I thought. Her father had been in Diplomatic Service and she had lived in France. I was fascinated. Her husband worked for the State Highway Department. He was part of the crews that fixed the roads and such. He was away long hours sometimes. Frank was either working at night or hanging out with his friends or sleeping so Kay and I spent a lot  of time together.

She got me interested in knitting. I tried to make a scarf. But I found crocheting easier. One day I was in a Relief Society Work meeting and one of the ladies was demonstrating how to crochet. She said that all crochet stitches are built on just three stitches. I watched her and all at once it made sense. I plunged into making crocheted doilies.

Kay and I joined the YWCA so we could do an exercise class. She introduced me to gardening. I helped her and she helped me. We cleared a path through the trees and underbrush so we could get to each others home. She taught me how to make stroganoff, and lamb curry. Her husband David was from Yakima, Washington, where a lot of fruit is grown. They took a trip that fall and brought home a lot of fruit, peaches and apples and pears. I helped Kay bottle fruit and she helped me. We made jams  and jellies. We were so domestic. It was fun. It reminded me of when I was a girl helping my Mother.

We put our babies is strollers and walked around the neighborhood. We met some of the long time residents of our little hill community. We lived up on a hill that had not been developed except for three or four  homes. These homes had been the only homes for many years. Kay was very bold in talking to these neighbors. A couple of the ladies had wonderful flower gardens and Kay was not shy in asking if they would give us cuttings from their flowers. We took them to our houses and tenderly planted and tended them.

The book mobile would come up our hill and we would check out books to read to the kids or for our own enjoyment.

That summer Franks parents and sister came to visit.

Grandma & Grandpa Cox Come

Mom and Dad came up about two weeks after David was born. We made arrangements for my Dad to bless David since Frank did not hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.

It was really something learning how to take care of a new born baby 24 hours a day. I had spent many hours babysitting but I was not really prepared to have soul responsibility for this new little life. Frank was very good at pitching in and helping when he could. But he was just as unprepared as I was. It was a relief when my Mom came. She had a calming influence and Dad kept me laughing.

They had never been to the Seattle area so we took them to the Space Needle and Pikes Market and to one our favorite steak and seafood restaurants. We rode to the top of the space needle and when we were coming down there was a really tall man in the elevator with us. I thought he looked like James Areness from the TV show “Gunsmoke.” I don’t know if it really was but he sure looked like him. Then when we went to dinner he was there again. So I always figured we had dinner with “Marshall Matt Dillon.”

Early 1971

Shortly after the first of the year I discovered I was expecting another baby. I was happy.

We were happy in our little home. We had good neighbors and I loved going to Church. Frank seemed to find excuses not to go. But I managed to get there. We still had two meetings on Sundays. Sunday School in the morning and Sacrament meeting in the afternoon. Then Relief Society  and Primary during the week. I usually had access to the truck during the day. Sometimes Kay would go with me to Relief Society.

I was asked to be the cub scout leader. Man I didn’t know anything about cub scouting. But I tried. David was just starting to walk and talk. Those little boys would come to my house and we would be doing something and David would come toddling in and jabber at me and I would answer him and those little boys would look at me like I was crazy.

“Can you understand what he is saying?”

“Of course, every word.”

That winter was mild I guess. I was used to snow in winter but we got mostly rain. As winter turned to spring the flowers bloomed. I loved Washington. Kay and I started planning our gardens.

As summer came I remember it as being a hot summer. Frank was still working for the Security company. He was getting into the habit of getting off work and then hanging out with his buddies instead of coming home. Then he would come home sometime in the afternoon and go to sleep. I would take David and go over to Kay’s until he was ready to get up and go to work.

A few times we went to a lake and went swimming. We would have cook outs with David and Kay. Sometimes we would play cards and other games in the evening.

Kay had found a dairy farm that sold raw milk and farm eggs and cheese. One day around the 11th of September we went to pick up some milk and I was not feeling so good. Soon after we got home I realized I was in Labor, Kay took David and Frank and I headed to the hospital. Pattie was born soon after we got to the hospital. We had a beautiful new little girl. We named her Patricia Ann.

I remember Kay brought me some fresh tomatoes while I was in the hospital. Then she bottled all my tomatoes for me.

Spring and Summer 1972

Life at home was a little strained for a time but Frank did get a job working days at a company the manufactured Garage Doors. It was very nice to get back into a more normal family life. He spent more time at home and was more of a help with the kids. We were able to do more stuff together.

We went to the boat races on Lake Washington with Kay and Dave. We had cook outs together and played hearts in the evenings. Frank continued to work weekends for the Security Company so of course he couldn’t get home in time to go to Church.

I resigned myself that he might never embrace the gospel the way I wanted him to. We continued on this way. We got back to laughing together. We spent time with some of the friends Frank had made. I felt like we were beginning to be a real family.

One day Frank took David with him to run errands. They made the rounds of Franks buddies. David by this time had grown quite a head of long curly blond hair. He looked so cute. When Frank came home Davids hair was cut short above his ears. All the curls were gone. I said “Why did you do that?” He said, “All my buddies were teasing me for having such a cute little girl. I had a girl. I needed David to be the boy.”

Kay introduced me to one of the Northwests great bounties. Blackberries. We went in search of wild blackberries. I made blackberry pie and blackberry jam. I still love blackberry jam when I can find it.

One Sunday morning in late July Frank came home from work and said he was going with one of his friends on a four wheel drive rally. That story is for the next post.

We Settle In

Life changes a great deal once you have a baby. Some of the sisters in our Ward gave me a baby shower and gave us many lovely baby things. I really loved being a Mother. David was a sweet little boy. Of course that was 40 years ago and I don’t remember a lot of the hard stuff.

It was winter and they don’t usually get snow mostly rain. This was a mild winter. But it did get cold. We soon learned that you had to order heating oil for the furnace and it was a shock when we were told it would cost $400 dollars to fill up our tank. Taking care of a home is more of a responsibility than I ever knew. We managed to get the funds and had enough oil to provide heat.

As spring started coming and the weather started to warm up the flowers began to bloom. We had some beautiful flowering bushes in front of our porch. I really began to love Washington.

I don’t remember exactly but sometime this year of 1970 my Brother Douglas who was in Viet Nam came home. He had a lay over in the Seattle Airport. Frank and I, bringing along baby David went to the airport and spent some time with him as he waited for his flight back to Utah. This was before all the security you could walk right up to the boarding areas and wait for incoming or outgoing flights. Since Frank has spent time in Viet Nam they had common things they could talk about.

One day I decided to go for a walk. I bundled up David and we set out. I was just carrying him in my arms. I didn’t have a stroller or buggy. I didn’t have a baby carrier. I just thought I could walk and carry him in my arms.

We were doing fine and then I realized I had gone quite a ways and I was getting tired and I had a long way to get back home. I had been on a sidewalk that was going in a downhill direction and now I had to go back up hill.

We started back and I was getting tired. There was no place to sit down and rest. I just pressed on. Suddenly I stumbled and down I went. Somehow I managed to save David from hitting the cement too hard. I don’t know how we managed to not scrap ourselves up. I gathered David up and just sat there on the sidewalk and gathered myself together. A police car drove by, he kind of slowed down a little bit but I guess he thought we were OK and he didn’t stop. I wished he had stopped and offered to take us home.

We made our way home and I was very happy to be back home. I never tried that again.

Some things that were changing in the way of baby stuff. Disposable diapers were just starting to come on the market. The first ones I tried were paper with plastic backing. They didn’t contain very well and you had to still put plastic diaper covers over them. They didn’t have those wonderful tab holders, you had to still use diaper pins. It was hard to get them through the material and sometimes they would pull out and tear. A few years later when they started putting adhesive tabs on the diapers, you had to make sure when you placed them where you wanted them because you could not take them off again. They would tear the diaper and you would have to throw it away. I was very happy to see the evolution of the disposable baby diaper. I mostly used cloth diapers for David and Pattie. But that was just what had to be done. Part of being a parent.