Well, I just feel like I had such a calm, fun childhood. I vaguely remember early years maybe two or three things about me that stood out in my mind. I would probably have to start maybe around five years old and remember what stands out to me at times.
I do remember Cold Water, Michigan we lived there in my early years and I will guess I was around four or five. Mom and Dad started a church in Albion, Michigan about 25 miles away and used the VFW Hall in Albion for services. Very important people started coming to the church like Bro. and Sis. Shaffer and their daughter Linda. The Shaffers helped our family all they could , they became like family to us . I could walk down to their house at the end of our block on Cass street and visit them.
Before we moved to Albion and we were living in Coldwater at the time I was the only child for over five years. I was the first Grandchild on dad’s side and they made me think I was something special.
Grandma Starr would do the unthinkable and try to not allow me to be spanked. She would say , “Oh no, she didn’t mean to be bad.” Sometimes she put me behind her and kept talking on my behalf. It is funny now to me because I can remember a few instances when she did that and I did get protection and no one got too mad at Grandma. I used to love going to Grandma’s house in Lansing and going through her dresser drawers especially, because it was so interesting. I can remember going over old curlers, and whatever I could find whether it be a snapshot, old bobbie pins, curlers, well, I was just a nosey little girl.
In Coldwater we had about a thirty minute ride to church in the beginning of starting the Albion Church. One Sunday morning they got me ready for church and I went outside and suddenly got a brain storm. I looked at the gas cap on the car and took it off. I remember getting crab apples and putting them in the gas tank along with handfuls of sand. Dad came out to the car to get ready to leave for church. I was standing looking feeling so proud that I filled the tank up for them. Dad got in and started the car and it just made a grinding sound. Dad bounced back out of the car ran in and told mom he would have to hitch hike the car wouldn’t start. Mom came out and discovered what I had done. I really don’t remember getting spanked but I do remember a commotion.
Another time Dad was gone to work and mom did not have a car. I was walking around the yard and decided to go to the neighbor’s yard and open the rabbit cage and I got a little rabbit out and kept walking with it. I ended up downtown standing in front of the Theater looking at the pictures in the windows. A policeman came to me and said little girl are you lost. I said No I am not lost I am walking and looking. He asked me about the rabbit and I just said,” I wanted to take a walk with this rabbit.” Well, little girl your momma is really worried about you and I need to take you home. I didn’t want to go home so quick but I went and got in his car. I turned the rabbit loose and it ran all around his feet. He said, ” If you will hold that rabbit till I get you home I will give you a nickel”. I grabbed the rabbit with it kicking and squirming. Mom didn’t whip me when the policeman took me to her but I remember that incident well.
For some of my years before five I remember mom going to work at night. Dad took care of me and I was very lonely for mom. She worked as a Practical Nurse. The three of us lived in an upstairs apartment at this time and I was very bored , as I recall it now. I remember saying and doing many interesting things. I don’t remember being spanked so much , but maybe I should have been.
I could tell some big stories that seemed so real to me. My audience was very important to me. I wasn’t all that outgoing, but if I was made over it brought much confidence and joy to me. I had a keen idea who really liked me and who tolerated me and who disliked me as I studied people. I was told your beautiful a lot by Grandma and family. I remember looking into the mirror and wondering why they said that as I grew older. I really didn’t think I was as pretty as they made me feel. That was maybe a good thing. I realize now how much that might have given me an easier feeling knowing I was cherished and expressions of Love and adoration was mentioned often by family and sometimes friends. It has helped me express myself to my own children and acquaintances words of affirmation. It is necessary.
While living in the upstairs apartment with mom at work and Dad watching me, one day while mom slept a bit I got a brainstorm, I guess, and I whacked my hair off uneven on one side of my head. Mom had to try hard to work with that till it grew back out. I never knew if she had to even some of it out or not but somehow my hair is not my issue now. I just found a pair of scissors and tried them out….really didn’t mean to sin. No spanking but mom did have a look of dismay . Near the same time I had a new doll. The doll had the rubber stuff body. I cut all the fingers off……a bit of a quietly busy child that was going to grow up and get her own busy kids that would turn out good after all…..whether spanked or not. You know somethings are not intentional basically they just happen in an inquisitive moment. Around the same time I got upset about something and told mom I was going to run away. She got a suitcase and packed it for me and put my snowsuit and boots and hat on and took me down the long stair way. She said goodbye to me and probably kissed me and put me and the suitcase outside and closed the door. I remember looking around the big area and I started banging on the door and crying for her to let me back in. Of course she did.