Lorraine Roseann and Me

Lorraine and I were sisters. We played together all the time as children. 2414_1029994670148_9430_n  This picture of Richard, Lorraine and me, was taken in 1942. Grandma Aanas came to stay with us because Mother was deathly ill with our baby brother, Billy. Neither were expected to live. Billy was born three months premature and weighed 2lbs 9oz. . Grandma dressed us up, curled our hair, took us on a city bus to a photo shop and had our picture taken for our mother! I was three years old, I’m in the middle. Richard was seven. Lorraine was five.

Lorraine and I loved our dolls and played with them every day. We also played School, Lorraine was always the teacher. We played Jacks, Jump Rope, Mother-May-I, Paper Dolls, and more.  kids 1947  Richard, Anita, Billy, Lorraine. 1947.

Then Lorraine turned teenager! I was still a child. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to play with me anymore! She began to hang out with new friends! In her sophomore year of high school, she went away to school. Richard went to the same school in South Dakota. Our life at home was never the same.

Lorraine and I were in each other’s weddings,Lorraine 010 but we lived so far apart, South Dakota and Michigan, so we seldom saw each other. In this picture, left to right: Bill and Richard, ushers; Christine, flower girl; Lorraine, matron of honor; me, bride; Jerry, groom; Mother and Dad. Then we both became so busy with babies and raising our families, we didn’t take the time to write letters. I’m ashamed and so sorry that we drifted so far apart.

Lorraine and her family moved to Germany for nine months in the late sixties. On their way and on their way back they came to our house and stayed about a week each time. Lorraine and I became close during those visits. I even confided in her at her prompting. She sensed something was bothering me.

In our retirement, we finally came close once again. Lorraine, on the left. 334297_10150350549117528_639567527_8289434_855443489_oWith the change in phone systems, it became easy to call and chat for long conversations. We called often. We called late at night. We talked long…hours. We reminisced. We discussed God, church, family, death, ourselves, brothers, parents, children, grandchildren, news, weather, etc. We did not discuss politics!

Lorraine & Dog

We often laughed at the longevity in our genes. Aunt Bessie lived to be 102 years, Great Uncle Will lived to be 101 years, Mother lived to be 99 years and five months and Dad lived four days shy of 96 years! We both wanted to live long lives, but we didn’t want to be a burden to our children.

September 4, 2012 my phone rang late, I answered thinking of another good chat with Lorraine. Instead, it was my brother, Richard! He simply told me Lorraine had died. We didn’t talk long. I was in shock. He gave me a few details. She hadn’t answered her phone so Christine went to check on her. Christine’s mother, my sister, had died! I was in shock.

Lorraine was 76 years and seven months old. How could this be? What happened to our longevity? Oh, I miss her so much!

I’m now 76 years and five months old. Whoa…

Every morning I thank God for another day!

 

My Dad Part III

A Kessel moving van moved our families belongings from Des Moines, Iowa to Covington, Oklahoma. The truck driver’s wife was with him. A slogan was written on the truck: DON’T CUSS, CALL US! These are my memories of that move. It was a big adventure! The year was 1946. I was seven years old.

The house Dad had purchased for our family was a small two bedroom house! We were a family of six! But a good-sized porch, with a roof, went across the entire front of the house.    Dad’s plan was to enclose one-half of the porch and make a third bedroom for the boys to share, which he did.

The next big challenge for my parents came the day they enrolled three of us in school. In Des Moines, students were enrolled in January and September. We had, each, already had one semester of our grades. So, we either had to skip a semester or take a semester over! After discussing it, Dad and Mother, decided we should take a semester over. I was in second grade. It was a bit of a disappointment to us, children, especially for my sister, Lorraine. She was an A student. Then Dad and Mother had another dilemma. School books had to be purchased! They had no money left after this big move and I’m sure, buying groceries! I remember our family standing outside the school. My parents didn’t know what to do. They’d never heard of buying school books! A new friend, a man from our new church, Mr. Kegan, saw us and seemed to pick up on our situation. He walked over and handed my dad the money needed to purchase our school books! He was a friend, indeed!

Dad had a full slate of revival meetings lined up. He traveled the U.S. and Canada holding two-week revivals. When he came home for a few days of family time it was an exciting time for all of us. I have a story, posted on, Anita’s Adventures, at mylife-experieces.blogspot.com of one of his homecomings. It’s titled: What More Could Any Little Girl Want?  (the word, experiences, is misspelled)

Dad always brought a present home for each of us. I remember getting a monkey bank. When I put a coin in the slot, the monkey would tip his hat! Another time he brought me a small clock, resembling an antique clock. I treasured his gifts.

The four of us children in Covington. Richard, Anita, Billy, Lorraine. kids 1947

“Someday, when the kids are grown, I’m going to take you around the world!” I can still hear Dad saying this to  Mother.  These were difficult years for Mother. Money was scarce, she had all the responsibility of us children and keeping our family life going.

In 1947, Dad and Mother wanted to take a trip, with the family, back to Iowa, over Christmas vacation. It had been a year and a half since moving to Oklahoma. There just wasn’t enough money for a family of six to travel to Iowa. Dad, wherever he was holding a revival, and Mother at home, were both praying about it. They were both discouraged.

One morning a knock was heard on the door of the parsonage where Dad was staying. The woman, at the door, asked to speak with Rev. Glen Williamson. The pastor’s wife knocked on the guest room door, telling Dad to come to the living room. When he met the woman visitor, she told him the Lord had spoken to her, in the night. He told her that Glen Williamson had a need. She wasn’t able to go back to sleep until she promised to take cash to him in the morning. Surprised, he took the envelope from her and thanked her. After she left, Dad went to his room and opened the envelope. Inside were five 20 dollar bills! What an answer to prayer! This was just what they needed. In 1947, $100 was a huge amount of money!

We went by train to Waterloo, Iowa. Mother had her hands full traveling such a distance with four very active children. I think Dad must have met us there, I don’t remember him traveling with us. We had a wonderful visit with family and friends in Iowa and returned home to Covington. This was our last time to be with Grandma Williamson, Dad’s mother, in Manchester, Iowa. She died in the fall of 1948.

In the summer of 1948, a devastating tornado went through Oklahoma. It completely wiped out the town of Woodward. Covington got the tail winds of that tornado and even that was bad. I remember it well. Dad was gone. Mother had walked to town to the grocery store. The four of us children were at home. Our neighbor, Mrs. Powell, came running in telling us to get under the beds. Then she ran home to her own children. We were afraid for Mother and were praying for God to protect her. Suddenly she came running into the house and joined us in the bedroom. It was such a relief to have her with us, but we were all still scared and she joined us in praying.

We heard a loud crash! When the storm was over, we carefully left the bedroom to investigate. The living room windows were gone! The glass was outside! Our house had created a vacuum and sucked the windows out! Glass was everywhere in our yard! We also lost some siding off the house. But we were safe.

That did it. Dad was so worried about our family. When a church was offered to him in East Peoria, Illinois, he accepted the pastorate.

To be continued…