Tuesday, April 29, 2008

February Page Done!

I have it done! February is finally finished after stops and starts and what-have-you!
Winter cold can be a bit of a shock for a transplant from southern California. Back in December of 1974 my husband, I, our son (16mos.) and our daughter (two weeks old) left California for Great Lakes Naval Base by Chicago, Illinois.
Driving ahead of a severe winter storm all the way we first went to Bennington, Vermont to spend Christmas with my husband's parents as he hadn't been with them in several years. Then we backtracked to Illinois and set ourselves up in a motel. It was 60 below wind chill in that area at the time. I remember walking to the car from our room and saw our son walking forward but going backwards due to the severe wind. A few days of looking at rentals and the waiting list for base housing had us looking at the base mobile home park where we could buy a home and not have to wait long to move in. Then we got the phone call.
My husband's father died of a heart attack in the beginning of January so he had to get us out of the motel and drive us to Pennsylvania where my sister lived so he could go home for the funeral. We were running low on money so he tried to get help from the Navy Relief Society but they said they had no money to give or lend to us. That was alright going to my sister's but when all his business was taken care of and we got back to Illinois it was tough going. We had applied for a loan for the mobile home and hadn't heard anything. We got down to the bottom of our money.
We were so low in money we didn't have any for a motel for one more night. We were looking at sleeping in our car that night with our two babies in that super cold winter. We were really kind of scared but didn't know what else to do. My husband was on duty and when you are in the military you can't just come and go when you want. They had already let my husband have emergency leave for his dad; they weren't going to give him time off to take his family back to his sister-in-law's. Well, he called me from work. The loan from the credit union came through that day and we got to sleep (albeit on the floor) in our new old home that night. We were so happy. I took our electric skillet we'd been cooking with and made us some tacos we ate picnic style on our floor. We were warm, safe, and very, very happy people!
This is as close as I could come to how our home looked. As Janet of The Lavender Loft said this home is now retro! It was a 12'x60' two bedroom home which worked out great for our small family. The homes were placed like the spokes of a wheel with the playground at the hub. It was a great first home.
I beaded it with springtime flowers and butterflies instead of the cold winter snows as once we moved in I felt like all the troubles and cold were left behind. We were on a new start and that means spring, not winter! I really don't remember the cold after we moved in. I guess life was at a real dividing point there.


Cyndi L said...

I LOVE it! I love how everything worked out in your story and how this story of rising to the occasion has become one of your treasured pages.

KV said...

Yet another wonderful memory page, Timaree -- your story makes me feel as if I was right there in that nasty cold winter weather.

Kathy V in NM

KrispiS said...

What a sweet story. At least now that we know it has a happy ending. I was afraid for you and oh! so cold for you while I was reading! Thanks for sharing. And your rendering of the mobile home is truly kitch!

a2susan said...

What a fantastic page and narrative that goes with it. You must have been so scared at the time. All of your pages have had a story with them, are you planning something special for them?

Kiwi Ellen said...

What a touching story Timaree & your page is beautiful

beadbabe49 said...

oh...I knew it would be a great story! and the beading looks great too!


Freebird that is such a touching story.There's no place like home.Your beading and that of others in the BJP have inspired me to try some beading in the TIF challenges to come.

abeadlady said...

Love the story and love the picture. For anyone who has ever lived in a mobile home, this should strike a chord. Well done.


Robin said...

I always study the beadwork first... before I read the story... From that I knew there would be a happy ending. All of your struggles would end and warmth and safety would prevail. I totally love this piece... it's charming in every way. Did you have a photo, or is it all from your memory?

Crayons said...

Hi Freebird,
That's an amazing story. How resourceful you were! The story gives even more meaning to a striking and, yes, kitschy image. Thanks for sharing.

freebird said...

Thanks for coming by everyone.
Cyndi- I think this is one of my favorite pages so far. I was just turned 21 at the time, not really all that grown up!
Kathy- That was a super winter. Makes me think of those this year who keep wondering when winter will disappear.
Krispis- My rendering came out better than I thought it would. I was afraid for us too! I think that's some of the wisdom we get to pass down - that things can turn out well in the end.
a2susan- I am making my pages into a table topper which I am getting ready to start. Someone suggested I print out my stories and put them in a pocket on the back of each page. I'm thinking of how to do that. Whether they like it or not, this is my heirloom to my kids! LOL
Kiwi Ellen and Beadbabe- I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I'm not much of a story teller (no one can mess up a joke like I can) but I do have some memories and I like to share them.
Embellisher- Do try adding some beads to your TIFs and think about joining us with the Bead Journal Project. Go look at the pages at the web site and you'll see them done in many ways. You will fit right in. http://www.beadjournalproject.com/2007.htm

Arline- I live in a double wide on 40 acres now and hope to get to California by buying into a senior condo-ized park. It's the only way to afford California for me and that will be in a retro home!
Robin- Thanks. I just couldn't do the winter thing even though for "real" that's what it was. So, although I have stuck to more realism a touch of serendipity crops up now and then! I did have a couple of old photos. They didn't show everything but put together it was enough.
Crayons- glad you enjoyed it. Beads come in all sorts of crayon colors. Try some out! There's nothing like a sparkly bead.

Sacredartist said...

Freebird, this is a great page and you rendered the mobile very realistic for such a small scale. I love you story. It reminds me of how powerful the words "our daily bread" or whatever the need...learning to live 24 hours at a time.

Moon said...

I loved hearing your story. It was very familiar! We also we stationed at Great Lakes early in our marriage with our first baby in tow...we arrived on a song and wish, finding a place to live was tight. And I thought I knew cold! Im a Wyoming girl, but Great Lakes Naval station is the COLDEST place Ive ever been. You could wear 4 coats and the wind would cut right in to the bone....brrr.
Ahh, but the spring and summer? Glorious thunderstorms. They were worth the winter cold.
Moon in Hawaii

Kathy Wagner said...

I am working on finishing up my February page too. I truly loved reading the description of your page. You can feel the happiness and love jumping off of those beads! I knew by looking at the beaded page that there must be a happy ending coming! You really have created a wonderful heirloom for your family.

Hélène H said...

What an amzing story !

Your page feels so warm, the warmth of love and happiness, it's very moving. I love it.

The Lone Beader said...

This is such a cute subject to bead!!