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.

Autumn 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September-October 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then no more entries until October 25th.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Pirates to Bloody Run Creek-1973

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

Several children dressed like pirates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VW Van and Lilypad Lake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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