What frustration. I have been looking for some time (since last post) for our family’s first album. It is the one that has some wedding pictures in it. I don’t know what happened to it. I guess I will have to keep looking.

In the mean time I will go ahead with our story:
Papa and I had an apartment in Orwigsburg, PA. It was about 45 minutes away from home which I thought was far enough to begin with. It was the bottom floor of a building that was at one time an office building. It looked much like a regular house from the outside. Our apartment was three rooms one long room was a living room by day and bedroom by night. It had a cork wall and drop ceiling. Both designed to muffle sounds between apartments. I guess it worked I don’t ever remember any noise from other apartments. I loved the cork wall! The drop ceiling had florescent lights above it that made the drop tile below it glow red. I liked that too. We had four floor to ceiling windows in the main room and one in the dining area of the Kitchen. We had no money for curtains so I painted scenes on the windows. The paint would sometimes get wet from condensation and run so I would wash it off and paint a new scene. A neighbor once told me that our windows was the highlight of the visits she had with her grandchildren. They loved to come see her but were very excited about our windows. The bathroom and Kitchen combined were equal in length to the main room. The bathroom was about a third of the space. The shower used to be an elevator shaft. It was huge! We had to step up over the threshold and if I wanted a shallow bath it was possible. We played a lot of newlywed games in that shower! The kitchen had a stove, sink and refrigerator along the outside wall, with some cupboards filling in the remainder of the space. There was also a glass front (built in) hutch along the wall that had the bathroom behind it.
We were not living in Orwigsburg long when we got laid off from Gold Mills. Well we were lucky and found work in the underwear factory just a few blocks away. We got called back to Gold Mills, laid off and called back again then we moved to Tremont.
Some Orwigsburg tales: 1] Papa turned 21 we bought a bottle of wine and had some to celebrate. But since we both agreed long before that we were not going to be drinkers and get drunk I know we never finished the bottle.
2] Papa took me to the movies. We had to walk out the door to the end of the driveway and then turn right and walk the distance of a neighbor’s yard or two cross the street and then we were at the theater. It had snowed. Papa wanted to help me over the snow and ice and I did not want to be helped. Well I slipped and fell. He was so mad at me he did not talk to me for a couple of days. That drove me crazy!!! I can’t stand to not talk out a problem.
3] I was used to cooking to feed a small army. Papa taught me some things to make that did not feed an army. I made bean soup one day. There was a lot of bean soup. I think after we ate I filled several quart jars. We laughed at all the soup and knew we could eat it for a long time before I had to make more. Some fit in the freezer some did not. Well after a day or two we made other meals and the soup sat in the frig. One day we were walking home from the underwear factory and started to smell something bad about a block from the door. When we got outside we thought something died under the porch. Then we opened the door and thought something died in the house. Then I saw the soup creeping out of the refrigerator door!! The soup fermented and exploded all over the inside of the frig and out the bottom of the door. I gagged a lot while we cleaned it up. We did not eat beans for years after that!
4] Papa was so shy about using the bathroom the first couple of weeks that if he knew I was in the kitchen he would not be able to go. I had to go for a walk or go watch TV.
5] I was on birth control pills for a time. I think about 2-3 months. The pills made me gain so much weight that I started having trouble breathing on the walk home from work. That scared me so I quit the pills. I lost over 30 lbs in less than two weeks after quitting the pill. I never wanted to use them again! (but I did at least once … that is for telling later)
6] I wanted to be a mommy so bad that each month when I had my cycle I would cry for a couple of days. I drove Papa nuts!
7] Papa and I had two other fights that I remember 1) we were play wrestling and I accidentally hurt him he was so upset by being hurt that he threw the car keys at me hitting me hard enough to make me cry. I picked up the keys and left for hours. He thought I left him for good because I once told him if he ever hit me I would be gone and would not come back. But I did come back with our Christmas tree a 7ft tall Douglas fir 2) The other one was about his favorite Uncle B who lived in town. He came to visit with a pipe and he allowed him to smoke it in our home. I was ballistic because not even Papa would smoke in the house because he knew how I hated it. After that I posted a no smoking sign that stayed on our front door for years to come no mater where we lived.
8] Our first Christmas was fun. I had been buying Christmas presents all year for my siblings and Papa. (He was a bit upset with me over the amount I spent after we got married but I had to finish what I started) I worked hard at getting everyone their secret desires. I got EJS a hamster which Grandma promised me would get me in trouble and it did. He had to find it inside a cupboard after hunting through the house on a scavenger hunt. The hamster escaped and made it into Mom’s bed at least twice while she was in it. I was glad I no longer lived there but I sure got told about it!!! DAS was fascinated by a stuffed doll that looked like a little Mexican man with a sombrero. We would go into the hardware store that is now gone and just look at him. I finally went and put it on lay a way and then when we went to look at him she got upset because he was gone. It was really hard not to let on that I knew what happened to him. I did not get him out of lay a way until just before Christmas. I worked hard at not letting anyone know what I was getting them. I don’t remember the rest of the presents but I remember feeling wonderful and everyone was so happy. I was happy that they all came to our little apartment for the gifts and fun.
9] I tried to help a new girl at work get her speed up. If she could not sew the crotches faster in the underwear she would get fired. So I taught her some things that would help streamline the work and she got faster. When she knew it would be ok and her job was safe she offered to have Papa and I over for a spaghetti dinner I was telling her I had to ok it with Papa – when in trying to convince me she told me she was a witch and was wanting to bless us for my kindness. She really scared me – I was really afraid of a lot of things back then. The Lord blessed me instead and we got to leave the underwear factory very soon after that and went back to Gold Mills in Pine Grove.
10] We would go to Grandma S to do laundry. One night it was snowy and the roads were bad. I wanted to stay because of the roads and the late hour. Papa wanted to go home. So we left. Just outside of Tremont we suddenly hit a spot of ice and the car started to spin. We stopped facing a huge tree we almost hit. We went back to Grandma’s to sleep that night.
11] We would go to Nana’s every Sunday afternoon for a family meal. It was usually lunch meats, chips, breads, canned fruits, sodas, and all the aunts uncles and cousins. Sometimes we had cake and ice cream if birthdays were near. We had a lot of fun and one day I will share some of those memories but for today just know that those Sundays were very special and we all loved them very much.

Leave a Comment