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!