Thursday, July 17, 2008

They made it work

Kevin Robert and Darren

I love this picture!  My youngest brother, Kevin, is innocently working on the bike tire while Robert (L) and Darren (R) are in a scrape about something.  Look at those faces.  So hilarious!

Mom and Dad were very creative when it came to making a big family work.

Eleven kids can't be easy to keep "under control".  I don't know how my Mom and Dad took us kids anywhere... but they did.

I remember when we would go to someone's house, we either had to stay in the car while my parents went in to visit  (there were a few times the  car "accidentally" got knocked out of park and might have rolled down a driveway or two) or, we got to go in the house, but we would line up in a row and have to sit with our hands in our laps and stay quiet.  Seems we were constantly lined up in birth order. 

Cadillac_Camper 1

The "camper" came in handy during extended evening visits, too.  It became our babysitter/motel on wheels... we'd get put to bed at the appropriate time in the camper and would stay there until Mom and Dad were ready to go home.

They found ways to make life fun.

Dad on motorcycles

We used to pile in the back of the truck and go to Savon Drug store for ice cream.  A nickel a scoop and we were allowed to get two whole scoops!  One mint-chocolate chip and one chocolate chip for me, please.

We went to the beach (of course, they tied all us kids together on a rope so no one would go missing) and deep sea fishing.

Jim and Steve with fish

We went on camping trips.

Rock Creek 1975

Lake Pillsbury 1976 Kevin Mom Sharon

They found ways to stretch their money.

Dad worked year after year at Christmas to rebuild trikes and bikes (over and over and over again) so that they were brand spankin' new for the next kid on Christmas morn. (Notice the fire engine in the fishing picture above... it got worked over a time or two.)

He had his own shears and barber's apron and set up shop in the garage buzzing (and sometimes Mohawk-ing) all the boys hair.  I recall us girls occasionally cut each others hair, right Suzanne?  (Remember after you cut mine, I didn't want to go to school because I had chunks of hair missing??)

We dined in... rather than going out.

Dinner in Placentia

With the exception of our school uniforms, Mom made about all our clothes.  See...

Family shot

Can you find me in these pics??


They found ways to be alone together.

I remember going to bed while the sun was still up and Mom and Dad would have a "date" in the back yard.

I am so grateful for a childhood that is filled with innocence.  My parents did an exceptional job of keeping us kids from the latest headlines during a time of war and unrest.  I didn't have a care in the world.  I was safe.  I was happy.


Leigh Ann said...

I love this post, Jacquie. It sounds like you have amazing parents. I think parents today could learn a lot from them. I know I could. I loved seeing those photographs. It is so evident that you had a wonderful childhood and the fact that you didn't have a care in the world is proof!

Mary said...

Jacquie, You have become a true keeper of treasured good memories for me. I distinctly remember all those times from all the times we ever came to visit 'Auntie Pat and Uncle John'
I thought you guys had it made with your boy bathroom And girl bathroom.

The Garners said...

This is so neat...your parents truly sound amazing. And she made clothes for everyone!?!? Did your mother ever sleep!?

Reading this does make me feel bad though because I obviously don't have it together--I can't even seem to keep two children under control anywhere we go! :)

Betsy said...

When I read these stories, I am truly amazed. Four kids have kept me so busy that it blows my mind thinking about having 11!!! But, at the same time, I am not really amazed because people back then just did what they had to do! They made the best out of their situation and didn't even think about complaining or wishing they had it better somehow. Just like you said, they "made it work"!

I can't believe you have all those pictures! (They are sooo cute!) All my childhood pics are at my mom's house. I need to go get those! :)

I LOVE hearing all your fun stories! I can see what a great childhood you had and how wonderful your parents were!