29 March 2009

Rosie & Ruth, Women's History Month

A few weeks ago, (see "space cadet" in the archive if you missed it) I gave my Dad credit for me growing up and joining the Air Force. It is true that I learned my love of airplanes and the space program from him (as well as Jim Kirk and crew), but my Mother was a part of it too.

This is a copy of a photo of my Mom, probably in her 20's.

When I attended Quincy Elementary School in the late 60's. I only knew of two Mothers who worked. My best friend Terry's Mom, Mrs. Diploma (who is a very sweet lady and a wonderful cook) worked with her Husband in the family owned grocery store. My Mom was the only other Mother who worked outside the home. She was secretary for the Teamster's Union.

This one was probably taken in the 1960's.

My Mom worked from 8:00 am till 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday until she retired. When my Dad was not working. He drove her to work, then he would pick her up at lunch and she would cook for them both, he would drive her back to work and pick her up at the end of the day. When she came home at the end of the day, they would have a quiet cup of coffee together, then Mom would fix dinner. When he was working, she walked home at the end of the day. We helped, I can remember proudly being allowed to carry the silverware and the bread tray to the table when I was just tiny. I can also remember standing on a chair to help my Sisters wash the dishes before I was tall enough to reach the sink, and learning to iron while standing on another chair.
When I was small, my Mom kept the house clean. We dusted and swept and helped with whatever else we were told to do. (Not always willingly) Mom was the driving force. She worked along side of us and made sure it was right. Our windows were not streaked and the smell of baking bread was not uncommon. My Mom even found time to make a lot of our clothes. In other words, she did everything the other Mom's did, and worked 40 hours a week for a paycheck. All of this with a good disposition. She really was a Super Woman.
Mom had an independent spirit (except where my Dad was concerned) and wanted us to grow up to be independent too. When I was going to "Highland Jr. High" she made me take a typing class I didn't want. She said it was so that if I needed to I could get a job and not have to rely on a man to take care of me. I think I was 11 or 12 before Mom started wearing pants suits. Dad didn't think ladies should wear pants so Mom wore dresses. Occasionally she would wear some Jeans to clean house in, and all the photos I have from their deer hunting trips show her wearing jeans.
I don't remember my parents arguing, they did, just not in front of us when we were small. I do remember my Mom putting her foot down, once. Dad was watching something on TV one Saturday afternoon. Mom asked him to take her to the laundry-matt. He said "not right now". She explained that she had a lot to do and not much time. He said he would take her "when he was ready and not before". (He was not unreasonable, but he was from an earlier generation and he believed that he should be the boss) The following Monday, when Mom came home from work and told him that she was enrolled in Drivers Education and he could either drive her to her classes or she would take a cab and she didn't really mind if he liked it or not. Amazingly, they did not fight about it. He took her and she got her license. I always thought she got away with it because he was in shock.

This is my Mom with (according to age) Margaret, Pete, and Paula. Judging from the size of the children, Mom was probably 39 or 40 years old.
I don't remember this car. She didn't get that license for another decade so she probably never got to drive it.

Fast forward to 1983. When I went home to tell my her I was going to go in the Air Force. I expected her to freak out and tell me not to go. My mind was made up and I had already signed the paperwork. She didn't freak out, she didn't even cry. She beamed! She hugged me and told me how proud she was! She told me to "wait right there", she came back a few minutes later and handed me a tiny black and white photo I had never seen before. It was her as a very young lady, sitting on some steps. She was wearing COVERALLS? Then she told me the story. During World War II when so many men went off to war, there were not enough men to do all the work that needed doing. Rosie the Riveter was a fictional character portrayed on government posters to encourage women to do their part by working in Non-traditional jobs. Most people will recognize the familiar "We can do it" image with the smiling, bandana clad lady, her arm raised to show muscle. There were multiple versions of the poster, this is just the most popular. I have a wonderful book Titled "Rosie the Riveter" that shows several versions and tells some of the stories. It is by Penny Coleman. (For more official info http://www.adcouncil.org/default.aspx?id=128 ) My Mom wanted to do her part too. She told me the photo was taken during a break while she was in Technical School to become a lady machinest. The war ended at the same time she completed her school. The ladies were thanked and then told to go back home and raise babies, "the men can take it from here". That was the real begining of equality. Most of those brave ladies went back to their old traditional lives, with one big difference. They knew that they could "do it". They did go home and raise babies, they gave birth to and raised the Baby Boomers. I was the last of my Mom's children. She never said a word about Rosie till I was raised. What did your Mother do during The War?

My Mom was an amazing lady. She had a wonderful sense of humor and an even better sense of fun. I was proud of her and her job as a secretary, even when I was little, I hope I told her so. She loved us all so much. In her later years, the house was not as clean, and she could be a handful, but none of us ever doubted that we were loved. As for Rosie, she changed the world. Not bad for a fictional character.

24 March 2009

Walking in the woods

Last weeks blog was all about flower photos that I took while we were in Florida. Since I forgot to mention that, one friend thought that those photos were taken here at home. This week I will take you with me on a walk through the woods near our lovely old home, and show you what is blooming. This stream goes under the road at the far end of our usual walking route. I am starting down there because we power walked to that point for my PE class. We took the longer route to get here so I could take some spring time photos. This is the same view from another angle. There are tiny fish in here. They average 2 to 3 inches long. I did not see any today. imagine sitting here and listening to the burbling stream and lots of birds. We heard a wild dove as well as various unknown chirpers. This is one of the most peaceful places that I know of. If you look to the left of the road, you will see a tree with pink blossoms. I do not know what it is, but it is lovely. It probably smells great too, but I am allergic to spring time and can't smell a thing right now. (It is worth it, no way am I staying indoors right now) This is a close up of the pink blossoms. The woods are so peaceful this afternoon. It feels like we are miles away from everyone. My Sweet Hubby has been taking walks with me for several years now. He is good company. The walks are good for both of us, physically and mentally.
I could have labeled this photo "Trouble ahead". See the yellow buds? When they open up they will release clouds of Pine Pollen. It coats everything. The porches, the vehicles, anything that is outside and not moving fast enough. It is a serious allergen.
This vine is Carolina Jasmine.
This photo is Forsythia. It is usually a domestic plant, here it is growing wild, off in the woods. There are Narcissus nearby. Makes me wonder if there wasn't another house there with a garden at some point in the past.
The sign says "No Hunting".
This is a closeup of the base on the tree above. Can't you just see a fairy peeking around the corner? Hm, maybe I will have to do something about that.
That is home, still a little ways away. I am looking across a field where baby pine trees have been planted to replace those that were harvested last year. Almost there.
This Ivy draped Oak, is in my front yard. It is such an incredible old thing. At this point, I think the Ivy is holding the tree up.
My Dogwood is getting ready to bloom.
Iris and Lavender. The Iris were here when we came. I planted the Lavender.

This unusual flower is growing under the Ivy oak. I don't know what it is or where it came from, it is the only one I have seen. I love it.
The stream at the beginning is 1.2 miles from my house. Our usual walk used to be down there and back at a leisurely stroll. Since I started taking this class, I have to monitor my heart rate and keep it within a certain range for a set amount of time. In order to do this, we are moving a lot faster. So yesterday, we took the long route down, there is a side road that adds some distance. Then by the time we got to the stream, we could slow down and take some photos. When the class is over, we plan on keeping the pace up, we will just go farther so we can slow down and enjoy as well.
Would you care to join us?

15 March 2009

As promised, Flowers

If you have been following this blog for very long, then one of the things you may have figured out is that nothing will get me to pull out the camera quicker than flowers. I love flowers and I love taking pictures of them. They are pretty. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Many of them smell nice, and they never tell me "don't take my picture".
I am not a botanist. I have no idea what the names of these flowers are.
If you know and would like to enlighten me, I will be glad to lable them correctly.
Me, I just enjoy. Hope you do too.

07 March 2009

Space Cadet

How does a young lady who grew up during the late 60's and early 70's in Northern Utah, wind up in the Air Force as an Aircraft Maintainer? When I was a kid, most girls wanted to grow up, get married and have kids. Some may have wanted something different but they stayed within very traditional lines. I am the only girl from my graduating class that joined the Air Force, and I was part of a huge class. At least part of my choice can be blamed on the space program and my Dad's enthusiasm for it. My Dad loved air planes. He had a license to fly and along with some buddies owned a small aircraft that ran a charter service at one time.
I believe that he sold his part of the business when he married my Mom.
He was also quite nuts about the space program. I was just tiny when we first walked on the moon, but I do remember it. My Dad made a big thing about it. He was so excited. I specifically remember him saying that this was history and
someday, I would be glad to remember it. He was so right. Thanks Dad! Once he even let us stay up late on a school night to watch something on the news.
When Sky Lab went up it was even better. I remember laying on the lawn with him, looking through his binoculars at the moon and looking for Sky Lab. I still have those binoculars.
I have no idea what my Dad would have thought about me joining the Air Force and working in a mostly male career field. He was rather old fashioned. He died when I was 14. My Mom was always proud of me. I like to think he would have
been too.
As you can probably tell from the photos. We went to Coco Florida on Spring break. We went to the Kennedy Space center which includes several different attractions. We spent two full days there and still did not see everything (we skipped some things that were designed for little kids and a couple of rides).
The first photo in this set is a space suit. There is a reflection from another display that looks like a halo. The Lunar Module is Kitty Hawk from Apollo 14. Launch control is at the Kennedy Space center, this is the actual room where the Apollo missions started. The photo of me at the desk is taken in another part of the museum. I like it! The fourth crew member was their computer. Most modern calculators have more brain power than this whole computer. The picture shows just the interface. Hope you enjoyed this, I sure did. We had a blast but it is good to be home. Next week, Flowers!


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