Monday, October 31, 2011

Ken - The Dreammaker

Nothing has changed since my last post, but I wanted to try to get back to the happy things in my life and not let one bad problem stop me from dreaming.

I want to write about the past 10 years since I met and feel in love with Ken.  This is not your typical love story.  For one thing if you put me in a room full of men, Ken would have been the last one I would have been paired up with.  I guess we proved that opposites do attract. 

The story begins with two computers - mine and his.  He saw my name and profile on a singles website and sent me an email.  I replied back and he told me he and his son were leaving on a cruise and that he would email me when they returned to Chicago.  I got busy at work and at home.  It was the end of January and I had to mess with the snow since I lived alone and other winter chores.  I dawned on me after the second week of February that I had not heard back and they should have returned by then.  I sent him a "Hey how are you" email and he wrote back.  He was afraid that I was not interested in hearing back from him.  He ended up calling and we talked for almost 2 hours.  He said he had never carried on a conversation for that length of time with anyone.  Now that he has been married to me for 8 years, he knows talking is not a problem with me.  It was almost Valentine's Day and he thought he would be smart and look up my address on the computer and send me a present.  He called on Feb. 13 to see if I had received it and I said no.  Come to find out the address that showed up on the computer was for my ex-husband's home.  I called him up and explained what had happened and I drove right over to pick it up off his porch.  It was about 11:00 at night by then.  It was a cute bear and candy. 

A few weeks later he drove down and we got to meet each other.  This is a picture of us around that time taken at my home.  He was retired and I was working as an accounts payable clerk.  It was a 2 hour drive from his place to mine and I even learn to drive on the interstate.  From the very beginning he taught me that I could do almost anything if I wanted it bad enough.  I even went to the community college here and took a class to learn to play golf because he loved it.  I had always watched it on TV but never thought I would ever go out and play it.  I loved it and felt really good about myself.  I talked to him about things I wanted to do with my house that I had lived in for about 30 years.  The main thing was to clear out the basement of all the stuff my ex had brought in from garage sales, boxes of comic books and miscellaneous collectibles, and a lot of my sewing supplies.  We started having garage sales on the weekends trying to clear it out.  There was 5 rooms down there and he got them all cleaned out, painted the walls and floor and made it into a presentable place to use.  Then he gutted my kitchen, put in new cabinets, cut out a pantry over the basement stairs, and since he was an electrician by trade, fixed all my electrical outlets. 

All during this first year, he talked about moving to an island and I said I would be open to doing something like that.  I told him I would never consider selling my home unless we were married.  About that time my job was eliminated and I was laid off.  I was retired from working as a secretary at Illinois Power Company plus I had started getting Soc. Sec. that year plus unemployment for 7 months.  He asked me to marry him in August of 2003.  We put my house up for sale in September and went to St. Croix to look for a place to buy to move there.  We found the perfect condo with a great view and signed the papers.  We were married in October and he left for the island after shipping his car there.  My house sold in October, I packed everything up, the movers came and I was on the island the first of November.  It could not have worked out any better.

Here is a picture of our view from the upstairs balcony.  We also had a patio and a grassy area from our downstairs.
The buildings are in Christiansted.  Our condo is up on a hill.  I told him it was the only place we had seen that I really wanted to live in.  It had a atrium up the center of it with a glass roof and that was my sewing area.  You could look down from the upstairs.  We were there for 5 years and loved the experience.  We took 3 cruises out of Porto Rico which was about a 30 minute flight from St. Croix.  I came back to Illinois for 2-3 weeks for special occasions - my son graduating from college, my granddaughter graduating from high school, summers, and once to have my knee replaced.  Ken did not come back as often as I did but he did come back the summer I had my knee done and we were here for about a month.  After we went back to St. Croix he started talking about coming back since we had really done everything we wanted and found that we spent most of our time at the condo.  He got on the computer and started looking at houses back where I lived (Decatur, IL) and he jokingly said how about this one.  I looked at the floor plan and the pictures and I was sold.  It grew on him as the days went by and nothing else could compare to it in our eyes.  My daughter and her husband had the realtor show them the house and they took over 100 pictures and said they thought it was great.  We put in an offer, put the condo up for sale, and a man from Montana bought it without seeing it- just like we did our home. 

I love all the memories of the island life and once again it was something I never dreamed would happen to me.  Now we are living in this old house that I never thought I would be luck enough to have.
We have worked hard side by side putting in flower beds, garden, fruit trees, painting, etc. and have made it our home.  We have done some crazy things together and he has gotten me to help him carry in so much stuff that I never thought the two of us could handle.  The worse was a 120 gallon fish tank and oak stand.  I learn that where there was a will, there was a way and he would come up with it.  He truly is my sole mate, best friend, and husband.  He has a cruise planned for us and booked for a year from now.  We are going to have a great time.

Dream do come true.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Set Back

I started this blog to write about my incredible journey through life and how it has all led to me being able to live a dream that I have had for a long time.  I have so many things I want to write about, but last week something happened that has made me unable to think about my dream at this time. I am not sure how to deal with it.  Maybe writing will help me figure out where to go.

I will be writing this in a vague way since I do not want to name anyone.  The problem has been going on for a couple of years, but I have never had to deal with this type of problem before and felt that I would just keep doing things the way I always have.  I sent a RSVP to a special person's birthday party and I received an email stating that a person did not want me to be there and listed problems that they could not deal with anymore.  They never said anything to be in the past and I thought that the coldness I was getting was just the way they were.  This same thing had happened with other people and I just thought it was my turn now.  I wrote back in defense of myself and told them I would not attend the party. 

I could probably stop this behavior by giving in and playing the game they seem to enjoy playing, but I just can't do that.  I have never had to deal with a person that needs people to feel sorry for them, worry about every thing you say and hope it will not offend them, not knowing when I should talk about something and when I should be quiet, when I should laugh and when not to, etc.  I have always tried to help them in any way I could or make things for them or try to show them how to do it for themselves. 

I would never intentionally upset a family or rip them apart like this.  My family has always been very close and now I have to try not to make it any worse by fighting back.  I don't know if time will make a difference or not.  I just know that I can not be around this person when they sit and glare and do not make any attempt to join in a conversation.  I am sure they are use to having people give in to them, but it does not seem to work since it keeps happening again.  I could do that and then six months from now see that it is happening all over again.  I would think they could see how it makes them look after going through this time after time with others.

I love all my family and hope that this can be cleared up without having any lasting hurt feelings.  This blog was to be a way of letting my family know how much they have meant to me after I am gone.  Something they can read and know all the special times we have shared and how much they have been a part of my dream. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Son Bradley

What a great gift the day Bradley was born.  I had waited 8 1/2 years for him and it was worth the wait.  He did not seem to want to enter the world for awhile.  I was 9 months and they did not want to wait longer since I was A negative and had already had one baby.  They put me in the hospital and tried to induce labor all day.  The doctor was pacing out in the hall until after 7:00 p.m.  He finally came in and said they were going to stop the shots and keep me overnight.  I went home the next morning empty handed.  My mother-in-law had come from Dallas to stay with Kay while I was in the hospital.  She had been there a week and I don't think she was too happy to see me come back without a new baby.  We waited until the next Friday and they put me in again.  They started the shots and got no where.  Finally the doctor said they were going to start PIT drip and that one way or the other we would have a baby.  As it turned out he (like Kay) was turned face down.  We finally were successful and I had a baby boy.  I have to admit that after having grown up with my brother, I was hoping for another quiet, sweet little girl.  Little did I know that boys can actually be all of that too.

He was born with a broken collarbone which I did not find out about until they x-rayed him before releasing him from the hospital which was normal procedure.  I brought him home and got him settled and took our cat to the vet for something that I cannot remember.  I got back and the phone rang and I had to take Bradley back to the doctor to be wrapped.  I could tell they were having a problem because all the things they were trying to use on him were too large.  They finally wrapped gauze around his arm and shoulder and we went home.  What a day. 

He was a good baby and happy.  We were living in a  two story old home owned by the university that my husband was teaching at.  His room had 8 windows and was large.  I think it was probably meant to be a sun room.  It had a flat roof and was on the corner of the house.  I loved the room.  He was born in September and that winter we had a lot of snow.  I never thought about anything, we were warm and the snow had stopped.  We went to bed and I got up for some reason and went into his room and it was like it was raining.  I guess the flat roof was keeping the melted snow from running off and it started coming in his room.  Thank goodness I got up.  My thoughts were that it might cave in.  The next morning the university sent people over to shovel it off and we all were safe.

Bradley also had his feet turned out so that they were heel to heel and they had to put the shoe braces on him.  Have you ever been hit in the head while changing a dipper with those things?  It happened many times.  He never complained about wearing them and learn to crawl fine with them on. 

He was also born with his tear ducts closed up.  No tears, but he could still make a noise.  One day he flipped of the table with his baby seat still attached and hurt his lip.  He cried so hard that the ducts opened up and we had tears. 

All of these things made him Bradley and very special.  We laugh today about how our first few months went.  You would think it was our first baby.  Maybe because we did not have Nanny watching over us.  She was in Texas and unable to travel when he was born.  We did have Kay though and she was great with him.  I mentioned that she did not like dolls and she was not a mommy figure to Bradley either.  But she kept an eye on him and was a great teacher for him.

When he started walking, we got Kay a baby gate to put on her bedroom door.  We told her that when she wanted him in there to take it down and and when she wanted him out to put it up.  It worked for both of them.  She had an antique school desk in her room and a blackboard.  She would bring him in for school and I wished I had a recording of some of the lessons she taught him.  When he was two years old we were swinging on a porch swing and I felt something on Bradley's head.  We brought him inside and found it was a tick.  I knew not to pull it out for fear of leaving the head in.  Kay was helping and we put alcohol on it, hot match stub, etc. and it would not back out.  We took him in to the doctor and they even had to really work to get it out.  When we got home Kay took a recorder and interviewed Bradley on the tick episode.  She asked him the funniest questions and he was so serious trying to answer them. 

Kay would have her girlfriends over for a sleep over and they would get old clothes and dress Bradley up.  He thought he looked good and could not figure out why they were always laughing at him.  Kay taught him a silly dance and when we would go out shopping, she would  say "Hey Bradley, hit it" and no matter where we were he would start his dance.  Kay also liked to freak him out at the dinner table.  She would fill her mouth with mashed potatoes and peas and look at him and open her mouth.  He loved it but acted like it was so gross and it was.

So many good stories between the two of them.  I worried that they would not be close with so many years between them.  I was so wrong.  They are very close and after Gary came into our family, the three of them were together most of the time. 

He was a great student and the teachers loved him.  The principal at his junior high school came up to me at an awards presentation and told me "You should have had more kids and had them all turn out like Bradley."

When he went to high school he was put in accelerated classes and did fine, but I wondered why I never saw any books coming home with him.  He had been a perfect "A" student in the past and I just figured he was getting his work done at school.  By this time, the parents did not have to sign and return report cards to school.  Well one day I did find a report card that he had not shown me and I saw "C's" where "A's" use to be.  I asked him about it and he would say, "No one cares about your grades in high school, it is college that matters."  I told him that if he wanted to go to a school of his choice, he better make the grades and get some scholarships.  He did not take it to heart and continued just getting by.  Now it was time to start checking out schools and getting ready to enroll.  He took his entrance exam and scored 31.  The average score at his school was 17.  He even took it again to see if he could get the math score higher.  He scored the same again.  He turned to me and said "It is all just common sense, I knew I could do well if I wanted to."  He picked Bradley University in Peoria, IL and they accepted him based on his score and gave him some scholarships.  We got grants and other things to make up the difference and off he went.  That was both a happy day and a sad day.  He looked so alone standing in the parking lot as we drove away.

He went to Bradley for 3 years and would intern at ADM in the summers.  The summer before his final year they offered him a job.  He decided to stay and accept it.  I figured at that point that he would never get his degree.  Some years later he graduated from Millikin University and proved me wrong.  It was a lot harder to have to go to school, work, and take care of his wife and son. 

Today he has a very good job at ADM in computers, he has two sons, and is a great father and Christian.  I am so proud of him and the hard work he does to provide for his family. 

This is Bradley, Diana, Ben and Josh.

This is Bradley and me at his graduation.

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Daughter Kay

It seems like yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital.  I was so happy that she was a girl and that I could start sewing for her.  I can still remember the first dress I made.  She was probably 3 months old.  She was a beautiful baby at 8 lbs. 9 oz. and only 18 inches long.  She was like a square.  She had no neck to speak of and I never had to worry about her head falling back.  She had dark hair but not enough for people to see that she was a girl.  I would twist the little bit on top of her head and put a small barrette in it.  I wanted to take her everywhere with me I was so happy.

We realized that it was going to be hard with my husband in graduate school and me having to go back to work at six weeks.  I also typed a dissertation for a German priest who was in my husband's graduate class during my six weeks at home.  That was when you had typewriters and if there was a mistake you started over on the page.  I have always loved to type and was good at it.  I could type 80 wpm on a manual typewriter in business school. 

When the time came to go back to work, Nanny came everyday to take care of her.  My mom would drop her off on her way to work and pick her up on the way home.  I would come home to the smell of cooked food, a clean baby, and an apartment that was neat as a pin.  Nanny worked at times as a live in babysitter for rich people when they brought there babies home from the hospital or went on vacation.  She was great with babies and taught me so much.  I am so happy I listened to her and remembered over 8 years latter when our son was born.  She told me that for the next two years Kay was the most important thing.  She showed me how to wrap her up so her arms did not fling out and startle her and how to keep her on a strict schedule with eating and sleeping.  She was sleeping all night by the time I had to go back to work.  I do not think I had any stress during my first year with a new baby and a new job.

When she was two years old, we moved into a duplex and had a yard.  There was a shopping center just a block away that had a fabric store in it.  I would put her in her stroller and go to the shop.  I started noticing how she wanted to feel all the material.  That is when I realized that I did the same thing.  Babies pick up on everything you do.  We bought her petal car that had a wind-up radio in it for her third birthday.  We lived on a corner lot and there was some traffic.  When she first started riding the car, we drew a chalk line across the double driveway and told her that was as far as she could go.  She never crossed it.  At Halloween that year someone had thrown a pumpkin in the street and it had been run over by a car.  We walked out to it and I told her that this is why she was never to go in the street without someone holding her hand.  She was so serious but she understood.  I could trust her not to ride her car into the street. 

She was such a little lady.  She was not around other kids but there were a lot of adults from the graduate school around.  She would sit next to me when they were over and you would think she understood everything about economics that there was.  I never bought any toys that were loud or you had to run around to play with them.  I loved puzzles, books, Playschool toys, and her favorite Matchbox cars.  Dolls were of no interest to her.  We would play games at the grocery about spotting a certain color or "Do You See What I See."  She always had to sit in the basket and never knew she had a choice.  When we moved to Omaha, she was four and the house we rented was on a block where everyone had five or six kids.  She pick up how much fun it was to have playmates.  I did not let her go inside there homes or bring the kids into ours except when a special invitation was given. 

The people who lived next door were in their 70's and two of their daughters lived with them.  The dad had diabetes and one of his legs had recently been amputated.  He would sit on his front porch during the day and would say hello but he was not a talker normally.  One day I went out on my porch and looked over and Kay was sitting next to him carrying on a conversation about something.  This became a normal daily routine with them.  I think kids should have attention from adults and that they should learn to be a joy to be around.  I would never allow my kids to jump on furniture or race through the house.  Crying was something you did in your room with the door shut if you like doing it.  It was always funny how they get quiet in a few minutes and then start singing. 

There was a lot of snow in Omaha and I found that I had a lot of trouble staying on my feet sometimes.  I remember Kay telling me she did not want to hold my hand in the snow because I fell down.

Now for the bad part.  She never had any interest in doing handwork or sewing and neither was she interested in messing with her hair or using makeup.  I tried and tried to get her interested in doing things with her hands.  I finally gave up.  Her love was cars, pets of all kinds, and pretending.  So for the next 15 years, she had cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, etc.  She had her Matchbox cars wrapped in Kleenex in their drawer.  She was and still is an immaculate housekeeper.  She and her husband have an eight car garage where they keep their show cars.  You could live in the garage it is so neat.  During this time we did discover that she could draw.  If she could see a picture, she could draw it any size.  She loves pencil drawing.  I tried to encourage her to do it professionally but she just wanted to do it for herself.

When she was a junior in high school, her best friend introduced her to a guy who would one day be her husband.  He went to another school across town and would ride his bike to our house, eat dinner with us, and we would put his bike in our car and take him home.  He was a year younger than she was a boy were we glad when he was old enough to drive.  His dad had died right after Kay met him and his mother could not drive.  I had told Kay often that no man is ready to marry until he was 21 years old.  Words I heard from my mother.  They waited six years to get married and by that time I felt I had three wonderful kids.  I take credit for helping Gary to be the great person he is today.

Kay got a two-year degree from our community college as did Gary.  Kay went to work at our library and Gary went to work for Archer Daniel Midland (ADM) where his father had worked.  He started out as a computer programmer and is now the head of the IT Department.  Today they have a daughter who will be getting married Oct. 1, a large home here, and another one in Florida.  I am very proud of their family and the love the three of them have for each other.

This is my granddaughter and Kay.

This is Kay and Gary.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This is a picture of me and my brother taken in 1999.  It is a little fuzzy but you can see that his black hair has turned gray and my dishwater is still the same.  Laughing keeps the gray away.

Grover Oliver Traylor, Jr.

It is hard to know just where to start with my brother's story.  I guess his name says it all.  I never understood why he was made a Junior.  My mother's name was Pauline and everyone called her Polly.  In a way I was almost a Junior as well - Polly Ann.  I grew up calling my brother Bubba.  I am not sure if this started with me trying to say brother or the fact that we lived in Texas.  Bubba suited him very well.

I am 1 1/2 years older than Bubba, a lot more mellow, and knew when to keep my mouth shut.  Yes I was a Pollyanna and he was a Bubba.  He always had to have the last word which was usually the one that got him into trouble.  I was short, dishwater blonde hair, green eyes, and later in life on the heavy side.  My brother ended up over 6 ft., dark curly hair, blue eyes and thin. 

I have a lot of memories of our younger days and a lot of them come from times we were with Nanny.  I can see my brother walking down the street with a little suitcase in his hand running away.  Nanny would tell me not to worry that he would only go around the block and be back before we knew it.  She knew what she was talking about.  I remember trying to skate on the sidewalk.  In the "olden" days beginner skates had wheels on them that allowed tiny rocks to get in and the wheels would stop turning on a dime.  Then you had to sit down and get them out.  He did not have the patience to deal with this so he wanted to go straight to the big skates.  I have to tell you that most of his adventures resulted in him getting injured most of the time.  He fell often on the skates and soon decided that was not for him.   Bikes were another example of his daring way.  He hated having training wheels on his and I did not have them.  Off they came and down he went.  My Dad built us stilts to walk on.  They were pretty high and we would climb the telephone poles (they use to have metal steps up them) to get on our stilts.  It was fun, but probably not the best thing to put in Bubba's hands.  When he got old enough to drive, they tried to hold him off as long as possible.  They bought him a motor scooter but he had to have a sidecart on it so he could not really go very fast.  I would send him over to pick up my girlfriends to bring them to the house.  I wish I had a picture of each one of them as they pulled up in the drive.  If looks could kill, I would have been dead.  Each one only did the trip one time.  Then there was the time we stayed at a motel that had a swimming pool and he wanted to go swimming.  He was told not to dive off the board.  We heard a knock at the door and when my parents opened the door the first thing out of his mouth was "I know you told me not to jump off the board."  There was a man with him with a smile on his face.  He ended up with stitches in the top of his head.  The problem was he never learn to listen to people and I am not sure that he does to this day.

High school was another part of our life that, as I look back, was both good and bad.  I was a year ahead of him, but I was always known as GO's sister (by this time he did not want to be called Bubba).  Some people never believed that we could be kin since we were so different.  In our days you could not wear shorts to school and girls could not wear pants.  My brother felt he could get away with the shorts - Texas gets hot even in April.  My mother had to leave work, come and pick him up at school, take him home to change, and bring him back to school.  We also had ROTC at our high school and on certain days they had marching drills.  They had their little marching songs, but my brother had to change the words.  I was sitting in a classroom with the windows up and I heard this familiar voice, the words that were coming out of it, and I did not have to go to the window to know who it was.  Everyone else knew as well.  I was with a group of kids one day and one of them said "Hey did you hear about GO racing in the alley last night?"  This came from someone who did not know I was his sister.  They all started talking about the garbage cans getting knocked over and how he won.  My thoughts were "do I tell Mother about this".  I think you get the picture of growing up with Bubba.

He was not really enjoying school by the time he was 17 and wanted to get out and join the Navy.  My parents realized that at this point they could not get anywhere by forcing him to stay.  They signed the papers and I know it was very hard for them to see him go away at that age.  He went to San Diego for his training and after it was finished and he got his first leave to come home, it was a shock.  He had lost so much weight and had grown at least 6 inches.  He now was actually past the height limit for getting into the Navy because of the ships space.  He had scars on his head from hitting it on the stairs going down forward and the beds were too short.  Diving into burning water had messed up his sinuses as well.  He was assigned to the USS Enterprise, the first atomic powered aircraft carrier in the Navy.  He was proud ot this and during his 4 year time he was at the Bay of Pigs off of Cuba.  After 4 years of Navy life, he switched over to the Air Force and was there for 16 years.  When he came out, he had his GED, a college degree in computers and a career with DuPont.  Things in our life are for a reason.  My parents did the right thing by him even though it was painful for them at the time.

He is now retired from DuPont and the military and lives in Rockport.  As I have been writing this, I actually feel sad for kids these days.  At the time (50's) what he did was considered bad.  I actually find myself wishing our kids could only worry about those kinds of problems.  Life today is so different and I am not sure it is for the better.  I am almost positive that we were happier as kids and had a lot less to worry about than they do today. 

By the way, he has changed his name to Bud now. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


My dreams started with my grandmother - Nanny.  My earliest memories were being with her during World War II.  I was three years old when my dad (a 90-Day Wonder in the Air Force) left to receive more training as a bombader in Utah.  My mother was a nurse and followed him so that she could help as well.  My brother and I stayed with Nanny and Danny and my mother's sister, Catherine (Cat).  I remember standing on a wooden box to talk on the old wallphones to my parents.  They were happy memories.

When we were all back together again, Nanny taught me to crochet at the age of 6.  She took a bobbypin and made a hook on the end and gave it to me with some thread.  She wanted me to make a long chain with them.  That was a start to what has been my passion - sewing and needlework.  She would sit with me while we made dollclothes for closepin dolls.  She was always laughing and encouraging.

When I was 13, Danny had a heart attack and passed away.  My parents sold their home and bought a duplex so that Nanny could live close to us.  We had a door that connected the two sides.  She had a large bedroom/sitting area, a bath, and a kitchen with an outside entrance.  I would come home from school and she would be there to encourage and laugh with me.  When I was 15 my parents had a new home built with an extenton on the back for Nanny that was connected to our house by an enclosed breezeway where we would eat our meals.  My dad was a fireman in Dallas and my mother was a secretary for the city of Dallas.  Nanny spoiled us all with her cooking.  The one problem is that she did not use receipts and today I wish I had some of her wonderful deserts - fried fruit pies, bisquit pudding, hot cake and sauce, etc. 

By the time I was in high school, I was crocheting, making my clothes, and embrodering.  My mother loved to do all of this as well and the three of us would sit on the couch at night and do our thing.  My mother made all my prom dresses and many a times sewed her finger under all the ruffles of net.  It was the best of times.

After high school, I became engaged to my high school sweetheart.  We waited 4 years to get married so that he could finish his degree at SMU in Dallas.  He decided to go on to graduate school and I was working as a secretary.  We soon realized that we were going to become parents but that we could manage for him to continue his schooling.  I worked until 4 days before our daughter was born and went back to work 6 weeks later.  You guessed it.  Nanny was there to take care of Kay while we provided for our family.  She took care of her for three years.  My husband finished all of his classwork for a doctorate in economics and he got a teaching position in Omaha, Nebraska teaching at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

Can you imaging the  saddness we felt at having to tell our families that we were moving so far away.  We had a church family of friends as well that we had grown up with.  This is when I realized that people sometimes have to do things that are hard to deal with but you need to make the best of it because it is happening for a reason.  We said our good-byes in August and moved to Omaha.  We rented a wonderful old home not far from the university from a sweet couple from Sweden.  They became our "Omaha" parents.  Omaha will always be one of my favorite cities.  No matter how much snow we got, they knew how to take care of it.  They had rules about keeping sidewalks shoveled, how to maintain your cars, and what to do in emergencies.  They would turn their ballparks into ice rinks in the winter.  It was hilly and great for sledding.  The people were all so nice.  Nanny at the age of 68 got on her first plane to come to Omaha - mostly I think to see Kay.  It was a great visit and she made it every year in October for the 4 years we lived there.

My husband applied for a job teaching at Millikin University in Decatur, Il and was accepted.  We rented a very large house owned by the university and just across the street from some of the dorms.  It was great to be so close to all the students.  The first year in Decatur Nanny made her annual plane trip.  This was to be the last one she was able to make.  The university was having homecoming while she was here and she got to babysit Kay once again.  Kay was 7 years old now.  We were going to bring the Dean of the Economics Department back for desert after the play at the college and I had left a cake that I had baked on the kitchen table to cool.  We had given Kay the master bedroom as her room since she would spend more time in it than we would.  It was upstairs and there was a step going into her room from the back hall.  Nanny had gone to the bathroom and when she came back to Kay's room she tripped on the step.  She did not hurt herself but Kay thought she should sit on her bed and not get up until we came home.  Neither one of them did not hear that the toilet had stuck and was overflowing.  When we came home and I went into the kitchen, the water was coming through the ceiling right over the cake.  We went upstairs and there was Nanny laughing at Kay because she would not let her up.  It all turned out great.

My parents had moved to a man made island on the coast of Texas before we moved to Omaha.  At that time Nanny had gone to live with her other daughter in East Texas.  I had our son, Bradley, the next year after she visited us in Decatur.  When he was 1 1/2 we took him to Texas to meet Nanny.  She was in a wheelchair by then and it would be the last time we were together.  We were still laughing like always. 

She started my dream and my love of sewing.  I owe her so much for the things she taught me and the laugher that we shared together.  In everything I make, she is a part of it.