Village Life, Country Life 1973 into 1974

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On November 25th we left the children with Patty and went back out to the ranch to try to finish up the work in the creek. The phone wasn’t working so I couldn’t check with her on the kids. We got the logs out but it took until dark. Bob had to cut one into two pieces. We loaded two large pieces into the truck. It rained most of the time—we’d cleared rocks out of the road all the way out. Took the truck back up to the house to lock up. Coming back down to the creek we had to stick our heads out the windows to see because of no headlights. Back in our vehicle we headed for home and got there around 7:00.

I went to check on Clarke, who was asleep, and he was really hot—breathing was very raspy. Took his temperature only long enough to see that it was over 103 degrees and called the hospital. They gave me Dr. Breeden’s number and I called there. He met us at the emergency room and Clarke was admitted. They put a tent over his crib, turned on a vaporizer and gave him a shot so he could breathe. I got home about 9:00 and ate dinner. Florence checked on him at 11:00. His temperature was 104 and they were putting wet towels on him. I stayed with him most of Monday. Florence took over in the morning for an hour or so, so I could wash the dishes and eat lunch.

Monday morning another child was brought in—extremely sick. I’d never before seen a child that ill. After X-rays they moved her into another room. She was sent from there to Redding and then to Sacramento where she died from what was apparently later identified as Reyes Syndrome. Whatever the diagnosis, it was absolutely heart-breaking. In my journal I talk a lot about trying to figure out children and death and struggled with condolence letters. I was pretty despondent and didn’t want to leave our children with anyone for a while. My journal was kind of depressing to read for a few days. It had been raining a lot and people were feeling pretty grim even without such tragedy.

Bob walked to work on the 30th and I thought he was starting on a health exercise kick “which is a good thing.” Clarke ate a big lunch that day “so I guess he has recuperated”.

On Monday, December 10th I wrote that Scott had gone out to the ranch that weekend to help Bob get out the last of the logs. The previous Tuesday was the last night of the Parent Effectiveness class. And Thursday night I showed a film on Children and Emotions at the nursery school night class. We’d taken the class to visit the pet store and the bakery that day.

Scott went out to the ranch again with Bob to do some more work. He really liked it out there. He ate dinner with us that night. (I think during this time I fixed peanut butter and lettuce sandwiches for them for lunch. He still remembers those sandwiches and it wasn’t because he loved them!) We all went out with Bob and Scott on Sunday. Clarke took a nap after lunch, for once, and Rebecca and Jeffrey and I collected horseshoes. I wanted to put some on a board for a wall hanging for the Ohdes. (Which I did, open side up, of course). I cleaned out a lot of the branches that the bear had broken off the big apple tree and transferred some madrone, which Scott had cut, from the VW to the boom truck. “The fog cleared away after 1:00 and we had a beautiful day—in the sun we didn’t need jackets. I took some pictures over by the blacksmith shop of wood texture and color. “

Jeffrey went to Scot Muir’s birthday party on Saturday. On Sunday Florence and Leonard, Vernon and Ruth, and Bob Grant and his wife drove over to Scott Valley to get hay. They took our stake-side truck over as well as their truck. Bob and Scott had brought in our stake-side truck full of wood from the ranch Saturday night.

I got all the Christmas packages into the mail the previous week and had almost all the out- of- town cards mailed. Dave Ohde was coming over to work on his tape recorder, testing it in Bob’s shop, for several nights.

My birthday arrived—Bob gave me a note that said, “for the one I love, a gift of security and good taste.” The good taste was our repaired toaster and the security a chunk of firewood. Rebecca gave me a glitter picture and the boys, with Bob’s help, a nutcracker and a nut grinder.

December 28th: “listening to folk music records, children playing an elaborate game with little animals and little wooden and plastic people.”

We had eaten dinner with Alice and Horace on Christmas Eve. Peter, Angenett and children were there. Good dinner and a good visit. Clarke was asleep by the time we got home. I tucked him into bed and then read “The Night Before Christmas” to the others.

The children woke around 8:00 on Christmas morning. Rebecca took the stockings into the bedroom. I’d made yeast breakfast rolls the day before and while waiting for Bob to get out of the shower (he took loooong showers), we ate some and had orange juice. The children got some practical things from us as well as toys but seemed to like those-bedspreads and a few clothes, as well as the toys. I gave Bob a sturdy air mattress and Foxfire II. He gave me a new camera case—had to convert it from part of the old one to make it fit, and a case for the light meter. Rebecca gave us a little jar of saltwater taffy, decorated like Santa Clause, which she fixed at school; Jeffrey a wooden plaque with a flower design from pine cone brackets; and Clarke a Christmas tree ball from nursery school.

That afternoon we visited with Peter and family and drank hot buttered rum. Christmas evening we ate with Florence and Leonard. “ I guess I should have had them up here but wasn’t really thinking ahead.” Later the whole family ended up at Dick’s for a couple of hours. Kay took a picture of Dick playing his trumpet and Bob playing Dick’s new banjo.

The next day Angenett went to Chico on business, and Peter took Nick and went to Nehalem to see our parents. Jessica and Cedric spent the afternoon at our house.

New Year’s Day was clear and very cold, some sun. We went down to Big Flat where we drove up the Manzanita Ridge Road—could look across and see the big field above Hostetter’s. There were some cattle in it. We drove back down and ate lunch at the campground. It was very cold but we had hot chocolate and sat in the sunlight. Then we walked out the old highway a little way. Drove up to the ranch. Bob looked over some books on grasses, Clarke played in the sand where the pool goes, and Rebecca and Jeffrey and I played with the Frisbee. We had a good day.
Dave Ohde spent the day at our house, while we were gone, working on his tape recorder.

Two days later it was snowing and we had a little over an inch of powder on the ground by noon. Bob walked to work and fell right by Meyer’s, spraining his knee badly. Fred Meyer took him to work. I brought him home for lunch. His knee was quite swollen. I hauled the garbage to the dump that afternoon.

On January 10th I wrote that “The switch to daylight savings time on the 6th makes getting up in the morning very difficult. The children go down to the bus stop with a flashlight.” Bob left that morning to drive to Redding and then fly to Bakersfield. He would be back Saturday.

On Monday I drove to Redding for a Community Concert executive committee luncheon meeting—not my normal thing but members were welcome. I thought if I went to that then missing an evening board meeting because of weather would be ok. It was snowing so I drove slowly. After the meeting I went to Dicker’s to get a bed cover and then home. Tuesday went to an elementary school board meeting. On Wednesday I took Clarke to Debbie Fisher’s and went over to work with five students from Rebecca’s class, including her, for an hour. Took them to the library to use the card catalog, etc. That night there was a nursery school board meeting at Janice Thomas’ house. Thursday night the nursery school parents had a class on music from Dick DeRosear.

The previous Saturday, after a hectic morning with children, Bob watched them while I took a walk. “Went up past Bagley’s (later Senta Moore’s) and took the right-hand trail up the creek. It was snowing just a little—fine powder sifting down. Sat up on the ridge and looked at Weaver Bally and the snow-etched trees around me and the clouds with the sun shining through them and drank coffee from my thermos. Thought about what it would be like just to sit there against the tree and let the peace and the cold and night cover me up. An interesting thought but soon rejected! It would be fine if I were a tree or a rock.”

One day Bob took Jeffrey and, during the noon hour, flew over the Stygar place on Big French Creek, the ranch, and the upper ranch.

Autumn 1973

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I’m finding that it’s really hard to locate pictures to illustrate my writing. Always wonder whether I just didn’t take pictures for a while or whether they are lost in the boxes of little yellow boxes. I know that the busier I became, the less often I wrote.

On November 7th I was looking back at October. I had taken the children trick-or-treating, having finished Clarke’s rabbit costume at 5 p.m. that evening. They didn’t just get turned loose but wanted to go to specific places so I’d drive them. I mentioned that we had a little trouble with Dr. Breeden’s dogs. They apparently weren’t home but I got the kids back in the car before anything happened. Terrible growling. The last house we went to was the Ohde’s and we spent about 20 minutes there, where I had a cup of coffee. Unfortunately I can’t find pictures of the costumes.

Tuesday night was Parent Effectiveness Class. Thursday night was the nursery school night class. “Katy Festinger came up from Redding and led a discussion on Women’s Role. It was a relaxed evening, lots of laughter and fairly low key”.

Friday I cleaned house. Rebecca went to Florence’s after school for a riding lesson. “Florence brought her home right when I was yelling at the boys. Rather embarrassing. Saturday Florence and I went down to the mill yard and gathered firewood. We got two loads with the small store truck, quite a bit of it being bark.

Sunday afternoon I rode to Redding with Bev Forero and Pearl Bigelow to hear the Sacramento Symphony at the Civic Auditorium—part of the Shasta Community Concert programs. Really enjoyed the symphony-“time zipped by”. Afterward we went to Sambos for coffee and a sundae. I’d asked Bob whether he would put the ham in the oven and he did that plus putting glaze on it. We got home around 6:00 to the delicious smell of ham.

Thursday, November 22: I was up at 8 a.m. Bob was still sleeping and the children didn’t know I was up yet. It was snowing and there was about 1/2 inch on the ground. Bob had left Monday for Bakersfield. It was snowing so Lonnie couldn’t fly down. He drove as far as San Francisco and they caught a plane there. The company plane took them back to San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon and he had gotten home around 4:30. Tuesday I put chains on the VW bus so I could get to nursery school. The school bus was late that morning so I called Rebecca and Jeff up from the bus stop and dropped them off on my way to nursery school. I also had to drop off three card tables, my cranberry bread and Rebecca’s beautiful challah bread and a nursery school mother’s cake at the bake sale first. Nursery school was really hectic that day and I didn’t get away until 1:30. We (Clarke was attending nursery school) met Florence at the Post Office and gave her a ride downtown and then to her home where she took Clarke and put him down for his nap. The afternoon was filled with home chores and then taking Anne Marie, who had come home with Jeff, home. Was half an hour late picking Rebecca up from piano lessons. Groceries, gas and then picked up Clarke from Florence’s. Was supposed to go to Hayfork for a Forest Forum meeting with Jeanne Meyer but we cancelled. It was stormy and I was exhausted. Had a good evening at home with the children and got some paperwork done.

Below is a picture of Clarke with two other nursery school children, Kelly Sheen and Bobby Clark. Rebecca was visiting that day.

The previous Sunday we’d gone out to the ranch, leaving town around noon. We built fires in both stoves and huddled around them to eat, sitting on the floor by the heating stove. I’d taken hot soup for lunch, which helped. Then Bob took the boom truck and I took the VW bus and we went up to the flat. “I was so pleased with the children—they helped haul and load wood for about an hour and a half. Rebecca stood in the truck and stacked while Jeffrey and I hauled with Clarke helping when he could. It was cold and hailed occasionally even though the sun shined a lot. Bob cut all madrone—some green, some not. The children went back to the car while we finished. From there we went down to the creek. It was very cold out and nearly dark when we finished. Got home around 7 p.m.

On the 24th, a Sunday, we again went out to the ranch, leaving around 11:30. Again we built fires in both stoves and ate lunch sitting on the floor in front of the heating stove. “I went outside to put garbage in the garbage can and heard a noise and thought Bob might be on the roof (!!?). I looked up and saw a ring-tailed cat scooting along the narrow edge of the top log, just below the porch roof. It got over to the corner where the two porch roofs join and peeked down at us—an absolutely charming face—big pink ears, dark eyes with circles of light fur around them, pointed face with a shiny button nose, dark body and ringed tail- about the size of a grey squirrel. Rebecca said she saw nipples so I guess it was a female. Very curious—would look over the edge of a rafter, hanging its head upside down to look at us. It stayed there until we left to go down to the creek.”

When we reached the creek I built a fire on the road for the children. “I’d brought marshmallows. We cut willow sticks and they roasted marshmallows while I helped Bob with the truck. He got one log cut up and all but one piece out before it got dark. The last piece slipped off twice. We’ll get it tomorrow. The children were awfully good—toasted marshmallows, ate peanuts and grapes, put sticks into the fire, watched each time Bob dragged a log up. All those pieces of log will make good firewood.”

We went back to the house with my driving closely behind Bob’s truck because he didn’t have any headlights. Just below the house there was a place where we had to get a run at the hill because it was quite muddy. After we were all back in the VW we left. And on the way out saw a bear, at least “its big furry hindquarters” plowing down the road and then up the hill. We saw a doe and a buck too. Ate dinner at Big Bar Station. We had to wake Clarke up to eat. He’d fallen asleep the minute we left the creek to go up to the house. When we got back to town I put him right to bed, after pulling off his boots.

I’d just finished reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead” and found it “tremendously moving”.

September-October 1973

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September 7th
Bob called twice from Ft. Lauderdale and from Boca Rocan, Florida. He read a book I’d recommended on the way and liked it. He thought he might be back Thursday. He was attending an I.B.M. training session on computers.

We had gone out to the ranch Saturday with the children, taking Robin Meyer with us. He had to leave right after dinner. The next morning we went for a walk and then returned to town around 5:00. We picked plums, apples and tomatoes. The bear had been into the grapes and left “great piles of dark droppings, seed filled- in the upper right corner of the orchard.” I mowed the lawn that morning.

Thursday night was the first Nursery School adult meeting. Officers were elected, rules read, etc. We were full already.

Friday I took the VW bus to Miller’s to be lubed and started walking home with Clarke. We stopped at the firehouse where he sat on the seat of the old fire engine. We stopped at the hardware store and the post office; had a snack at Brown’s; got as far as the Young’s duck pond on Oregon Street where we saw a doe and twin fawns cross the road. Lonnie came up with our vehicle while we were standing there and we drove the rest of the way home.

By now we also had a stake-sided truck, which was great for our hauling needs. I rarely drove it but remember driving it more than once on our narrow road. I’m not sure whether by then we’d sold the jeep but I think we had.

Then there were no journal entries until Friday, October 5th.

A lot happened during that interval. My mother had another stroke but was home and o.k. It was really hard on my dad. My brother, Richard and his wife had gone down right after it happened.

The week previous to this October entry Bob Omstead, Jim Kennedy and Steve Searcy died in an airplane wreck on a foggy morning, skidding across the highway near the airport and nearly hitting a school bus. Rebecca and Jeffrey were on a bus that drove by moments after the tragedy. The town was in a state of shock all week and beyond.

Bob went to Dallas, Texas that October week on a Sunday night. Then he went to Southern California on Tuesday and home Thursday afternoon.

We had gone out to the ranch that weekend with Mike and Erin Quinn. They helped Bob put a metal roof on the barn. I spent most of that weekend cooking. I got sick on Tuesday night and didn’t go to the Women’s Role class in Redding with Jeannie because of not feeling well. Wednesday I went to the Parent Effectiveness class in Weaverville and it was officially cancelled. I decided to drop the Women’s Role class and take Parent Effectiveness in Redding, also a Tuesday night. Esther Little was going to go too.

I was feeling a bit down about having little time for myself. Clarke was really missing having Rebecca and Jeff around. Was also wishing Bob didn’t have to travel so much.

The next Monday I was “semi-watching” ballet exerts on Channel 9—“fire in the fireplace, smelly dog on the floor.” I’d moved Michael Morris from the kids bedroom where he and Clarke were keeping each other awake– into our bedroom– until after 9:00. Florence and Leonard were at an Art Center dinner and had Michael all day. I knew they would be by for him soon. Bob had driven to Eureka that morning and was to catch a plane from there to Seattle.

It had rained that weekend and we’d gone out to the ranch Sunday afternoon where I picked apples and this really lifted my spirits. “I love the smell and feel of the apples—it’s a sensual experience—good to eat too! The bear has been around a lot. Claw marks on the tree by the generator shed. We ate dinner down at Big Bar—soup and salad for Bob and me.”

I made two batches of applesauce and froze 4 ½ more quarts plus having a quart to eat. Ran off some papers for the Community Concert. Tuesday night I went to the Parent Effectiveness class in Redding. Jeannie drove and dropped Esther Little and me off at Nova High and she went on to the Women’s Role class at the college. We got home around 11:30 and I stayed up reading “A Proper Marriage” until 1:00.

On Wednesday afternoon Patty came to take care of Clarke and I took Rebecca and Jeffrey to Redding. “We had sandwiches and hot dogs at the Shack, then I changed clothes in a service station restroom and we went to the Community Concert. The program was Little Angels of Korea. Bright colors, many costumes, lots of movements. The children stayed awake thorugh the whole thing! Precision dancing. Some of the dancers were as young as 8. We didn’t get home until nearly 12.” Bob was in Seattle and I called him at my sister-in-law’s house where he had gone to for dinner. He’d be arriving home the next day.

And then no more entries until October 25th.

“Just got back from a nursery school board meeting. We met at Sharon Tucker’s house this time. Barbara Simmons had us all in stitches.” I was pleased that Bob was going to be home all that week.

I got 22 people to sign a Common Cause petition over the previous two weeks concerning political officials listing all financial contributions and lobbyists registering. Got the last two from the Hamiltons last evening on my way into town from Redding and sent it off today.

Pete Richerson, the guest speaker for the Forest Forum, spent the night with us a week ago. Only 10 people showed up for the program and I was really upset about that. Apparently the main reason for the poor attendance was the World Series. He had come all the way up for this, slept in Bob’s shop. Left after breakfast the next day.

One day I drove out to the ranch with Barbara Michaels and Clarke. We ate lunch and walked up to the woods and back, getting home a little after two. The week before that I’d gone out with Doris to pick a lot of apples.

“This weekend we noticed that the bear has broken a lot of branches off the big tree. The colors have been beautiful this fall. Even the oaks are yellow, gold and red instead of just turning brown.“

“Secretary of State Kissinger was on a special news broadcast this morning while I was getting Clarke dressed—about the Mid-East crisis. Nixon has now volunteered to give up all the Watergate tapes. He’s sure in a mess on domestic affairs. “

I was working on making a rabbit costume for Clarke for Halloween and hoping I could get it done in time.

October 30th
I had just gotten back from Parent Effectiveness class and was watching the Tonight Show for a while.

“Last Friday I walked up Canyon Creek as far as Canyon Creek Meadows. Left Clarke with Florence. Left the trailhead a little after 12 and got back to the car around 4:00. It was a beautiful walk—I was really pushing myself but had a marvelous time. Fall colors still quite spectacular. Saw some deep wine-colored choke cherries against a snowy cliff. Lots of water in the creek—big waterfall before the meadow. Kinnik-Kinnick loved the snow. We ran into patches 1-2 inches deep up near the meadow. The trail was running several inches deep in water beyond the meadow. I lost my Sierra cup.

Saturday Bob and Jim Austin worked on trying out an FM aerial up on Oregon Mountain. In the afternoon he went out to the ranch where he cut up one of the logs in the creek. He didn’t get home until 9:30.

The children and I went to a costume Halloween party for the Van Duyns starting at 6:00 that evening. It was kind of fun. I dressed in hiking boots, levis, etc., carried a backpack with all the “lib” books and others that I’ve read in the pockets. Rebecca was a wizard, Clarke a ghost and Jeffrey a tiger (he won a prize for the most scary—a mirror).

That Sunday Bob, Eric Woods and I went over to see some land of Ed Hostetter’s up Big Bar Creek. “It’s a fantastic place—the canyon opens up into a big meadow; the creek is close by—large and clean. There’s a dam under the maples at the upper end where the canyon narrows again. A large ditch goes from there out to the meadow—would be easily put into use. We ate lunch by the creek across from a barren, rocky place at the head of which was a spring. We tasted it and smelled it to find it was sulfur. Hiked on over to Ed’s old place where the foundations of the original house still sit overlooking the river. He had really put a lot of work into it. After the house burned he built a little room in the barn. which lies at the west end of the meadow. A bear had gotten into it—food, newspapers, containers scattered all over the floor, along with rat droppings. Really sad.” Bob was in Moab, Utah when I wrote this.

From Pirates to Bloody Run Creek-1973

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Jeffrey’s 6th birthday party invitations had a skull and crossbones on them inviting five youngsters to a “pirate party”. I made flags out of white cloth with a felt pen drawing of a ship and each child’s name on it with a piece of doweling to hold it. Candies were in paper towel tubes covered with contact paper with a cupcake paper rubber-banded to each end. After candy was eaten these could be used for spyglasses. Also made an eye patch with elastic thread for each. Made a big, black banner with white skull and crossbones, which later hung upstairs at the ranch on one side of the shower framing (which showed like part of a wall).

Several children dressed like pirates.

Friday was cloudy off and on and we had a few raindrops but we had the party outside anyway. They had a treasure hunt—divided into two groups and followed written directions. Each received a paperback book. They seemed to have a good time—sailed boats in the bathtub, etc. Inja Halcomb wanted to straighten up Jeffrey’s bedroom and even made his bed, which pleased him immensely. “She did such a good job.” Jeffrey’s cake was shaped like a treasure chest. In addition to Inja there was Anne Marie Meyer, Scott Muir, Josh White, and John Van Duyn.

We went out to the ranch late that afternoon. The next morning Jeffrey opened up his family gifts—more Lincoln logs, trucks, a lariat (to go with the two pistols he bought himself with his own money—we didn’t buy toy guns for our children), books, and a Big Jim (similar to a GI Joe that he loves , muscular). Made peach/plum jam that didn’t completely jell but tasted good. Made cupcakes and Rebecca and Jeffrey and I picked a small cardboard carton of pears. Bob left for Weaverville that night so he could go to Bakersfield the next day (Sunday). He wouldn’t be back until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Monday was kind of a lazy day. I held each of the children and looked at a book with them, in sequence, in the morning. They really seemed to need it. After lunch I mixed two batches of cement and did some rock work. Later, although Clarke didn’t have a nap, he fell asleep in the wicker chair while I was reading to the others.

For my own reading I was reading “The Female Eunuch” and “The Best and the Brightest”. Bob called the night before and said he wouldn’t be home until Friday. We talked about maybe not going on a planned backpack trip and about him hiring someone to help him haul riprap for the bridge. Carolyn Crouse called and we talked about nursery school. Picked apples and canned four quarts of applesauce. Got four ears of corn from the garden. Florence said she might be able to take care of the children on the pack trip weekend.

September 2: I next wrote from our backpack trip. We were late getting started Saturday, not getting on the trail until 2 pm. “We started up the N. Fork of Coffee Creek and passed some old cabin sites on the way in. The first was one the USFS had burned down, about 30 feet above the creek with a little spring trickling by. A collapsed cooling house was nearby where the old miner had diverted a larger stream from above through it.

We stopped to look at Hodge’s Cabin. It’s two-story cedar with bark still on—cedar pillars on the front porch, a little barn, outhouse, tiny swimming pool, nearly useless pelton wheel. Mark Groves owns it now. I found a multi-purpose pocketknife buried in the dust there –still have it.

We camped that night along Granite Creek—a little depressing because the flood damage is still so evident—slides, large trees crisscrossing the creek, etc. We didn’t get away from there until after 1:00. Stayed in bed late because it was cold and the sun didn’t hit our campsite until late. We ate lunch around 2:00 along a little stream farther up the trail that runs into Granite Creek. Kinnik-Kinnick killed a baby rabbit further along. We stopped to look at it and then let her finish it off as it was too far gone to save.”

“Stopped at Wolford Cabin, which the USFS uses for snow surveys. The corners of the logs are triangular at the tops. Bob says that’s so water will run off and not accumulate. This part of the trail is part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Jim Fields told us a while back that they’ve had to put little metal emblems along this part of the trail with a “temporary” sign above because people have been taking the good signs that were originally made for the Pacific Crest Trail.”

“We ran into a lot of cattle near Wolford Cabin and had to leash the dog. Had a hard time getting around them. Finally they turned off at the Granite Lake Trail. Toward the top of Eagle Creek Pass the country is very similar to that around Mary Blaine Meadows, alpine type with dry meadows and stands of mountain hemlock and white fir. We ate a snack at the divide where trails branch off every which way around 6 pm.

We got to this campsite about 7:30 and cooked, ate and washed dishes in the dark, using flashlights. Hot food tasted SO good. This camp is right near the trail by a little creek. Would like to know how it got its name—Bloody Run. Surrounded by hemlocks and white fir. The stream comes out of the ground about 50 feet above the trail. We’re about 20 feet below the trail. We heard coyotes last night.

At 7 a.m. the sun is just starting to come up, making Mt. Shasta pink but not yet hitting the mountains near camp. Stellar’s jays began squawking. There are alders along the creek and the water is icy. So far we’ve not seen anyone else on the trail although Bob did see four girls and a big dog when he was scouting out the trail near the Granite Creek and N. Fork trails intersection.

We have to get up and get going so we can get to the road at a reasonable hour. Will have to walk a mile on the road to reach the car.“

Sept. 7th –back in town and writing in bed before getting the children off to school.“Our day hiking out was probably our best of the trip. We walked about 10 miles, mostly downhill, and Bob and I both had blisters and sore legs –mine are still sore. We ate lunch by a little stream, which ran eventually into the E. Fork. We went through lots of timber—hemlocks first, covered with bright green lichens from winter snow level up. We had climbed steeply after leaving camp, then climbed on without packs to the top of the ridge above Bloody Run. Could look out in a complete circle. Could look back the way we had come the day before out to Mt. Shasta, over to Stoddard Lake, Billy’s Peak, etc.

After getting our packs we went on down, went through Doe Flat, passed cattle, then through timber. The last few miles out were very rocky and hot. Even the dog’s feet were obviously painful. The East Fork has lovely falls and pools but all well below the trail. Lots of old mining activity and the remains of a jeep road. Old broken down cabins, an old flume, even a narrow cement wall supported by rocks and dirt fill, which is all that remains of a dam someone attempted.

VW Van and Lilypad Lake

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Bob went to Redding with our VW Beetle and came back with a cream-colored VW bus. It had 54,000 miles on it and was driven by a dry cleaner. It had one back seat and a carpeted floor. We loved it. It took some time to get used to driving but I could see out of it and there was lots of room.

We went out to the ranch that afternoon and I gave the children fried-egg sandwiches for dinner. Bob arrived later. He and Eric Woods had gone across the river and up Big Bar Creek to Ed Hostetter’s place.

Sunday I did four batches of laundry, cleaned the pool (and the bathtub settling tank) and picked blackberries. We had berries with lunch. Sunday night I made four pints of blackberry jam.

The next day I drove into town so Rebecca and Jeffrey could be in on the first day of the next swimming session. Bought groceries and ironed some of Bob’s shirts. We were back at the ranch by 4:00.

A week later Candy, Jim, Lois and Pete, Bob and I hiked in to Lily Pad Lake for two nights and camped at one of the ponds above it. We left the children with Austins. They were going swimming that day and to a movie that night. On the way in we found lots of wild strawberries which we enjoyed, very sweet, essence of strawberry. We also found some ripe, very large and juicy wild raspberries in one of the meadows. In a heavily shaded forested area we made a rest stop and right in front of Lois was a little brown, furry mouse with big, dark eyes, which it blinked frequently. Finally it broke through its terror and leaped away in short jumps.

Lilypad Lake was small and quite shallow, covered with lilypads, many blooming. “It lies in a big meadow, surrounded by granite bluffs and we ate lunch there. Jim went exploring for places to camp. After lunch I walked around the upper end of the meadow, which was boggy, found a little creek coming off the hill, five-finger ferns. A little further on there was a snowbank among the boulders and right near the edge of the melting snow one pasque flower in bloom. Further around there were large hemlocks running up a draw with a creek trickling down, about the size of Little French Creek at that time of year. I went up to where it looked as if it opened up into a meadow or something but Abner, Pete’s dog, who had gone with me, couldn’t make it so we came back. Abner is a golden retriever but very red and with a massive head.

Jim came back and we followed him up a steep trail to a flat where there was another green meadow with a tiny pond, then over the rocks up to the little lake where we camped. It was about 250 feet long and maybe 20 feet wide at the widest. About six feet deep at the deepest, lots of fat polliwogs and hundreds of boat bugs skittering around on the surface.

It was cold and windy the first day. We were hot and sweaty while exercising but froze when not. We hiked up and over to another lake which lies near a pass where another trail comes through. This one was about eight inches deep, mucky and full of polliwogs. On the map all of these lakes/ponds showed as much larger and deeper.

“We had a good dinner that night. I’d brought corn on the cob from Florence’s garden; we had dehydrated chicken a la king, chocolate pudding, dehydrated cherry pie–really more of a pudding,–wine and peach brandy.

“This morning I got up around 7:00—didn’t sleep much last night, nor did Bob —he just told me his air mattress leaked. I walked over the edge of the granite bluff where I could look down on meadows, one being the one I nearly reached with Abner. There is a big talus slope with a snow patch at the upper end of the larger meadow. The lower meadow has a shallow pond or former pond. There was a doe and fawn in the little meadow. Most of the time they were feeding but once in a while the fawn would bound around. Finally he started running in big circles pausing once in a while as if to say, “Come on Mother, chase me”. At first the doe just took a few steps after him. Then she gave in and they bounded in big circles around the meadow. Sometimes he stopped and maneuvered as if trying to dodge and off they’d go again. Finally they came to a stop in the little pond, touched noses and after a drink wandered off into the trees. The sun was just beginning to touch their meadow.“

Back at camp everyone else was still in their sleeping bags.

On the way out the next day we parted from Lois and Pete at a fork in the trail and they went to Boulder Lake. Further down the trail where the creek went over some falls we shed our packs and scrambled down for a dip. Bob and I went in the upper fall, which was in the sun but had a tiny pool. Candy and Jim in the lower fall, which was shady but had a big pool-it was ice cold. When we got to the Fields’ we ate dinner and then went into town to pick up the children.

Catching Up–photos-June 1973

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Those of you who remember the days of photo slides in all the little yellow Kodak boxes—or other companies in other colors—should be able to relate to my dilemma. I have several cardboard boxes of varying sizes filled with little yellow boxes that are filled with slides. Fortunately most are labeled and the year and general content are on the outside of each box. However, the years are not necessarily in order—they used to be—and were fastened together by rubber bands. Rubber bands eventually disintegrate.

I also have a number of slides inserted into metal slide holders in rectangular canisters that can be projected if one has the old projector. These are labeled and I wrote the name of each slide on the top paper cover, protected by clear plastic. However, the pencil notes have faded and pretty much require a magnifying glass.

It is actually the searching for photos to go with my journal jottings that take forever. When I eventually find the appropriate slides it is a time of joy. Whew! I recently discovered a canister from June (probably May and June) of 1973 with pictures I want to post. I’ve already written about the events, although maybe I neglected Jeff’s kindergarten graduation. But I’m doing a bit of catching up with this series: Salt Creek Falls in the Oregon Cascades—little did I know when we stopped there that someday I would live about an hour from there.

Nehalem, Oregon which we visited at least once a year to see my parents.

Root Creek at Castle Crags, the state park where my family lived for 10 years.

And Jeff’s kindergarten graduation–includes photos of Jeff, Chris Forslund, John Van Duyn, Clarke, Carin Fields.

Midsummer 1973

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We went down to the creek for an hour around three. Took crackers, lemonade and a can of beer. We saw a little fish (minnow) and fed it some cracker crumbs. It seemed quite tame. Back at the house I made bows for the children, at their request, out of cut alder branches. They used fat, plastic bolts about three inches long for arrows.

The pool was covered with the bodies of delicate 4-winged insects that morning. Took me about 20 minutes to get them all out. “Not as many big scenes with the children today.”

The next day we went into town. Took Rebecca to swimming lessons. Jeffrey and Clarke sat drinking 7-Up (a treat since we hardly ever allowed sodas) while I talked to Esther Little and her son Michael. Got Jeffrey’s hair cut. I took Rebecca to piano lessons and got Karen Austin to watch the boys while I ran errands. After I picked her up we went to the library and the grocery store but before I got her I spent half an hour browsing in Greenwood’s. Bought three paperbacks-one on medical aid whie backpacking, one called “My Side of the Mountain”, which I read to Rebecca and Jeffrey (a New York boy runs away from home and lives inside a tree in the Catskill Mountains), and one called “What Do You Say After You Say Hello”, by Eric Berne.

After we took Karen home we went up to the Woods and swam for about 1 ½ hours. It was very cooling and relaxing and I enjoyed talking to them. She gave us each a cold peach from the refrigerator—“marvelous”. Then back to the house to pack up for going to the ranch. Bob drove up while we were there and he brought Clarke out and some groceries. Saturday Bob took all three children with him to Big Bar to get gas. It took longer than normal because the River Store was out of gas and they had to go to Big Flat.

“Sunday morning I got up at 5:30, fixed a thermos of coffee, took an apple and drove over past the gate to prune along the road. Took a coffee break after about 1½ hours. It was pretty and peaceful—I love to watch the sun come up—the change of shadows and colors as it slips down the hills. Very quiet—no birds, which seemed strange. Just mosquitos. When the sun touched my area, however, there was an increase of activity—mostly Steller’s jays. I think I heard a pileated woodpecker but couldn’t see it. I got back to the house shortly after nine. Bob, Clarke and Jeffrey had eaten and the dishes were done. Rebecca was still in bed reading. Got quite a bit done on the road but have about an equal distance to go.

“We had the washing machine in the basement—an open area under the porch that we were making walls of rock around. And I could iron down there if need be.

Saturday August 4th: When we were getting ready to leave the ranch to go into town for overnight on Thursday the dog took off after a deer. “Together they were leaping through the dry grass, Kinnik-Kinnick’s golden hair making her a thing of beauty, yet frightening as she pursued the deer.” She didn’t come back for 20 minutes. I was really angry with her. When she did come back her mouth was foaming—she is so strong. I beat on her with a rolled-up newspaper and hoped she hadn’t caught it.

Clarke’s birthday was coming soon and when I was pushing the grocery cart at the store he told everyone he saw, ”I’m having a birthday!” That night Bob got home late for dinner and then we drove over to the airport to watch him leave for Bakersfield. Two other people were going who were dropped off at Manteca. After the children were in bed that night I made a cake and frosted it the next morning before taking Rebecca to swimming lessons.

Picked up Carin Emily Fields from Lois’ where Candy was having her hair cut. Cheryl brought Michael and Linda brought Scott. Florence came and stayed the whole time, which was a help. The children seemed to have a good time and spent most of it eating—hotdogs and buns, carrot sticks, chilled grapes, lemonade, ice cream and cake. Candy came up around one and I took everyone else home about two. Clarke had wanted to leave with Florence when she left earlier so I took him over to her house, where he took his nap. I left Jeffrey and Rebecca at the library while I went over to the nursery school to get an address. Took all three of them up to the Woods to swim for a little while. Rebecca beat me in a race from one end of the pool to the other with the crawl. “She’s really doing very well.” About the time we were going to leave Bob arrived and swam for 20 minutes.

Bob made a deposit on a 1971 VW van in Redding.

We did family birthday gifts for Clarke and had the other half of the birthday cake, celebrating his birthday a little early. The rest of us will be gone on his actual birthday and he’ll be with Florence and Leonard because we’re going on a backpack trip, too far for him to go with us.

This first real backpack trip was difficult and seemed to take forever going in. Once we arrived things were great. We hiked in to the Stoddard Lake area but took the long way around (I think we didn’t know about the shorter way) and the only way we made it was to separate the two children, Rebecca with Bob and Jeffrey with me. It took us six hours to get to McDonald Lake where we stayed the first night. Then, the next day, we took them cross-country for about half a mile up a steep hill and arrived at a lovely small lake. It was a much better spot for the children with room to roam and shallows to play in. There were little green meadows and dense thickets of hemlocks for “tree houses” and they had a great time exploring. The dog had a good time too but we kept her leashed most of the time. Rebecca’s pack had weighed about 12 pounds and Jeffrey’s 5-8. Mine was 35-40 and Bob’s 50.

White pine and mountain hemlock were the predominant trees. Groundcover was mostly pinemat manzanita, some Douglas spiraea, heather and some type of ceanothus.

“Last evening I walked up the bench behind camp—very steep in spots. Large outcroppings of glacial polished rock. Took a picture of Bob sitting on a rock playing his harmonica at sunset and found a glacial polished outcropping to sit on and yodel. The view was outstanding–lights and shadows forming deep contrasts except toward the sun where everything was hazy. Saw a doe way up at the top of the bench-probably the mother of the fawn Candy saw the last time we were up. “

“Rebecca had a very restless night-about the time I’d be drifting off to sleep she’d cry out. Between that, not much air in my air mattress and worrying about both children rolling into the lake, I didn’t get much sleep. Woke up at 6 and really wanted to go back to sleep but also wanted a walk to myself and some early morning pictures. Got up and hiked up the ridge to look over into the Coffee Creek drainage. Took several pictures one with Mt. Shasta pink with alpine glow and the sky pink where the sun was coming up. Left my light meter on a rock and had to go back for it later in the morning. Saw a little wren, which spent its time skittering along through the pinemat manzanita singing all the time, a delicate lilting little song in contrast to the rasping sounds it made when it would emerge on a rock with tail jerking.“

We had a nice flat rock as a kitchen area—table, stove perch, dish-washing. After breakfast Bob was reading “Pairing”, at my request, lying on his sleeping bag. Jeffrey played about with a cup at the lake’s edges. Rebecca lay on her sleeping bag reading “The Secret Garden”.

That evening we moved the camp into some hemlocks in the meadows as there were threatening rain clouds. We all slept late the next morning. After breakfast of scrambled eggs, hash browns and orange juice and coffee we swam a little and then hiked up to the top of the bench past where I had gone the other night. Lots of heather, some penstemons in bloom and wild onions. We picked some of the onions and put them on our peanut butter sandwiches at lunchtime. There were huge boulders up there with small caves beneath them which the children enjoyed and they wrote on slate pieces. We could see all three lakes from up there.

After lunch and swimming some more Bob made boats for the children out of bark, sticks and plastic sack sails. The wind would blow them around.

Later we lay in our makeshift tent with a few raindrops spattering down and the children got really silly. Jeffrey was feeling pleased with himself because he’d written a letter to Florence about the trip and I’d said I was proud of him, something which isn’t said often enough I guess. That night we roasted marshmallows over the primus stove.

After breakfast and packing up the next day it took us about an hour to work our way down to, and around. Stoddard Lake. We ate lunch at the same little meadow with the ice cold spring where we’d eaten on the way in, only this time there were 5-6 cows in the field across from it.

July 1973

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We went into town for swimming lessons. Went up to the house so the children could change into their suits. As we were turning into Lowden Park, the door on the passenger side flew open and Jeffrey, who had been sitting there, went flying backwards out of the car. Rebecca yelled his name as I slammed on the brakes and was out of the car to run to that side but in that brief amount of time he was already back in his seat, shaking and scraped. I gave him a quick check and then continued to the pool where I left Rebecca and asked Patty if she’d look after her until I got back. I drove over to the hospital where they cleaned off his elbow and took him upstairs for an X-ray. He enjoyed riding in the wheelchair and up the elevator but wasn’t at all happy about the cleaning process. Had to wait a while for the x-rays, which didn’t happen until Dr. Polka came. The arm was o.k. Apparently the bones in the elbow of a child that age aren’t fused together yet and could be knocked out of place and not grow together right. We went to Forero’s, where Rebecca was, and ended up eating lunch with them. Sure are nice people.

Took Rebecca to piano lessons and picked up Karen Austen to watch the boys while I ran errands. Went to the tire shop and got the flat fixed, stopped to talk to Barbara Austen for a minute; picked up Rebecca; went to the post office and grocery store; went up to the telephone company office to get insurance forms; went home and took Karen home but left Rebecca and Jeff home for a few minutes. Fixed a light dinner; washed the stack of dishes; ironed some of Bob’s shirts and a couple of blouses. Packed up and went over to Florence and Leonard’s to get vegetables. Leonard fixed me a light drink and we had some berry pie. I picked lettuce and squash and then we drove out to the ranch. Florence had put ointment and gauze on Jeffrey’s elbow. I had to carry both boys upstairs to bed as both had fallen asleep in the car. On the 15th Bob called around 3 p.m. as he’d just gotten back from his pack trip. He had a good trip and saw a lot of country.

The children and I painted a drawer I brought up from the barn. I put wheels on the backside of it and Jeffrey had it under his bed as a toy box. He could lift up on the handle and pull it out. While we were painting the drawer Jeff found an enormous caterpillar on the Virginia Creeper that grew along the south side of the porch fence. We put it in a jar and I hoped it would spin a cocoon but it just kept eating for a number of days. Then, instead of spinning anything where we could see it, the caterpillar burrowed into the dirt in the jar to make its chrysalis.

I’d gone out to kick in the pool, exercise and cooling down, around 9 pm. Bob was upstairs resting and the kids in bed. “I looked up in the meadow and saw a big bear heading down towards the orchard. I came up to the house and told everyone to look out the window, which they did. I put the dog back in the house so she wouldn’t take off after it. The bear came down into the orchard and sat down for a minute looking up at the trees. After a thorough inspection, as if to say, ”Hmmm, I’ll come back in a few weeks when they’re riper.” It went back up the meadow towards the fence and went into the trees, almost opposite the pool where I was once again kicking. The children were pretty impressed with the bear.”

The next day was another hot one. Bob cleaned up his camping gear, washed his camping clothes, then took the tractor down to the creek. We went down and brought him home. Then he and Rebecca and Jeffrey went down (Clarke was napping). They got only as far as the pelton wheel though when he discovered a kink in the cable, which had to be fixed. After coming home for a swim break they went back. “I fixed hotdogs, salad and chocolate pudding and Clarke and I joined them at the creek around 6 p.m. for dinner. Bob and Rebecca moved a few more rocks after dinner and then we came home while he did some cat work.”

Clarke loved the pool. He’d say he was dog-paddling while I provided support under his stomach, kicking vigorously. His favorite book then was Little Black Sambo.

On the 18th we were in town again for swimming lessons and the library, as well as lunch at Varney’s. We stayed that night and the next evening took the children to Florence and Leonard’s so we could go to Lewiston for the Trinity Forest Forum. We sat with the Engles. The program was a slide show and talk by a man from Humboldt State on the work they were doing studying silver salmon, steelhead and trout in Manzanita Creek—very interesting. We got back to Florence & Leonard’s about 11:30 and talked until after 12:00. The children had a good time. There were lots of other children there and they played in Florence’s flower garden.

Cheryl came out with Michael one afternoon, driving with one arm. They ate dinner with us, leaving just as Bob arrived around 7:30. We had homemade ice cream for dessert. Didn’t get through with household stuff that night until around 10:00. Drove over to lock the gate because Bob had left it open for Cheryl but had locked the lock and she couldn’t unlock, close and relock it after her departure.

Nick Twight

Friday Bob left at 6:30 and I had an hour to myself before Jeffrey got up. Rebecca slept until 8:30 and so was emotionally upset for a while. I was mowing the orchard when she got up and instead of getting angry when she stomped upstairs I went back to mow. Then decided a little kindness might be in order (rather than having my own tantrum) so I went down and took milk and fruit up to her in bed. It worked! For both of us. A few minutes later I had to come back down to put baking soda on Clarke’s foot because he’d stepped on a bee. By 11:00 the mowing was finished and I was having a cup of coffee.

A day or two later the children and I drove out to the Joneses place on Boulder Creek, driving through thunderstorms after swimming lessons.
We stayed overnight. Angenett and children were there and their friends, the Newcomers, arrived later. I took two watermelons and started homemade ice cream. Alice helped me crank it. We had a delicious dinner outside while swishing yellow jackets away. After dinner we went down to the creek and built a big bonfire. Marshmallows were toasted and s’mores made. After the children were in bed we talked and had some wine and kept talking after Horace and Alice went to bed.

After we’d gone to sleep (outside in sleeping bags), I was awakened around 4:20 by a crying child and by flashlight found Clarke on the other side of the fire looking for me. Fortunately he hadn’t stepped into hot coals. That’s where I’d been when he’d gone to sleep and we were talking but then he didn’t know I’d gone to sleep right beside him.

Rebecca, Jessica and Hope really separated themselves from the boys to play. They ran all over both sides of the creek. Jeffrey and Cedric seemed to get along quite well. I spent about an hour down at the creek with Clarke. It was very nice and there was a shallow pool with a sandy bottom for him to play in. I made boats for him out of bent pieces of bark with a leaf for a sail. After lunch we packed up and went back to Weaverville where we met Bob. Hamburgers at Babe’s Café and then out to the ranch, Bob and Rebecca came out in the truck, bringing sand and wood.

Bob took Rebecca into Weaverville with him, leaving in the truck. She stayed with Florence who took her to swimming lessons and picked her up. The boys and I got along pretty well except I did miss the reassurance I had when Rebecca was there that they weren’t into something or doing something hazardous. I washed the upstairs windows and a few of those downstairs. Cut half the wood that Bob had hauled out and stacked it on the porch. Jeffrey took one and a-half wheelbarrow loads and stacked them. I had to push the full one down to the house for him but he managed to get the empty back up, not an easy job for him. Took the boys down to the creek for half an hour from 5:14 to 5:43. No sun on the pools but close around. Came home and made a blackberry pie. Got the boys to bed and fed Bob, Rebecca and myself when they got home a little before 8:00.

Jeffrey and Cedric

The next day Bob was going to Victorville to attend some meetings to decide what was going to happen with the Weaverville office when he was no longer district manager—in August. His title was going to be Planning Systems Analyst but it wasn’t terribly accurate. He really sounded happy to be getting out of personnel work and being by himself in a more research type situation.

Backpacking & More July 1973

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Sunday, July 8th

Just got back from a morning walk. We’re camped at McDonald Lake with Candy and Jim Fields. I got up around 6:20 and climbed up to one of the “shelves” above the lake. Watched the sun come up—always an exciting experience with a lake and granite cliffs. Didn’t see much animal life. Lots of hummingbirds—saw one get a drink from a waterfall, hovering in the air. Lots of juncos. Saw a frog in a little pond. Melting snow patches up there make little ponds and rivulets. Bob’s still asleep. Candy and Jim are up.

We had a very pretty hike in to Stoddard yesterday. It was very easy with many little meadows, one with pitcher plants in bloom. The trees around here are mountain hemlock, foxtail pine and white pine. Heather and pinemat manzanita are blooming, buttercups and penstemons. Shooting stars are just fading.

We swam yesterday (Monday), while Jim hiked up to Holland Lake. Some fishermen came along after a couple of hours as we were sprawled out on the rocks. We jumped back in and swam back to camp. Then we hiked up to the little lake up above, much smaller and shallower but very pretty. We swam there a little and on our way back down met Jim coming back. Lasagna, wine and raspberry cobbler for dinner.

Jim didn’t have any breakfast and Candy just had two cups of hot chocolate. Bob and I both had cereal. I don’t know how they do it.

After breakfast two men came out on the rocky point and asked if we had any extra toilet paper. They wanted to know how to get to our campsite but Bob told them he would meet them at the trail–that way they wouldn’t be in our camp. The campsite was right on the lake, under a clump of hemlocks—a small rocky point was where we cooked and ate. All the rest of that part of the shore was covered with willows that extended back 20 feet from the shore. We ploughed through them to leave the camp.

Mid-morning we went swimming again. Bob went to join Candy and Jim (Jim was fishing) over by the far shore. I joined them about half an hour later on an air mattress. I could look down and see the ripple patterns reflected as light geometric shapes on the bottom of the lake. The mattress shadow was the center. The whole thing was like a large spider web with me at its center.

We ate lunch and left camp around 1:30 or 2:00. Had a very leisurely walk out, stopping frequently to look at things. Candy showed me a snowplant—the first I’d seen in the Alps. A group from Redding passed us on our way out. One of the men worked for the U.S.F.S. We’d met him before at a meeting. Lots of wild mint growing on dry hillsides—a new phenomenon for me. Very fragrant when stepped upon or picked. We got to Candy and Jim’s about 5:00, had some lemonade and went back to Weaverville.

Stopped at the Jolly Cone for a milkshake dinner. It was quite a hot day. Then went home where Connie Martin and the children seemed quite happy with each other. They’d spent a lot of time at Connie’s house. She’d given them each a stuffed animal—Rebecca and Jeffrey each a monkey and Clarke a little dog. We really had a good time and Bob was talking about doing more of that.

The next day was cleanup—vacuumed and dusted the Weaverville house, which was really awful. Took the children to swimming lessons where I talked to Barbara Michaels and Bev Forero. In the afternoon took Clarke for blood tests after seeing Dr. Breeden. Clarke looked pale to me and complained of being tired. Apparently the blood tests showed he was fighting something off. That afternoon we went back out to the ranch.

Tuesday morning I did four batches of laundry then went down to where the trail meets the road and cut wood for an hour. Clarke walked down with me and Rebecca and Jeffrey joined us later. We went home and had lunch and then I took the car down and picked up the wood. After that I noticed that the right tire was nearly flat so had to change it.

On Wednesday, Bob still gone on his pack trip, I drove to Big Bar to get margarine. I’d almost decided not to go but the children were anxious to go, wanting a snack I suppose, and we needed more gas for the lawnmower so we tied up the dog and went down. I bought a pound of margarine, two apples and a newspaper and got Clarke and Jeffrey some ice cream. Rebecca had taken some of her own money and bought a little wallet with play money, credit card and checkbook. Got five gallons of gas for the lawnmower.

We stopped at the creek for about an hour on the way home. “That is such a nice spot!” The creek was just right for dabbling in. Clarke was quite content playing with his stick boat (or “whale”); Jeffrey was building rock walls and bridges; Rebecca was exploring a little—discovering the upper pond, and chasing frogs. We saw a fish about four inches long, a salamander, a frog and a minnow—none were caught although attempts were made.

I perched on a rock above the lower small fall and tried to become part of the water, the rocks and the trees. That little fall forms a bubbling pool at its base and the thought kept occurring that the whole stream moved almost as one piece, like mercury, except for the bubbles—especially at the top of the ripples where there is a smooth, almost molten look. On the way out I dug up a tiny Indian Rhubarb which would have been covered by Bob’s rockwork soon. Didn’t know whether it would survive but planted it below the drain valve toward the barn where there is a constant slight trickle that keeps things damp.

When we got home the dog was thoroughly tangled and had trampled most of my gladiolas.

Rebecca got stung by a bee on the bottom of her foot near the toes while I was mowing the lawn. It swelled up quite a bit.

After lunch and Clarke’s nap I suggested to Rebecca that we make chocolate chip cookies. Lightning and thunder had begun and we sat in front of the window stirring and watching lightning. No rain.

Candy called to confirm that Peter Richerson could speak to the Forest Forum in August.

Jeffrey complained at lunchtime that his teeth felt funny—like they were moving back and forth, even when he wasn’t chewing. I took a good look that night and found that his two front teeth were loose—that’s a little early. He was rather pleased with himself but a little worried too I thought. He wondered if he would swallow them during the night. I assured him that they weren’t that loose and that even when very loose he wouldn’t swallow them.

Clarke was hurrying upstairs so he could look out the window at a pink cloud of sunset, which I was recommending, but fell backwards down about three steps, hitting his head. He later complained of one ear hurting when he lay on it but seemed ok.

The dog jumped on Jeffrey that afternoon, knocking him over and putting a hole in his foot with her claw. I was certainly glad that they had all had tetanus boosters. I cleaned it out and put antiseptic on it and a bandage. We needed to get the dog’s nails cut but I wanted to wait until Bob could help.

“It had been quite a hectic day, except for the creek interlude, and yet tonight, after Clarke’s fall, we were all lying on the bed upstairs talking and it was kind of nice—especially after I checked on Jeffrey’s teeth. Everyone was suddenly very close for a few minutes—Rebecca remembering when she first lost hers, Clarke realizing something important was happening, Jeffrey aging before my eyes. It was late—about 9:00, but for once I wasn’t yelling at them about it. All had clean heads and smelled good, Jeffrey having washed his own in the shower for the first time. “

I practiced my accordion that night, reading music.

A June Birthday to July 1973

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June 29th was a busy day involving taking children to Linda Lindsey’s getting a tetanus booster for Clarke on the way, and then the car to be lubed. Walked from there to Florence and Leonard’s to pick raspberries. Vernon and Ruth Ryan were there and I talked to them for a little while. It took two hours to pick all the berries and I was very hot–felt almost sick. Got over two gallons though. Then walked back to the service station, got the car, picked up the mail and then the children. Bought groceries. Went home, put Clarke down, changed some more sprinklers, washed lettuce and berries, went with the children to the library where we met Helen Woods who invited us up to their place after dinner.

Bob and Clarke went to work on the truck for half an hour while Rebecca and Jeffrey and I went up to the Woods. The wind had come up suddenly and it was much cooler. Both children did a lot of swimming. Jeff could kick nearly across the pool and Rebecca went all around the pool stopping whenever she needed to breathe. Jeffrey was pleased when Helen turned on the heat in the “drying room” (sauna). After Clarke arrived with his dad he enjoyed floating with me holding him up.

We went inside for ice cream and coffee and the children explored the house. They loved the loft. We got home around 9:30. Showed the children the last batch of slides and they got to bed around 10:00. I was reading a good mystery and didn’t realize how late it was until Bob got home from working on the truck about midnight. Frustrating book. The last two chapters had a number of blank pages.

I mention driving back and forth to the ranch in the VW with the dog in the front passenger seat, Rebecca and Jeffrey in the back seat with the ice chest between them, and Clarke in the back compartment with laundry—groceries that weren’t in the ice chest stuck wherever there was room.
All the above was written while I was sitting in their tree house.

Sunday, July 1st I was sitting out on the front porch drinking a glass of iced tea. Bob had come out that morning with the weapons carrier, leaving town at six and getting there at 8:00 a.m. Florence had come out and ate lunch with us, bringing the paper, lettuce, beets and three fish that Leonard had caught in Oregon. She drove Bob back to town. They took Rebecca, who was going to stay overnight with the Meyers, and Clarke and Jeffrey for the ride. Bob didn’t really want to take them all but “it sure was great to have some time without bickering or requests for attention.”

I practiced kicking in the pool. Then the dog and I walked up the hill to go over the old roads. Went up to the clearing then down to where we stored the half- pipe a few years ago. Lots of bear droppings there. Then down the jeep trail to our road and back to the pool again.

Saturday I had gone up to clean out the bathtub settling tank so we could fill the pool with relatively clear water; baked a raspberry pie (Jeffrey mixed the dough); made Clarke turn his toad loose (I thought it was dying from too much attention); took Clarke up to look for caterpillars in the milkweed (we brought home a tiny one); did three batches of laundry; fixed lunch for the children to eat in the tree house; chased the dog out of the garden about three times; helped Rebecca and Jeffrey use the little printing press. By then it was 5 pm.

Had been reading a book called “The U.S. Forest Service” by Michael Frome. Also one about collecting birds and animals in S. America called “The Drunken Forest”.

The next day was “an “unbelievable day. It’s a wonder I have any sanity left.”
Bob and I had been up until midnight Sunday night working on a letter to the Forest Service on timber management that was due the next day. He wrote and I typed and proofread. “It was a good letter and he used a lot of information from Peter’s paper on clear-cutting Douglas Fir and Michael Frome’s book. “

He got up at 5:00 a.m. but I didn’t get up until 7:00. I finally got things organized and the boys and dog and I left at 9:30. In Weaverville we picked up Rebecca from Meyers’ and went to the pool where Rebecca was in Advanced Beginners and Jeffrey in Beginners. We went to the post office and then to Brown’s for lunch. Bought groceries. When we got home I noticed that Kinnik-Kinnick’s eye was swollen and oozing. I called the vet in Redding and was told to bring her down. So then I had to find a babysitter—finally got Karen Austen. The vet took a ½ inch long foxtail out of the dog’s eye.

Got back to town around 4:30 and stopped to get a paper before going up to the house. There I overheard a boy about 10-years old saying “They ought to arrest someone who wears pants like that downtown.” I didn’t pay much attention, not seeing anyone to match his comments. When I got home I discovered the back seam of my shorts was split open. “He was right!”

After I took Karen home I ironed two of Bob’s shirts, expecting him to come home but he didn’t. So I left a note for him and we went to the Brewery for pizza for dinner, eating out on the porch. I called Florence from there so that if Bob was looking for me she could tell him where we were.

From there we went out to the ranch. Part way up our road the dog took a flying leap out the window. I slammed on the brakes, fully expecting her to have broken her neck—she had the leash on, attached to the seat belt holder. Up popped her head and paws and she was looking in the window at us like, “well, here I am”.
Bob arrived about half an hour later. He’d been delayed by personnel matters.

By July 3rd I was feeling sorry for myself. Bob had been invited on a pack trip with the Forest Service and I was envious I guess, thinking how nice it must be to just be able to take off like that. We were going to go on a trip with Candy and Jim but I’d have to get a sitter, get all their clothes together, make sure there was enough food for them, and then do the cleanup when we got back. Nothing like some fatigue to have one look on the dark side.

On the 4th apparently we didn’t go into town to see the parade, etc. We were all out at the ranch all day. Bob worked on the truck in the morning. I weeded in the garden for an hour and-a-half. Rebecca had yeast dough rising during that time for rolls. She was rolling out dough and shaping rolls while I was fixing lunch. Put Clarke down f or a nap but once again he wouldn’t sleep so I let him stay up.

After dinner Bob and the older two went down to the creek, getting home a little after 9:00. Bob had taught Rebecca to put the truck in neutral and to make the winch release the cable and to turn it off. She releases cable while Bob pulls on it.
Bob flew to Bishop and back on the 3rd.

Jeffrey fixed lemon pudding for dessert, with some assistance.

I was starting to read “Wild Heritage” by Sally Carrigher.

July 5th I took the children for a walk up to the bathtub settling tank so I could clean it and then we went on up into the woods. There were lots of mosquitos in the shade. We stopped at the rack where Bob used to unload mining pipe. This was the first time the children had been there. I wished I had taken my camera as there were meadow grasses with seeds silvered by backlight from the sun and one scene with two copper madrones, trunks against the mountains across the creek, that was the essence of the limberness of madrones, like muscular thighs and a startling contrast with the very deep greens of early morning. The children were surprised to find themselves down at the turn where the jeep road enters.

Rebecca and Jeffrey and the dog ran ahead. Clarke and I investigated a delicate spider web with the spider in the middle. He touched it with one finger and it scooted off to one side of the web. I had to ask him to not pursue it. We watched a big carpenter ant carrying its egg and found a raspberry bush with one berry on it, just for Clarke. He enjoyed walking through the “green tunnel” just below the house where the alders are thick.

Back at the house the boys came up to the garden to get radishes while I was weeding. Kinnik-Kinnick took two of Clarke’s and ate them.

That afternoon Rebecca mixed chocolate pudding and took the laundry off the line. I showed Rebecca and Jeffrey how to play cars with roads in the dirt and rocks and blocks for buildings. Jeffrey and Clarke ended up playing in the mud of the “mill pond” and had to have showers before dinner. After dinner Rebecca went with Bob to haul rock. We had lettuce and radishes and a few greens from the garden with dinner.

Cheryl was in an automobile accident. She and Kathy Cleaves were in a pickup going toward Redding and ran off the road near the gables. Cheryl had a dislocated shoulder and Kathy a concussion.

The following week we would be backpacking.