July 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Twight

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

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

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

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

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

Jeffrey and Cedric

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

Backpacking & More July 1973

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Sunday, July 8th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I practiced my accordion that night, reading music.

A June Birthday to July 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeffrey fixed lemon pudding for dessert, with some assistance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following week we would be backpacking.

Life in 2 Worlds or Maybe 3-June 1973

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Read “Home to the Wilderness” by Sally Carrighar, which the nursery school parents gave me as an end- of-the-year present.

I had just talked to Bob on the phone. He told me how to get the generator started but I couldn’t do it because the battery was run down from my trying to start it all evening. I was supposed to take the air filter off and hold my hand over it while starting it. So I was all greasy and still writing by candlelight. He was in town and had been working on the steering for the weapons carrier (later called the Boom Truck) out in the garage. On Friday he was in town again working on the truck. Don’t know whether he’d been there all week or not.

Sometimes I whined.
“I get so tired physically and mentally and the prospect of a summer of his working on the bridge doesn’t make me feel too good about our existence. I worry about him spending every spare minute working. Then again, maybe he thrives on it. I think he thrives on it until he gets an opportunity to relax (very rare), then for a while realizes what he’s missing just before he plunges in again. I really shouldn’t complain I guess—am fortunate to live in such a nice place for the summer. But I hate projects. They hang over one’s head like a dark shadow so that time spent daydreaming or reading or playing with the children is always overshadowed by the feeling that one must get back to work and accomplish something.” I think sometimes keeping up with two places was overwhelming.

Tuesday I mowed the orchard in the heat of the day and then realized I was going to have to start being a little more careful about doing that because of fatigue. That evening Bob brought out a dress and shoes from in town and I dressed quickly so we could go to Big Bar. I’d fed the children and we dropped them off at Debby Sankey Davenport’s, across from Big Bar Station, then went to the restaurant for a dinner meeting of the Trinity Forest Forum. Florence Miller and I were the only women there. We sat across from Horace Jones, and Les Arbo. And I was catty corner to the Millers, Ron Covington and John Thomas (Fish and Game). Bob talked most of the evening with Chuck McFadden, who sat next to him. Standard Oil Company gave a slide talk on the energy crisis.

On Thursday of that week, after running various errands and moving sprinklers around in town, I picked up the battery and the children and got out to the ranch around 6:00 p.m. I still couldn’t get the generator started. Bob got out there around 9:30 and hooked the generator up to his car battery and cleaned the spark plugs. I ran a batch of laundry immediately. In the morning he used his car battery again and decided I must have broken one of the terminals on the battery. I did three more loads of laundry and then shut off the generator. We would get a new battery the next day.

Friday I cleaned the settling tank—bathtub—and drained the pool so I could fix the liner so the place where the bear chewed on it last fall was held together better. I made everyone lie down for a nap and I took a short one too.

I was reading an interesting book called “The California Feeling”, author Peter Beagle, photographer Michael Bry. They had two pages on Weaverville, including a picture of Moon Lee.

Saturday Rebecca and Jeff were invited to Ann Marie’s birthday party and I decided to take them in and stay overnight so that I might be able to spend some time working on nursery school things. I’d have to get a sitter for Clarke because Florence and Leonard were taking Uncle Stanford and his wife, and Aunt Nell to Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. They were taking their big camper truck and pulling a trailer.
Rebecca and Robin Meyer went to Brown’s (new name for Varney’s?) so Robin could spend some money that was burning a hole in her pocket. They went through the culvert under the highway because Jeannie and I were worried about cars not stopping, even when people were in the crosswalk.

Sunday we went out to the ranch although it took quite a while because we kept stopping to pick wild raspberries. And we stopped at Little French Creek where the children built dams, played with boats, and got cooled off. KinnikKinnik indulged in her favorite sport of chasing grasshoppers and butterflies and running through the water. We made her follow us up the road to get home from there.

Clarke found a toad and carried it around for hours. He wouldn’t turn it loose so I put dirt and grass in an empty coffee can and put in a few bugs—little grasshoppers, sow bugs and earwigs and put waxed paper with a rubber band over the top. I was hoping it would survive the night. He wanted it to go to bed with him because he said it didn’t like the dark but agreed to keep it in the can on his dresser when I assured him that toads like the dark.

Bob got home around 10:45 Sunday night and brought a new battery so then we had lights. He had trouble getting to sleep and kept tossing around. Around 2:00 a.m. he got up and took a shower. When the alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. I didn’t get up with him but dozed off and on listening to him get his own breakfast. Clarke woke at six and had to be convinced to go back to bed. I was wide awake at 7:00 and so were Jeffrey and Clarke so I got up. The upstairs was really just one big room with dressers and a flimsy partition between sleeping areas, and the shower partially blocking off the bathroom area.

That day I took the children and snacks and went over to cut ceanothus along the road. The children played and fought for 1.5 hours while I did this. The ceanothus was the worst of the brush. The lower branches die and leave a tangled dry mess. And it grows fast. We went back to the creek and stopped there for about an hour. The children found frogs, and two salamanders with gills. The butterflies were quite tame and Clarke and I both held one several times—tortoise shell I think, black with orange tips and white dots. I saw a silvery-gray shrew along the bank and all three of the children were able to see it as it scurried along, under rocks across the dirt, all between the edge of the creek and the roadside. After about five minutes it scooted off downstream.

We came home and had lunch. Rebecca wanted to make something out of the yeast cookbook but I didn’t feel up to it. I went upstairs and lay down and read and dozed. She made hot cross buns, which turned out very well. When I came down she had the dough rising in a bowl on top of the refrigerator and the dishes cleaned up and the whole downstairs straightened.

I went down to the pool and began tossing bugs out and asked Rebecca to help me, which she did. After the boys woke up (Clarke from his nap and Jeffrey had fallen asleep in the rocking chair) we all used the pool.

On Tuesday I went down to the barn and got some chicken wire and mended the hole in the fence on the porch the dog had been using (after 3 batches of laundry and mopping the downstairs).Rebecca took all the clothes off the line for me and made chocolate pudding for dessert.

I showed Rebecca and Jeffrey the last National Geographic with the article on the newest volcano in Iceland and both were quite interested. Jeffrey had been asking questions about volcanoes and earthquakes so I wanted to be sure he saw it. He’ll probably think about it for a couple of weeks and them come up with some more questions.

Bob had to go to Garberville so was late getting home. He’d been working on something to do with the brakes on the weapons carrier/boom truck that night. The previous night it was part of the carburetor. He’d bring pieces home and then stay up until midnight working on it.

On Friday I’d sent all the children to bed for naps and then sat in “their” tree house writing in my journal. “Green leaves all around rustling, dappled sun, a hornet (hmmm, not so sure I like that) and peace. The children were all tired and fighting so I said they must rest for an hour.”

April-June 1973

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April 10, 1973, Tuesday

We’d been going out to the ranch on weekends and had stayed overnight several times. On this date the weather was quite warm—yellow iris was blooming in the flower garden in town. Fritillaries were in blossom along the road to the ranch. I’d seen some fawn lilies along the road as well. Bob and Rebecca had counted 25 deer that Saturday when they’d gone for a walk.

I came down with something that created nausea and a rash. May have been three-day measles.

Bob was gone for the week again. I’d signed up for an ecology class taught by the USFS that went from 4:30-8:00 on Friday and then 7 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Saturday for two weekends in a row. It was designed primarily for teachers. We got rained and hailed on. It had to do with urban environment.

At the night class for nursery school parents the previous week I did a program on doing things outdoors with small children—showed slides too. We had a highway patrolman come and visit the preschool that Tuesday.

Two weeks ago Rebecca and I had driven to Arcata to pick up my parents’ golden retriever at the airport. She was too much for my dad to deal with in addition to having to take care of my mother and we’d just lost Blacky, our puppy. The children wanted to keep her name, Kinnick-kinnick, the name my mother had given her. She was a beautiful dog. We’d taken her out to the ranch twice. “She has a ball galloping into the bog across from the house.” She stayed outside during the day but was indoors at night.

I was having some times of feeling really down—probably too much stress and not enough sleep, plus being the only parent during the week. The second Saturday of the Ecology class I rode my bike through the fog down the hill and up to the elementary school where the class was being held. Was able to ride it all the way home from there to our driveway without stopping—a steep hill! My section of the class looked into utilities and services in the Weaverville area with emphasis on environment. I was still taking guitar lessons on Wednesdays.

One Tuesday we took the nursery school children out to the B-Bar K Ranch. That afternoon at 3:00 Rebecca and I picked up Jeffrey from school and went to Redding. I bought tennis shoes and boots for both of them and we went to the Pizza Palace for dinner. After that we went to the Civic Auditorium to hear the Dallas Symphony. It was the last program for that season. Jeffrey fell asleep about a third of the way through with his head and stomach on his seat and his feet hooked over the seat in front of him. Rebecca stayed awake through the whole thing.

Bob Grant gave Florence and Leonard some fish and we ate them for dinner Friday night. Bob fried the fish while I fixed the rest of dinner in the hour I had before my class started. Bob took the children with him to go up with Lonny in his plane to take aerial photos Saturday morning.

On the 17th, a Tuesday, I took the children to the library and voted. Then Rebecca went over to Nancy’s and Jeffrey to Florence’s to play with Kent. Clarke napped for once and I did housework. After I picked Jeff up I dropped Kent off at Hurd’s so he could play with Alex. Talked to Mildred for a few minutes. She looked good.

On Sunday Rebecca made some ginger cookies and I used the rest of the dough to make rabbit cookies for the nursery school bake sale that coming Thursday. I also made a cake in the shape of a rabbit’s head. Rebecca made some of her delicious twisted bread. Each sold for $2.00.The boys were getting croupy coughs and Jeffrey had poison oak all over his stomach.

We changed to Daylight Savings Time that Saturday but I messed up and changed it the previous night and was then cross with Bob for being late for us to go to Ginny Breeden’s wedding reception. Ooops. Friday I had subbed at the high school.

That Friday I picked up the children after school and they and I went to Mary Smith Campground at Lewiston Lake. In reading this account I can see I had no idea that people would be arriving at all hours of the night. We were the first car there and I was annoyed when some boys camped right next to us with an empty campground but around 9 p.m. cars started arriving and people were shining flashlights and pounding tent stakes until 1:00 a.m. I’d been concerned about the kids next to us keeping the children awake but I was the one awake until after 1:00. Clarke had sung “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” until he’d fallen asleep. We left around noon and I stopped at the dam so the children could walk out on it. We saw a big houseboat by the dam and a few days later found out that Candy, Caren and Jim Fields were there with her parents.
The wedding reception was that evening.

Sunday we went out to the ranch and Bob got most of the rototilling done in the garden while I mowed the lawn. He left Monday again.

I cleaned out the garage, dusting shelves and getting rid of mud dauber nests. I ended up with a lot of things to take to the second-hand store. Exchanged our dining table for one that had more leg room.

Jeffrey learned to whistle– and whistle and whistle!

Bob was finishing the last of his project that week but was presenting his final report and the next week was going down for a management training class.

I took Clarke to Redding to get new shoes and we ate lunch at the Shack. Stopped on the way home to see the Hislops for a few minutes. I stayed with them when I went to Shasta J.C.

The night before Easter Clarke came out saying, “It’s Easter mommy? It’s Easter?” It was 1:00 a.m. We had an egg hunt and the children got stuffed animals. Nancy, Robin, Noel, Kent and Cheryl came up to bring a basket from Grandmother’s house because we were going out to the ranch instead of to Grandmother’s for a 2nd family hunt.

On the May 9th we met Bob’s plane at the Weaverville airport. Sunday we went out to the ranch and he finished rototilling the garden and added seven sacks of manure to it.

Showed the film “Why Man Creates” to the nursery school parents.

That Sunday Bob had to leave again and on Tuesday I put a second coat of paint on the laundry room—this time with a roller, which was much easier. Took the children to the Brewery for pizza after that.

Two pages of quotes from Dag Hammarskold. I remember really liking his writing for a while.

We moved out to the ranch June 17th. “Children in bed though not asleep. Have the overhead sprinklers going on the roof, a homemade cookie beside me and water for tea getting hot on the stove. Sun is still tipping the pointed mountain at the topmost peak of Eagle Rock.” It had been a cold and windy week. Bob took Rebecca and Jeffrey in the big store truck down to the mouth of Big French Creek to get sand the previous afternoon to put under the pool. At 10 p.m. that night when he and I were setting it up it was really cold. I mentioned in my writing that I was really glad I wasn’t from a city and trying to camp out in that weather. While I was writing though it was much warmer and I was comfortable with the door open and wearing shorts and a tank-top at 8:30 p.m.

That morning I had taken the children and the dog and driven up to the flat in the woods to cut wood. Also took a snack. After 1½ hours I had enough to last a few days. We were virtually out and we’d had a fire in the heating stove the previous day and evening. The children quarreled a lot but otherwise it was very pleasant up there. Bob was staying in town that night to pay bills and do other chores.

The week of June 4th we’d driven to Nehalem to visit my parents. We were going to camp at Yamsi but it was full of cattle and a selective logging operation was going on of the tribal lands around there. We drove out a little road through the pumice and pines until we came to a big meadow with a pond in it. There had been cattle there last year probably so we stayed up late boiling water for the next morning. It was cold. Clarke ended up in my sleeping bag and Bob’s air mattress went flat so he used Clarke’s. I got up early and went for a walk, finding several small ponds that had local birds bathing at their edges. Saw a pair of tree swallows, a finch, chickadees, a golden-mantled ground squirrel, flicker, heard a nuthatch and an olive-sided flycatcher as well as some chipping sparrows. Rebecca later found an old bottle there. That was appropriate; the site was called Bottle Springs.

Maybe had to do with wife trading I wasn’t interested in that.), which I’m sure didn’t help either and was keenly aware of his sometimes derogatory remarks about other cultures and about women. One night we looked at slides of Castle Crags that my mother had taken in 1951 and really enjoyed that. Looking at this now I feel for my father. He was probably just being who he had always been and here was his daughter suddenly giving voice to her new outlook on life. And of course he was stressed with caring for our mother. Well, it’s hard to have a lot of wisdom sometimes without additional years of life to guide you.

I called my younger brother, Richard, before we left. Charlotte was graduating from law school and Richard was trying to finish his masters thesis on the Atomic Energy Commission by July.

Rather than camp again, because of the cold, we decided to keep driving. Ate lunch at Castle Rock Park and then dinner in Oakridge. We drove to Salt Creek Falls where we spent about an hour. Rhododendrons were just beginning to bloom but the small Bunchberry Dogwood was in full bloom. We stayed at Crater Lake Motel in Chemult and got permission to use sleeping bags for the children for $11. The next day we ate lunch at Castle Crags State Park picnic area and had the last of Rebecca’s birthday cake (we’d celebrated at the grandparents). That afternoon we walked into Root Creek. What used to be just a ditch grade had been made into a mile long trail since I lived there. On the way in we saw a fox puppy and Rebecca and I took a quick side trip into a pitcher plant bog. When we got to the creek everyone but Bob took their shoes off to wade. Jeff fell in. I had to tie his pants up with my shoelaces so the weight of the water wouldn’t pull them off. We had a great time! We ate dinner in Redding and got home about 9:00.

Had a regular birthday party for Rebecca that Friday.

“Bob is buying an old weapons carrier with a winch on the front of it to lift rocks for rip-rap. He bought it from Terry Rhinehart who bought it from Hank Green who bought it from the phone company. The children love to play in it. “

A New Year – 1973

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Medium eggs were up to 80 cents a dozen.

After one series of stomach and other ailments on the part of children I wrote “”I think they could all have fallen out of bed simultaneously and I wouldn’t have heard!”

My dad was sounding really tired. My younger brother had given them a golden retriever puppy thinking he would enjoy taking it for walks but he was overwhelmed with it waking him up too early and other chores, plus having to take care of our mother. He said she had given him directions on cutting out material for a skirt and had sewn it up on the machine plus putting a zipper in—hard enough to do with two hands, let alone only one. So that was good news.

Rusty Kornvoldt came to help with housecleaning one day.

I found a stack of letters I’d written to my parents when I was working at Crater Lake. My mother had saved them for me. I read through them. Had forgotten a lot but also, by reading, remembered things I’d not written to them.

I didn’t write again until February 25th. Bob and I had to go to a phone company convention (Independent Phone Companies) in Monterey. We left on the 7th and I had to get a sub for nursery school for that day. Marne Wilkins talked to the night class on the 8th about creativity.

Our dog, Blacky, picked up a dead bat on the previous Friday and then licked Clarke’s face. I was worried about rabies, of course. Dr. Breeden said to put it in the freezer in a container. He called back later to say I needed to take the bat to the health department, which I did. We had to keep Blacky chained up. I wore rubber gloves when feeding her. Then we were waiting for word from a doctor in Berkeley. Dr. Breeden called and said the Berkeley doctor said not to worry about Clarke. He said the bat was too decomposed to get much of a test but that what they got was negative. Then the Health Department called and they wanted to dispose of the dog. They said that it could take up to six months to develop rabies if the bat had the rabies virus in its brain. “I was really upset. Still am not sure it was necessary. Apparently I didn’t have much choice.. So we left her there and signed release papers on the way out of town. Poor puppy.” We didn’t tell the children until they asked about her absence a week or so after we got back from Monterey. We told them she got sick and died at the pound.

Monterey was much different than I had pictured and very commercialized. Our motel was right by the freeway and the first night we couldn’t sleep. We got a different room the next night. I noted that it was a large motel right by a golf course and used for conventions.

Thursday I was invited to go shopping in Monterey with the other wives. “They sorted though racks and racks of clothes. I finally escaped to a bookstore where I bought $20 worth of books for the children. This was followed by a long lunch with numerous drinks and comments made that wouldn’t have been without alcohol. When I got back to the motel I moved our stuff into the other room. Bob was through with his meeting so we went out on the golf course where I could tell him about my weird day in private. “ That night we went to a cocktail party where I met a woman whose husband worked in Redding. She liked good music, etc. “After the cocktail party Bob and I went to a Japanese restaurant on the bay for dinner. That was fun. We sat on cushions at low tables, drank saki—had a leisurely dinner.”

Friday morning I took the car and went on the 17 Mile Drive and then to Carmel. The ocean was beautiful. Would like to have spent a full day there and a full day in Carmel. Saw seals, cormorants, etc. And looked at one tide pool—had a pink starfish in it. Spent only half an hour in Carmel. It was more like what I had pictured Monterey to be—hills, trees, lots of little crafts shops. Got back to the motel just before noon and packed the car. We ate lunch and left for home. Gave a man a ride as far as S.F.

The week after we got back I spent a lot of time calling people about joining the Shasta Community Concert Association as well as making and putting up three posters. Many didn’t renew that year and I got only four new ones. When I went to a board meeting in Redding others also reported a big decrease in sales. We were told we could keep selling so I wrote an article for the “Trinity Journal”. Thelma Riordan called and said they’d get tickets. I talked to the high school music teacher and he sounded interested.

Bob spent several days in bed with a sore throat and fatigue. I mentioned that when he was stressed out about something this seemed
to happen. Probably a good thing for him to do. And that I didn’t dare succumb to my fatigue or “or I’ll never get my energy back.” I think my long illness was still having lingering effects and I didn’t want to go there again.

There was an open house for Dorothy and Walter Miller’s 50th wedding anniversary that I went to. I liked them both a lot but rarely had a chance to talk to her when he was with her.

One day I took the nursery school class to visit the U.S.F.S. office. I took Jeffrey too. “They really had a good time. Cary Conway talked to them, showed slides, etc. Jim Fields helped hold the fire hose while each one squirted.”

I started taking guitar lessons one night a week in a class that Dick DeRosear was teaching. I borrowed Candy Fields’ guitar.

Bob started being gone during the week every week for probably a month (until a long-term project he was working on would be completed). The previous week he had left on a Tuesday and gotten back on Friday. That night we went to a Rotary Club potluck.

My brother Peter was going to bring their three children up to stay with Alice and Horace the following week for two weeks—in early March. They were moving to Sacramento. He was going to find a house while the kids were in Weaverville. Angenett wouldn’t come until the middle of June because she was taking a training course.

Helen, Herb, Eric and Marilee Woods came over for a visit. Marilee was expecting a baby any minute.

Rebecca made yeast bread from her “Zoom” book (which I got in Monterey) one afternoon. It was beautiful to look at—two loaves braided—and delicious. It took three separate kneadings and risings.

Bob hiked out to the ranch two weeks ago. Everything was in good shape. There were rocks in the road but no slides.

March 19th
I was watching a program on the relationship between the President and Congress.

Bob was gone again for the week.

Florence and Leonard got back from their vacation trip to Death Valley, Arizona, etc. She told me that Mildred Hurd was recovering from a mastectomy. “What a terrible experience for her. I hope she comes out of it all right. “ I was checking myself again more often. “Time Magazine had an encouraging article on cancer recovery.”

We stayed overnight at the ranch on Saturday. It was very cold and cloudy most of the time. Bob burned a big pile of brush and a lot of boards that had been lying around. I spent most of the time in the house Saturday but Sunday did take a walk with Jeff and Clarke. We climbed way up to the top of the ridge. Rebecca went with Bob to the creek and walked back by herself. We collected frog eggs, which soon began hatching in the house in Weaverville.

The weekend before that we had a beautiful day and cleared rocks from the road—had a picnic on the way in.

January 29, 1973

The children had one Friday off as the teachers were having a training session which I attended.

I took Jessica, Cedric and Nicholas Twight on separate days with me to nursery school. Jessica went to school with Rebecca on two different days. The afternoon of Nick’s birthday I had a party for him. Craig Lindsey came although he was really too old but I didn’t know anyone his age to invite and I knew he’d be fine. I had a treasure hunt for them so everyone got a prize. Alice took the children down to Sacramento to join Peter a few days later.

Opera to Flu Nov.-Dec. 1972

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Going to a concert in Redding in the 1970s wasn’t just a matter of driving a couple of miles down the street. It involved driving for at least an hour, in the dark, up over a pass and down the winding highway on the other side, often in the rain. And then home again. But being able to hear and see music programs live was really important to me. Our music exposure growing up in isolated state parks was from the radio or, as time went on, classical and folk music records. Never live.

Serving on the Shasta Community Concert Board entitled me to two (if memory serves me correctly) free tickets to each concert. Part of my responsibilities included trying to recruit new members from the Trinity area. There were meetings to attend in Redding although I don’t remember how often. When I was on the board we met at a large home up on a hill, just off of Highway 299 on the western outskirts of the town. I believe the homeowner, possible the chairman (?), was a plumber. I do remember being quite impressed by the size and beauty of the home. It was a good location for me because I didn’t have to drive all over town at night to find it. Concerts were held at the Civic Auditorium.

In October I took Jeffrey to see the Ober Kerchen Children’s Choir. It was a wonderful group but we left shortly after the intermission because we were both so tired to start with. Still, I always felt when taking a child with me that it was worth the trip just for the exposure. Plus it made it special to have one-on-one time together.

I went to a Community Concert committee meeting at a restaurant in Redding one rainy night and wrote that I should have gone to another one but we had a phone company dinner in Weaverville that night.

On November 13th Bob and I were in Philipsville at the River View Inn for dinner. We sat next to a couple who had recently moved to Mad River. She had written a little book on the history of the area in Southern California from which they had just moved and wanted to send me a copy. She also had driven a school bus. The next morning we ate breakfast at Tarentinoe’s then visited the phone company business and main offices in Garberville. Drove from there to Eureka, stopping at the Founder’s Tree so the Whitakers (phone company people) could see the redwoods. Ate a seafood lunch at Lazio’s in Eureka, stopped briefly at Willow Creek and got to Weaverville about 5:30. Picked up the children at Linda’s where Florence had taken them because we were supposed to have gotten home earlier that day.

I fed the children and then we got Christi Forero to babysit because we had something we had to go to at the Gables. Got home around 12:00. Bob had to get up at 5:00 a.m. to catch a plane from Redding to L.A. It was going to be three hours late so they ended up going down in Mr. McGuire’s plane, which came clear up to Redding for them.

That evening I decided, at the last minute, to go ahead and go see the M… (can’t read my writing) dancers in Redding and take Rebecca. I couldn’t get a sitter. Dorothy Goodyear said she’d take Jeffrey and Clarke, so I took her up on it. Raining hard all the way to Redding. It was an excellent program. African dances, songs and gymnastics. Lots of drums. We went home right afterwards but didn’t arrive until nearly midnight. I hauled the children home and got to bed around 1:00.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at Florence and Leonard’s. Aunt Nell, Uncle Stanford, Nancy and David Adrian—with Robin, Noel and Kent- were there. Aunt Nell seemed depressed but Uncle Stanford was quite “chipper”. That Saturday I took the children to Junction City to the Fancy Fair. They each bought something in the way of a toy. I bought a raffle ticket for $1 and Sunday night got a phone call saying I’d won $25 worth of meat!

Children started getting sick but I was hoping they’d be well in time for us to go to the Bay Area to the opera. Funny now that I’m not that fond of opera but it seemed to appeal then. I think part of it was the atmosphere of the Opera House and the costumes and sets. We drove to Berkeley the week before the 1st of December. Went to a book store on Durant St. (the college bookstore was closed.) Bought two secret panel Japanese boxes, one for Rebecca and one for Jeffrey, and a hand puppet made in Poland for Clarke. We found them at a Pier 1 (first time I’d seen a Pier 1). We stayed in the Campus Motel. “Berkeley is really getting kind of dirty compared to what it used to be. Lots of litter and the Pancake House restaurant where we often have eaten has grimy curtains, etc.”

“We got to the opera about 15 minutes before curtain time and chatted with Candy and Jim Fields. They went down with us last year but they took Carin and were visiting relatives this year. The opera (Tosca) was good. Everyone died magnificently. Bob and I went to Blums in Berkeley for a snack on the way home. Tried to see BART but it closes at 11. There’s a lot in the news on its lack of safety devices.”

We went home Sunday and picked up the kids from Linda’s. It was a good trip “good to be able to concentrate on each other.” Bob took
that week off and spent most of it studying about computers, which he was getting interested in. “The children really enjoyed being able to pop in on him in his shop.” Thursday he went to Palo Alto to get more computer information, go to bookstores and visit friends. He got back around 2:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Thursday night I had a nursery school meeting and picked up Christi to babysit but Bev had to come and get her afterwards. Friday I wanted to go downtown to mail some letters, late afternoon, but I’d left the lights on in the car and the battery was dead so we walked. It was terribly cold. I hadn’t realized that when we started. After we went to the post office I took the children to Varney’s for hot chocolate and to warm up. I hadn’t brought my purse so had to charge it. We headed home and were near Jeannie and Fred Meyers’, just past the Joss House, when Vernon Ryan and Ruth stopped to ask if we wanted a ride home. I said yes so he took Ruth home and we met him at their driveway. It was really helpful because we were all cold.

Bob worked on the translator for a while and “I guess it was really upsetting to people who wanted to watch the Army-Navy game.”

We had about 14 inches soft dry powder snow on the ground on the 8th of December. Still very cold. I had to cancel nursery school night and day classes. I put chains on the car. The children slid on the disk on the garden slope some. I was trying to finish up my Christmas shopping.

The day before my birthday I wrote, “Tomorrow I will be 34. I can remember when I thought being thirty was terribly old. Was amazed that people that age could ride bikes.”

Marcene Parkan took the children on a Saturday so we could attend the wilderness meetings. 207 people talked and perhaps as many more signed up to do it but had to leave early. Roads were icy and we had to use a jumper cable to start the car when we left Weaverville. Vernon Ryan, Gil and Lucile Snyder, Alice and Horace Jones, Florence and Leonard, Fred Esselink, Al, Marne and Muff Wilkins, were there. Bill O’Neil gave the Supervisor’s statement, Jim Winegardner the high school students’, etc. Leonard, Alice, Vernon, Bob, Fred and I spoke.

Sunday both Rebecca and Jeffrey were sick. Florence and Leonard brought us a little puppy, one of Freckles’ children. She was black and very cute and the children named her Blackie. But she was a nuisance—howled at night and messed all over the floor.

We had temperatures down to 10 degrees and were happy when it warmed up to 30. Many people had frozen pipes. Pipes were frozen at the recreation building so we couldn’t have nursery school. We did have the adult class where I handed out lists of books for adults and we talked about nursery school some and then came home.

Bob called and said he had just been to a movie called “Ryan’s Daughter”, which he liked very much. He told me to open my present from him. Vance Packard’s “A Nation of Strangers”.

It was a month later before I wrote again. I came down with the English flu on the 22nd of December. Florence ended up taking the children one afternoon and then the puppy, which had diarrhea. Things went downhill from there. I barely made it through Christmas and the children were sick too. Bob got it.

We went to see the doctor and were on medication but after New Years I ended up in the hospital with viral pneumonia. I also had tonsillitis and we all had a strep throat that was resistant to the medication we were on. My roommate at the hospital smoked and I passed a note to a nurse to give to Dr. Breeden. A little while later staff came in and wheeled her out, bed and all. Florence and Leonard took the children. Sometimes I could see the older two get off the bus at their house through my window—they lived close to the hospital. “I don’t know what we would have done without their help with the children.” That was followed by a long convalescence with the older two allowed home on weekends when Bob could be there, then full time and finally Clarke. We had to get someone to come in and clean a couple of times. Florence and Leonard brought Clarke up for a brief visit.

Bob began working on long-term planning for the phone company and was more relaxed doing that as well as having the wilderness hearing behind him. The long-term planning was to last three months and Frank Hinson was doing his former job.

Candy stopped by and went to the post office for me while Bob was in Victorville again for a few days. She brought me a book. I’d just finished reading “Ra.”

On the 17th of January I was still wheezing and a bit wobbly. “I think Rebecca and Jeffrey are ready to come home but I think Clarke would just as soon be with grandmother.” On the 25th the children could come home.

Lyndon Johnson died on the 22nd.

The first weekend the children were home Bob took Jeffrey and Clarke with him to Redding on Saturday. Leonard took Rebecca with him to the store and “where she spent the morning ecstatically counting money.” Thirty dollars in dimes, etc. She spent the afternoon with Florence. The children ate dinner there and then came home.

Sunday Bob really concentrated on the children. He and Jeffrey built a log cabin from Lincoln Logs. Then he helped Jeff build a waterwheel from a science kit and Rebecca worked on putting together a plane that was supposed to fly but didn’t. He helped her with it also and Clarke spent most of his time running back and forth between them and me. They were really glad to be home. Saturday night Jeffrey snuggled down under the covers and said, “My own bed.” He also said, “Mommy when you were in the hospital and I was at grandma’s I really wished you could get out of the hospital.” That was the first time he had ever talked about it. I later learned from Mary Jo, the kindergarten teacher, that Jeff had been almost autistic while I was in the hospital- wouldn’t talk or respond to anyone. Apparently they were with us just for that weekend because Sunday night they went back to Florence and Leonard’s and Monday they went to Linda Lindsey’s so Florence could paint her laundry room and they brought them up to say goodnight to us.

Bob invested some money in a company that made chips that go in computers and one other company. “He said he wouldn’t be too surprised to see this area without electricity in ten years. I read in the February issue of Saturday Review about a 100-year-old man who just the last year invented an apparatus of lenses for focusing the sun’s rays into ” a black-box radiator wherein enough heat is produced, up to an estimated 3,000 degrees Kelvin, to run a turbine, which in turn will produce low-cost electricity with pollution zero. His name is Dr. Abbot-the description (the result of a 90 minute interview (which ended with him singing a sea chantey) is excellent. He’s a truly amazing person.”

We had some good things come out of that month though. “Introspection and discussion between Bob and myself about him, his job, the children, etc. Sort of a re-evaluation. He’s giving Jeffrey a lot more attention now and getting good results.”

Rockwork, Nursery School, Fall in Bear Basin 1972

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This must have been Labor Day weekend because we went out to the ranch on Thursday. Maybe it was a short school week? After lunch I tried to mow the lawn but had a few problems with Clarke. He opened the front door and stuck his head out, after having been put in his crib. I put him down on our bed but that didn’t work either. Put him back in his crib and he climbed out again. So I mowed the lawn any way but he spent a lot of time bugging his brother and sister. Then I cleaned the pool.

On Friday did two batches of laundry, worked with Jeffrey in his Sesame Street Book for half an hour, played a game of multiplication cards with Rebecca. She and Clarke both had colds. I thought Jeffrey and I were coming down with it too. After lunch we went down to the blackberry patch across the road where I spray painted two garden-spider webs, after chasing the spiders out. Then touched the webs to construction paper, loosened the attached lines and the web designs were now on paper.

Started the rockwork again. I had to do a little more digging and mixed three batches of cement. It was slow work and hard on the back but “I kind of enjoyed it. No stretch looks the same as the one before and construction is fairly permanent, versus ironing and dishwashing, and it looks good once it is done. Also it is very obvious that you’ve done it.” It wasn’t until a year or so later that I learned I hadn’t been doing it quite the way it is supposed to be done; that each rock should fit snugly into the spaces, not just be put in with cement to hold it. Fed the children early. Bob didn’t get home until 8:00.

On Saturday I put new tarpaper on the roof of the outhouse. Hauled the roll of paper up a stepladder, etc. Then it wouldn’t leak when it was raining or the sprinkler was on. Picked a sack of green apples and picked some tomatoes and green beans in the garden. Jeffrey picked his one little cucumber, which he had with lunch.

After lunch Bob mixed up a large batch of cement for me and I worked from about two until five. Too much of a stretch but I got a lot done. About an hour later we had a huge thunderstorm with a bit of rain. Poor Clarke wanted to be out on the porch with the others but every time there was thunder he would come in.

Just before we left the rain stopped. “The clouds were slightly broken. They took on a peach color and then were brightened by rainbows—a large almost horizontal one; above it a fainter one, and finally a very faint one. Very dramatic. As I was getting into the car we had a regular cloudburst—lightning, thunder and rain all the way into Weaverville. Bob spotted a smoke on Eagle Rock Ridge, around the head of Mule Creek. He called the USFS and they already had someone on it. “

Monday, when we were back in town, Doris called—we’d been seeing bombers go over. She said there was a fire about five miles north of the ranch.

Tuesday night was the first adult nursery school group meeting. Only eight or nine people showed up and things really dragged. They got the officers elected though. Thursday was the first nursery school class and rather exhausting and unorganized because I wasn’t organized. We had 13 children. Afterwards I bought a few groceries, went home and ate lunch, then picked Rebecca up at school, went to the pool with her for half an hour, picked up Clarke from Linda Lindsey’s and went home to be there when Jeffrey arrived.

I’d been asked to substitute at Lewiston on Friday but asked whether they could find someone else and they did. Nancy Van Duyn came over to play with Rebecca after school.

Bob had a sore throat on Saturday and spent most of the morning sleeping. We were out at the ranch. He worked on the septic tank all afternoon. I mowed the lawn and picked apples. Made two pies. Sunday a fire in the stove at breakfast was a necessity-really chilly. I hadn’t planned on doing much but started painting the floor and got about half of it done before lunch. Those floors were old, wide boards with cracks between them and needed paint at least once a year to withstand the wear and tear of use. Also, the quick-drying paint would fill the cracks and keep dirt from accumulating in them. Bob wanted help after lunch. He’d finished the concrete blocks Saturday and that afternoon was doing the sealing job. This necessitated sifting the sand through a screen. Rebecca, Jeffrey and even Clarke (briefly) helped for a while, rubbing sand through a screen door into the wheelbarrow. I wouldn’t have started the floor if I’d known he was going to want help or how time consuming it would be. I screened sand, mixed cement, then refilled Bob’s pans whenever necessary. I’d paint for a few minutes, hear him yell for more stuff, run up and haul it, run back down, etc. He got one tank section finished (the smaller) and I got most of the floor done but still had a little more to do.

Nursery School: I tried to leave the house around 9:00, taking the kids to Linda’s and would get to nursery school by 9:30. I was usually not out of there until nearly one and then usually had errands downtown so would often eat downtown, not getting home until almost 2:00.

The first evening class Kenneth Wahl, came up from Shasta Junior College and spoke on parent effectiveness training, which he taught as a night class there. He was the school psychologist for Shasta Union High School District. We had an open meeting and about 10-15 extra people came. I planned to have an article in the newspaper asking for names of those who would like to have him teach a class the next semester in Weaverville. The second class I talked about children and books—typed up lists of the Caldecott and Newberry Award books, etc. I went into the background of children’s literature and talked about how to interest children in reading. So those would have been the September and October meetings.

Sometime in September I left the children with Florence and hiked into Bear Basin and back. Left the trailhead at 11 a.m. and was in there by 2:00. “ It was really pretty with the azalea leaves bright orange, reds and yellows. No one else on the trail. I took Freckles (Florence and Leonard’s dog). Big meadows, lots of pitcher plants; back at the trailhead by 5:30.
Aspens bright yellow in the upper meadow. “

The next day I went to Yreka with Alice, Horace and Leonard to a wilderness workshop. We learned about some new such as Seiad and the Russian Peaks areas.

The week before that we “went to a meeting of the Board of Supervisors in Weaverville at the courthouse. Over 100 people crowded into the room, many sitting on the floor. A fascinating evening; many spontaneous comments. Paul Richens and Fred Esselink showed slides, just enough. John Keane was there but not saying anything until he was forced to do so when Dave Ohde asked who did ask for the meeting. The Forest Service was under quite a bit of fire. The Supervisors passed a request for as large a wilderness area as possible, with land exchanges from S.P. requested within the county. “

In mid-September Rebecca fell from the monkey bars at school and broke her collarbone. I was visiting the dentist’s office with nursery school kids when Linda Lindsey brought her to me. The school thought she was just hysterical I guess when she kept weeping. I suspected what the problem was when I went to lift her onto my lap and she screamed. Got Dr. Polka to arrange for x-rays. He put a cloth harness on her for three weeks, and then she was ok.

East Weaver Lake-August 1972

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One morning I peeled and cut up apples for applesauce, then took the children down to the creek for an hour. They made boats and rafts out of driftwood and really had a good time. After lunch, after Clarke went down for his nap, I canned four quarts of applesauce. Mowed the lawn and used the pool. Clarke didn’t sleep so Rebecca got him up when I was on the last 1/3 of the lawn and fed everyone popsicles on the fenced-in porch. Then I made more applesauce, which we had with dinner and finished with breakfast the next day.

August 28th was the first day of school for Rebecca and Jeffrey. Rebecca could hardly eat breakfast. I drove her to school where Mrs. Crane would be her second-grade teacher. Jeffrey wanted to ride the bus so Clarke and I watched with him until the bus came. I followed the bus over to school where Mary Jo took them under her wing.

Took Clarke to Linda Lindsey’s. Ran an errand or two and went over to the pool for half an hour—with no children! We had spent the weekend out at the ranch. Bob worked on the septic tank both days and Saturday I chopped the wood he had brought out in the truck. Sunday I hauled rocks up from the creek from the rockslide. The heat really made me feel sick. I sat in the creek before going back to the house. Saturday I saw a pileated woodpecker. It flew in and landed in an apple tree then flew from there to a large ponderosa pine at the lower end of the meadow where it called.

I got the nursery school job. Had a meeting Friday with their board. I would be teaching two mornings a week and having one night class a month for parents. This is a parent-cooperative so
parents would participate in working with the children. Those who were working outside the home and not able to participate paid extra.

The first day of elementary school was on a Monday. “Tuesday I picked up Jeffrey and Rebecca at the school, dropped off Clarke at Linda Lindsey’s, picked up packs from the house, got a fire permit from the USFS and gas for the car. Then we drove up Weaver Bally. We left the road around 4:30 and were at East Weaver Lake by about six. Rebecca and Jeffrey complained for the first 100 yards and then seemed to get in gear and we did well up to the top of the ridge. (reading this now I still can’t believe I took these two out of school and then plunged over a cliff with them. I’d forgotten where the trail went from the ridge top and took them straight down. Bob and I did that once but we weren’t little kids. Now I think things like what if I’d broken a leg or hit my head or…… I do remember that all summer we’d been going to go on a backpack trip and hadn’t. Bob was out of town again so off we went. )

We found wild mint along the trail even though it was very dry and saw two giant ant nests made from twigs and fir needles.

“Fortunately we had consumed a small bag of peanuts and water at the spring by the road before we started. Rebecca was using my old Himalayan pack, carrying her sleeping bag and the tent. Jeffrey carried his sleeping bag in a little nylon bag. Going down the other side of the ridge was rather traumatic. I think we got on someone’s shortcut because the trail went straight down the hill with very minor zig-zags and lots of loose rock. The kids had to slide on their bottoms a good part of the way. Jeffrey dropped my hat and it rolled down the hill. The camera strap broke and the camera went bouncing down the hill.”

“After we got to camp I gathered wood and got a fire started and water heating. We had a bean and ham dinner with marshmallows later. Rebecca was upset because she wanted to help and was busily stirring a no-bake brownie mix. It dumped out and I was upset but then told her the animals would like it. I hope I made her feel OK. I told her this morning that I thought the recipe called for too little water, which made it hard to stir (which I think was the case) and that I probably would have dumped it too.”

“I put up the tent and Rebecca blew up her own air mattress. The a little later I lost the cap off mine so she gave me hers (all the air leaked out of hers during the night). They slept in the tent”.

“We were invaded by deer as soon as it got dusk. I spent most of the night shooing them out of camp. Would hear teeth chewing, turn on the flashlight and find a deer five feet away. Sometimes they would spook and run and I was concerned about one running into the tent or stepping on me—I could feel vibrations from their feet on the ground when they were close. After the moon came up they finally left. I looked at my watch at 2:15 and next at 5:30 so I guess I slept during that time at least.”

“Rebecca woke around 7:00 and Jeffrey about half an hour later. Gave the children warm iced tea and then applesauce, warm, and hot cereal. After dishes were cleaned up I went for a swim –cold but stimulating. Rebecca and Jeffrey played they were fishing. Had sticks with fishing line, left in the camp, and tied rocks to them for fish.”

“East Weaver Lake is quite small, maybe 200 feet by 75 feet. There was no water running in but probably underground seepage. Lots of waterdogs, and small fish. The fish weren’t visible from shore last night but this morning were jumping for insects (and even a dragonfly that was laying eggs) in the shallows. They did some exploring too while I broke camp. We left about quarter to 12 after eating a chocolate bar and drinking some water. “

“I took them out the same way we came in since I didn’t know where the trail was. I went up the hill with Rebecca first. We had quite a struggle at the steep place. I left them perched along the “trail” and tried another route but it was bad too. I had a struggle myself with it. Left my pack up on a flat and went back down to help them up. Once we reached the top of the ridge and headed down they realized how tired they were. Rebecca’s toes were sore from her new tennis shoes. (I’d had to buy them yesterday, just before we left because her oxfords were too tight). Jeffrey was stumbling and we were all hungry. We drove down to the spring and ate lunch there – salami sandwiches, apples and iced tea. Got back to Weaverville about 2:45.”

“I called Linda and Clarke was still napping so I cleaned up, Rebecca cleaned up and Linda called when I was about to get Jeffrey tubbed so I went ahead and did that. Also had time to get most of the cleanup done.”

“Bob called that evening and I gave him a brief rundown of the trip. It was really a good trip but we’re all tired. I weighed my pack when we got home. It was 35 pounds. My thighs are quite sore. “

Fires and More

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On August 12th there were two fires burning in our general area, one on the ridge behind the USFS and one near Del Loma. Smoke filled the whole river valley and some around our house. Both were still out of control the previous night. The one near the ranger station, Denny Creek, was about 20 acres and the Del Loma one about 200 acres. Dave Ohde stopped me downtown yesterday to tell me about them. We gulped our dinners and then Bob had to see about getting phone service into the Hayden Flat area and I did dishes and packed the car in preparation for going out to the ranch. Florence offered to take the children and I took her up on that. I stopped at the ranger station at Big Bar to inquire about things. Irene Nunn told me it had nearly gotten their house. I went on up to the ranch, unpacked the car and got sprinklers going. I fixed a pot of coffee, had a piece of cake and took trips upstairs to look at the smoke. Bob arrived around 10:00 pm with a phone company installer who then went on to Weaverville in our VW. Bob had left his company car at Hayden Flat so the USFS could use the phone. We kept the phone company repair vehicle so we could have some way of communicating. We planned to look at the fire, then exchange cars in Weaverville and bring the children out.

The next day we went down in the phone company rig to the fire camp. While still on our road the fellow who brought Bob out Friday night called on the radio and wanted us to meet him near Del Loma so he could get his gear. There must have been 40-50 Forest Service vehicles parked at the fire camp on the flat this side of Del Loma Lodge. We talked to Russ Engle and Bob Spivey who said they’d made good use of Bob’s phone, placing about 50 calls that night. They had a kitchen area set up and a tent for women who were timekeepers. We stopped at Big Bar to call Florence from the pay phone; the others were out…they lost 12 or 13 telephone poles. Talked to a man who was camped at Hayden Flat when the fire came over the hill there. He said “you never saw a camp empty so fast!”

We went into Weaverville, got the children from Florence’s and went up to the house to eat lunch. Then Bob took Rebecca and Jeffrey out to the ranch with him so he could go on to Del Loma first and show them the fire camp. They got to watch a helicopter scooping water up from the mouth of Big French Creek. Clarke and I went on up to the ranch. I cleared out the settling tank and scooped some stuff out of the dam then brought Clarke down to the house to put him down for a nap. Bombers (4 engines) started going over around 4 pm, about the time that Bob and the older two showed up. They continued in a steady stream until sunset. Florence called to find out what was happening because they were going over Weaverville too.

Rebecca and Jeffrey wanted to use the pool but there was a dead bat in it so I scooped it out with a plastic container. Since bats can carry rabies in their saliva we decided to drain the pool and clean it.

The generator wouldn’t start that night and Bob was down looking at the fire so I read to the children at bedtime by candlelight. I left a candle burning on the table for Bob and went to bed as I wasn’t feeling well (had stomach problems off and on for the next few days). Bob said the fire was burning on the west side of Big French Creek but pretty well under control—they’d lost it to the east of Petreau Creek though.

The canyon was so full of smoke the next day that we couldn’t see Eagle Rock lookout. By noon it had pretty well cleared out though. We kept in touch with Doris on Eagle Rock. Bombers were going over again. There was a very bad fire at Old Shasta too. With three fires along one highway on the same day there is speculation that they may have been set.Now it was Monday, the fire started Friday, and Bob went to get his car Sunday night but they needed it for another day so he left it there. The fire was pretty well stopped, at least on this side.

Bob was planning to join our two springs together so we’d have more water at the house.

I still wasn’t feeling well but managed to get Jeffrey’s party invitations cut out. Had a terrible headache.

Candy called and after we’d talked for a little while a man’s voice cut in on our party line and told us he’d been listening to us gossip for half an hour. If he’d just said, “excuse me ladies but I’m at the fire camp and I need the phone,” we’d have hung up but he was really rude. The only good comeback I had for him was to say that he had another phone, a mobile unit, available and why didn’t he use it? I was pretty sure he wondered how I knew that.

I’d just finished reading a book called “John Gaff’s Mill” about a couple who renovated an old sawmill in New Hampshire. Made me think a little of us except they were doing it for a living and year ‘round. “There’s an air of the fall to come today–just since this weekend. The last two nights the children have worn pajamas and we’ve had just the one window upstairs open.”

The deer got into the garden again.
Clarke now calls Rebecca “Ruh-begea” and Jeffrey “Deffwey”.

Candy, Jim and Carin came out on the 20th, a Sunday. Jim helped Bob with the septic tank. Florence and Leonard packed Nancy and David Adrian in to Bear Basin that Saturday.
One weekend we had a really good rain.

I noted that it was really hard to get the children to bed before 9 pm. Bob would get home from work about the time I was ready to head the children that direction so he and I would eat and then get the children to bed. When Clarke heard his dad starting the car to leave for work one morning he stood up in his crib and said, “Bye-bye Daddy. Beep-beep”.

One morning I went out on the porch to check on Clarke and found him playing with a bucket of pipe fittings. Unfortunately mice had stored mouse poison down the bottom of the bucket. I didn’t see any evidence of it around his mouth or on his hands but called Dr. Breeden to see what he suggested. I didn’t have anything on hand to make him vomit so he suggested a finger down his throat. I tried about 15 times but all I got was bitten so I decided to wait it out and watch for any blood in urine.
He had said it would take quite a bit to affect him.

Steller’s Jays were hopping around in the field catching grasshoppers. The doe with the single fawn kept trying to drive away the little spike buck, last year’s fawn I think, striking at him with her hooves. The doe with the twins didn’t mind him hanging out with them. Maybe he babysat.

At some point Jeffrey had his 5th birthday party. Guests included Josh White, Ronald Lindsey, Anne Marie Meyer , John Van Duyn. Not sure what the theme was but the props included a boat and a starfish cake. Jeff, maybe you remember.