|Back in our day . . .||
It seemed to me that our drive to Minnesota was taking forever. Then, one night we drove all night and my brother and I fell asleep in the back seat. Upon waking, I felt frozen! I grabbed a sweater and covered up as much as I could. We had arrived. The morning was just beginning to dawn and the sky was still dark with patches of grey. We stopped to get something to eat at a restaurant in Duluth, and then we checked into a motel. The food was good and it was the first thing to feel normal in a while. The motel was nice, but the city of Duluth was dark and dingy and the tall buildings blocked the sunlight from the main street. I loved Beatle music, Paul was my favorite Beatle, and the radio was playing softly when I woke up the next morning. My Dad made arrangements with another Sailor who worked at the Admin building to stay at their place until we could find a house. We stayed at their place for a couple of days and they let me sleep in their Granddaughter's bedroom which was very nice of them. She was away with friends for a bit and wouldn't be back until later in the week. I don't remember her name now, but their house was really nice.
A couple of days went by with my Mom and Dad looking for places to live. Then one day they came back and Dad said, "Let's go home!" I thought for some reason we were going back to San Diego, but alas, after we drove for about 20 minutes, he pulled up in front of a beautiful house, and said, "this is it!" My heart fell to my feet all over again. We went inside and it really was beautiful. But I laid on the carpet in the living room and contemplated my revenge. I'd get even for this....oh yes I would! My parents made whatever arrangements needed to be made for our furniture to be delivered. We slept on the floor I think with blankets and stuff out of the car. The mornings were frigid even though it was the middle of June. Once our things arrived, I got busy moving my things into the far bedroom where there were corner windows. It would be cold in there in the winter, but I had no clue. I fixed up my room, and it offered some little comfort. Familiar things, in an unfamiliar environment. I moved a big easy chair into one corner and I got busy writing to my friends, and to my boyfriend. I had mailed them a postcard half way across the country but just hadn't had the interest in writing any more. I just wanted to get to our destination and start figuring out a way to get back to San Diego.
My Dad worked out in Duluth, and our house was in Cloquet. That was about 20 miles west of Duluth. So he had the convenience of coming home after each night's work, except when he had the duty. That meant he had to stay overnight and come home the next morning after his relief checked in. A couple of times he took David, my brother, and myself with him, but I found it boring and didn't repeat that activity! I wrote my boyfriend again because I hadn't gotten a response from the first one. I was beginning to develop the feeling that he just had other interests now that we were gone from California. I felt the cold fingers of depression starting to wrap around my mind, and I began hibernating in my room. I was out of school, and there were no colleges there that I could afford. Not that I had the interest in them... I was bored to death. The girls there seemed to all have short blonde hair, and were nature lovers. I loved to dance and go to the beach and spend the weekends with my friends and sleeping over. So different.
The summer months passed by slowly. Rainy days were prevalent. We had a large yard and the grass needed no watering like our yard in San Diego. The lawn mower came in handy... The houses were situated on a circle of land that was everyone's back yard. There were no fences marking boundaries...just open space and beautiful grass. I had a few babysitting jobs there and earned money for my clothes. I turned on the radio first thing every morning and one morning my mom said to me, "When are you going to get a job and help pay these electric bills!?" I was floored. Where would I find work? There was a paper mill in the little town of Cloquet where almost everyone worked. Besides, I was still angry about being there and I had no interest in working or going to school. One day I checked myself out in the bathroom mirror, and there were circles under my eyes and I just didn't look right to myself. I had no idea why, but it was an odd feeling and would make itself known again and again later on in my life.
One day I stepped outside the front door to get the mail. There was a letter from my boyfriend and I was so happy. I opened it and read it and there were words in it that I had dreamed the night before. It was weird the connection we had. I'd hear a song we both liked, or dream an odd dream, and the next day or so I'd hear from him. I had met him in Kodiak when he was there to be with his Dad for his Junior year. He was from Sunnyvale California and he had shown me pictures of his high school there and his friends. He was very friendly and funny and I liked him a lot. We had been writing for about a year when we moved to Minnesota. I answered his letter right away, like I always did. He said he had gone to Alaska on a cruise trip and he was one of the bus boys. He got to see his Father and step-mother and then came back to San Francisco. He had moved out of his Mom's house and she was upset with him, but he had turned 18 in May and she had no control over him anymore. He had an apartment and was always working in one job or another. I felt better once I started getting mail from my friends in San Diego. I liked the change in the seasons which we didn't have in California. It was pretty much very mind there and I missed it. But there were all sorts of trees in Minnesota and when the leaves fell, the yards and streets were covered in orange, brown, and gold leaves. I have to admit it was a beautiful sight, but it was not enough to make me stay there.
I can't begin to cover all the time I spent in Minnesota. I mean, it wasn't much over 10 m,onths and I got money from my Grandmother and my Mom gave me money. I made arrangements with my best friend in San Diego, to stay at her parent's house and the only requirement was that I helped with the housework and things like that. I was delighted. My Dad was argumentative and he treated my Mom badly. One day I told her that if she wanted to stay with him when he was so mean to her, that was her business. But as for me, I was going home. She begged me not to leave and told me I was the only one in the family that my Dad was afraid of. I had gone off on him one morning when I heard him saying how much he had given up for us and al his sacrifices, and I was just furious! I marched into the kitchen and slammed one of the breakfast chairs into the floor as hard as I could. I never cursed, but that morning I just went off! I told him that he was a selfish and stingy man and that he never did anything for anyone that would inconvenience him. He had moved us so many times I had just given up making friends. He drove me to suicidal thoughts with his carelessness and inconsiderate way of living. He made me so mad I could have choked him and he left the house. I don't know where he went and didn't care. I was leaving and that was final!!
There were days of deep depression for me there. I spent far too much time in my room, writing and reading. Then one day, I began feeling the strong feeling that I should read my Bible. I would lay on my bed and read, and the words seemed to jump off the page and into my mind and heart. I kept reading and reading, and then began reading our books on the mind and how the brain works and things of that nature. Sometimes I wouldn't sleep for days, just staying up reading and writing in my room. One night I noticed my Mom had bathed and set her hair and she was sitting on the sofa reading a magazine. Dad was off doing something, or at work...I don't remember. But I felt pity for her and it gave me a feeling of strength and determination in me, that I would never let any one treat me like my Dad treated Mom. My Mom had always been a quiet and gentle person. She followed him no matter where he was going. I wondered when the kids were going to matter. It just didn't seem like it mattered much about us or how difficult a time we were having. Nobody cared. At least that's how I felt. I grew more and more determined to leave. I felt a calling to follow whatever God wanted of me and one day I read that if my parents didn't take care of me, abandoned me, then He would take me up. So I told Him if he'd be my Father, I'd do whatever He asked of me. I knew that meant being on my own and following my thoughts and living a life connected to God no matter where it took me or what I had to do. I felt sorry for the whole world. They seemed to live in a delusion that wasn't real. They seemed to be living in a false reality. Like they were all hoodwinked into something that had a power over them. I wanted no part of it...I had been shown something more. Something different....like I was the only one in the world who could break this hold and set them free. Thoughts began to flood into me and I got into automatic writing. I don't know where all the things I wrote ended up, but I had been found of God and the papers were just a way I had of staying connected to God and this new reality.
At this point, I will say good bye for now. I have to try to remember all the things that happened and put them in order, and I'll be back after Jack's next time to post. I have a lot of ground to cover, and I think I'll go back in time when I make the next entry, to my childhood and it all ties in to the way I've lived my life. It will become clearer as I tie things from the past, into the present. There is a pattern I never would have believed. It all made sense to me. No one else knew my thoughts or desires or dreams. It was just me and God. So I hope you enjoy reading this, Grandkids and whoever else is interested. It's the story of my life and it follows a curving road...like the song by the Beatles "The Long and Winding Road". "Nowhere Man" was also a song I loved...it was about my Dad.... the fool on the hill.
So Stay tuned and if you have any comments to make, feel free to express yourselves!
This is for the grandkids, the family, close friends, and anyone else who can keep a civil tongue in their heads! It amounts to an interactive book of memoirs, but only if you interact... so get to it!
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California has been my home since 1965. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'm home to stay!
What is there to say about a ten-year old turning 65, besides, what the hell happened?!??