RECALLING THE GOOD OLD DAYS

As I sit here by the fire on this freezing cold winter evening, I find myself gazing out the window, so grateful to be inside where it’s warm. As millions of snow flakes fall softly to the earth, I feel myself slipping . . . slowly . . . into a mesmerized state of recall. Recalling winters-gone-by I embrace countless sweet memories. Memories I pray that Old Father Time will permit me to carry with me always.

So many winters have passed in my lifetime, each one with its own pure white driven snow. Drifting . . . further and further back in time, my mind wanders until I’m suddenly no longer here in the warmth of this room. Instead, I’m a child again; a child of six. I’m walking from my grandparent’s home to the tiny post office where I’d wait each morning to board the school bus to take me to my grade school in the next town of Saint Peter, Minnesota.old p.o. waited for bus in 1st grade

Trudging through the four blocks of snow covered alley-ways (in Kasota, Minnesota) seemed like such a long walk. I didn’t care because in my mind’s eye I was already playing in my grandma’s backyard; building snow forts and snowmen with my little sister. How we had loved being all covered in white, fluffy snow. It seemed as though the snow would be so deep that many times it was difficult to walk through it; at least up to my knees, every year, before it stopped falling!

My first year of that walk that seemed so very long, I’d have to make my way to kindergarten in the big old Kasota School.Copy of The Old Kasota School4 It was an enormous, very old building and had always seemed a bit ominous to me.

Soon the school bus would pull-up in front of John Ireland School where I’d climb down those tall school bus steps into even more deep snow. My heart would beat faster with wild anticipation of that three-o’clock bell; the bell that meant we could go home, go outdoors and play for hours in the snow!John_Ireland_School_St_Peter_MinnesotaPatty & I @John Ireland

Sometimes Mama would drive us out to the Saint Peter Golf Course where there was an enormous hill to go-sliding down. We would take our sleds along and slide to our heart’s content! That hill was the highlight of our winters every year.

Many times though, I’d be invited to stay in-town after school and go to one of my school friend’s house. I had two friends who I especially enjoyed visiting. One of those friends had parents who owned a small grocery store a few blocks from school. We’d walk inside the front door, and there before us would be spread a large display of candy bars and all different kinds of penny-candy. How I loved that little store. LeAnn lived with her parents in a pretty little apartment behind the store. I recall thinking how lucky she was to have all of that candy right there at her fingertips.

The floors looked so different back in the 1950’s. Old, unfinished, worn wooden boards. The floor boards were dark colored and a little bit dusty in that little store, and they’d creak as I walked across them. How I loved Starkens’ Grocery Store.

Then, of course, there were the floors in my grade school . . . they, too, were old wooden floors, but were finished with some type of varnish and were kept so well polished that one could almost see one’s face in them! Reminiscing, I chuckle to myself at how things like floors, and deep snow could have made such a lasting impression on me. For several years as I grew older and taller, in fact, I’d wonder sadly why the winter snow falls were never so deep anymore. One day reality dawned on me; and I finally realized that it wasn’t the snow that had become so much deeper then, but how much shorter I’d been as a young child!3rd Grade

Once at school, my lungs would immediately fill with the heavy scent of an air-freshener that never seemed to go away. I never could figure-out whether or not I liked that scent. At times, especially in the lavatory, it always seemed overpowering. Grade school was scary for me at first. On the first day of school, a little girl rushed over to me and began talking to me and making over me. Soon I had lots of little friends who managed to replace my fear with gladness.B-day-Childhood1<a
One of my favorite times in winter were the times that my girlfriend, Linda, my little sister and I would go Christmas caroling in Saint Peter. We were in the third and fourth grades back then. Mama would drive us into town and drop us off during the evening, and return to pick us up later by the Ben Franklin Store in Saint Peter’s tiny downtown. Together, we’d walk from house to house, knock on each door and when the residents opened their door, we’d begin to sing Silent Night to them (along with a few other caroles.) We were able to harmonize well, and people seemed to love our singing. Residents would ooh and awe over us and then give us a small donation. StPeterBenFranklinToward the end of those evenings, we’d walk a couple of blocks to the tiny downtown and buy Christmas gifts for our mothers with the money we’d earned. To this day I’m able to experience the exhiliration of being outdoors after dark all by ourselves!

John Ireland (5)Recalling how much fun school recess could be; how we’d walk single-file over to the playground on the next block. During springtime and the autumn, we’d swing and ride the teeter-totter. Sometimes we’d even play softball. How I loved those big old swings that squeaked as they moved to and fro, as if I was somehow magically floating through the air.

My other favorite friend was Patty McCabe. She was a very sweet and gentle spirit. Mama always had to work, whereas Patty’s mother, Maxine, was always at home. I was always welcome there and so Patty’s house became my second home. Her mother would always have a snack made-up for us as soon as we’d arrive there after school. Maxine would make us fabulous breakfasts and dinners. Patty’s two older sisters were quite a bit older than we were. I used to love to watch them fixing their hair for their Friday night dates. Patty and I both looked up to them. Mike, Patty’s brother was lots of fun to kid around with. He had a very comical sense of humor. Theirs’ was a very strong family unit and I truly felt as if I were one of the family. I practically lived there from third through the sixth grade with Patty and her family. John Ireland (2)We joined Campfire Girls together and held slumber parties. But then I changed schools and Patty and I didn’t see each other as much. It saddens me now, how easily people lose touch with friends who’ve been so important to them. It saddens me because at my age, I realize all too well how a loved one can be here one minute, and gone the next. Forever.

I returned to visit John Ireland School forty years later. It looked exactly the same inside and out! Even the air-freshener smelled exactly the same. Nostalgia permeated my mind and my heart. I was so glad that I’d made that visit back-in-time because that old school was torn down just a few years later.

Although the building is gone, I’m able to see it so clearly in my mind’s eye, that it is as if I were still there. The little Starkens’ Grocery Store and the old Ben Franklin Store are also present in my mind’s eye as if it were only yesterday that I visited them both. I miss those days even now, more than fifty years later, and I believe I always will.

DSC_0405 Copyright November 2014 by JC “Jeanie” Cooke-Fredlund, Author. (Jeanie’s new book BAD RAP, The Truth About the Tragically Misunderstood Pit Bull was recently released/published by http://www.Bookwhirl.com.)

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Letter to My Parents On Parenting

Dear Mama and Papa,

I love you so much. I wouldn’t be here at all, were it not for you, for you brought me into this world. It is an enormous world. One that often frightens me when I step beyond the umbrella of your loving care and protection. You’ve gone to great lengths to teach me to take baby steps out into that enormous world so that I would always have the reassurance of knowing that I can quickly retreat back to the safety of that umbrella I know as “home” should I need to do so. You face the dangers of the world for me so that I never have to worry that I am alone.

Your dedication to loving me and to providing me with the confidence and faith I need to take baby steps toward my eventual independence overwhelms my heart with gratitude. For in so doing, you provide me with the confidence I need to grow to be strong in my principles and in my convictions. You’ve explained to me how crucial those attributes will be to my being able to lead a successful adult life someday.

One of the most important gifts you have given me, is the gift of stability. I’ve not entered this world at an easy time. There is so much violence going on that I wouldn’t feel safe except for the fact that I know that I can count on your steadfast reliability. I am faced, yes, even in middle school, with the ever-changing conditions of the world outside our home. I feel afraid that nothing might ever stay the same.

I’m only twelve. I have no frame of reference from which to draw courage to face the day ahead, except that which you provide for me. I get really scared sometimes when the other kids at school talk about the world coming to an end, and all the killings in schools like mine. Daily, I worry. At those times, it is only the reassurance of your consistency that gives me hope and renews my faith in the world around me. You have always been the foundation of the inner strength upon which I am challenged, daily, to build my present and my future life. I learn from the consistent steadfastness within our family, that despite the awful conditions in the world, I can remain hopeful that there are some things I will always be able to depend upon to remain stable . . . if only my inner self.

I just wanted to write this letter to you, to thank you for doing all that you can, to stabilize my world so that I don’t have to live with constant ambiguity. Thank you for being my constant anchor in the storms that rage in the sea of the world. Thank you for teaching me how to maintain my faith that all will be well within me, no matter what. For I reaize that parenting can’t be easy.

Love,
Your Son,
Tommy

Copyright 2013-2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Ode to a Small Town: My Heart Will Always Live There

JC in the old abandoned quarry in Kasota, MN. 1961

JC by the old abandoned quarry in Kasota, MN. 1961

It’s so funny, the way that the heart remembers. I was a little girl of about four years the first time I recall traveling to my Gra’ma’s house in Kasota, Minnesota. Daddy would turn right at the corner by Jim Klein’s Garage (at the bottom of the hill entering Kasota) and my heart would skip a beat. There, up ahead, I could see the black-oil covered railroad track crossing that led to Gra’ma’s, and my little sister and I would scream with excitement and delight. As we drove from the make-shift blacktop road onto the gravel road immediately preceding the old railroad crossing, the scent of wildflowers filled our nostrils and I was certain we’d all just died and gone to heaven! Up and over the railroad tracks with a very sharp turn to the left we’d go, then down Gra’ma’s long gravel driveway.

Before very long, Mama, my sister and I were living on Gra’ma’s property where we were surrounded by lilacs, sumac bushes, Vogt’s enormous horse pasture and the bull pasture, too. My little sister and I would spend endless hours, days and then months playing in that horse and bull pasture. The Vogt girls would sometimes give us a ride on “King” one of their horses, and we’d build imaginery forts in an old abandoned quarry that was located a little ways away in the bull pasture.

I sometimes crossed the railroad tracks to visit a dear little elderly man who seemed to enjoy cooking food for me. Mr. Rollings was a kind and warm person, who, just before leaving their little house across the tracks, gave me a card in which he’d written, “To the little girl who never forgot”. I miss him to this very day. My little sister and I loved to pick wildflowers and take them to the Old Rest Home that sat kitty-corner from the Rybus home. (Sadly, the old rest home is no longer standing.) All of the elderly folks who lived there would always smile happily when they’d see us come in.

I began walking to the old Kasota School (no longer standing) that stood across the street from the Old Kasota Post Office when I entered Kindergarten. The school was massive in size, but my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Kruse, made it’s interior a warm, and happy place. Upon entering the first grade at John Ireland School in St. Peter, MN, it became necessary for me to ride the school bus. I would wait for the bus in front of the Old Kasota School most mornings, except when the winter weather grew very blustery and cold. On those frigid mornings, Mr. and Mrs. Barklow (who ran the post office) would always let my little sister and I wait inside by one of the post office windows for our bus. There were many kind people living in our little town.

I frequently return to Kasota just to visit and to reminisce. So much of my heart remains there. It was the ideal place for children to experience their childhood and to develop wonderful imaginations. Although I very much love my life today in Lakeville, Minnesota, I know that the very special small town of Kasota will always draw me back into it’s heartwarming, nostalgic embrace – even if only for a few minutes at a time.

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 1974 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Through a Child’s Eye

Driving down the narrow, winding road my heart leapt as I approached the old town hall I’d remembered so well.  I had finally ventured back to the little town where I’d grown up so long ago.

I had intended for so many years to return there.  It has always possessed some of the most cherished memories of my life and had for some time aroused a sentimental curiosity within me.  Yet I reminded myself that to enter the past is impossible as the old saying, “you can never go back home” echoed through the corners of my mind.

As I rounded the corner by the old town hall I slowly drove past house after house.  I was disillusioned by what I saw.  I wondered how this could possibly be the same small town in which I’d grown-up.   The roads all seemed so much narrower now than I had remembered and the houses had aged beyond belief.  Despite a vague familiarity nothing looked quite the same to me.  I experienced a strange, deep surge of sadness.

Driving on, I felt certain that the old house in which I’d grown up would surely not disappoint me.  How well I remembered it’s beauty.  As a child I’d always loved to think of it as my huge white castle.  It was surrounded by a wonderland of Catalpa Trees, lilac bushes, apple orchards and hundreds of lovely flowers.  A perfect setting for a child to imagine her very own wonderland.  It had always been a place which radiated love and tranquility and I’d always known happiness there.  It was almost as if all those beautiful memories had, for years, been beckoning my brief return.

Turning into the long, narrow, gravel driveway, I slowly passed what I had remembered as a beautiful garden.  It had flourished under the tender loving care which my grandfather had labored many long, hard hours to provide.  There, now before me, stood only an enormous field of tall, unkempt weeds.

I thought to myself how grateful I was that my grandfather would never have to bear the heartbreak that seeing this would have brought him.  I visualized him there, pushing his old hand tiller, the sun beating mercilessly down on his back.  I looked farther ahead expecting to see the picturesque apple orchards, but they, too, were gone.  Everything looked so painfully desolate.

Driving on, my eyes fell upon the house which has, for so long held so many of the wonderful memories of my childhood.  Shocked, I saw before me a decrepit old house.  It was no longer the towering white “castle” that I’d hoped to find.  It obviously had been neglected and allowed to weather with the years.  It appeared to be crying out for the care that it had once known.  There were no blossoming Catalpa trees nor billowy lilac bushes standing majectically around it.   Only brownish, sun-dried grass which desperately thirsted for water.

I stopped my car and sat silently engulfed in sadness.  My heart cried out to that dear old place that I had loved so well.  I knew then that I should never have ventured back.  As I felt a tear emerging, a sound caught my attention.  I looked up to see a little girl of about five come running out of the house slamming the old porch door behind her.  I wondered how she could appear so happy in that old run-down place.

As I was just about to drive away, she ran toward my car.  As I paused to roll down my window, she very cheerfully announced “Hello!  I’m Snow White and this is my cottage where I live with my seven dwarfs!  Would youu like to play with us?”  I smiled but shook my head ‘no’.  As she turned and scurried away it became apparent to me that she was every bit as happy there as I’d once been.  I pondered over her words, “this is my cottage.”  They reminded me so vividly of the way in which I had referred to that place as my “castle” when I’d been her age. 

As I paused to watch her happily at play, my heart was suddenly warmed by what I saw.  It was then that I realized that that dear old place had not really lost it’s beauty at all.  The old cliche “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” ran through my mind.  I had seen reflected in the little girl’s eyes every bit of the beauty that I had once known there.   I wondered whether perhaps she, too, would one day return there just as I had.  I somehow hoped that she wouldn’t.

Driving away, I dried the tear that I’d felt emerging earlier, no longer a tear of sorrow.  For, the little girl I’d met had unknowingly transformed my sadness into a very peaceful kind of understanding and acceptance.

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 1974 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Monkey Won

 

˜by JC Eberhart, Jun 30, 2008

My emotions around losing my father to the disease of addiction when I was eight years old.   He died injecting Sterno into his veins.

A candle that flickered

then nearly dimmed

I’ve carried through the years

my heart, within.

In sorrow I stood

at my own heart’s door

watching you leave

cut to the core.

I’ve anguished long hours

into the night

struggling to recall

your face in my sight.

Oh, daddy of daddys,

where did you go?

How I’ve longed for your touch

I still love you so.

It never mattered

what you did to me

I’d have died for you daddy

couldn’t you see?

Without you my life

ceased to be

For you were the very

life force in me.

Some say it’s night terrors

I still struggle through . . .

in my dimly lit bed

I’m afraid of you.

It makes no sense

for you’re no longer here

Yet I’d give my right arm

to have you near.

You don’t understand

. . . . . . and neither do I

 

when you went away

how I’d cry and cry.

I have few memories

to connect to the pain

But, sometimes mid nightmares

I cry again.

The agony of losing you

was worse you see

than anything you ever

did to me.

They say you were mean

beyond belief

you cut-out my heart

Oh, beloved thief.

I know so well

that when you attacked

it wasn’t YOU daddy

but that monkey on your back.

That monkey who stole

you away from me

so that the rest of my life

without you, I’d be.

After all these years daddy,

my aching for you goes on

for it still breaks my heart

that the monkey won.

I’d have slain the monkey for you

but you couldn’t see

when Patty was one

and I was just three.

There was no dark monster

I wouldn’t have fought

if back into your arms

we could’ve been brought.

But the dragons I know

you tried to slay

eventually won

and then took you away.

 

 

You’d entered a no man’s land

your drug induced hell

it stole the life from you

with it’s wicked spell.

You were not to be ours . . .

anymore . . .

To this little girl’s heart

I closed the door.

No more did I dare to love

for love equaled pain

I couldn’t let that ever

happen again.

In dreams of you daddy

I still call out your name

I still waken to find

a world of fatherless pain.

 

 

 

 

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 2008 – JeanieandDaddy1-512014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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THE MAKING OF ME!

Some of my favorite memories are of my earliest years in this world. Many loving people were involved in the formative years and in the slow, but sure development of my personality. One of the first, of course, my mother, Barbara Cooke. How I loved to sit at her feet in front of our sofa and adoringly admire her beautiful, colorful cowboy boots, guitar and her singing voice………and why not? After all, before I came along, she played guitar and sang on a radio show in Minneapolis along with two of her girlfriends! (Back in the 1940s in Minneapolis, MN.) It was through her love for music that she’d met my father, Gordon Guy, who taught music at the Gould School of Music she’d attended. Both were gifted musicians. Soon they married and a year later, I was born. I was to be a winter baby. I’ve since wondered whether or not that could have anything to do with my deep love for the changing seasons here…………..especially, the snow. Needless to say, though I’ve visited many other climates, I always come home to treasure our changing seasons here in Minnesota.

Without going into unpleasant happenings, suffice to say that my mother and father were divorced when I was five years old. Mom, my sister Patty and I went to live with our grandparents in Kasota, Minnesota. It was there that I attended kindergarten. I then transferred to John Ireland Catholic (private) school in St. Peter, Minnesota. Patty and I were bussed to school from first grade forward. I’m still able to recall nearly every detail of the tiny Kasota Post Office where Dear Mr. and Mrs. Barklow permitted Patty and I to wait inside for our school bus each morning. They were very kind postmasters, indeed – for there were some bitterly cold winter school days!

Prior to my parents divorce, I’d loved so much to travel to my grandparent’s home in Kasota. My gra’ma (Theresa Spokes-Carpenter) always permitted me to rush (immediately upon our arrival there) into her bedroom where I’d spend entire afternoons viewing her beautiful colored broaches and other colorful, sparkly jewelry. (To this day my mother expresses amazement at her mother’s always allowing me this apparently rare privilege!) I often recall to mind,with deep fondness, those special visits.

As daddy would turn the corner by Jim Klein’s garage, the railroad tracks a few blocks up ahead would come into view in the distance and I’d screech with delight that we were finally, almost there. Approximately one block from the railroad track crossing that sat on a tiny black-oil covered hill, our old car would leave the pavement onto the dusty, dirt road. My head would fill with fragrances of the many different colored wild flowers lining the small country road as daddy would cross over those tracks being careful to make a very sharp left-hand turn at the top of the tiny hill. He’d had to do so in order to make it down onto grandpa’s long driveway. I haven’t any idea how in the world my mother and father withstood Patty and my screeching with excitement and delight as he’d round the curve and pull up to Granpa’s old, unpainted grey garage. Out the car doors Patty and I would fly and into Gra’ma’s waiting arms. Thinking back, it seems to me that their house had always felt far more like home to me than anyplace else on earth. How I treasured those visits.

Then, it came time for mom, Patty and I to move into Gra’ma and Grandpa’s house. I was just about to begin kindergarten. Yes, I still recall my kindergarten teacher’s name, Mrs. Kruse. I remember the kindergarten sandbox and the small rug upon which I napped each afternoon there. The Kasota School was very old and very large. I still recall feeling extremely intimidated as I’d enter that old building and the smell of an aging structure mingled with a strong air deodorizing fragrance the janitor always used.

It was difficult for Gra’ma and Grandpa to adjust to having children around all the time and so mama managed to purchase a tiny, old, trailer house in which we resided for a time right next to Gra’ma and Granpa’s house. That didn’t last long due to the floor eventually starting to tear away from the rest of the tiny structure where the three of us shared one tiny bedroom. Soon, Patty and I were to sleep each night at Gra’ma’s house in her one of two bedrooms upstairs. That was okay with Patty and I! We loved that big old house. I recall that my grandparents had no indoor plumbing when we initially moved there. Patty and I would have to walk out to an old outhouse at the edge of yard. Funny…………….I don’t recall ever feeling afraid. Gra’ma had a hand water pump that was attached to her single, large kitchen sink where we would draw water to heat for baths in the old, square metal tub that otherwise hung out on the outside wall of the garage. In retrospect, it’s a good thing that Patty and I were small because that old metal tub certainly wasn’t very big! I also recall our excitement the day that Gra’ma and Grandpa had indoor plumbing installed for the first time…….what an exciting event! Of course, one part of that project meant having to add a bathroom onto the house!

At the edge of Gra’ma and Grandpa’s front yard was an enormous horse pasture owned by the Vogts, as well as a bull pasture which abutted the horse pasture. Patty and I grew up playing in those two wonderful old partially wooded areas. Our childhood there was the kind of childhood all children should be gifted to enjoy. Our grandfather (LaVerne Carpenter) kept chickens and goats in a small building that was attached to his garage. We’d brought our Collie, Rex there with us and played with Rex, Gra’ma’s Collie, Margo and Heidi the goat as well as many litters of kittens who kept surprising us in litters. It was truly every child’s paradise. Mere words cannot do justice describing the feelings of exhiliration we experienced there; where each new sunrise offered another adventure.

There were many afternoons when I went to visit a little elderly couple across the railroad tracks from Gra’ma’s house. Mrs. Rollings wasn’t very well and so she seldom came out of the bedroom, but Mr. Rollings always seemed excited to see me and to have someone with whom to visit. Even at that young age, I sensed their loneliness. So, every afternoon, Mr. Rollings would cook me a well rounded lunch ever so enthusiastically. It wasn’t until many years later that my sister, Patty, reminded me of the card Mr. Rollings gave me when they’d had to leave their tiny home. The words he’d written inside the card, still bring a tear to my eye: “To the little girl who never forgot.” I will always remember them with deep love and affection.

Then there was my aunt Evelyn Stolt who lived a couple of blocks from Gra’ma’s house, my uncle Ray and my then four cousins, David, Irene, Sylvia and Judy. Mama didn’t have very much money and so many times when Evelyn bought new clothing or shoes for my cousins, she’d also buy some for Patty and I. They eventually moved out onto a farm in the country where I would later spend many of my summer months embarking upon countless adventures in the woods outside their house.

Not so wonderful for our mother however, who, until she could pay for an automobile had to walk the railroad tracks three miles to work each day come rain or shine. Mama had a hard life. She was finally able to obtain a nurse’s aide job at the St. Peter State Hospital and soon she was able to buy a tiny, humble house about two blocks away from our grandparent’s house. I was eight years old when we moved to into our own house. It’s funny………….I wanted that house so badly that I still remember the name of the couple from whom we purchased it: Bill and Audrey Palmer. Mama used to have to make her monthly payments to a man named Bert French who always came to pick up her payments wearing a very large stoned ring. I’d always thought that his ring was beautiful.

Mama had to work most of the time and so Patty and I had the run of the house from a very young age. We managed not to get into any real trouble but I do remember skipping school a few times to play outdoors all day long in the snow! Our neighbor, Anna Nordeen, finally told on us after one afternoon that Patty and I had spent leaping from the roof of her garage over onto the roof of OUR garage! Dear me………

I can recall making many, many exciting discoveries in the woods outside our yard growing up and even IN our yard. But the discovery that made a more lasting impression in my mind, was one night while playing outdoors after dark in some fairly deep, new fallen snow. I was standing underneath a street light gazing down at the perfect, soft snow surrounding me, when I realized that it was as if there were trillions of tiny diamond chips sprinkled throughout that snow. It’s beauty was the first to ever steal my breath away. I have loved watching the first snow fall of each Minnesota winter ever since.

Because mama had to be at work so much of the time to support our little family of three, I soon made friends with some incredibly wonderful young wives who provided me with a sort of second home. Not so coincidentally, those young women were Marlene and Pat, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Barklow, the kind postmasters who’d always allowed Patty and I to wait inside their post office for our school bus. Pat, in particular (who still resides on the same property with her husband, Daryll as they did way back then) always made me feel welcome for a bite to eat, a t.v. to watch and a surrogate sort of mother to talk to. By the time I was nine years old, I was babysitting for the Gerbers. Bless their hearts. Yes, they are still in my life today and to this day I still thank God for their loving friendship.

So, you see, the making of me required a lengthy recipe of lots of loving people combined with lots of great places to spend time together.

Copyright by JC Fredlund (was JC Eberhart) 2006:

© JC Eberhart and JC Eberhart’s Blog, 1974 – 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Eberhart and JC Eberhart’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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