Time for Butterflies 1974

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When I reached the parking lot and started down the road, a man flagged me down and asked for a ride back to near Lake Eleanor road where he’d left his wife in their car after running two tires into the ditch. He was worried that she might panic with him gone so long but it seemed to me that he was the one in a panic. He was sort of an older gentleman (whatever that meant at my age) and I nicknamed him “Joe L.A.” Dark glasses, slacks, sports shirt, nervous cigarette, big car. “I thought I’d be more tolerant after my trip but found myself less so—it was a strain to be polite.” After I dropped him off I met a jeep coming up whose driver was going to try to pull him out.

When I got to town I called Bob, cleaned up, put away things and headed for the ranch. When I got there it was back to reality. Of course I was really tired so things seemed magnified. Bob had spent the previous two hours looking for car keys so dinner had yet to be fixed and it was around 7:00. The children were dirty and hungry but eager to show me the dollhouse their father had built for them. He fixed a salad and we had canned spaghetti for dinner. After we’d eaten I took Clarke’s shirt off to swish him through a bath and saw that he had a rash—a bad case of poison oak. The caterpillars were out of food and the garden hadn’t been watered. Rebecca and Jeff got leaves for the caterpillars.

If I’d been a bit more mature I would have been grateful that they were all still alive, seemed to have had a good time, and their father had also survived. But that came a little later.

I was really sore and stiff and blisters were painful. That plus Clarke fussing from the poison oak itching meant not much sleep that night. Monday Bob brought medicine from in town that we’d used the previous summer to help with the itching. They had drained the pool while I was gone but hadn’t cleaned it so the bottom of the pool was littered with dead bumblebees and the walls coated with a film. By Monday evening after I’d done three batches of laundry, cleaned and filled the pool, “I was more optimistic”.

My eldest brother Ben, called from Corning that evening. He and his wife were arriving around 11:30 that night. We talked for an hour after they arrived and then went to bed, with them sleeping in sleeping bags out on the front porch. After breakfast on Tuesday we walked the loop. I hadn’t seen him since Clarke was about 16 months old. This was the first time we’d met Pat, his second wife. The children spent their time going from lap to lap. Ben was entranced by all our water. He ran sprinklers, mowed more of the grass around the barn, unplugged the drain, which had been full of grass roots, so that water from the lower spring would run under the apple trees. They left around noon on Wednesday. They’d moved from the Seattle area to Pennsylvania where he was teaching.

Thursday we went into town for dental appointments for the boys and to run some errands. On the way out of town we stopped to see Florence and she gave us chard, lettuce, squash and raspberries. We made one quick stop at the Woods for a quick dip in their pool and then dry off in their sauna. On the way out to the ranch we ran into heavy rain and hail along the river- “came down in great silver splotches that shown in the sun and splattered against the windshield”. Lots of thunderheads around during afternoon.

One of the caterpillars hung upside-down the night before and by this evening was a lovely green chrysalis and a second one was upside down.

I was concerned because Bob wasn’t home yet at 10:00. He was down at the creek putting plastic pipe upstream so he could keep the cement wet. Jack Simmons had brought out a ready-mix truck the week before and Bob, Ben Parks and Kevin Lewis had poured cement, settling it with a vibrator, powered by a portable generator from the hardware store. The abutments were further along as a result.

On Friday I got up early and fixed breakfast for Bob. After the children and I made a raspberry pie, from Florence’s raspberries, I’d changed beds and tried to start the generator to do laundry. It wouldn’t start so I tried the lawn mower to mow and it wouldn’t start. Called Bob and he gave me some suggestions. Got the generator started and laundry going. Cleared the air filter on the lawnmower and it started right up. The children spent most of the day playing with the little pottery animals that came with boxes of Red Rose Tea. They used a small plastic doll for Mowgli (I’d been reading the Jungle Books to Jeffrey.) After lunch I hung up the three batches of laundry; cleaned the bugs out of the pool and kicked for five minutes. Got the lawn mower going again by adjusting the fuel mixtures screen. Mowed the orchard with one stop for a swim and one to refill with gas. The children spent a lot of time in the pool.

Big buildup of thunderheads in the afternoon but no storm—quite warm.

That morning, when I was talking to Clarke about how he must take a nap he said, “I won’t have a steric, Mommy, I promise.” I’d told him he had hysterics when he didn’t take a nap. He didn’t get the nap but did pretty well. Talked to Candie for a while. It was Carin’s birthday.

Saturday we went into town to go to Vernon and Ruth’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration), having a good visit with Candie, Jim and Carin before we left the Weaverville house. The reception was really very nice—punchbowls and cake and lots of people—apparently about 60 of Vernon’s clan showed up. Big picture of them on their wedding day—Ruth calm, steady-eyed, capable; Vernon romantic and dreamy. We got there around 4:00 and were there till nearly 5:30. Bob was having a very good time seeing lots of people he hadn’t seen in a number of years and introducing me to many of them. Rebecca got to meet his former piano teacher.

The Asplins were there—Horgans, and others we hadn’t seen in a while. I met Ed Ryan, Vernon’s son, and his wife Ruthie. “I left thinking that I hadn’t been thinking about marriage as a 50-year investment of time and effort; more like ten- year increments. I suppose if one thought at the beginning in terms of 50 years it would mean working a lot harder at it—especially in terms of seeing that each partner was allowed and encouraged to develop to his and her fullest capabilities. We talked a lot afterwards about the various people there, about Bob, about marriage. I am so fond of Vernon and Ruth.”

We stayed in town Saturday and Sunday night. I caught up on chores there, even washing woolen things that should have been done last spring. Children played with friends. We ate dinner at the Brewery—fried chicken and salad. It was under new management and they didn’t have pizza anymore. Two walls of the upper room were covered with a mural of Weaverville. It was quite attractive but not very accurate.

Monday on our way to the ranch we stopped in Big Bar to get ice for homemade raspberry icecream. What wouldn’t fit into the freezer we used to make popcycles.

The children liked to play outside after dinner and that night they had the overhead sprinklers on and got marvelously cool before bedtime. “I was thinking of the childhood memories they will have and wondering if, when they’re all in their twenties, whether they’ll say, ‘and remember those sprinklers up on the roof’?’ I hope they store up lots of good memories because I’m afraid they’ll need them during the difficult times ahead for the world. They’ve certainly had a much more varied childhood than I did already. I think it’s interesting that out of the four of us the three boys and families are the ones that ended up in an urban environment, while I’m in a more park like atmosphere, at least in the summer. (Of course the last 15-20 years it’s been my brother Peter who has been living the rural lifestyle.)

July 29th, Friday—It has been unbearably hot the last two days. The upstairs doesn’t really cool off much during the night. The last three nights I’d been up a lot with Clarke. Sometimes I’d take him downstairs for a cool bath to relieve the itching. It was so warm in the house and for several days much of my time was spent trying to help the children stay cool night and day. Rebecca and Jeffrey slept in the VW bus two nights in a row and Rebecca looked much less tired the next day. When Clarke was in the pool I had to be there too. He went under once when I was there and once when both Bob and I were there. It’s only 2 ½ feet deep but we noticed that when he went under was while holding on to a floatation item. So we took those away. We were going into town for Aunt Nell’s 90th birthday party that weekend.

First Solo Backpack Trip 1974

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My proposed backpack trip had to be postponed several times and Bob suggested I take an extra day to make up for it, a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We were out at the ranch that Tuesday. I mowed the lawn while Clarke napped. Bob went into town late afternoon but got back around 7:30. The children and I had taken a walk around the loop after putting a roast in the oven, and then had warm roast-beef sandwiches for dinner. I watched the children out the window and enjoyed them. They were really silly that afternoon—lots of bathroom talk, plays on words, hysterical giggles. After dinner Bob told them that a jay in the barn had pooped on his shoulder and this set them off again.

“Jeffrey, this morning, very casually, very manfully, offered to go on my trip with me—“if you want me to”. I wept tonight telling Bob about it.”

Rebecca was re-reading The Yearling to herself, now that I finished reading it to her. “She is such a complicated child—so grown up in some ways, yet very vulnerable in others. She looked willow-the-wispy tonight—shiny, soft hair, dreamy-eyed, holding her blanket and her frog. And yet there is a great inner strength there too I think.”

Clarke had been cheerful and silly, alternating with wanting to be cuddled. He had a nap which helped a lot with overcoming his crossness of the last few days. The inconsistencies of naps made life difficult for him sometimes.

“I wish I could let the children know how pleased I am to know them so well—their marvelous uniqueness as well as their faults—without getting them all self-conscious about it. I think they know I love them well, even when I nag. I dread their being hurt by the cruelties life offers—I just hope there are enough good things to make it worthwhile for them.”

I was reading another of Ann Lindbergh’s books-Locked Rooms, Open Doors.

“July 12th–I am writing this at the head of Deer Creek Meadows, sitting beside a waterfall in the sun, just below the Luella Lake Trail junction. Kinnik-Kinnick and I got here about 3:30. I drove into Weaverville from the ranch yesterday afternoon—got there about 4:30 and really had to hurry to buy groceries for the ranch plus what I needed for this trip. After dinner I packed (called the ranch once and talked to each child and asked Bob a couple of things). Got packed round 9:00 and then vacuumed the house for some weird reason. Played our John Denver record a lot.

Got up at 5:15 and was at the trail around 8:00. Met lots of people going in. Kinnik-Kinnick got confused at Granite Creek Bridge and started following two teenage girls. I didn’t catch up with her again till we reached Granite Lake.

It is a beautiful trip in here—lots of water, azaleas still blooming (on the Granite Lake side)-pitcher plants at the beginning of the trail. Granite Lake lies at the end of a long meadow and over some rocks—big snow slide still at the end. I arrived there at the same time as the two girls, who had managed to pick up about six fellows. I ran right into the camp of a family who told me I’d missed the Deer Creek Meadows turnoff so I went back a couple of hundred feet and found it. Had been worried about snow but ran into a couple of patrolmen (one was Rod Duncan whom I’d taught in 5th grade at Big Bar) who said it was mostly melted off. Ate lunch by a little trickle of a stream looking out over Granite Lake.

That’s a very steep climb up out of there. I’d never have made it if it were a hot August day with no water. It’s 1.5 miles to the pass. Came down the switchbacks from the pass in about an hour, going slowly because my legs, feet and shoulders are very sore. My pack is much too heavy. Coming down there were some long green meadows—at the top of these tiger lilies were all in tight green buds—at the bottom some were in bloom. The 4-Lakes area has a lot of snow in it still. Passable probably but I don’t think I’ll go there. Peter built those switchbacks down from the pass about eight years ago. I was going to stop at their old camp but this looks pretty good and I’m tired.

Kinnik-Kinnick just came and curled up with me. I think she’s tired too! My shoulders are so sore. I hope I can make it to Long’s Cabin tomorrow. Am supposed to stay there tomorrow night and come out Bear Basin Sunday. I think I’ll try to eat around 5:00. (I was trying to stay at the places I’d talked about with Bob so if I needed to be found someone would know where to look.)

Alice Jones’ painting of Deer Creek area.

I’ve decided that solitude is all very well and good but I think if Bob were along I’d enjoy it more—or even one of the kids if they could walk this far. Sharing an experience enriches it. I thought it probably would be this way. I’m enjoying not having to respond to anyone but I miss the response to me! This is really kind of a pretty spot—foamy waterfall about eight feet high, hellebore and tiger lilies—but not in bloom. A kind of yellow lupine is just beginning to bloom and there are columbines blooming along the creek and on the rock by the waterfall. A few yellow violets in bloom next to the rocks. We may have picked a spot under a Stellar’s Jay nest for our campsite—at least they’ve really been squawking at the dog and one pooped on the air mattress. The trees look like white fir and white pine.

It’s 7:30 now. I’m in my sleeping bag—face washed, teeth brushed, hair brushed and small drink of peach brandy consumed. After dinner (primus stove worked beautifully) I read down by the creek for about an hour—a book that Jeannie Meyer loaned me. The sound of the creek is not consistent—sometimes the falls seem to slap the rocks—not unlike the sound of movement through underbrush.

I think I’m going to be consumed by carpenter ants tonight. Many big ones crawling around. I’ve blisters on the balls of both feet. Will try putting gauze pads on them tomorrow. Sun is off the meadow now but still on the cliffs at the head and on the mountains across from me—cliffs are a silver grey but the opposite mountain is quite red. Saw a couple of Steer’s Head Bleeding Hearts in bloom—many, many plants–just a few blossoms. Also saw a couple of leftover shooting stars.

Saturday—6:00 p.m.—Am later tonight making camp. Slept off and on last night waking frequently to hear the roar of the creek and once when a deer bounded off. Woke around 7:00. After breakfast I packed everything so it was all ready to go. Had a brief encounter with the stove. Wanted to fill it so all would be ready for tonight but took about 20 minutes to get the lid unscrewed. Was afraid for a while I’d have to have sandwiches for dinner and no lunch tomorrow—or breakfast!

Anyhow, around 10:00 the dog and I started up the trail with the idea of hiking to Diamond Lake since Bob had recommended it so highly—left the pack at camp. Really hard on my muscles at first. It is a lovely hike all the way—having to be conservative with pictures was agony. The trail climbs up almost as high as I was yesterday coming into Deer Creek only on the opposite side—very alpine, very spectacular–jagged peaks, fields of snow on them, bright green meadow with little ponds. One incident occurred which really made things grey for a while. Kinnik-Kinnick stirred up a fawn. It was bleating and she was yelping and I’m afraid she probably killed it. I whipped her with the leash when she got back and put her on the leash for most of the rest of the trip.

Luella Lake nests up in red rock above the Deer Creek Canyon—there was snow covering about 1/5 of it, and lots of snow around it. We zig-zagged on up the trail and had no problem till we got to the top of the ridge. Just below the top was a small cornice of snow–too steep in most places for me to climb over. Found a good spot to kick holes and then, right where the snow meets the rock, one foot went in. Fortunately the other foot was firm and I grabbed rock–could have been nasty as obviously no one had been over the trail recently and several days at that altitude with a broken leg would be yucky. From there to Diamond Lake took about 15 minutes.

Diamond Lake lies at the foot of steep talus slopes up which a trail winds but there was lots of snow on the trail. No wonder Bob wanted me to see this lake. Along the upper side is sloping green meadow with daisies and shooting stars, and hellebore is just beginning to poke up spikes along the melting snow, and has tightly bundled leaves, up about two feet elsewhere. A reddish rim rock sticks out on one side of the opposite shore. The rest of that shore is a look straight out at jagged, snow-covered peaks. I ate lunch there and was more full from the scenery I think than from the food.

Took 15 minutes to get back to the top of the hill, no trouble getting off the snow and was back in camp at 1:30. Left camp about 2:00 and, after traveling down Deer Creek about 15-20 minutes, had to take my boots off to get across. Think I saw where Deer Creek Camp is but am not sure about Peter’s old camp, which is supposed to be in that area. Started up the hill where the sign said Black Basin-3 Miles. It has many more switchbacks than are shown on the contour map. Quite a steep climb up and no water. We finally hit water in Black Basin and stopped for a drink and snack. There’s a beautiful little green meadow and a little pond, which looks out at the Sawtooth Range. Thought about staying there but decided to go further. A few hundred yards on there’s a kind of barren willowy camp with cut logs for stools and the trail to Mumford Basin takes off there as does the one to Bear Basin. I took the Bear Basin one and am camped, I guess, at Long’s Cabin. I told Bob I’d camp there but just happened upon it as it looked like a good spot. I guess there are two trails up to Bear Basin and I took the one that Long’s Cabin isn’t on—didn’t see a forks or anything, and looking over from the together trail saw this spot. So far today I’ve seen no one. Saw some fairly fresh tracks on the Deer Creek Trail and this one to Bear Basin looks like someone came out on a horse and maybe went to Mumford Basin. (After I got home I learned that yes, this was the remains of Long’s Cabin.)

The sun is still shining into here. Am wondering if it will shine in here early in the morning. I kind of doubt it. This camp is about 20 feet from a small stream. The area is used for snow surveys and there is an orange sign on one of the trees and one up about 20 feet in a tree across the meadow. The trees here look like mountain hemlock, red fir and white pine. It’s a pretty spot, patches of snow still around, lichens on fallen trees are a bright chartreuse. The peaks I’ll be going toward in the morning look like those at the head of Deer Creek—grey with reddish tinges-snow, a few patches of chartreuse lichens-not the furry kind as on the trees.

The breeze is cool in the shade I keep moving with the sun. Lots of old garbage here rusty cans, broken bottles, etc., pieces of what look like an old cabin—logs and boards with nails in them. Many carpenter ants here. One was into the stroganoff spoon as soon as I put it down.

Taking this trip has been a good thing for me—I’ve proved to myself that I can do it, have enjoyed my own company (it’s not much different from the long day hikes I’ve taken)—the dog has been kind of a nuisance—trying to keep her with me. I really must admit though that I can’t keep from thinking about the children and Bob. Like when I saw a parent Clark’s Nutcracker feeding a young one today I thought, “I must tell Clarke about that.”

I guess it means that once one has a family these individuals become a part of oneself. And one of the things, I enjoy about hiking—although I never realized it till this trip—is sharing the experience by talking about it…and sharing it with someone who cares about you.

I am really looking forward to our taking the children into Hall’s Gulch. I do hope they will enjoy camping as much as I do as time goes on. It will be fun having someone to go with when they’re older during the times that Bob can’t—or maybe we can all go a lot or Bob and I can take just one at different times as Foreros have done.

I thought I’d be poetic, bringing this paper but I’m so tired by evening it’s all I can do to write down the facts! I see now another sign in my cluster of trees—up about 20 feet.

Creeks are funny. It’s no wonder poets have talked about babbling brooks. I often think I hear children’s voices and my mother used to say she would hear our voices in creeks. Rebecca thought I was calling her the other day when we were down at Little French Creek but I wasn’t. I think Jeffrey would like this spot with the big green meadow across the creek and all the rounded rocky outcroppings to climb on. The sun must be going down but it doesn’t seem to have lowered at all since we got here—it’s just moved around a bit.

Morning of July 14th–Am nearly packed. I notice that my writing in the evening is very home oriented—mornings I feel so free! I think this kind of existence could really grow on one. By the third night one should sleep soundly—from the exhaustion of not sleeping the other two nights if nothing else. Probably one stops listening to the creeks talk by then. I have all the routines down now and everything goes smoothly—meal preparation, packing up, etc. and I’m sure my muscles are stronger—as well as the pack being a little lighter.

I wonder if that “evening family” thing is a primitive instinct of mankind. To draw together at night for protection. I think I’d like to do something like this for a couple of days every summer. Almost packed now and it’s 8:45. The sun came up in a totally different place than I expected this morning. Have had full sunlight since about 7:30. Robins were singing until after 9:00 last night and started at 5:00 this morning.

I ran out of film in the upper part of Bear Basin. Large patches of snow on the cliffs, but the trail was clear. Wound down into Bear Basin, crossed the creek on some short logs. I’d forgotten how beautiful the lower meadow is. Of course I’d seen it only in the fall before. A full quarter of a mile of pitcher plants, rein orchis, etc. Looking back up the canyon toward the snow– splotched peaks it was really spectacular. I lost the dog’s leash somewhere here. Ate lunch by a little spring along the stretch where azaleas grow in such abundance—air filled with their fragrance—maidenhair ferns, spairea, tiger lilies, deep moss, tiny pools, bright yellow monkey flowers. We didn’t meet any people until we were beyond Parker Creek where we met a teenage boy with a pack. Over 48 hours without another human. “

Late June-Early July 1974

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Bob and I spent Saturday night and Sunday at the ranch. The boys stayed with Linda Lindsey, and Rebecca at the Myers’. “We got a lot of communication accomplished.” He had been in New York the last week but was home by the time we got back from Nehalem on a Tuesday. After the time at the ranch he left for Bakersfield. I came down with a bad cold but the two older children were now being paid for extra jobs besides their usual chores so were a big help with dishes, etc. We were out at the ranch again. I did get two batches of laundry done.

The plums that formed on the wild plum tree were wrinkled and elongated and had turned brown. Mock orange, which had been in full bloom on the weekend, was fading.

“The children follow me like little shadows in and out and around the house. There have been some bare toes stepped on because I didn’t realize they were there. We’ve had some good times too though. This morning they were all pretending to be large mice, creeping down the stairs. I chased them with various things including once with a broom and once a brick of cheese.”

On Wednesday Betty Rourke came to visit, arriving about noon. We’d gone over and unlocked the gate for her earlier. She ate lunch with us and we walked up to the woods and back. She brought some books out for Rebecca and a balance number game. She left around 3:00 p.m. We packed quickly and left shortly thereafter. Got to town and bought gifts at Greenwood’s for Ann Marie—and also paid for frames for my pictures and took the framed pictures home—a sketch of Clarke I’d made in Marne Wilkins class when he was a baby and three pictures of plants. Dropped Rebecca and Jeff off at Myers’ where they spent the night, sleeping outside.

Thursday morning I took the VW bus down to Callahan’s and left it. Jeannie gave us a ride home. After lunch we walked down to get it. They said three valves were tight and it was a good thing we’d gotten the work done. We went to Brown’s for a snack, then to the store for groceries. By the time we got home it was five. I decided to go out to the ranch after dinner. Bob arrived though so I decided to wait to go out until the next day. Friday morning the children and I went to the ranch, stopping by to see Florence on the way. She gave us about half a gallon of raspberries. Bob didn’t get out there until nearly 10:00 that night.

Saturday morning Bob went up on the hill with the children to fly airplanes. Jeffrey seemed to be in one of his streaks of really needing fathering (all of them were, due to his absences but he seemed to need it the most right then). So Bob did a lot of holding. Candie, Jim and Carin arrived around 12:30. Bob and Jim put the pool up and the children played in it as it was filling. I fixed pizza for dinner and it was polished off. After dinner we sat around talking for quite a while and Jim told the children stories. It was very hot upstairs that night and children were restless.

We had pancakes for breakfast and a mixture of canned peaches and raspberries for fruit. Bob and Jim went down to the creek to work. We took lunch down later and did some playing with the children around the creek. They left around 4:30 and Bob about 6:00. He was going to Phoenix, Arizona to conduct a seminar. I was really missing him. He looked so tired the day before.

On Wednesday, July 3rd, Rebecca washed the dishes while I fixed a lunch. Then we drove down to White’s Bar Picnic Area and walked upstream a few hundred feet so we could have space to ourselves. Kinnik-Kinnick was with us and she had a marvelous time swimming and chasing grasshoppers in the sand. There were a lot of dead eels in the shallows so I maneuvered the children to where there weren’t any. The water was very deep and swift with very little shallow along the edges. It was a hot day but kind of fun. We had to move the lunch from the shade of a big boulder when we discovered a nest of black hornets on the boulder. After lunch we went to Big Bar where I bought $22 worth of groceries at the River Store, including four large boxes of matches. We were down to three matches. “Frank Walden told us that a man, who said he was a junk dealer, got quite belligerent with renters saying he could go anywhere he wanted, including on private land, because he was a junk collector. Apparently he came up our road yesterday. He hadn’t tampered with the gate but of course he could have had a USFS key. Frank had reported him to the sheriff’s office. “

Back at the ranch I drained and cleaned the pool. It was filling but I’d have to finish that in the morning. Bob called. He was back in town. He said his trip was really successful. I’d made fudge a couple of days before and the children and I finished that off– “perfect gluttons!”

“I’m a little calmer the last two evenings about “things that go bump in the night”. I don’t know why I get so nervous at night when Bob’s gone. Probably would be ok if I never read the newspapers! “

July 4th was a big rush. We got to town around 11:30 and picked up Rebecca’s dress and bonnet from Florence. Finally got up to the house. Oregon Street was blocked off because of the Joss House celebration. Rebecca fixed sandwiches while I hurriedly made big stitches in her dress, which was about two feet too long. Got her over to the CD Hall at about 12:45 where Anne Marie and Heidi were waiting. Then we went downtown to wait for the parade. I talked to Bev Forero for quite a while. Rebecca had been nervous before the parade but I think she was sort of being responsible for the other two girls during the parade. Later we found out they had won an award. Bob joined us just before the parade started.

After the parade I took the children to the carnival while he put the boom on the boom truck and began unloading pipe. We spent a couple of hours at the carnival. Blew $13. Had two rides on the Ferris wheel, the children a couple of small children rides, and Jeffrey rode on a kind of scary big yellow disk. He looked so little and was the only passenger but he seemed to enjoy it thoroughly. Rebecca won a couple of dogs with a basketball toss. We got to the library at about 10 to 5 so only got a few books. Went home to check on Bob and then dropped Rebecca and Jeffrey off at Meyer’s. Clarke and I took gas cans to the service station and we went to the grocery store. Took the dress and bonnet back to Florence. Brought children home, including Ann Marie, fixed dinner. Clarke was so tired he was having hysterics so I put him in the tub to play while I washed dishes. Got him to bed and walked Ann Marie and Rebecca down to the road. They walked up to Moon Lee’s because Ann Marie’s parents were up there. Bob went out to the ranch at 9:30 to stay overnight.

Sunday morning I ironed a bunch of Bob’s shirts, bought groceries, washed all four of our heads. Fixed a lunch and we went over to Ohde’s to eat it since I had to stop there to pick up a present Van Duyns had left for Rebecca—a big stuffed frog. We got to the ranch about 3:00 and Bob was just coming out. We talked for a while and then he left. Kevin Lewis, who is helping with the bridge, came out then so we waited until he passed to close the gate.

This blog is seldom philosophical but I hope reflects the pace, the richness as well as the chaos, of this period of time in our lives as captured in my journal. It’s not meant to be publishable, just a record.

June 1974 Travel by Rail

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This year I was making the trip to Nehalem with the children on my own. Bob decided, understandably, that he didn’t want to spend half of his two weeks of vacation every year going to see my parents. So this time I was going to take them on the train. I was nervous about the whole process. I’d never ridden a train before so was looking forward to that part, unless one counted the time, when I was about six years old, when my mother and two of my brothers and I rode “The Skunk” train from Willits, California to my oldest brother’s scout camp to visit him. I do remember riding on “The Skunk” and that we ate lunch at the camp. We were served Cool Aid with lunch, my first exposure to that, and the scouts told us it was bug juice. I sort of believed them.

We were going on the train to Salem and then getting a rental car to drive the rest of the way to Nehalem. Bob had reserved the car for me and I had purchased the train tickets in Redding. I noted that I had taken paper for my journal with me for the visit but not once wrote on it while I was there.

The train left Redding in the middle of the night, and I suppose still does. It was 20 minutes late so was about 1 a.m. when we left, all of us quite excited. I’d driven to the station and left the car for our return since Bob had already left to go to Bakersfield and would be leaving for New York not long after we got back.

We weren’t able to sit together but were all in the same car. Clarke and Rebecca sat together as did Jeffrey and I. “The stars went rushing by and we whirred through a number of tunnels near Shasta Lake. It was light enough to see quite a bit just by starlight. Slowed way down going up the canyon. Seems to me I read that along this stretch there was heavy damage due to flooding this last year and that, although repairs had been made, the train must go only about 25 miles per hour. I could see the river and looking backward could often see cars curved out behind us and the engine ahead—like a big silver snake with a lighted head. Two boys in their early teens were in front of Jeffrey and me and one was especially restless, kept waking his companion and also running to the restroom all night. Rebecca and Jeff finally fell asleep around 2:30 or 3:00, Clarke earlier. It was daylight when we arrived in Klamath Falls about 5 a.m. and Rebecca awoke there, Jeffrey a little later, and we had to wake Clarke when it was time to get breakfast.

Sunrise was beautiful—pink and salmon clouds, mist rising on the swamps and on Klamath Lake, duck, pelicans and seagulls flying. Ours was a fairly quiet car, only a few children and some interesting characters among the adults. One couple, from New Jersey, sat one behind the other and, probably on purpose, conversed a great deal, read travelogues, etc. We had to wait a long time for breakfast and, at that, were served sooner than many having been given the #9. By the time I’d walked back five cars to the dining car and waited with all the cigarette smoke I wasn’t very hungry! The ride was quite bouncy.< When we finally got a table the waiter stood there drying wet silverware with a napkin, the silverware having apparently been dipped in dishwater recently but still containing food between the prongs of the forks. My enchantment with train travel started nose-diving. I sent back a couple of forks and would have sent the orange juice glasses but trusted in our health. We wound up over the mountains for a long time, past rhododendrons in bloom, patches of snow near Crescent Lake and down into Scotch Broom—very pretty. Arrived in Salem around noon. All of the railroad depots are so old: long high-backed benches and the one in Salem even had marble walls in the bathrooms, like some of the old buildings on the Berkeley campus. An employee called a cab for us and we soon arrived at the car rental place, just three blocks off Highway 22. We walked a block to a drive-in, after depositing our stuff at the car rental place -my suitcase, Rebecca’s suitcase and basket, Clarke’s little suitcase. Jeffrey had carried Rebecca’s duffel bag with lightweight sleeping bag and jackets. We ate lunch, walked back and had a hassle with the car rental agent who said he was sorry, but even though we’d reserved a compact car well in advance, he had none and we’d have to take a larger, more expensive car. (Bob later called their main office and we got it for compact rates) Remember there were no cell phones yet and I was a neophyte traveler functioning on basically no sleep!

Just outside of Salem everyone was falling apart. Rebecca was in tears because she wanted the front seat and Jeffrey was there (and she was exhausted); Clarke said his seatbelt was too tight and was sobbing, etc. I stopped, fixed Clarke’s belt; Jeff voluntarily traded places; got going with the air conditioner cooling the car and everyone promptly fell asleep! No one woke until we got to Tillamook. We got to Nehalem about 4 p.m. Stayed there Friday, Saturday and Sunday and left Monday. ‘We all slept well that first night!”

I was worried about both of my parents, my mother struggling with being in a wheelchair and paralyzed on one side, my dad with having to take care of her. He didn’t look well to me. He was still smoking and drinking too much wine but I’m sure it eased his stress. He wouldn’t leave her for a minute and she really wanted some time to herself I thought. And he needed some time to himself. We took a short walk up the road Friday, with my dad pushing the wheelchair and then I took the kids to the beach for a few hours. The children had a lot of fun. Being who I am I worried some about sneaker waves but they loved it and this year Clarke was much braver about incoming waves.

On Saturday we drove up the coast to another beach where my dad could get my mother down a paved path to where she could see and smell the ocean. He told me she later said, “I never thought I would see it again.” We’d gone there with them a long time before. There were caves worn in the bluffs and a stream made a smooth waterfall down to the sand.

The children and I went a little way into one of the caves and climbed around outside a bit to look at a tide pool. “Suddenly Rebecca said, “Look at the water.” Where there had been sand below us there were now several inches of water. We scrambled down and got back to where there was dry sand. We were perfectly ok but easily might not have been with my having totally ignored the fact that the sand was wet there. “

At this beach, as at the previous one, there were thousands of little transparent fish in the water, borne in on each wave. They tickled our feet, tiny, soft things, scarcely an inch long. We scooped some up in an old milk carton to show my mother. That night I showed my parents a few slides.

Sunday morning the children and I walked up to an old lookout place—very pretty and kind of a brush-lined, secret road going up. Coming back we went off the road into some brush, like a green-roofed world, little white flowers dancing around our feet. We tried to go to the beach again that afternoon but the wind was blowing the sand too hard and it stung. That evening we were expecting my brother Richard and his wife to join us for dinner and fed the children early. But they were late so my parents and I ate. I’d made a huckleberry pie from berries in their freezer. My brother didn’t arrive until 11 p.m. It was after midnight before we got to bed and then I couldn’t sleep because of an argument my brother and I had. He called it a discussion. I hadn’t seen them for three years.

Monday we left at 1:00 and got to Salem at 4:00 where we learned that the train, due at 4:45, wouldn’t be in until 5:45. We walked downtown a little way and ate a lunch/dinner, sandwiches, at a restaurant called the Rooster Tail. No one else was eating then so the children could be undignified. The waitress had just finished teaching her first year of 2nd grade, and was very nice to them. We got back to the depot and had to wait until after 6:00. When we got on the train it turned out they’d had to disconnect a couple of cars so seats were at a minimum. They had only singles for us, which I didn’t like and Clarke liked even less. Then the porter took us to another car where Clarke and I could sit together, Jeffrey in front of me with a 14-year old boy, and Rebecca across from him with a very tolerant and mentally alert woman. Half an hour or less out of Salem the train hit a car. No injuries apparently but that took another half hour. North of Klamath Falls we went through a brilliant lightning storm—also saw along the way, where a freight train had derailed the week before. Finally got to Redding at 6 a.m. Three hours late. We ate breakfast in Redding and then drove home with me trying to keep my eyes open. Went to bed and slept for a couple of hours.

May-June, 1974

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I returned from a Community Concert Board meeting in Redding that had been at the Neville’s. It was 11 pm when I was writing and I’d just made sure the children were tucked in, as it was cold that night. Patty had been their sitter. Bob had gone to San Francisco that afternoon. He had called and left his number for me with Patty. This was on a Tuesday.

Saturday we had gone out to the ranch. Bob and Clarke had gone in the big truck while Rebecca, Jeffrey and I, plus the dog, had gone out in the VW bus. Before we left we’d stopped to see the Woods for a few minutes. Eric, Marilee and little Sam were there too. Once at the ranch I fixed dinner. We didn’t turn on the refrigerator. It was a beautiful, warm weekend. We got there before Bob and Clarke did and when we got to Prairie Creek Road, Chuck Johnson was there, fixing the phone line. Someone had cut it the night before. Since the gate hadn’t been tampered with I went on in but was a little nervous.

Sunday Bob got up at 6:00 and went down to the creek to work. He dug by the boulder on the east side, making the area ready to build forms for the abutment. We went down around 8:30 and went on to Big Bar to buy a chunk of ice and a sack of ice cubes. Came back and planted the garden. Bob said that the water ouzel parents were feeding one young one in the nest but another further up the creek.

After lunch I mowed the lawn, then joined the children in running through the sprinkler. Around 3:00 Eric and Marilee Woods arrived for a short visit but they had left Sam home with Helen and Herb, much to Jeffrey’s disappointment. He’d gotten quite attached to him the day before when we’d visited.

Monday was a holiday in place of the traditional Memorial Day. I got up at 6:00 and walked down to the creek. I had a feeling the water ouzel nest was empty. Took off my shoes and waded over to put my hand in and felt its softness, no birds. I found one young one near the old bridge site and one up further, just below the logjam but didn’t find the third one. When an adult gave a warning cry the first young one stopped dipping up and down. It looked just like the rocks. Then, after a minute, it started bobbing again–slowly, but getting faster. It fluttered from one rock to another, acting as if it were tempted to go into the water, pecking at the rock for food.

I went home and fixed breakfast for everyone, washed the dishes and went for a walk with the children, up into the meadow, through the woods, down the old road, coming out where the jeep trail takes off. Back at the house I mowed the orchard, which took a couple of hours. The grass was deep in some places. Fixed a lunch and took it down to the creek where we ate and the children played for a while. Bob built a gently sloping path down by the bank, which was a help. Clarke was delighted because he not only found a “baby” banana slug but also two larger ones that started chomping on his leftover peanut butter sandwich.

That Tuesday was the last day of nursery school, except for the picnic. Becky Kaneen brought two snakes in terrariums, a coral king snake (she called it a mountain king snake) and a gopher snake. She stayed for quite a while and the children really enjoyed holding them and talking to her. Paul Clowdus even kissed the coral king.

Jeffrey brought Alex Belden home with him. Rebecca left her music books at school so I hauled her and all the boys over there and then up to music lessons. Came home and Bob had me do quite a bit of the job of changing the fan belt on the VW bus. Then I went back to get Rebecca. Jane Belden came for Alex around 4:00.

On Thursday we had the nursery school picnic at the Douglas City Campground. We had 26 children there and about 15 adults. The night before I stayed up until 1 a.m. working on certificates for the kids and finished them that morning. The parents gave me a $10 gift certificate to Greenwoods, which I was delighted to have.

Clarke got sick again that evening. Bob came home for dinner and then worked on some bridge stuff before driving out to the ranch to stay overnight and come back in the morning.

I wrote, “I hate projects—everything and everyone is placed beneath the importance of whatever the project is.” But I had married into a family that had a lot of projects going on. I must admit I became more competent and independent as a result of these projects.

Jeffrey’s class took a field trip to Redding to visit a new supermarket.

May 31st I wrote that I had been up and down a lot the night before because of Clarke’s illness. But I managed to get a short nap. When I was writing it was 11 pm and Bob still wasn’t back from the ranch.

“Really feeling fond of the children tonight. I wish I could make them realize how much I love them. Seems as if I spend so much of my time being witchy.”

“Rebecca wept at part of “The Yearling” tonight. I don’t know what I’ll do when we get to the end—I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish because I get so emotionally involved myself. The thing that really got to me tonight was that I felt a part of me in her—we were there together going through that only I wasn’t weeping as my adult self—but I know I won’t be able to keep from it later.”

Florence took Clarke for a couple of hours that day so I could haul kids to the newspaper office. Marcia Crouse helped me. Clarke took a long nap that afternoon and when awake kept telling me about every half hour, “I like you Mommy”. Dr. Breeden made an appointment for him to have an upper GI in Redding the next week. (Dr. Stanford, pediatrician, said he couldn’t find anything wrong.)

This was a little dam in Garden Gulch, left over from mining days.

The first week in June Eric Ohde helped Bob all day Saturday. On Sunday David Winegardner went out with Eric. Right after lunch, just after we’d eaten, I looked up and saw Eric holding his hand up like a torch, blood running down his fingers. I thought, “My God he’s cut his finger off” and went running up. He’d mashed his finger in the gears of the cement mixer, cutting through the nail about three ways. (I can’t imagine how painful that must have been.) I loaded up the kids and took him to Big Bar Ranger Station where one of the men wrapped gauze lightly around it. Drove in to the emergency room at the hospital in Weaverville. Doris and Dave came in and Dr. Nielson patched him up–no broken bones. Then I took the children up to Ohde’s. Linda took care of them while Doris and I drove back out to the ranch. She brought their car and David Winegardner back.

Somewhere during all these chaotic days Rebecca had her 9th birthday party. I’d gotten her a Japanese made canvas suitcase, a wastebasket for her room, a pair of pants,etc. She had a squirrel cake.

And on another day I left Clarke with Linda Lindsey while Rebecca was visiting Ann Marie and Jeffrey was visiting Josh up on Timber Ridge and took a hike up Garden Gulch. I knew it would be several weeks before I would have a chance to be by myself as we were soon going to go to Nehalem, Oregon to visit my parents.

I hiked up Garden Gulch to what earlier that spring had been a rushing, mossy rocked creek. It was dried up except for a few tiny pools here and there, packed with water striders. I found an old jar right at the beginning of the creek. Where I finally turned around I found an old gold pan, which had once hung by a square nail. I took both home with me. Found a place that would be nice to revisit the next spring, a lovely piney flat with a little green meadow. I also found a rattlesnake on a dry hillside. It didn’t rattle or even move until I stomped my feet a lot.

Clarke went to Stephanie’s (Crouse?) birthday party. He was really excited about it. Usually it was his siblings who went to parties.

May 1974

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“Michael Barnes fell off the bars last Thursday and broke both bones in his left arm. I really felt badly about it. Am getting super cautious with the kids now.” Nursery school.

On the 15th I left Clarke with Linda and drove out to the ranch with Doris Ohde. We followed a phone company truck in. He was on his way out when we reached the washout turn. We ate lunch on the lawn and then I drove down to the creek. Doris wanted to walk so she did. I went under the bridge with the camera and took a number of flash pictures of the water ouzels. The parents fed them a number of times. Just the female was feeding them while I was there but when Doris came down we saw the male feeding them as well. The parents seldom flew directly to the nest, almost always lighting on a rock beneath or several rocks away and then working their way up to it. They fed the young by hovering in front of the nest. I didn’t know whether this would be the case if the nest were in a different location. “What amazed me was how the adults could get yet another grub in their beaks without dropping what was already there.” They seemed to need to dip their beaks, with load, into the water fairly frequently.

We’d been having cold, blustery days and frost several times. One day it actually snowed for a few minutes.

One Saturday “we left the boys home with Linda Ohde as a sitter and drove downriver to see Oliver Berglund, who lives across the river and up the hill. He was waiting on this side of the river for us. We crossed on a cable car, sliding across above the jade-green water. There’s a little motor on the car plus a crank so it can be turned by hand also. Rebecca was pretty nervous about going across but handled it quite well. Oliver has a big, beautiful German Shepherd named Storm- not at all the usual nervous variety of shepherd. He has a compact little cabin right on the river by the far end of the cable car and this year has planted a garden there in the river silt. He told us that this last January the water was just inches below the cable car and a hundred foot long log coming down, with a huge root system, just missed him when he was crossing.

We rode in his jeep up to his house. The road is narrow, no wider than he needs for his jeep. It goes up through the trees, winds around the hill for a way, then dips down to what he called his primitive house. The house is an A-frame with extra cupolas frames here and there for extra windows so that every room has a window. He split his own shakes for the roof. Window boxes, painted bright orange, are in front of the lower windows and filled with bright flowers. Rock walls meld the building into the ground.

Inside, it’s quite compact and comfortable, many books, TV, phonograph and electric organ. He has a gas refrigerator, uses a gas generator. This is why he wanted Bob up there—to see if he could feasibly use a pelton wheel. Outside there are bird houses all over—on the house, on trees, etc., many made out of short pieces of tree trunks. The place is swarming with birds–Steller’s jays, hummingbirds, juncos, robins, swallows. He has two hummingbird feeders and a bird feeder for winter use that revolves with the direction of the wind. I also saw quail and chipmunks.

He has bears, deer and raccoons around. He built a pool in the rocks where he keeps trout from the river and can eat some once in a while. The house sits on a cliff top overlooking the highway and river and his property includes a lot of old mine works.

We walked up to his water source on Panther Creek, following ditch grade a good part of the way, a couple of miles, a beautiful walk. Everything mossy. Found lots of Bochniakia growing, I guess on madrone roots. This plant looks like a pinecone. It has no green leaves but does have flowers that bloom in the spring in the bracts, which are reddish brown to dark purplish. The moss near the creek was so thick, like a sponge.

When we got back to the house, Oliver cooked a lunch for us, even though we’d brought a lunch. We sat at his table outside as the wind blew and clouds scudded by. Rebecca and I did some more exploring during the afternoon while he and Bob did their calculations. We left around 5 o’clock. It was a very interesting day and I feel as if I’ve found a kindred spirit in Oliver Berglund up there with his books, and birds and solitude.“ No photos of his place—would have seemed rude.

The next day I went over to Florence and Leonard’s and filled up a garbage can full of horse manure. Bob left around nine with Eric to go to the ranch. We didn’t get away until 11:30. We ate lunch at the creek. Bob and Eric worked down there all day. I raked the garden and spread the fertilizer, which took a couple of hours. Used up the last bit of gas in the mower by mowing. Saved enough branches off the big apple tree from the ground so that I could drag the rest to the brush pile. We left around 5. I showed Rebecca the water ouzel’s nest. Both parents fed the young in the few minutes that we were there.

On May 24th I took Jeffrey and Clarke to Shasta College to see Robin Hood, leaving town around 9:30. Rebecca’s class had gone Monday. It was outside in the amphitheater and was very hot. Fortunately Lee Hanlon had told me it would be and I took an ice chest with packages of ice. The boys ate the ice and drank the water. The program was active and colorful, which helped. Jeffrey took a picture of Robin Hood afterwards. We ate lunch on the campus lawn in front of the Little Theater and got home round 2:30. Rebecca had gone to Florence’s after school so we went to pick her up and then to get groceries.

Clarke had suddenly gotten sick Tuesday and I was really lucky that Doreen McClurg was able to substitute for me at nursery school at the last minuite. Bob left for Bakersfield that day and got back on the 24th, a Friday.

Wednesday morning Linda Lindsey had called to say she was going to take some posters for the Barn out to Trinity Center and would Clarke like to go. They left at 9:30 and rather than wash windows I packed a lunch, finished the dishes and drove over to the trail to take a hike. I found a spot near the creek. I had a hummingbird hover right in front of me and saw a chipping sparrow preening in the top of an oak;and a dark gray lizard, the color of the pile of old mine tailings which were apparently its territory. It was really restful. Then went home and went over to help out with Rebecca’s class.

Thursday we took the nursery school children to the B-Bar-K Ranch. They had a good time. Clarke seemed to enjoy everything—swinging on the rope in the barn, trying to milk a pregnant cow (which shocked some of the children by having normal body functions!). They ate lunch out in the field and played in the sand afterwards.

April and May 1974

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On Sunday, the 21st I noted that a few days earlier I had walked up past Bagley’s and taken the left turn over to Garden Gulch where I crossed and went about ½ mile down an old road. I’d left the children at Linda’s. It was a beautiful day although clouding over on the way home. Indian warriors, shooting stars, fawn lilies and houndstongue were in bloom. I found one oak leaf- covered slope along a little creek covered with a mixture of fawn lilies and shooting stars. Saw quail, deer, a jackrabbit and a bird, which I thought was a black-throated gray warbler. Picked up the children from Linda’s and they immediately began fighting. Rebecca stormed off to her room as soon as we got home. “Thank goodness for her room—a refuge!”

April was a difficult month. Clarke was sick with stomach problems a lot and Brigitte Bayless substituted for me at nursery school a few times. Aunt Nell broke her hip and had to have surgery.

Rebecca spent most of one day at the Myers’. She swung on the rope through the sprinkler, slid in the mud, etc. Clarke and I walked down to meet her and walk home with her. Jeffrey had spent the day with Bob at Big Bar. Originally they were going to be gone just a few hours but Bob called to say that Scoot Miller was working on the road down there so they stayed and got home a little after seven. We had pizza for dinner.

I began painting the old desk that had been sitting on the back porch for two years. Planned to paint it green and then antique it. Kathy Barnes, Don, Chris and Tisa came by to drop off the Ohde’s porta- crib that I’d loaned them the previous year. Bob went to the ranch again and when he got back told Jeff all about what he and Scoot had done. The time spent with his dad the day before was really good for Jeffrey. Bob left the next day for San Francisco and then going on to Bakersfield. He was taking a computer training class. He’d get back Tuesday.

On the evening of the 23rd I wrote that I’d just finished two posters to use for the elementary school open house the next night. They were to help recruit people to assist with a volunteer enrichment program. If parents didn’t volunteer then the school wouldn’t get the $30,000 it wanted. “I’m not sure which is more important to the school, the status of the money or doing something for the kids.” Such cynicism.Jeannie Meyer was in charge of this project, for which I was grateful.

I arranged for two different fieldtrips for the nursery school that week, one to the shoe repair shop and one to the cheese shop.

Rebecca and Jeffrey helped me move the completed desk into the house and it looked “surprisingly well”.

Monday night, instead of getting a last-minute sitter, I took the children to my singing class. “They behaved so well—I was very proud of them. We have a lot of fun in that class and I think that all the laughter, along with the music, helped keep them from getting too bored.”

Bob got home Tuesday night, and Wednesday night he went downriver because Scoot had called to say he’d finished our road, much sooner than expected. It was going to cost $900 instead of $1,225 so now Bob would have more for the culverts, “thank goodness”.

I went to the Behavior Modification class but decided to quit because it was too boring. Bob had to go to San Francisco again for the computer training class but got home the 2nd night.

Elementary school from near Lowden Park

The elementary school open house was on a Friday night. The children were quite excited about it and Jeffrey was disappointed that Bob would have to miss it because of getting back later. We were just about to leave, after attending, when Rebecca came up to tell me that Mrs. Rourke said Bob was there. He’d gotten home earlier than expected. We finally tracked him down and Jeffrey was delighted. Rebecca gave him a quick tour of her room and then he went with Jeffrey. Rebecca, Clarke and I went with Doris—Rebecca and Clarke did. I followed them over to the high school where Doris left her car for Dave and Eric who were at a track meet. We gave her a ride home. I had a cup of coffee and we left for home. Bob brought Jeff home and then went over to see his parents.

I was wanting a hiking day but noted that there was correspondence to catch up on, bills to pay, windows to wash and I wanted to get out to the ranch before summer and paint the floors.

“Peter’s name was in the S.F. Chronicle today in connection with some logging that is being done on both sides of a narrow strip of redwoods in the Redwood National Park.”

“Wednesday, May 1st, Bob left for San Francisco again. He left later than he meant to and was driving the stake-sided truck to Redding. He was due to get back Friday afternoon. I took Clarke to Linda’s, ran some errands and then went home to write a Forest Forum letter. I was still trying to run a mile in the backyard now and then, numerous trips back and forth. From there I went over to the elementary school to get Jeff and take him to lunch. Driving down Oregon Street I could see two circles of children over at the school. It was the first grades, including Jeff, holding crepe paper for May Poles (Jeannie Meyer’s idea). I got there in time to watch them going around and to reset the phonograph a couple of times. So the two rooms had a delayed lunch hour. I took Jeffrey down to the Cheese Shop. Bob joined us in a few minutes. “It’s really kind of a nice place. The lunchroom has several tables with matching padded benches and covers, hanging plants and a Winnie the Pooh mural on one wall. Bob and I had avocado, bean sprout and cream cheese sandwiches; Jeffrey cheese and pastrami. Bob dropped Jeffrey off at school. I went home and then went back to the school and worked in the library with some of the children from Rebecca’s class.”

After school Rebecca left a May basket for Florence and Leonard and gave Linda a walnut shell stuffed with cotton with a flower lying across it. Jeff, when he got home from school, wanted to leave a May basket at Kelly’s, which he did, knocking on the door and then running as Mr. Kelly came to the door.

After we picked up Clarke from Linda’s, Rebecca and I scrubbed on the old desk that Florence had given her. Florence and I got it out of their barn and cleaned it up some and I brought it home Monday. A Mr. Drinkwater had made it for a Van Matre who would have been 90 in 1974. It had a hinged top and a hole for an inkwell. But it needed sanding and painting very badly. Florence had a 100-year-old chair she was going to get fixed to go with it. The desk was even made with square nails!

Bob called and said his hurried departure had not been necessary. What he thought was his airplane departure time was actually the time he had needed to leave Weaverville.

May 14th was the next time I’d written. The previous Friday I’d gone out to the ranch with our dog and painted the upstairs floor, the stairs, and the kitchen and dining areas. It was very pretty out there.

The following Monday I was able to take a walk. Clarke had been sick again and Brigitte had worked for me. But Monday I walked. The oak trees were leafed out, carpets of green grass beneath them with pussy ears seeming to float on the grass. Brushed two ticks off after sitting down for a while.

On Saturday Rebecca went to Pearl Gott’s for a piano practice session and then over to Florence and Leonard’s. Robin Meyer went also as I had promised Jeannie I’d take care of her while they took Ann Marie to Redding for surgery. Then the girls went to the convalescent hospital so Rebecca and others of Pearl Gott’s students could play music for them. They went to a Historical Society meeting with Florence and Leonard that night and to Kathleen’s recital.

Eric Ohde drove out to the beginning of our road Saturday and rode up to the ranch with Bob and Jeffrey. Clarke, the dog and I arrived about an hour later. We ate lunch about 2:30. Eric worked on the garden all afternoon, wiring the fence together, taking it down and rototillering the garden. I finished painting the downstairs floor. Bob did some measuring for culverts. We fed Eric and Bob took him back to his car while I got the boys to bed and washed the dishes by candlelight as we were trying to conserve gas. Sunday was chilly and windy. I mowed the lawn and part of the orchard while Bob worked down at the bridge site. After lunch we packed and drove down to the creek where I helped Bob for about an hour surveying. I kept hearing what sounded like young water ouzels and I discovered a nest under the bridge. It was made of moss and sat on a loose piece of bark hanging from a log. There appeared to be three young ones. I tried to get some pictures by standing in the stream but it was pretty dark. The parent birds were quite busy hauling food but wouldn’t feed them with anyone down there. I took the boys closer to see the nest too.

We got to town about 5:30. Unloaded, changed clothes (mine and the boys) and then went to Florence and Leonard’s. From there, in two cars, we all drove out to Cedar Stock for dinner. The dogwood on the way out was spectacular. Mother’s Day I guess?

Early Spring 1974

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This seems to have been a year of struggling with family, self and place. Lots of inner turmoil. I mentioned that I loved my family so much—so glad to see Clarke mostly well again with his smiling bubbly self; Jeff’s secret jokes; Rebecca’s profile as she played the piano—but wanted more time to myself, not being on call constantly. I suppose a not uncommon complaint from mothers of young children. And I was wishing my mother not incapacitated from a stroke and able to tell me more about her life at this age. I was feeling a lot of pressure to be fully employed to help out with all the expenses of the ranch; while, at the same time, I could barely keep ahead of what I was already doing, including caring for sick children. and was looking forward to at least one year with all of them being in school.

“Bob’s getting interested in all the research being done on ESP.”

I’d made a date with Bob a month before to eat dinner in Redding and stay overnight after seeing Cosi Van Tutti. He didn’t think he was going to be able to go because he had a meeting in Bakersfield. But we made it. The children stayed with Linda Lindsey and I drove to Redding where I met him at the airport. We checked into the Royal Inn, ate dinner and went to the Civic Auditorium. The next day we explored a salvage yard and wandered through the mall before going home.

That Sunday I took the kids to the park so Bob could have peace and quiet to work on taxes. They didn’t want to play there so we went down to the millpond and walked around. There were cattails splitting open with big spirals of feathery seeds spilling out. The children were shaking them and blowing on them as if they were large dandelions. There were some ducks on the pond. We walked over and looked inside the little doors at the bottom of the teepee burner. Didn’t look as if it had been used in quite a while. There were some piles of rocks inside.

Florence and Leonard brought back gifts for the children from their trip to Mexico: a big sombrero for Jeffrey, a small one for Clarke, sandals for Rebecca and Mexican coffee for me. Florence brought back lots of shells, all perfect, sacks of them. She said there were miles of beaches with no one on them.

A poem that Rebecca wrote:
Some things smell nice
Like roses and spice.
But some things smell punky
Like pigs or skunky.

I had a day of laryngitis and wrote that Clarke was acting out, probably frustrated with having a mom who could only whisper as well as having had no nap. Bob called from a Bureau of Reclamation meeting in Weaverville at 7:30 and I assumed he was still dinner-less at 11 p.m., still at the meeting.

I was searching for a place to put my Community Concert posters and relieved that Frank and Pat Hicks were willing to put them up at the drug store.

On the 23rd of February we took the disk and slid in the snow down between the trees from the upper driveway. Had a lot of fun as it was sunny and warm. We stopped when everyone got too wet.

Bob hiked out to the ranch that afternoon to take pictures of the washout. That night we discovered that the film canister hadn’t been turning so there were no pictures.

Bob and I went to a Forest Forum meeting where Eric Ohde gave a talk and showed slides of his Alaska trip. Beautiful photographs and he did a good job. There were only 14 people there though.

Diana Sheen and I went to Redding to the behavior modification class. We’d been having snow off an on all week. That Tuesday we made homemade ice cream at nursery school, using snow instead of ice. Wednesday I showed slides of volcanoes, mostly Crater Lake, to Rebecca’s class. It took me two hours to select the slides and I was 5 minutes late to class. “The kids seemed to enjoy it. Not sure about Rebecca though; think she has mixed feelings, may make her feel a little conspicuous. Not too much I hope.“

Bob was gone all the next week at a conference in San Francisco. The Sunday after he got back he put up a wall dividing his shop into two rooms so Rebecca would have her own bedroom and he would have an office. She was delighted. Jeffrey got the top bunk and Clarke moved from his little bed to the bottom bunk. The big worktable became our dining table and the other one was moved into the boys’ room. I got plastic dishpans for the boys to put their toys in on the shelf under the table.

Nursery school that week was loud and busy but went pretty well. They made French toast for lunch. And the adult meeting had been productive. We’d had lots of discussion on policy, goals, etc.

Children were getting over some bug—Rebecca had had a high fever and was still on medication though back in school. Jeffrey had had a croupy cough. I was feeling sorry for myself again! But the next day cheered me up.

March 17th I went skiing with Jeannie Meyer, Anne Marie and Rebecca. We left Weaverville at 6:30 and stopped at Castella to see the Hurds and pick up Kathleen Morris who was there with Ruth and Vernon and Florence and Leonard. “When we got to Mt. Shasta we rented skis, poles and boots for Rebecca. We had a very good day. Rebecca had a lesson first thing. I went on the new lift, which is just right for my abilities. Went on the big lift twice, the last time a total disaster with many falls and too much fatigue.“

“It was a beautiful sunny day and we came home sunburned. Florence and Leonard and the Ryans had come up to the ski lift to eat lunch. We took Kathleen back to Castella. Near Dunsmuir, right below the high school, Foreros were parked beside the road with car trouble. We stayed there until a tow truck came and hauled them to the garage. They passed us on the way home. We got home around 11 pm.”

Bob, Horace Jones and I went to Hayfork to a Forest Forum meeting. At some point while we were there Lee Van Zee and I got into an argument about schools with the new district ranger’s wife—“wasn’t too great”.

I rode my bike over to the elementary school to help in Rebecca’s class and afterwards was able to ride clear up to the bottom of our driveway without stopping. “Was really out of breath when I got to the top of the hill” near Young’s.

March 26th I took a 2-hour and 15 minute “marathon hike” up to Glennison Gap and back. Took the dog who chased two deer and flushed a pair of mountain quail. “Got furious with her.” Rebecca and
Jeffrey were home for about half an hour before I got back. That weekend Jeffrey got sick and the other two did also over a period of several days. Bob made another trip to Bakersfield for a couple of days. Bridgett Bayless substituted for me at nursery school.

I was still struggling to balance all that life brought. One evening, after he got back from his trip, Bob put on some music he knew I liked– Austrian music and Irish. He started dancing around with the children and we all ended up dancing in a circle. Everyone was so happy, light-hearted and loving. “It made me think of some of the noisy, fun and laughing things that I remember growing up in our house as a child and teenager.” The next day I ended up, at the end of the day, tense and irritable. “Everyone seems happiest when I’m being domestic.” And sometimes being domestic was enjoyable. But trying to focus on other things was more difficult. I sent everyone outside with raincoats and boots to walk around in the wet for a few minutes.

Bob spent a day working on plans for the bridge and a day working on things to do with the translator.

The first week in April I put sizing on the walls in Rebecca’s room and Fred Varney and Florence came up to put wallpaper on. It really looked nice. Fred had to do the dipping in the bathtub though. The paper had a background of white and yellow squares with cats and birds on it—really wild. That night Florence and Leonard brought up a rug for the room that Florence had patched that morning—all different heights and textures.

Around 1:00 that Sunday the children and I went to Big Bar with Bob following in his car. We ate the picnic lunch I’d fixed and then Bob went on down to join Scoot Miller on our road. We were at White’s Bar picnic area. The children played in the sand and seemed to have a good time. The river was high and muddy with waves lapping at the shore, as if it were a lake. We stayed there until about 4:00 and then went down to Prairie Creek and walked up to where Bob was working on the road above Walden’s. Scoot had left the cat there as it was too wet to do any more work. The children and I left and went to Big Bar Station for dinner—hot dog and lemonade for Clarke; chicken, potato salad and milk for Rebecca; grilled cheese sandwich, French fries and root beer for Jeff; soup, salad and coffee for me. Bob came in, having driven by but seeing us in time. He had salad, milk and half of Jeffrey’s sandwich.

The next week, following some more illnesses, was Easter and everyone was well. We had our egg hunt, with Rebecca staying up late the night before to help with decorating for the first time. Later we went over to Florence and Leonard’s for their family hunt with Nancy and David Adrian and family.

Clarke got sick again. But I did take a first aid class during Easter vacation. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights 6:30-10:00 and Saturday morning from 8:30 to 12:30. It was being given through the fire department. A man from San Diego taught the class and really did a good job of practical training but every other paragraph was a dirty joke—most oriented toward the female body. I wanted to leave the first night except I really felt I needed the class. I ended up writing him a letter about it but threw it in the fireplace. Saturday, after the class, I went home and fished it out again, at Bob’s suggestion, took it back to the fire station and gave it to him.

Spring flowers were blooming–pussy ears, the pear tree on the corner of the driveway; redbud was about to bloom– shooting stars and fawn lilies were flowering along Oregon street.

January 1974

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I wrote in mid-January that we had several days of heavy, warm rain, three inches in the last 24 hours, and that all the creeks were very high. This was on a Tuesday and Bob had been gone again and hadn’t gotten home Friday as he originally intended because he had spent the night with Candy, Jim and Carin in Fresno, where they lived at the time and had come home Saturday. We were concerned about our bridge.

On Sunday he had taken Jeffrey to see the movie Mary Poppins and Jeffrey had come home “just glowing”. Rebecca, Clarke and I watched Wild Kingdom and Disneyland on TV and I’d made popcorn and joined them the last half hour.

Doris made knit hats for all three of our children, which they loved. When I went up to visit her for about an hour and get the hats, I’d left the older two home by themselves for about half an hour after they’d come home for school, calling them about 15 minutes after they arrived to tell them where I was. Clarke had been with Florence.

Kinnik-Kinnick had run into a skunk Sunday night and had to sleep outside. Bob and Jeff had seen three of them when they came home from the movie and Rebecca, looking out the window, had seen two.

The following Sunday was warm and sunny and Bob had left that afternoon to go to Sacramento where he was staying overnight in order to fly to Bakersfield and not be back until that Friday. The previous Tuesday and Wednesday there had been lots of local flooding. Oregon Street washed out beyond us, where West Weaver goes under the road;the bridge across to Timber Ridge was washed out around the supports; Wilkins lost their bridge, etc. Several houses were flooded out East Weaver. Mrs. Rourke couldn’t make it to school because of water from Oregon Gulch.

Bob had gone out to look at the ranch road (Jeannie Meyer, Clarke and I had driven over to Junction City to look at the river). The two culverts above Walden’s were in bad shape. He was fortunate in going, to see Scoot Miller who helped get Jim Pruitt to go in with a backhoe and then get two fellows from the Big Bar Station to do some shoveling and to babysit the culverts off and on during the night. He walked clear into the ranch. The bridge was ok but water very high. He said he was going to have to redesign the bridge and possibly its location as a result of seeing it with high water. The road was impassable due to the culverts above Walden’s.

Rebecca stayed overnight Thursday with Van Duyns and John spent the afternoon with us. “Jeffrey and John came in coated with mud from sliding down one of the banks here. What a mess! They had to change their clothes while I washed and dried their muddy things. They must have thought they were otters or something.” When I took John home Marilyn asked us to stay for dinner and we did, arriving home around 8 just as Bob got back from another trip out to check the culverts.

There were lots of pictures in the Record Searchlight of Dunsmuir and Castella being flooded. I sent them to my parents.

Florence, Leonard and Scott left on a trip to Mexico.

Clarke had wanted to go to Linda Lindsey’s after nursery school on Tuesday so I called Linda first to make sure it was ok and then sent him with Barb. Had fifteen minutes to myself before Jeffrey got home. It had been a pretty good day at nursery school—finally got all the children together and we sat on the rug and talked and sang a few songs, played a few games. I spent most of the morning helping them nail blocks together for houses. Did that Sunday afternoon with Rebecca, Jeffrey and Clarke and then they painted them a few days later.

I was reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Bring Me a Unicorn”.

In a phone call on Wednesday Bob said his paper that he had presented had gone well.

The children missed the bus that morning and I had to take them to school. In late morning I took Clarke to Linda’s and went over to the school to pick up Jeffrey and take him to lunch (I think we were trying to give him some extra attention for a while. My memory is that he was having a bit of trouble with being the middle child plus his dad being gone so much.)
“We went to Babe’s Café, where he had a hamburger and I had a bowl of soup. I talked with him more this time—he seemed happy though, watching everybody and munching. He kept getting mustard and catsup on his nose, which he thought was very funny—wiped it off repeatedly with many giggles. “ Went back to school and dropped him off. Went to Rebecca’s room where I talked to Betty Rourke for a few minutes. She said she didn’t need me that day.

Chinese New Year was that night. I’d thought it was the next month. So I took Rebecca and Clarke and went to the grocery store to get tangerines, marmalade and oranges, leaving Jeffrey on his own for a short time watching TV. He needed to be able to do that once in a while, being responsible for himself. I fixed up a small basket with the fruit, marmalade and an orange candle and then walked across the street to Moon Lee’s. Rebecca had gone to some function with the Meyers and came with them a little later.

That Thursday half of the nursery school class went to Varney’s Candy Kitchen.

Candy, Jim and Carin arrived Friday night around midnight and slept in sleeping bags in Bob’s shop. Saturday they went down to Big French Creek with Bob to hike up to the Stygar place while Carin stayed with us. Fortunately Rebecca pitched right in and helped keep the younger ones occupied and I was actually able to get some more work done on the trunk that I had had on the porch for two years. They went home Sunday. They were easy people to have for company. Jeffrey lost his first tooth while they were here. “Carin was most impressed.”

Sunday Bob and I left around noon, leaving the children with Patty. We ate lunch on the big rock down by Walden’s. Bob had brought a Honda so he wouldn’t be overdoing it with his knee two days in a row. I walked most of the way in and out but rode some.

There was a washout above Walden’s where a culvert overflowed and ran down the road, then ate away from the outer edge near the spring. “When we got up near the house Bob was ahead. I saw the Honda parked near the big fir and at first glance thought a big branch from the tree had blocked the road. I heard rocks coming down the culvert and thought Bob was working on it and I just hadn’t seen him. I went back to look—he wasn’t there. I noticed that the water was muddy and figured he was working on the next culvert up. Went back to cross over the “branch” and discovered it was a tree. “I thought I had somehow gotten on a wrong road—there was a huge washout in front of me and it was the cause of the fallen tree. I scrambled up a bank and went up to the first culvert below the house where Bob was knee deep in water, searching with a shovel to clear the culvert. He had diverted the water from running down the road and had water running right across. I went up to the house and got a shovel. Went up and down a number of times checking on the lower culvert to be sure it wasn’t plugged. It took Bob a couple of hours to get all the rocks, silt, etc., flushed out. We went up to the spring to check it. The old reservoir had about five feet of water in it and some was seeping down the road. “

“On the way home we stopped to see Scoot and Florence Miller. Scoot is going to start doing work in the springtime for us. That washout is 15-20 feet deep. It cut the turn off. The tree with the sign that said “Private Road” is in the bottom of the gulch.”

That Tuesday Clarke got really sick with a stomach ailment and was very ill for about a week. He looked terrible and slept or rested with his eyes half closed. No little potbelly, ribs sticking out. Spent a lot of time coaxing him to sip a little liquid. Bob was out of town until Thursday night. I was in touch with the doctor and administering suppositories.

Saturday Bob walked out to the ranch and back with Scoot Miller deciding what to do about the road. “Scoot was really impressed by our washout.”

I went out to go to the grocery store and the VW wouldn’t start. One of the children had left the radio on. So I took Bob’s car instead. He had put the charger on and around 4 it was charged. Clarke woke up a couple of times that night. I slept in until after nine on Sunday. At noon Clarke fell asleep and I took the camera, an apple and a box of matches and thermos of coffee and went for a walk. Drove up to Bagley’s and walked up the trail, taking the left turn. I ended up way up on the mountain, maybe almost to the La Grange Ditch? “I will have to ask Florence or Bob Young where I was.” Started off in the fog but by the time I stopped, around 1:30, I was up on a ridge and the fog was burning off. Had a wonderful time—mostly new trail– no one needing me for three hours. Dewey spider webs, water bubbling out of gopher holes in grassy places, green fluffy moss from ground level to two or three feet up the oaks; melting frost raining off the digger pines as the sun began to warm things. Was getting up higher because I’d passed through cedars, ponderosa pines and Douglas firs. I paralleled Garden Gulch for a long way, then turned right and went up a draw. I took my jacket off and lay on the ground panting, looking up at swollen oak buds against the blue sky—for a minute the earth moved without me—could see the trees going! Could see Monument Peak and another mountain across from me. The trail appeared to angle down to the left into another gulch. Had my coffee and apple there and then headed for home. Lots of old mining ditches up in there—gets kind of confusing.

Clarke had been ok all day, very tired but had a piece of French toast, liquids, etc. in small quantities. He almost fell over when I was brushing his hair that morning, he was so weak.

Bob said this morning that when he was chasing the kids out of his “shop” so he could pay bills and work on income tax, that Jeffrey said, “Well I guess if Daddy can’t pay the bills they’ll come and take everything away from us, even my blanket.

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.