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52 Weekly Personal Genealogy & History: Week 30: Employment
July 27, 2011, 9:59 am
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 30: Employment. Describe your first job. What did you do? Were you saving for something in particular, or just trying to make a living? Did that first job provide skills and make an impact on your life today?

My First Paying Job

When I turned 16, my girl friend asked me if I would help her and her dad that summer.  After talking it over with my parents, it was decided I would help them.  Of course I had to apply for my Social Security card, to make it official.  That summer we stripped wallpaper, painted walls, and helped her dad paint and paper rooms around town.  The hardest job was at the old variety store. They wanted the ceiling painted.  It was a molded metal ceiling about 15’ high.  We did not have ladders tall enough, so we made a scaffold out of a couple of ladders, then stood up to reach the ceiling.  We both had to be up there, because as we moved to the end of the scaffold it would tip like a teeter-totter.  But that was the only way we could reach the edges of the room.  I was certainly glad when that job was complete, I don’t like heights and that was not my favorite place to be.  It was also hot, and no A/C.

Before that summer was over, my father had decided to move to Manhattan, Ks and that job ended.  Shortly after school started, I applied and was accepted for part time work as a nurse’s aide at St. Mary’s Hospital in Manhattan, KS.  I would work 7-3 on Saturday and Sunday, and full time during the summer.  For some reason I could only work one of the first 2 weekends, when I received my first check it was $9.99.  Couldn’t they have made it an even $10.00.  I worked there from my Senior year of high school and up until my last semester of College.  This money was mine to spend, but I was also able to pay for 1 semester of school each year.

Both of these jobs, have provided me different kinds of skills.  Learning to work with others is one that is not always the easiest in life.  The hands -on skills of remodeling has come in handy when I wanted to do some home redecorating on my own.  No matter what your job is you will be working with all kinds of personalities.  Some will be easier to deal with than others.  You will see all kinds of work ethics, some you will agree with and some that will drive you crazy.

I started receiving a paycheck for a job when I was 16 years old.  I worked at the hospital almost 5 years, and then I started teaching, and was an educator for 38 years.  I was able to retire and so my retirement is now my paycheck.  Money was put away so that I could do this.  Even though I am retired I am still working, whether it is on my genealogy, helping family or friends with a project, I am working, and will continue to do so as long as I am able.

 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.



52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Week 29: Water
July 27, 2011, 9:54 am
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 29: Water. Do you have any memories of the sea or another body of water? Did you live there or just visit? What did you do there? You can also describe a body of water by which you live or visit in the present day.

I have a couple of stories about water.

During my college years, a friend came to live with us so she could attend the Vocational School and become an LPN.  She was attending school and working as an aide at St. Mary’s Hospital, Manhattan, KS.  She and a friend liked to go fishing.  One day they asked me to go along.  Tuttle Creek Dam was only a few years old, and had some good fishing.  We got our fishing poles, and other needs and headed out for a days fishing.  Now we decided to fish below the tubes, at that time they were releasing water, so the channel was pretty full.  We were divided being on both sides of the channel.  I was fishing from a small ledge.  I heard some one holler “Did you see …..?”

Well I rose up to see, my feet went out from under me and the ledge gave way. I WAS I THE WATER.  There was no touching bottom, and the first thing they asked “Can you swim?”

I could dog paddle enough to keep my head above water, so I told them  “Yes.”

Now the people on the banks were trying to figure out how to get me out of the water.  The banks were pretty steep and not much to climb out on.  I remember someone threw down a very short rope to help pull me out.  I had to laugh, I knew it wasn’t long enough.  I don’t remember the exact way they pulled me out, but I was rescued.

Once I was out of the water, I realized it had been a close call.  Thankfully my head never went underwater, so I did not lose my glasses.  The thought of losing my glasses was my biggest worry.

I don’t think I have been fishing since.  They give me a bad time about falling in, but I had only moved, and the earth moved, too.

THE PACIFIC OCEAN

When you travel to the west coast one of the things you want to see is the Pacific Ocean.  During my college years, the late 60’s,  my brother and his family were returning from the Phillipines were he had been stationed.  My parents and Roberta and I drove out to Vancouver, WA to pick them up.  We got to Vancouver in time to drive up to SEA-TEC airport to welcome, Kenneth, Billie, Stepanie & Shannon, returning from his tour in the Philipines.  Shannon had been born in the Philippines, this our first change to see him, and Step had been a baby when they left.  You would think there would be time to go the few miles to the coast.  But, no that did not happen on this trip.  My parents stayed to drive Kenneth and his family back to Kansas.  Roberta and I flew back to Kansas, I had to be back for school.

The next time I went to Vancouver, was in 1973.  I was teaching but my parents wanted to go see their new grandchild, which should be born by the time we got there around the middle of May. We flew up to Vancouver.  WELL we had a very stubborn little girl who decided it wasn’t time yet, and she wasn’t there when we arrived. We stayed about 10 days, and Kenneth would take the folks on little tours here and there around Vancouver and Portland, but I stayed home with Billie in case she needed to be taken to the hospital.  This meant that I did not get very far from the house during this visit.  The morning we left, my brother wakes me up and asks me, if he should take Billy to the hospital.  I am about 20, not married, they have 2 other children, and he is asking me????  Well, her water had broken, he took her to the hospital, came back and took us to the airport.  We arrived in Hays,  called Kenneth from the Airport to find out was if it a boy or a girl.  On June 1, 1973 Kenneth had his a second daughter.  Again I have been a short distance from the Pacific Ocean and didn’t get to stick my toes in.

At the seashore - Pacific Ocean

Finally at the Ocean

The next time I made it up to see my brother, I drove my father up one last time to visit with his son, in his home.  I took my 4 almost 5 –year old son up to Vancouver, WA.  When we got there I told them I was going to the Ocean, even if I had to walk.   We did take a day trip, drove up to Seaside. I wasn’t sure we were going to make it to the ocean, because Kenneth let his daughter, Step drive that day, she had just gotten her driver’s license.  I was in the back seat, and my brake was burning a hole in floorboard, but not having any effect on how that car maneuvered down the mountain.  We got to Seaside and I got to put my toes in the ocean and walk along the beach. A very enjoyable experience, the memory of it is very calming.

On The Columbia River

Getting ready to cruise on the river

5th Birthday

Blowing out the candles with Step & Shannon

On this trip we also celebrated my son’s 5thbirthday, Billie’s dad had a 40 foot cruiser, and the birthday party was cruising the Columbia River. He just turned 35, so this was 30 years ago, I asked him if he remembered this trip.

Obviously I do not live near large bodies of water and still do not live near any large bodies of water.  I am very much landlocked. I have since seen the Atlantic Ocean, but just a visual look, and also been to see some of the Great Lakes.  I have traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, and got to see the Mediterranean Sea.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.



52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Week 28: Summer
July 27, 2011, 9:00 am
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 28: Summer. What was summer like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

Living in the country in Kansas, it was usually hot and windy.  During the summer we would harvest the wheat, Mom would fix a meal, to take to the field, and we would eat our noon meal out in the middle of the wheat field.  One of the special treats my mother made was fresh squeezed lemonade.  To a gallon of water she would add the juice of 3 lemons, and 1 orange, then add sugar to taste.  It was put in the jug over ice cubes, and was a good cold drink out there in the hot field.  Many times for the evening meal we would go in to town for supper at the restaurant.

Back on the farm, mom would be tending her garden. We always had fresh radishes, leaf lettuce, string beans and peas.  Some times she would have a patch of sweet corn. It was also during the summer months that the chicks we had gotten in early spring were reaching the age to either be the new egg layers or be butchered for eating.  One of my jobs was to bring out the pails of scalding water out after my mother had wrung the necks off the chickens.  I didn’t enjoy watching them flop all over the place.  Then we would scald the feathers and pluck the chickens.  I was 10 or 11 when I asked my mother to show me how to cut up the chicken.  After that I would help pluck, and butcher the chickens. Some days up to 25 a day.   When we were dressing chickens we would almost always have a fresh one fried up in Crisco for supper with mashed potatoes and white gravy.

If there weren’t chickens to dress, there would be peas to shell, and beans to snap.  My mother canned which was also done during the summer months.  We did not have air conditioning, but we did use a lot of fans.

A real treat was a day when I got to go to swimming.  The pool was 15 miles away, so I didn’t go everyday.  After my swim, we usually stopped at the Sweden Crème.  They served soft ice cream. On a hot day, after a swim, a banana split tasted sooo good.

Another favorite treat was on the Fourth of July we would buy our first watermelon.  To keep it cold we stored it in the milk cooler, where the milk cans were kept until the truck came to pick them up.  It was so cold and refreshing.

Summer was always  a busy time on the farm.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.



52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Week 27 : Vacations
July 27, 2011, 8:50 am
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 27. Vacations. Where did your family go on vacation? Did you have a favorite place? Is it still there? If not, how has the area changed?

It is time to catch up with these blogging posts.  I have been concentrating on a couple of projects, that did not leave much time for this.  One is completed and the other needs fine tuning for completion.  So here I am 4 weeks behind and trying to catch up.

Vacations:  For many a vacation is the time to get away and relax, not worry about work and other things.  For others it is a time to do fun things.  When I was growing up we did not take a two week “vacation” on a regular basis.  We would visit family and friends that were a day’s drive, but only occasionally would we stay overnight.  The first extended vacation that I remember was a trip in 1955 to Montana.  My father was going to take my sister to Montana as a graduation trip.  One reason we did not take many vacations, my parents milked cows, and they were milked twice day, finding someone to come in to milk them and care for the milk and cream was not easy.  We also had chickens, eggs had to be gathered daily another big chore.  So for this trip my brother stayed behind to take care of the cows and chickens while we were gone.  But in 1955 my sister graduated from high school. My parents, my sister and I traveled to Montana, that summer to see our father’s mother, and some of his brothers and sisters.  Because of the chores, we never took a vacation/trip with all 5 of us.

It took several days to drive from Kansas to Montana.  I was only 7 years old and my sister was 18.   I don’t remember much about the trip up or back.  I don’t remember if we drove straight through, my sister could have helped with the driving, or if we stayed overnight.  I think we did stay one night with my father’s brother, George and his wife, June in Denver one way or the other.  What I remember about that was they wanted to take my folks to the greyhound races.  I was too young to get in the gate so Daddy, George and I sat by the fence and we could see the races from a distance.  I remember sitting in a box watching but have no desire to watch them again.  We also traveled through Yellowstone, and I do remember bears coming up to the cars.

We always say we went to Montana but actually we went to Coeur’d Alene, ID.  Daddy’s mother was in a rest home there, be cared for by her daughter Irene. That was our home base.  We visited grandma, Aunt Irene, Aunt Agnes and her husband Paul, Uncle Herman and Elsie, and Uncle Charlie and Marjorie.  There were a few cousins there also, but they were my sister’s age, so I didn’t get to do much with them.

The one thing I did enjoy, Aunt Irene had a player piano, which she let me play.  I thought that was the neatest thing.

When you are 7 you don’t remember the same kinds of things that you would when you are older.

Montana 1955

With family in Montana, I am the young girl in front

Most of the trips/vacations I remember were spent visiting family.  The trip to Montana was the only time I saw my Grandma Voss, my mother’s parents lived in Arkansas and we did make a few trips down there also.

When I married and had a family, again we did not have vacations. When my husband had free time to travel I was working, when I had free time to travel he was busy with harvest and getting the fields ready for the next crop, so again we did not have time to travel.

About15 years ago, my brother, sister and their spouses, along with other family members started taking a trip to various places across the United States.  They kept saying, “you need to come with us”.  I was a widow working full time and trying to get 2 boys through school so that was not an option for me as they would travel when I was in school.  About six years ago, I decided to go with them, we had a wonderful time.  It was the first time all three of us had ever traveled together.  Now my brother, sister and I try to take an annual trip together.  This year we will be taking an Alaskan Cruise with friends, and a cousin.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.




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