Monday, June 1, 2015

Memory Lane - 1983

Well, I have a lot of family history stories that I've written for the FHE writing group (Skidmores, Grovers, Gardners). But I haven't gotten around yet to transferring them here...but I will soon. Meanwhile, I was looking through some of my old (very sporadic) journals from the 80's and thought I'd transcribe a few entries.
October 16, 1983 (This is a big "catchup entry")
(Karl is 13, Kendra is 6, Michael is almost 4, David is 14 months)

Christmas 1982

"Well(I was just noticing how often I start with that word)...I've been planning on starting this new journal since the Parry family reunion in Utah - and that was August 19. It was at Timp cabin by Sundance in Utah. We had a good trip - our first in the van  (the potato van) - we left about 10 pm...our usual time of departure...and broke down in Vacaville at 10:45.
I thought we'd be stuck at Motel 6 until a parts house opened the next morning, but we ran into people with tools and parts (!) who got us on our way about 2 am. (And this was a good trip?...hmmm...I guess just typical)
The reunion was good - It was fun staying with Jeanne - our kids get along really well together. John ,Gil, Karl,  Johnny Sanders, Rhett, and Colby went fishing a couple of days and caught about 40 big trout. It's about the best fishing Karl has ever seen.

Michael went one day too--but later had an asthma attack - We took him to Orem Community Hospital for some epinephrine and medication.

Virginia drove both Jeanne and I somewhat crazy - but nowhere near what she did when they stopped by here on their way back from Vancouver.  She was coming down with a cold and had been traveling for three weeks so she was understandably at the end of her rope, but she was really "ornery." When I served big beefsteak tomatoes from our garden she asked why I couldn't pick them greener.(That was SO Virginia!)

We went to Hiouchi on Sept 17 - to see Gma and Gpa. The van did fine - what a nice way to travel with the kids (seatbelts? probably...carseats, minimal) It was kind of hard being at Gma's with David. Actually it's hard being anywhere with David (sorry, Dave)- he really gets into everything.
oops! Forgot to take off my clothes before getting in the tub!


He's really turning into a cute little boy. He runs little cars on the floor and makes car noises. He says "mama" and "bye,bye" and "night, night" and barks like a dog.(So Dave wasn't really late with language...just had articulation problems)

Michael saw me cutting some swiss cheese - he said we should use some in the mouse trap to catch a swiss mouse.  He and Danny got attacked by bees yesterday when they went back by the hives.
Oakland Zoo Lions and Michael

I went to a Messiah practice tonight. It's nice being involved in that kind of music even though I'm really out of my league. (True!)

October 21, 1983
The battery blew up in the Ford as we were leaving to see Bugsey Malone. (This was a yellow Ford station wagon that we had actually bought new...in 1978...one of the few cars that didn't sit around broken for years as Dad later traded it to a patient who did the sheetrock texture in the addition)

October 29, 1983
Michael's comments about our pumpkin -
It's enormous! - the biggest in the area." When he was able to move it - he said, "I'm a pretty strong guy!" (Wish we'd had Instagram!)


November 1, 1983
Halloween party at Kathy Well's last night - Kendra was Annie - Michael was a skeleton. We got a black cat from the Well's - named Midnight Rider.

November 7, 1983
Michael wanted to sing the "polka dot song"...he meant the Hokie Pokie.

(Then followed an accounting of my day's activities)
Took the new kitten to visit Kendra and Michael's classes at school.  Washed, ironed (we did that in those days!), helped in Kendra's class, took David for a well check,went to Grandma Dorothy's to pick up walnuts she had shelled for me.(A fairly busy day...although like most moms I usually felt my days weren't very productive.)

John brought the TV home from the repair shop...and broke it again, sliding it into the back of the truck. He was rather upset.

November 10, 1983
Michael - talking to Danny, "My dad is a tooth checker and your Dad is an eye checker."

Skipped a couple of months here...

January 2, 1984
Christmas came and went. It was really enjoyable. Val, Dick, Matt and Grandma Dorothy came here Christmas day for dinner. After they left at 6:30 pm, we got ready and left at 8pm for Chula Vista - arrived at 7 am Monday, stayed until Tuesday pm, drove all night and got home at 4 am, Wednesday.

Karl went to his first dance on New Year's Eve - He went with Marcy and Michael (Busch) - They left the dance at 11:30 and went to Busch's to watch a movie - Karl got home at 3 am (I assume I knew where he was)

Karl...at the edge of adolescense

More to follow!



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Wrinkle in Time (Wrinkled By Time?)...Karl joins the family...



4 generations..with Dad, Grampa Gil and Great Grampa Walter


In August of 1968 Dad and I moved to our first home in San Francisco…142 Lake St. This was just off Arguello …the entrance to the Presidio..and around the corner from a big Jewish synagogue…in a little court off Arguello lived Mayor Alioto…but the neighborhood was not so upscale as you headed down Lake St….but still quite charming.

 It was at the beginning of “The Avenues” and one block over was Clement St which was filled with interesting shops…BusVan (used furniture) and many ethnic grocery stores.

We had definitely left Utah and even the suburbia of San Jose. It was here on Lake St that we found the old steamer trunk in the garage where we found the old journal of Pier Ringstrom telling of his journey through the Panama Canal to San Francisco in 1852.


Journal of Pehr Ringstrom

And it was here we expected our first child (soon to be  known as Jochim Karl Christian Nieman)…I was due on December 8 (1969) and taught up until Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, the 2nd, we had gone over to  Grandma Dorothy’s in Montclair for a leftover Thanksgiving dinner…also that weekend we were moving as our building  on Lake Street had been sold and the new owners were raising the rent ! So in the business of the move (and post Thanksgiving leftovers) I think I mistook early labor for indigestion! I remember talking to Marcia Ann Ludlow (her husband was another dental student and they  had a six month old) about 10pm and asking her what labor was like...
We headed to Kaiser about 6 am the next morning.

Dad sat with me in the labor room reading the sports section of the newpaper…as I had an expecially strong contraction (we hadn’t gone to any labor/delivery classes)…he looked over at me and said..It’s going to get a lot worse…and went back to reading the paper! 

I got an epidural about noon but it was pretty pointless as my labor suddenly sped up and I was wheeled into the delivery room where Karl was born about 12:30. The attending OB was Dr. Leach!




After we brought Karl home to our new apartment (a big building on Stanyon Street across from Golden Gate Park) we settled into learning how to be parents. This was really a one bedroom apartment…but it did have a big walk in closet with a window in it that became Karl’s “room.” They didn’t have baby monitors yet but it wouldn’t have mattered…I made a point of closing both my bedroom door and Karl’s closet door to muffle his cries as I tried to get a little sleep. (Does that qualify me for a "poor parenting" award???)

Blessing Day...probably January 1970
A couple of weeks later ladies from church started calling and asking if they could get their dishes back…being new to Relief Society I hadn’t realized that people in the ward would bring me dinners. But I hadn’t gotten any! We finally figured out that they had taken them to our old apartment on Lake Street!
So Dad went over one night to see about the dishes …he found out that the new people who had moved into our apartment were deaf! They couldn’t hear the soft knocks on the door (since no one wanted to wake a sleeping baby) and of course they didn’t ring the doorbell(which would have made a light go on inside)…they just left the food outside the door in the hall. 
The people living there had saved the dishes and gave them to John with a little note that said…We thought the angels had left them!...maybe they had!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wrinkled by Time...First "Fight" and Football



First Fight and Football

Teaching at Woodrow Wilson also led to the first fight (uhhh…misunderstanding) Dad and I had.  Just for background…By November (1969) I was beginning to learn how to survive in a ghetto school and teach subjects for which I had no training.