In 1979 Gary accepted a transfer to the hospital in Grove, Oklahoma. Unfortunately the timing of his job and the start of school in Oklahoma didn’t quite coincide, so he stayed in Lone Pine to work a few more weeks and I took three kids, three cats, a dog, and an old trailer filled with personal belongings and headed east. Remember, no cell phone. I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time, but despite some issues with the trailer, a flat tire in New Mexico, an “adventure” at a campground, and getting lost in the dark near Lake Texoma, we made it safely to Caddo.
With the help of my brother I soon drove to Grove and rented a house and got the kids settled into school. We “camped out” in the house as well as we could since Gary had all of our other stuff. Each day I had to be “creative” because something I wanted or the kids needed was “in the van”. Other things went wrong. One of our cats was killed by a car. I was terrified each day because I had to drive over Sailboat Bridge (I hate bridges!) to get the kids to school. The kids were unhappy. I was anxious to have Gary with us.
Gary’s trip was even more eventful than ours! The van quit in Winslow, Arizona and he had to leave it and complete his trip to Oklahoma on a Greyhound bus. The van’s age and the extent of its problems and our lack of money resulted in it staying in AZ for a month. Once we had the money to retrieve it, the company flew Gary to AZ in a private plane and he drove the vanto Grove. We rented another house, away from the bridge, and finally got settled into our new home before Christmas. But of course we didn’t stay there when Mom and Dad’s house was just a short drive away!!
Saturday, December 22, 1979
visiting in Caddo, OK (living in Grove)
Took the kids for a ride in the country, then helped Mom with lunch. Dave came about 12:30. It’s so good to see everyone. We all ate and exchanged gifts. Jeff has the chicken pox. Saw Dan’s new house. David took me for a ride on John’s new motorcycle. Scared the breath out of me!
Sunday, December 23, 1979
Went to church. There was a music presentation instead of a sermon. It was great! Caddo is lucky to have so many fine voices. Bud had a sore throat. I felt sorry for him.
Had lunch and then left at 2:30. Rain all the way. Got home safely at 8:00. Freckles is adjusting very well to our home. M’n’M isn’t adjusting too well to Freckles though! Ha! Robert made him a bed next to his.
December 24, 1979
Went to the doctor. Have to wait for the test results. Gary got his check so we did our grocery shopping. Took the kids to lunch at Colonel Sanders.
Picked up Rebel. He is huge! He also has bad manners. Jumps a lot. Hope we can settle him down.
Got the kids to bed and set up Robert’s train. Watched TV until midnight. Freckles slept with Robert.
Christmas Day, 1979
Another Christmas over already. The kids were all pleased with their gifts. Robert loves his train!
Gary worked part of the day.
Took Rebel for a walk. He is a hand full. Freckles is so cute! Even the kids like him.
Took a two hour nap. I am so tired.
Had steak for dinner. Dad gave us enough for two meals. Guess we’ll have it tomorrow too.