Chapter 8: WE MOVE TO PINECREST VILLAGE
We left for the South on January 9th, 1989. We got to Moorer's the afternoon of January 10th. Delene and her daughter, Wendy, were home. We learned that Delene gave music lessons in their home. Wendy was still home on Christmas Holiday from a college in Birmingham. Her brother, Heath, worked in Birmingham during the day and spent a couple hours at the University there each evening. Conrad, husband and father, worked each day in the city and did his cow chores at night. Delene and Wendy took us sight seeing and shopping the next day. In the evening we went to the Prayer Meeting at the Church of the Brethren there near them. We stayed two nights and a day with them and enjoyed it. Then we left for Lakeland, FL.
We were both very tired. I felt sick as if a cold was coming on. We stopped one night with Galen and Thelma in Lakeland, Florida. They have moved into a retirement home called "Carpenter's Way." It is very large and nice in every way. I could not fully appreciate their hospitality because of not feeling very well.
Haworth Home in Palms Estates, Loreda, FL
We arrived at our apartment, 345 Magnolia, Sebring, FL, 33870. Our landlady was Mrs. Alton Urquhart—address: 343 Magnolia. Paul Haworth had paid our electric fee to connect us to the electric power. We did not know it had to be paid in advance. We surely appreciated his thoughtfulness. There was enough gas left in the bottle for us to use until a new one was brought. We had to use bottle gas for cooking and heating. We visited with Haworth's almost daily. Their home on Palm Estates is very nice. At that time oranges were ripe. They kept us in orange juice all the time we were there. Morris helped pick oranges one day. The oranges were sold for juice, and that helped Palm Estates financially. We went to a Wednesday morning visiting hour in the conference room there. Several long-time friends were there whom we were glad to see.
I was sick for the first couple days. We called it the fblu. At the Church, a Bible Institute was being held for our first week there. The main speaker was Nancy Faus. She was very good. We especially liked to be in Rev. Clarence Fike's S.S. class on Sunday mornings.
Virginia Haworth insisted that I bring our laundry to their place to use their machine and dryer. I really appreciated that.
I think the high point of our stay in Florida was the night of Vera's birthday, January 28th. Elmer and Thelma Kaufman were visiting Haworths. Virginia and Paul had invited Mr. and Mrs. Dort who were living in Jacksonville, FL, to visit them that day, too. The Dorts had lived in Freeport and attended our church before moving to FL. Paul had arranged to have three phones in use that night at their home. Then he called Vera at Robert Johansen's home in South Bend, Indiana. She had a real surprise when she found out who all were calling her to wish her a Happy Birthday.
The M.C. Alumni Banquet was held there in January. We attended and enjoyed meeting friends from college days.
Morris spent a couple weeks as a volunteer on maintenance at the Brethren retirement home called "Palms of Sebring."
We visited Galen and Thelma in Lakeland, staying two nights with them. We went to church with them and met their daughter, Jean, and her husband, David Bunch. Galen showed us around the city and his and David's office where Galen's retirement picture hangs. It has a plaque on the bottom of it stating Galen as the "Founder of Hauger-Bunch Company." The second day with Galen and Thelma we spent in Cypress Gardens and liked it very much. Then we spent more than an hour at Bok Tower where we heard a chimes program. We surely like that park.
Another highlight of our Florida vacation was an invitation from Roger and Jean Finifrock to take Sunday dinner with them in their home on Highland Hammocks road beside the Golf Course. He drove around the Golf Course and the new housing area there, showing us all the new building being done.
We arrived back home at Freeport March 1, 1989. We found Webster in the hospital with a stroke. Douglas and Audrey had kept everything fine here. The house was warm and comfortable. The next day it snowed two and one half inches. We were glad we missed it on the road.
Morris went to the dentist to have his four front teeth bonded which made his smile brighter.
Joyce and Morrie insisted we visit them because they wanted to take us to Milwaukee to show us that city. It was fun.
April 20th, Ralph and Ann came to visit. They were traveling on AmTrak and had
a sleeper. They had been out to Virginia to visit Kathy and David. They visited
around here for four days. Lona had them, Morris, me, and Rodney for dinner one
day. Saturday eve they were guests of Cindy Drake and family. On Sunday
afternoon we had open house for them in our home. Sixteen people came,
including Carl Adams and family from Peoria. Monday, Morris took them to
Rockford to get the AmBus for Chicago.
Lona Kinney and Ralph and Ann Hauger
Art and Doris Hauger at Open House
On May 12th, Douglas was voted the Outstanding Teacher of the year for this school district. Later, he learned he was one of eleven chosen in the state to receive the "Award of Excellence." We and many others were glad for such good news, and we knew he deserved it.
Three days later, Audrey had a mammogram that revealed two suspicious spots for cancer. The first surgery was to remove a lymphoma under her left arm. The lump in her left breast tested malignant, too, so her left breast was removed. She is under the guidance of a cancer specialist from the University Hospital in Madison. She was not then in condition to take chemotherapy or any other treatment.
We received word June 1st that Harold Smith of Torrance, CA, had died. He had been sick for at least two months. He was Morris' sister Kathryn's husband.
Morris and Florence, April 23, 1989
This year, in June, we would be married 55 years. We decided to take two trips to celebrate. In May we took a three-day trip to Holland, Michigan, to see the Tulip Festival. It was enjoyable and we were glad we went. Then, on June 7th, we took a tour on Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago sightseeing boat. I wore a corsage that Morris had given me that morning and insisted that I wear on the trip. As a result, naturally we received many congratulations during the day. Even during the afternoon program on the boat, a song was sung in our honor. We had lunch on the boat.
June 18th was a big day for Paul and Virginia Haworth. They had open house at the church for their Golden Wedding celebration. Their children were all here. Bill played the organ, and the whole family sang in a special number. A book of memories was given to Paul and Virginia from the members of our church.
July 9th we went to Racine to a graduation party for Susie given by her parents. She had graduated May 21st, but we did not go to Madison for it. She preferred that we wait for her party when Steven would be there. She got her degree in Journalism. It was a nice graduation party. Susie's other Grandparents, her Uncle Bill and family were all there, and neighbors and other friends came in during the day, too. We stayed overnight, coming home next morning.
On July 27th, Kathryn, Duane, and Mary Smith arrived in Freeport. We invited them and Ardis to our home for supper the next day. On Sunday we attended a Smith Reunion at Krape Park. On August 1st, the birthday of both Ardis and Kathryn, Morris and I took them to the Pines State Park for breakfast in honor of the occasion. A couple of waitresses even sang a birthday song for them. Then we all went to see Webster in the nursing home in Oregon. He was showing a little progress.
In August, Hazel and Truman Lapp from the retirement home in Glendale, Arizona, came to visit us. We always prize these visits to see each other because, at our age, we never know if there will be another chance in this life.
Webster died unexpectedly October 9th, 1989. His funeral was October 11 at Walker's Mortuary. The sale of his household furniture was held October 30th.
June 7, 1989, we had been married 55 years. When I had finished bringing my autobiography up to date, I
promised myself that would be the last chapter I'd write, thinking that our
children and grandchildren would be able to remember us and our activities etc.
from then on as long as Morris and I lived. But Morris this year, 1993, has
made it quite clear to me that he wants our activities, etc. for the last years
up to June 7, 1993 which would mean 59 years married, accounted for too in
print. If it wouldn't be for the daily accounts that I've written in my little
diary books, I certainly could not do it. So I'll try but it won't be as
in-depth as the first part of it has been.
Our 55th Wedding Anniversary Cruise on Lake Michigan
Morris had placed most of our acreage in the conservation program of the government, so he didn't have the farm work to do as he had in former years. But the garden always produced abundantly and I had two flower gardens to work in and enjoy. Starting in August of 1989, I canned 50 quarts of yellow Transparent Applesauce, and 49 quarts of peaches.
We had pretty well decided to move to Pinecrest Village in 1991. We had purchased an apartment through Rev. Kneckle before he was killed in a tragic accident. Mr. Larry Elliott had taken his place and we had picked out apartment #245 in the Village Apartment #2. Larry said we could bring our freezer along when we moved and place it in the Village storeroom. As we saw things we needed in Pinecrest, we would buy them. The first thing we bought was a set of four folding chairs, which would not take up much space until we needed them. I canned fruit and froze vegetables as usual knowing they could be used in Pinecrest.
Our church was quite active in the FACC (Freeport Area Church Corporation) which was located in the old Lutheran School Building, and was the center for used clothing, furniture, even food for the needy people of the city. It was managed by a person who was paid by the cooperating churches and staffed by volunteers. It was a very worthwhile undertaking. Morris and I spent many hours, he more than I, helping out there.
Morris took up bowling. Roger McCullock influenced him, and he enjoyed it. In September we went to our cabin to fish and close it for the winter. We stayed a week. On our way home at Middleton, Wis., we had an accident. Our witness who was driving right behind us told the police it was not our fault, but then, he had to leave. The one who ran the red light finally got a witness to say that he was not guilty. We got no citation and our insurance took care of the $2,479 bill.
Our Church of the Brethren in this district took on the problem of helping the Pinecrest Manor with its money problems. Some patients were running out of money to pay for their care. Many of the churches joined in having money-raising affairs to help raise money. Such money raised was placed in a Good Samaritan Fund, which was used to help with the Manor's expenses. In our area those who wanted to help arranged for a meal at The Brandywine Restaurant in Dixon. The tickets are $50. Sometimes the eastern area of the district arranged for a meal and program somewhere around Chicago. Times were getting more severe with taxes getting higher, and the state getting way behind in paying its share of Social Security to its citizens in the Manor.
Webster Firebaugh, Morris' brother had a stroke early summer. He was taken to the nursing home in Oregon for help. He did not respond and died October 9. His household furniture sale was October 30, 1989.
On October 10, Audrey had a physical checkup by her doctor who said she was fine. October 18, there was an earthquake registering 6.9 in San Francisco. There were 272 known dead. The quake didn't bother the LaVerne area Ralph said when I called him.
Morris and Douglas had been working in Simler's woods, cleaning out the dead trees, saving good wood for fuel for us and cleaning up the woods for Mr. Simler. Morris had been having trouble with his stomach hurting. He went to the hospital on November 14 for a colon and stomach exam. Result was he had a bleeding stomach ulcer. He had to take medicine for it.
Thanksgiving, 1989, was November 24. We had our family turkey dinner in Douglas and Audrey's home. At this time, Morris and Joyce took "My Story" home with them. It contained the story of my life up through 55 years of marriage for Morris and me.
One of my hobbies had been for many years, carrying for Amaryllis bulbs. I had received my first two bulbs from an English lady who was our neighbor when we lived on Clark Street in Freeport 1934-1940. As new bulbs appeared, I save them and planted them in the large container which Morris had made for them. The winter of '89 I had 17 spikes from these bulbs and they all bloomed during November and December—a beautiful sight.
During the Reagan years of his time as President there was continuous civil war in Central America, Nicaragua and El Salvador, especially. The Church of the Brethren had an organization of the Youth of the Church called "Brethren Volunteers for Peace." Some of these peace volunteers were down there helping the natives as much as they could by teaching school, digging wells for good drinking water, and better ways of farming. The US government favored the side of the rich people. Many of these rich people were from the US who "bought up" land from the natives and kept them on the farm to do the work with very little pay. In El Salvador, when the priests and nuns remonstrated, they were killed and the guilty went unpunished. There was a Church of the Brethren young man killed because he was helping a family get electric power so that they could have good drinking water. Finally, some of the truth came out in the Contra Affair, which was given publicity but still not all the truth was exposed.
Stella Guffey died December 3, 1989. She had been such a good friend to us during our early days of marriage and when our children were born. She went to our church then and was always ready to hear my complaints and troubles. She was 10 years older than I and I profited much from her experience.
President Bush sent solders into Panama as an excuse to get Manuel Noriega who had been doing criminal acts. Many were killed and much damage done and we never heard what really happened to Noriega!
Christmas 1989 our whole family spent with Morrie and Joyce in their home in Racine, Wis. We received a VCR from the children as our present. We are still enjoying it especially the chance it gives us to see some of the fine old movies that are on tape now.
December 31, Dena went back to Washington University in St. Louis. She had gone to Manchester College for three years, but for her fourth year of the civil engineering course program she was enrolled in, she had to go to a school where it was given.
January 1990, Morris started a woodworking class again at the Community College in Freeport. The summer of '89 had been very dry. We were hoping 1990 would be better. The winter was very warm at times. The snow had all melted by January 22.
I had some trouble with our VCR working it to tape movies automatically. Douglas and Audrey always came to my rescue. It seemed so easy when I saw Audrey do it. I understand it much better now. My trouble now is to find a movie to tape that is worth taping. We enjoy playing the tapes that we borrow or are given to us.
In South Africa, Nelson Mandella was let out of prison where he had been kept for 27 years because he was in favor of more liberty for the black people. The world was anxious as to what would happen. It was a happy day for the black people of South Africa.
First part of March 1990, there was an earthquake in the area of California where Ralph and Ann live. I called them. Ralph said it was the worst they had ever experienced but no damage was done to them. There was damage done to some places in LaVerne.
For years the picture that Clara Fike had painted of Jesus in Gethsemane had hung on the wall behind the pulpit of our church. Clara was a very talented artist and wife of our pastor, Rev. Clarence Fike. There were fewer members now who remembered the Fikes. I was placed on a pulpit committee to redecorate the pulpit area of our Church of the Brethren. I knew our present pastor, Rodney Caldwell, wanted the picture removed. I did not object. I knew I was in the minority of the committee. I offered to give the picture back to Rev. and Mrs. Fike who live in Sebring, Fla. He had told us that when it was no longer in use in Freeport, they wanted it returned to them. The committee thought best to hang it in the Narthex of the church where it could be seen by people entering the sanctuary to worship. Soon after it was removed and re-hung. Douglas made a beautiful cross out of walnut wood to hang behind the pulpit.
Morris started making smaller furniture for the living-dining area, which is in the apartment of ours at Pinecrest Village.
He made the hutch first out of our own walnut trees from our farms. It is very good looking. Next he made a gate-leg table to match.
In March, I always trimmed our grapes. Almost always we had a good crop of Concord grapes. We may have had a hard freeze during their blossoming, but I don't remember it.
On April 2, 1990, Irene Fierheller died at Pinecrest Manor. She was a very dear friend who, with her husband, Dan, were deacons in the Church of the Brethren for many years. Her daughter Iris is still a dependable worker in the Freeport COB church.
On Easter Sunday, April 15, at Church, Michele and Dena played as a piano and organ duet, "The Holy City." It was the most beautiful music I ever heard. It brought tears to my eyes because it brought memories of my childhood home. My Mother used to play that piece of music on the piano and sing the words as she played. My father, Ralph and I would sit quietly and listen. Many times since that Easter Sunday I have wished I'd have had a recording of that beautiful music, which our two granddaughters played.
Sunday April 22, 1990, Carl Myers ordained Rodney Caldwell into the ministry. There was a large crowd with many of Rodney's relatives. The women's fellowship fed them at noon. In the evening, Douglas and Audrey, Jerry and Luan Carpenter and Morris and I went in our car to Franklin Grove to a Manchester College Alumni meeting. There I met Alice Sheller Wickert whom I had not seen since I lived in Sterling, Ill during 1924-1931. Her mother and mine were always in charge of the music and programs at the Sterling Church. We often get together now to visit.
Morris and I were still taking our turn carrying "Meals on Wheels," when it was the week for our church to do that duty.
May 13 was Mother's Day as well as Douglas' birthday in 1990. At church, Douglas gave an appreciation talk including Audrey and me. This made me feel very good.
Ray and hazel Firebaugh stopped in to visit us on their way home from visiting somewhere south of us. It was a surprise so we ate at "The Golden Corral." We visited Ardis and then they spent the night with us. The next morning, they left for Minnesota. Since it was my birthday May 21, 1990, we left for the cabin as soon as we could. Our neighbors by Island Lake, Oscar and Helen Mahmood, were putting new siding on their house. They also had a new Lincoln Town Car. Douglas forwarded several birthday cards to me. I had time to write answers which I enjoyed doing. We often go to the Methodist Church in Spooner. Then eat dinner at a restaurant in Spooner to celebrate my birthday. I don't do as much fishing as Morris does. I enjoy reading, going for the mail, sometimes taking the trail Douglas marked out from the cabin to the mail box, then resting in the cabin where it is quiet and generally cool. Often there are birds nesting or feeding little ones to watch. Last year, we didn't see the Martens at their birdhouse like we had seen them other years. I enjoy seeing how many wild flowers I can find and name. I often bring a little bouquet back from going to the mailbox. I like to see a little glass of flowers on our table. During May, June and July the wood ticks bother me. In the fall they are not so bad.
Often, Audrey and Douglas come up after school is out and we are together for part of two days and one night. That is fun too. In 1990, they came up while we were there. They brought a letter from Kenneth Crim saying his sister, Bessie, had died. She had been a missionary nurse to China in her younger days. She was the first nursing supervisor of Pinecrest Manor after it was built in 1963.
Dena's summer employment was working on the road testing the cement mixtures part of the time and inside office work some too. She was working near Chicago and rooming in Shaumburg. She got home quite often which we liked.
In June 1990 we heard from Delene Moorer in Alabama that they were coming to visit us June 16-18. They were the people of the Church of the Brethren living in Oneonta, AL to whom we gave two truck loads of hay, 1000 bales for their cattle which were suffering because of a bad drought in their area.
On Sunday, June 10, we left after church for North Manchester where we planned to go to an Elder Hostel for the week. We roomed in East Hall. There were 55 in attendance. The theme was "People who Believe in Peace." On Tuesday evening, we were invited to President Robinson's for supper. We found time to visit Ruth and Charles Luther who are living in Timber Crest Retirement Home there in North Manchester, IN. She was my roommate when I was in college in 1931-32. We heard from Brethren College Abroad students as part of our class time.
Saturday, June 16, we got to Freeport by 1:30 p.m., got groceries, and were at home when Delene and Conrad Moorer came at 5:30. We took them driving to see our area. They went with us to church and Sunday School and then to Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner. Then we went sightseeing some more. They wanted to at least enter Wisconsin. So we took them around Monroe then back to Camp Emmaus, Pines State Park, etc. While Delene and I got lunch, Morris took Conrad to Ron Prasse's farm, visited there some, and then to Leonard Otte's farm. The next morning after a leisurely breakfast, they left for Alabama. .
On June 20, Morris and Douglas spent a whole day at Camp Emmaus cutting out Box Elder trees. Bill Hare, the camp manager is very good at following the requirements necessary because the camp is registered as a tree farm.
During the summer of 1990, we often enjoyed visits of Dena and Michele who lived near enough to Freeport to come home quite often.
One event we enjoyed every year if we were free to attend was a "treat" by the State Bank of Freeport. They would give an ice cream party in the park during a Sunday afternoon while a band concert was in progress.
Morris' big Salmon from Lake Michigan]
July 5, 1990, we attended annual conference in Milwaukee staying overnight with Morris and Joyce in Racine. Since July 5 was Morrie's birthday and July 9 was his dad's birthday, we went in the evening to Susie's apartment in Milwaukee to celebrate. Morris and I stayed overnight with Susie. She was employed with The Milwaukee Journal at that time. Next day we went with Morrie and Joyce to the Manchester College Dinner. They paid our way as a birthday gift to Morris Sr. We went to breakfast at Conference on Sunday, then back to Racine that afternoon. Morrie and Joyce showed us the new house they had recently purchased on the Northwest side of Racine. Later we left for Freeport. Saturday evening we had seen Dena at conference for just a little while.
All through the summer the garden was producing abundantly. I was freezing melon, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and later, sweet corn.
On July 21, 1990, Ralph and Ann's youngest child, Dan, was married to a girl named Karen in Seattle. We were glad to get a wedding picture of them. We surely would like to see them in person some time.
Only July 26, Joyce's father, Ivan Maier, died in a hospital near Chicago. His death made us feel sad and our sympathy was with Joyce, Morris, Minerva and Joyce's family.
Monday, July 28, Douglas, Audrey and a friend left for the coast of South Carolina as volunteers to help the residents clean up and rebuild after the terrible hurricane "Hugo." They stayed all week. They shared their report and pictures when they returned. They most certainly helped those poor people in their time of trouble.
August 6 and 7, we went to Racine to help Morrie and Joyce move out to their new home at 6840 Northwester Ave., Racine, WI. I helped mainly in their new kitchen. I got supper and washed up the dishes. We stayed over night. Next morning I washed three sets of dishes and then took books out of boxes. They have one acre of ground and a large house and Morrie has a nice room for his computer.
Michele and Dena arranged a party for their parents' 30th wedding anniversary. They took their parents and four grandparents to the Rockford Airport restaurant for dinner. It was quite ritzy and good. When we came home, we looked through their memory book which contained written letters and pictures expressing fond memories from many friends and relatives. Thank you girls, for such a nice party for your parents.
On Saturday, August 16, 1990, Morris helped at Rev. Paul and Virginia's household sale. Things sold too cheaply, Morris said. On Sunday, Paul, Virginia and ten others ate at the Golden Corral. It was like a farewell dinner. I was sorry to see them leave Freeport.
President Bush was talking tough toward Iraq because that country had invaded Kuwait. Bush sent American troops into Arabia. Bush wants to save the US supply of cheap oil in Kuwait.
September 20 we left early morning for Pennsylvania to visit John and Ada Gingrich in Lebanon. We stayed overnight in Monroeville, PA in a motel. We arrived at Gingrich's at 1:30 pm after stopping at McDonald's.
That evening, John took Morris to see the "Heifers for Relief" sale that was put on by the Churches of the Brethren of that area. Next day the big sale of Heifers for relief took place at the fairgrounds. In a big building there were around 100 quilts for sale, as well as crafts and antiques. Next day, it was mentioned that the sale amounted to approximately $120,000. After church in Palmyra, Gingrichs drove around showing us their church camp—much larger and older than our Camp Emmaus. We drove by 7 Churches of the Brethren. We visited Rummel's who are considering retiring soon. Don asked about "our" church in Freeport where he had one time been our pastor. John was well acquainted with Hershey, PA. He had done carpenter work there and around that area. Monday, September 24, we left for home. We stayed overnight near the Indiana border and got home the next day. Tomatoes, pole beans and muskmelon were waiting to be taken care of.
The women's fellowship was busy making noodles for the noodle soup, which is served at noon at our Bazaar in October. I joined in helping there. On September 30, Sunday evening, Douglas showed slides of their volunteer work that he and Audrey did with others at Copahee, SC after that bad hurricane, Hugo, went through.
In October, while at the cabin in Wisconsin, we went to the cranberry festival held at Stone Lake. We saw races with children in little cars that they had built, coasting down a hill on the main street. It was cute. Presents were given to the winners. We bought cranberries that were for sale in town and at many farms on our way home. While at the cabin, we received at letter from Douglas that Carl Patterson had died of a heart attack. At the cabin it was cold—18 degrees outside and 52 degrees in our bedroom. So we left for home visiting Morrie and Joyce on our way home. Carl Patterson's death was a shock and great loss to the brotherhood. He had been a great help getting volunteers to help in emergencies and disasters.
When we got home, Morris went with Douglas hunting deer with bow and arrows.
At the Women's Fellowship Bazaar, Vera and I helped sell vegetables, flowers, etc. The chicken noodle soup went well. All together we made $1,200.
Sunday, October 28, 1990, Freeport Church of the Brethren's 75th anniversary was held at the church. Former pastors, Lorrel Eikenberry and Clarence Fike and wife Clara were with us as was Catherine Canfield, daughter of a former pastor. It was an all-day meeting with a good potluck dinner and sermons plus memories and letters read from former preachers and members.
A picture of Douglas was in the paper telling about his accomplishments as an outstanding teacher of the state. In 1992 a similar picture of Douglas and a couple other teachers appeared, and they were cited for their outstanding teaching skills. Our country needs more teachers of that caliber.
In November 1990, Carl Meyers retired from the office of District Manager for this area of the Church of the Brethren.
For several years Morris was one of the voting judges at the Harlem Center Town Hall where we voted.
On November 1, 1990, Douglas arrowed a deer. Morris fell while hunting and hurt his foot badly enough that it required a cast.
On November 21, 1990, Rev. Haworth called saying a trailer was for rent for February at the trailer camp site at Lorida, FL. We said we would take it and sent $100 payment for February/ 1991. This location was at the Palms Estates of Lorida, where the Haworths were living.
Thanksgiving Day, November 22, Morris and I ate at the Country Kitchen in Freeport. Mrs. Thatcher of England's Government resigned around that time. Morrie and Joyce came the day after Thanksgiving, and we went to Douglas and Audrey's home for dinner. Karl Guth was there, too.
In November we went to Lake Geneva, WI for three grandfather clock mechanisms, which cost $340.60 apiece!
Morris spent most of his time those days working on the three grandfather clocks. On December 19, Morris helped Douglas and Dena carry two of them to their home. They are gifts to Michele and Dena from their grandparents. December 22, Ardis invited all of the Firebaughs to her place to open Kate's package and distribute her gifts to all of us. Kate surely sends nice things, mostly all homemade, to each one of us. Then Ardis has her dining room table set with a bright red cloth and all kinds of good food for everyone to help themselves. It is like a family tradition and so very much enjoyed by everyone.
Christmas of 1990 was unusual. Douglas and his Dad loaded the two grandfather clocks on top of our car to take to Racine to Morrie and Joyce's home. They are for Steven and Susan, gifts from their grandparents. We all had an enjoyable Christmas noon meal, visit, and gift exchange in their new home. Douglas and family and we got home to Freeport around 9 p.m.
I advertised for sale my seashells and the table and cupboard as a unit. I received $55 for them. We visited Phil and Ethel Leverton, our neighbors. We heard that they were going as missionaries to Columbia, South America.
As usual, we started the new year by spending it with Audrey and Douglas, their girls, and Karl Guth. We got there by 9:45 a.m. to watch the Rose Bowl Parade on TV. The next day, Michele left for South Bend and her work at Price-Waterhouse Company. I had my electric organ advertised to sell. On Sunday, January 6, Norma and Leroy Trumpy at Orangeville bought it for $500. Douglas came over and helped load it in the truck.
The threat of war was getting worse in the Persian Gulf.
Audrey had not been feeling good. She was told by her doctor that she needed a D&C surgery.
Congress had given permission to President Bush to get Iraq out of Kuwait since sanctions, which had been placed on Iraq, were not working. There was a feeling of anxiety in the country that President Bush should have used more patience. Ex-president Carter had a good, sensible article in the paper about the Palestinian question, which was part of the problem. The war in the Persian Gulf started January 16 at 4 p.m. our time with air strikes. There were not many casualties on our side for a while. Israel was bombed by Iraq, but Israel did not bomb back. If they had, it was certain Jordan and Syria would join Iraq.
Audrey had her D&C surgery January 18. She was home by noon! We were glad that was over, and she began to feel better. Her D&C showed she had nothing to worry about!
I began packing for our vacation in Florida. Iraq captured some of our pilots and tortured them by making them tell lies over TV. An editorial said that it looked like the war wouldn't be over as quickly as we were led to believe.
On January 25,1991, we left home at 6:30 a.m. We got into Kentucky on Pennyrile Parkway and stopped at a motel for $24. We left early and got to Moorer's in Oneonta, AL, at 4:30 p.m. We met their children. Then, Delene took us to visit her mother and sister and to observe Conrad's cattle. We met Conrad's mother, too.
We stayed overnight in Wendy's room. Next morning, Sunday, we went to Sunday School and church with Moorers. The church was called the Easely Church of the Brethren. It had been in existence longer than ours at Freeport. There were only thirty-eight in attendance. We ate dinner as guests of Conrad's mother. They took us sightseeing in the p.m. Then we said goodbye to Conrad who had to leave early in the morning for work. Delene had a good breakfast for us and packed us a lunch. It was hard to say good-bye.
Birmingham and Montgomery were the largest cities on our trip that day, and we were glad when we got through them. We stayed at a motel in Perry on Route 27 in Florida that night. We arrived in Lakeland, FL, and were glad to be with Galen and Thelma. We had to dress specially for supper at their retirement home, "Carpenter's Way." Then, after supper, Galen showed us pictures of their trip to England, Scotland, Ireland, and Europe. We left Galen's in time to get to Lorida early in the evening. We contacted the camp where John and Ada Gingrich were living in their trailer and made arrangements for them to visit us in Lorida. We found our trailer in Palm Estates in Lorida, and Paul and Virginia helped us move in. Such a nice location made us happy. There were flowers in front of the trailer and an orange tree in the back yard with oranges ready to pick. Also, we had a huge live oak tree in our back yard shading part of our trailer and a pair of cardinals, which sang in a friendly way. We called Douglas and wrote a letter to Morris and Joyce.
At first we had some cool weather, and the furnace felt good in the morning. But later it was real Florida weather. We met friends we had known for a long time and made many new friends. There was a new Church of the Brethren at the edge of Palm Estates, and Norman Harsh was the preacher. We saw Paul and Virginia almost every day. We were told to use their laundry facilities. We appreciated that. We went to Sebring for groceries and to the church there to hear Clarence Fike preach once. One time we stopped in to visit Mildred Harner Roberts. She was in Mt, Morris College when I was, and our sons were friends. In the recreation hall at Palm Estates was a very fine library which had books with authors familiar to me—Janette Oke, Grace Livingston, Eugene Price, Lloyd Douglas, and so on.
After a couple days, a truck and trailer pulled into the empty spot beside us. We were so surprised to see Dale and Betty Heisler from Rockford who were to be our neighbors for a couple weeks. We played shuffleboard with them many times during their stay in Palm Estates. Dale and Alice Wichert visited us and ate with us. Then they asked us to visit them in the home they were renting. Later they had a party and invited us.
There was plenty of activity all the time. The Lorida C.O.B. was newly built and very attractive. We enjoyed attending there. Haworths were in the choir. We went to a Valentine Party at Palm Estates clubhouse. Over 100 people attended. Morris and I took a ride in the paddleboat which was available mostly any time to use on the canal. This canal ran along the edge of Haworth's backyard. February 22, Galen and Thelma came to visit. The men played horseshoe while I prepared the noon meal. Afterward, we played shuffleboard. They did not stay for lunch. Morris and I saw Dr. Robinson from York Center at Palm Estates. He remembered us and asked about Morrie and Joyce. He was one of the pastors who had married them in 1960. He was in a wheelchair.
It seems the ground war had started in Iraq, with land and air attack by our soldiers. Over TV we felt we were not getting the truth. It was too slanted toward our victory. After our soldiers drove the Iraq soldiers out of Kuwait, President Bush claimed a victory. The many, many oil wells were burning, Saddam was still in power in Iraq, and he later bombed and killed innocent Kurds living in the north of Iraq. We never did hear a reason Saddam had for killing them. It's 1993 as I write this, and Saddam is still a problem to the U.S.!
We left Florida on February 28. We surely had enjoyed our month there. It took a while at home to get laundry done, mail cared for, and so on. Over TV, President Bush surely liked to brag and boast on his "short" war! Things were really worse because nearly all of Kuwait oil wells were on fire, and the U.S. was called on to help put the fires out!
Morris started making a storage area under our bed for when we move to Pinecrest Village. I trimmed the grapes for the last time on March 20,1991.
Our church was cooperating with other churches in Freeport in a program that furnished overnight accommodations to homeless people during winter months. Members volunteered to be present on Saturday night which was the night given to our church to open our door to the homeless. We furnished a cot to sleep on, clean linens for the night, and a breakfast. Morris volunteered to take a four-hour shift from midnight to 4 a.m. many Saturday nights.
On March 24, 1991, we bought a new Zenith TV from DeGrote in the West Plaza in Freeport for $348. In April 1991, Morris made a mantel clock for us. We missed the chimes of the grandfather clocks to which we had become accustomed. So we thought a mantel clock with chimes would be a substitute. We went to the last Rotary film on Austria and sat with Johansens and McCullochs in the Masonic Temple. We bought two mattresses from Rockford Mattress Company. They measure 22" by 6'. Morris intended to make them into a rollaway bed for our Pinecrest apartment. On April 6, Morris put up our porch swing and bird waterers for the last time at Breezewood.
Bush's war, "Desert Storm," surely did not finish up the problem. Saddam Hussein of Iraq saved his best army to kill the Kurds who are Christians and live in Northern Iraq. Those who resist Saddam Hussein in Iraq are either killed or must flee.
Douglas and Audrey had established sort of a tradition of taking Besserts and us to the "Show Time" Spring Musical at H.S.. It was always very good. Then we often went to Bessert's for cake and ice cream.
In April, Lyle and Ethel Leverton, our neighbors who lived to the place where Ralph and Ann lived, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Lyle was pastor of the Van Brocklin Church which sponsored the celebration. We were glad to attend and meet friends and neighbors.
April 17, President Bush ordered U.S. soldiers into Iraq, because the Kurds were being killed. April 19, we itemized everything we wanted to put on the sale before we move. Then we vacuumed the davenport to get it ready to sell. We put an ad in the paper and were able to sell it. We couldn't take it to Pinecrest. It was too big.
We had been planning on going to LaVerne, CA, to visit Ralph and Ann Hauger in Hillcrest Homes before we moved to Pinecrest Village. But considering what there was to do at Breezewood before we could move, we decided to move to Pinecrest in August or early September and then fly to California. We also wanted to get Breezewood rented before we moved. So we resigned ourselves to not being present when Ralph and Ann celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 29. We hoped we could see the pictures of the celebration later.
Larry Elliott, the person in charge of selling apartments at Pinecrest, wrote to us saying he would give us the key to Apartment # 245 on May 5th. Also, he said that we could store our freezer in the storeroom of the apartments. We were glad for that, because I always freeze rhubarb and asparagus in the spring.
Mother's Day, May 12, 1991, was a very happy day for me. Morrie, Joyce, and Susan arrived in time to sit with us in church. At noon, we all went to the Pines for dinner. The boys paid for us. In the afternoon, we went for a walk. Later, Michele left for South Bend and Morrie, Joyce, and Susan left for Racine. We came home with Dena, Audrey, and Douglas. My birthday and Mother's Day gifts included a wreath for our apartment door from Susie, a reading glass and blouse from Morrie and Joyce, a Helen Steiner Rice book of poems and corsage from Douglas and family as well as all of the arrangements for the day.
Mother's Day with Morris, Susie, and Joyce
Hiking at the Pines on Mother's Day
May 13 was Douglas' birthday. I made a white cake for the occasion. Then we gave Dena a graduation card with a $500 check in it. She was graduating from Manchester College with a "Science of Engineering" degree. At 6 p.m., Douglas, Audrey, and Dena came over to our house. Soon, the Johansens came, too, as a surprise to Douglas. After eating, Douglas, Audrey, and Dena left, but Johansens stayed for a couple of games of Rook.
I went to work covering the foam rubber mattresses with wool felt material we had on hand. They look pretty good for the work of an inexperienced person. They'll serve all right for our second bedroom at the apartment, which will be used as a den.
On May 17, Douglas and Audrey took Morris and me along to South Bend to Michele's home. We took her grandfather clock along on the top of the car. Now that she had her own apartment, she had room for it. We found Michele's home where she was waiting for us. After unloading the car, Michele showed us around her office, and we toured South Bend. Later, Michele served us a good supper. Then we looked at the movie, "The Bear." I gave Michele a quilt made with the "basket" pattern. My mother made it many years ago, and it still was in good shape.
Sunday, May 19, we were on our way to Manchester College at 7:40 a.m. after staying overnight in Michele's home. At 11:00 a.m. we went to Baccalaureate service for Dena's graduation in Cordier Hall. President William Robinson spoke. Many pictures were taken. At 2:30 p.m., graduation took place in the PERC building. We had nice, reserved seats (Douglas is on the College Board). Dena had a hard time leaving. So many wanted to give her "Good-bye." On the way home, we left her at Shaumburg where she had summer work.
On May 21, my birthday, Douglas came over early to wish me "Happy Birthday." We left at 7:15 a.m. for the Pines. Alice and Dale Wickert were there waiting for us - a surprise for me!!
We shopped in Freeport on the way home. That evening we went to Audrey and Douglas's home for birthday cake and ice cream. Audrey gave me a muffin dish to bake muffins in a microwave oven. It works fine. Also, they gave me "Roses for Mama," a book by Janette Oke. It was a very happy day!! Vera called May 22 for us to come over and eat supper with them. They had a cake, too, and afterwards we played Rook. Such Super Friends! Robert Johansen sent me a birthday card, too, with some nice writing in it for me. I received a card from Susie and pictures and a note about her work.
On May 26, we went to the cabin through two heavy rain showers. Fishing was good. Morris put in the pier. We generally get some letters while at the cabin, especially from the children and Vera Johansen, and I enjoy answering them. There are two eagles we can see on the island.
We often go to the Methodist Church in Spooner when we are at the cabin over Sundays. Douglas wrote that Dena received her grades from M. C. They are, all six of them, A's! Michele is through with her work at Price-Waterhouse. I get caught up on letter writing while at the cabin. On June 6, Douglas and Audrey came to be with us over night. They brought some ice cream. On June 7, Morris and I had been married for 57 years. I got breakfast and dinner. Audrey had supper and had angel food cake to celebrate our anniversary. We motored abound the lake and saw an eagle and the nest with an eagle on it. We left for home next morning after Audrey's good breakfast.
In June, I started to have some sick days. I guess it was my colitis coming back, because I could see all the work that was to be done before our sale and move into Pinecrest Village the last of August. Dishes had to be packed. We couldn't take them all to our three-room apartment, so I had a hard time deciding which dishes to put on the sale. The same kinds of decisions were necessary for the pans, bathroom necessities, and books. We had four bookcases full of books. I had to get rid of two bookcases of books. I had four chests of drawers. There was room for only two at the apartment.
Of course there were the two flower beds and vegetable garden which I tried to keep weeded, because the sale was to be in the yard, and I didn't want them to look messy. Morris took care of the garden.
Morris had the new walnut hutch finished, and I put the dishes in it that I wanted to save. I knew I'd have to repack them to move, but I had to know how many of our good dishes we could take to the apartment. I broke one dish. It was a wedding gift from Mrs. Peter Keltner!
I had decided to take four amaryllis bulbs, four African violets, and one flower pot of aloe Vera to the apartment. The rest of my amaryllis bulbs, at least fourteen bulbs, I left in a box 28" x 8" x 7" lined with a metal liner. At the sale, my cousin bought it because she knew how nice they looked in bloom.
Morrie and Joyce came from Racine with a trailer to take our dining room furniture to their home. They had a large enough dining room for this antique oak table and eight chairs. Morris had made the hutch out of our oak lumber, and it matched the table pretty well. Since we knew our apartment was too small for the large oak dining room furniture we had been using, Morris had made a hutch and gate-leg table out of walnut for us to use at Pinecrest. This walnut set was much smaller.
On June 23, the Fairview School had another reunion at East Jordan Church, which is a country Methodist Church one mile north of where I used to teach. There were twenty-five of my former scholars there. We had a good time visiting and remembering. One other teacher was there who had taught after I left.
Whenever I had time I would pack a box of dishes or books to take to the apartment. I would label the box as to contents, and Morris would take it over to store in Douglas's basement. The Yellow Transparent apples were ready to can. We were glad we could take canned fruit and jelly to Pinecrest and store it in the first floor area of storage assigned to Apartment #245.
I sorted out my music, some for Phyllis Rowland, our church organist, some for Iris Sweet, our choir director, and that which was my mother's (it was the most difficult), for Ruthann Johansen, because she was the best piano player I knew. I was glad to know that she had it. My mother, a graduate of Mt. Morris College with her degree in music, had kept all her music. Much of it was classical, and I never learned to play it. My mother gave music lessons for years after she was married. I well remember scholars coming to our home for their lesson, and I'd have to leave the room while they were there.
The music that I liked the best I divided with Ralph. He and I used to sing duets together. I really enjoyed that. Our parents used to like to hear us sing "specials" at church. Mother often accompanied us on the piano. The music I saved for myself I hoped I would use at Pinecrest. I knew there had been an electric organ donated to the Village. I gave some children's books to Linda Simler, thinking that she might be able to use them for her own girls or at Sunday School at church.
There were things in my desk drawers that I'd been saving until we retired to Mt. Morris where I planned to have time to work, placing them for viewing, scrapbook material, and pictures for albums. In chest drawers I had material for making quilts, pillows, and so on. All of that went into boxes and is still stored here at Pinecrest—2 years later!
We rented Breezewood to Tim and Tracy Macaloon for $500 a month. They liked the place and stayed for one year. Then they wanted to buy it. Since we did not care to sell it, Tim and Tracy bought some ground in the country and built a new house and moved. It did not take Douglas very long to find another fine family to rent Breezewood.
Morris and I made a couple of trips to Mt. Morris to put up drapes at the windows of our apartment. I canned applesauce, make pickles, froze green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli.
In June, Guy Mitchard painted our old barn on the north end of our farm. Morris repainted the "Firebaugh" sign the boys made for us years ago and placed it on the old barn. The new paint surely makes the place look better. July 17 our auctioneer, Phil Hayanga, came to get the inventory list of things to sell, so he could have the sale bills printed and advertised.
July 20, Douglas and Audrey went to Midland, MI, for him to work at Dow Chemical plant for a lweeks. They had a nice place to live.
July 26, we were with Joyce and Morrie in Racine. As a belated birthday present to his father, Morrie took him fishing in Lake Michigan. Joyce took me to visit Whitnall Park where the flowers were beautiful.
July 22 I wrote in my diary "this packing and sorting is getting on my nerves!" Throwing away things was hard for me to do. It was even hard for me to destroy old greeting cards that I had saved.
Douglas and Audrey got home from Michigan August 3rd. It was good to have them home. Sunday, August 4th, was a happy day for us at church. Douglas's whole family was there to sit with us. We were honored by our Church for the years we had served the Lord there. We sat with the Deacon's during communion. At noon, there was a big ham dinner and large flat decorated white cake. Afterwards, many spoke from memory about our association together. The church gave us a clock with a plaque on it, naming the occasion. Mike Hauger came as a surprise. We were very glad to see everyone.
Next day I washed window drapes and curtains. We had to buy new drapes for our living room at the apartment—they cost $95. I must shorten the drapes in the living room and bedroom at the apartment. Before our sale on August 24, Robert, Ruthann and Eric came to visit and look over certain things that we could not use at Pinecrest. I had quite a few throw rugs thatm had been made, some by my good friend and fellow teacher at Durand, Grace Thoren, or by my grandfather years ago on his loom. My mother's father, J. B. Yohn, made carpet and rugs professionally for years. Ruthann admired one blue throw rug. I was so glad that she had found something she liked that I insisted she take it as a gift from us. That way I'll always know it went to someone I know and who likes it. I washed all the curtains we did not need in our new home and ironed them for our household sale.
We made several trips to the apartment with clothes, dishes, and pans. Somehow, certain cake pans and clothes never got there. I can't explain it except to say they were either thrown away accidentally or placed with things that were sold in bunches off the hayrack and so on.
August 17, Saturday, was the last day that our family of Douglas, Audrey, and girls ate together in the old home, Breezewood. Michele, Dena, Karl Guth, Douglas, and Audrey were with us for supper. We ate in the dining area, using the new gate-leg table Dad had made. Packing was hard on my nerves, especially since I was trying to keep up with some letter writing, Ralph's birthday and their Golden Wedding celebration the last week in August.
On August 18, we loaded our freezer into Douglas' truck to go early morning to Pinecrest. Morrie and Joyce came down in the evening. Next morning, Art Hauger helped us move furniture and so on from the house into a big, 30-foot truck we had rented. Morris, Ardis, and Morrie took Douglas' Ford truck to Pinecrest. Douglas, Audrey, and Michele took the big 30-foot truck with the furniture. Joyce and I went in their car. Around noon, all was unloaded into the apartment and the freezer into the storeroom and connected to electricity. We had a big picnic dinner in our room at the apartment. Michele and Audrey hooked up our VCR. Morrie hooked up the smaller TV in the study and our master bed was set up and made up by the girls.
Back at Breezewood, I did a washing. There were tomatoes and grapes to can. I had saved out the canning equipment and jars. August 21, Douglas helped Morris get things outside which were to be sold. I packed the things out of the bathrooms. People were coming to look at things that were advertised on our sale bill. We had the kitchen carpet cleaned by a cleaning company. Since the furniture was all gone—except that which was to be sold—it was very inconvenient to do regular work in the kitchen as well as elsewhere.
Saturday, August 24, was our sale. Since our spare-room bed was to be sold, Morris and I had to stay overnight with Douglas and Audrey. Some things sold at a high price, and others were practically given away. Lona, Vera, Charles, Ardis, Douglas, Audrey, and Michele all helped a lot. Karl Guth and his parents were there, too, for the sale. Paul and Mary Helen Wade from Sterling were there, too. Mary Helen bought the box with all my Amaryllis flowers in it. They have bloomed well for her during the following years. I am so glad she bought them. The check from our sale was $3,733.
We slept in Douglas and Audrey's home until we had Breezewood ready for the renters to move in. Sunday we spent the day with Charles and Vera. Monday we were cleaning the house and packing what was left or throwing it away. It was hard on my nerves. August 27 I was sick all day in bed. Next day Morris and I took another load to Pinecrest. That was August 28. We gave the keys to our renter, Tracy Macaloon.
We stayed overnight at Pinecrest and tried to get "settled in." One of the first things was to install a phone. The number given to us is 734-7644. Steven, Morrie and Joyce were the first ones to talk with us over the phone. On September 4th, Steven and Kaela came to visit us. They were our first guests. A little later, Wayne and Margaret Keltner came to visit us. Rev. Tim Ritchie-Marten, pastor of the Mt. Morris C.O.B. came during the first week, too.
We knew our grapes at Breezewood were ready to pick for juice. We arranged with Audrey when it would suit her to borrow her kitchen to can them. I had some equipment for canning/ and she furnished the rest. Morris picked the grapes and Audrey helped in getting them stemmed and washed and into the canning kettles. Then she managed all the juice, cooking and canning it on her stove and kitchen cabinet. Audrey is so efficient and managed so well. We never could have done it without her. We appreciated her help immensely. We took 23 quarts of grape juice back to Pinecrest.
On our first Sunday at the Mt. Morris Church of the Brethren, Bill and Marge Powers took us to the "Red Apple" restaurant in Oregon for dinner. We surely appreciated that invitation. We appreciate the church and the Sunday School class here in Mt. Morris. Bill and Marge took us driving around the area, too, that Sunday afternoon. Esther Frey visited that first week, too, and invited us to her home for a 6 p.m. lunch the next Tuesday.
Nurse Sharon Schroeder came to get our health history, too, that first week. We gradually fitted into the life here. It reminds me a lot of dormitory life that I had the two years when I went to college. Of course, I have to get three meals a day here, which I did not have to do at college. Sometimes, when we invite guests here for a meal we register with the dining hall cook to eat in the dining room. It is a pretty room, and the food is good. Eventually, when our freezer gets empty and I no longer care to cook, we will take one meal a day here.
I had to get used to doing our laundry in the laundry room and sharing with others. During nice weather I missed the exercise of hanging clothes on a clothesline! Fanny Carey, who is from Rockford and lives on our floor, was the first apartment visitor that we had. She wanted me to go along with her to the meeting of the Church of the Brethren Women's Fellowship. I went and have been going every month since. The lady in charge of housekeeping called on us. We set up a schedule of cleaning our apartment. Or Friday at 8 a.m. every two weeks (once every other week) the cleaning lady will come to clean and dust our apartment. Every month we get a schedule of events taking place at the village here. Attendance is not compulsory.
We gradually were fitting into the life of apartment living. Then we began thinking and planning to visit Ralph and Ann in La Verne, CA. We planned to visit Morris sister, Katheryne Smith, in Torrance and her children and grandchildren. We used the Travel Agency International of Freeport. We bought two round trip plane tickets or American Airlines for $595. We would leave here Saturday, Oct. 26, leave Torrance Oct 29, get to LaVerne, and visit there until leaving from Ontario Airport on November 6.
We went to a Good Samaritan supper with Larry and Donna Elliott at the Brandywine Restaurant of Dixon. We gave $125. It is really an offering to help the residents of the Manor who can not meet their debts to the Manor.
Later in September I helped the Freeport Ladies Fellowship in their booth at the Sectional Women's Fellowship Bazaar in the Church of the Brethren here in Mt. Morris. September 20 we went to Freeport to church. We got some melons and apples at our farm and then went on to our cabin at Spooner, WI. It was raining as we came near to our cabin. A deer jumped out in front of us. It was killed, and our radiator was injured. The car could still travel O.K. for which we were glad.
While Morris fished, I caught up on my letter writing. Because of the sale I was behind in answering our letters. Douglas and Audrey wrote that Dena was in St. Louis attending Washington University. Morris could not fish for a couple days because of windy weather. September 30, we left for Mt. Morris. We stopped at Douglas' and got carrots out of our garden and picked some apples. Morris went to the Farm Bureau to make arrangements for our insurance to pay for fixing our car's radiator.
Our first telephone bill was $106. We signed our agreement to live here, and Mary Jane gave us back our $57,000 note. No more 7% interest for us!
In October there was a hearing concerning Anita Hill in which she accused Judge Thomas of not being fit to be judge of the Supreme Court because of his actions towards her sexually when she was employed by him. The Senate ruled against Anita Hill and confirmed him (Thomas) for the Supreme Court.
I helped the Freeport Ladies at their Bazaar. Morris was going deer hunting with his bow and arrow.
October 25 we called to verify our plane tickets to California. They were all O.K. Darrell Miller came to pay his rent. October 26 we went to Rockford Airport. We left our car there and flew to O'Hare Airport in the Eagle shuttle plane. Duane and Mary Smith met us at the Los Angeles airport and took us to Kate's home. Kate had all the relation there. Kate served a delicious supper with help from Mary and Jackie.
Next day, Duane and Mary got us and took us out for supper after we had visited Jackie and Jack Bullock. October 28 Jack and Jackie came after us at Kate's to take us to Ralph and Ann's home in LaVerne. They had no trouble finding Ralph and Ann's home. In the evening we saw the pictures of Ralph and Ann's 50th anniversary. During the daytime, either at meals or during an afternoon or evening we were visiting with friends we hadn't seen for a long while or meeting new friends. Ann and Ralph had our time arranged very well. Then according to plans, with Ann doing the driving, we drove to Ventura to visit Frances Miller. She was from our area of Illinois, and we really enjoyed a short visit with her.
We left Francis in time to get to Atascadera, CA, where Char Minnich Humphry was living. Her husband Jim Minnich had been our pastor at Freeport for several years. He had passed away from cancer. After quite awhile she had remarried and seemed quite happy. We stayed overnight with them. The next day we arrived at Jim Hauger's home in Sacramento and stayed overnight with them. We went to the Nazarene Church with Jim and wife. It had been a long time since we had seen Jim. We were glad to be with him and his family even for a short while
We stayed in a Motel 6 on our way back to Hillcrest. We arrived back in LaVerne and Hillcrest in the afternoon. We enjoyed a meal with Mose Diehl who I used to know in Mt. Morris College. Morris knew him from the time they both lived in Iowa. We also visited with Ruth Ogden who was a high school girl when I was a freshman in Mt. Morris College. On November 6, Ralph and Ann took us to Ontario Airport by 8 a.m. We arrived in Mt. Morris about 7 p.m.l It was a very fine vacation. The air travel was very smooth and comfortable. Our visiting was very happy and satisfying. We will remember it for a long while.
We had to catch up on the news at home. A call to Douglas told us that the renters at Breezewood were having trouble with the sewer system. They were not acquainted with rural septic systems. We had the system pumped for $85.
On November 18, Morris got a deer with his bow and arrow from his stand near camp. He took it to get processed at a place on the Pines road. We took it there because it is closer to us than Lena, but we did not like the way it was done.
Our family Thanksgiving this year was with Douglas, Audrey, and girls. Morrie and Joyce were there, too, but not Steven and Susan. The Church of the Brethren in Mt. Morris send volunteers to the Elgin office when called on. Morris went with them in December and other times, too. They help to stuff envelopes, which are then sent to all the churches in the Brotherhood. I do some volunteer visiting to those in the Manor whose health does not permit them to live in the Village any more.
I broke one of my double teeth quite badly. I had
no idea what dentist to call for a date to fix it. I told Mrs. Colvin my
problem. She told me her dentist's name and said I could give her name if I was
asked for a reference or recommendation. I called, and the first question was
if I had a person who would recommend me! I'd never met that situation before.
The cap that he put on my tooth cost $355!! Dr. Runne did it.
Christmas at Morrie's in 1991
We spent Christmas Eve with Ardis as usual. Zandra and Cy were not there and Eric was sick, Douglas's family went with us. Christmas Day we spent with Morrie and family in Racine. Douglas drove our car, and they and we went together. We gave the grandchildren a box of candy and $20. Kaela was there with Steve. We gave her candy and a fancy handkerchief. We came back to Freeport and Morris and I stayed overnight with Ardis.
On the last of the month we got the bill from Mary Jane Warkin of $675 for December.
We went to Douglas and Audrey's home for New Year's, as is our custom. We were glad to be with the girls and Karl Guth. I started getting my hair done by Joanie at "Hair World." On Tuesday and Thursday it's Senior Citizen day for $6 and a perm for $26. Other days, it's 50¢ more. I'm pretty well satisfied.
On January 7th, Douglas and family and Karl Guth came for supper in the dining hall. We showed them around, and in the library Michele played the organ and we all sang. Quite a crowd gathered to listen. Back in our apartment we played Bible Trivia. Karl and girls were sharp with answers. We surely appreciated that visit.
In January, Pastor Tim went to Nigeria to volunteer for several weeks. January 30 is Vera's birthday. They arrived at 10:30 a.m. We ate in the dining hall. While at the table Larry and Mary Jane gave Vera a vase of flowers in recognition of all the work she volunteers to do in the Manor.
There was an article and picture in the Journal Standard paper of Douglas, calling him a "Wizard" and praising his teaching of chemistry and astronomy. Some one of the Village posted it on the bulletin board. This made us feel very good. Then he was asked to give a program here. He chose a program on astronomy with slides. We talked with Douglas about Audrey's last trip to her doctor. Her condition is serious. Her spleen and lymph glands are enlarged. In a month there will be another exam. If no better, she will have to take chemotherapy treatments January 29, 1992.
In January we began to go to game nights. Dick and Ethel Johnson were paired with us that first night for 500, and we've been together ever since on Thursday nights.
Bob Johansen arranged a birthday party for Vera—a surprise for her—on February 1, 1992, Douglas and Audrey went with us, getting to Johansen's at 6 p.m. Vera seemed surprised. Robert seemed to be mostly in charge or responsible since Ruthann had another meeting near Chicago but was able to get to Freeport by 6 p.m. After a delicious meal, the birthday cake was brought in. It had 80 little candles on it, and all were burning brightly—a beautiful sight (it sent out heat, too!). Later we all went into their parlor and sang while Ruthann played the piano.
We were guests of Esther Frey on February 9, 1992. I furnished the desert. Carl and Doreen Meyers were her guests.
Each Tuesday evening Esther Frey taught a Bible class on Romans. The classes lasted six weeks. We attended it every evening, I think.
Douglas gave his program in the all-purpose room on first floor of our Village Saturday night, February 15. Douglas and Audrey, Ardis, Verick, and Bill Hare were the guests. There was a gift offering for him for the observatory.
My sewing machine needed attention. We took it to Freeport. It needed cleaning, timing, and oiling,a which cost $42.
On February 23, Dorothy Peoples and Lawrence Scott visited us. We showed them around. We really enjoyed their visit. There was another item in the February 28 Journal Standard about the Jets Observatory at Freeport. On March 5, Larry came to interview us for an article he wants to print in an advertising leaflet. Later, Mary Jane took a picture of us. In March, Morris bowled for the Good Samaritan Fund. He had thirteen sponsors for that bowling affair at $10 apiece. There were about forty sponsors for other bowlers, l think Morris had the most sponsors.
On March 12 we helped Duane and Linda Simler move to their new home north of the roller rink on Route 20 west of Freeport. They had purchased the roller rink and hoped to get it into business again.
March 31, Audrey started chemotherapy with pills. After 6 months she will have another X-ray. We surely feel sorry that she suffers so much. We are asking our friends and relatives to pray for her healing. Audrey gets so sick after her treatments. She has to wear a wig because of her hair loss.
On April 5, Thelma and Elmer Kaufman accepted an invitation to have lunch with us and to play 500. We asked Ardis and Lona to come down, too, when convenient for all to play 500 and take lunch with us.
When Vera volunteers on the first Monday of each month and trims finger nails for residents of the Manor or Village, she visits us when she can spare the time.
By the middle of April, Morris had our area in the garden staked out. He also made some bookcases at the Church of the Brethren in Mt. Morris.
Morris planted onions and lettuce mid-April and transplanted rhubarb. On Easter, April 19, Douglas and family came down for dinner. We ate in the dining hall. Dena left soon after lunch for St. Louis. Michele will leave later for the area around York Center to look for employment. Dale and Alice came later and stayed for supper.
On April 22, Douglas had tickets for "Show Time" at the high school. Besserts, we, and Douglas went, but Audrey was too sick. She was taking chemotherapy again.
April 20, McCullochs came for supper in the dining hall. We had a nice time playing 500. In May we were guests of Larry and Donna Elliott. We surely enjoyed being with them.
Early in May, Ethel and Lyle Leverton visited us. They wanted to see our apartment. We took them to the ice cream social going on outside. Vera and Charles were there, too.
In May 1992,1 bought a new lens for my left eye for $80 from Dr. Alberts in Freeport, At Mothers and Daughters banquet at the Mt. Morris C.O.B., Donna Elliott and I went as Mother and Daughter.
Douglas said that Audrey's last test shows that her bone marrow has cancer cells. This was bad news!
The men of the Freeport church were working on camp in May. The women helped, too. Jane and Wendy came for me at 11:45 a.m. to take me to camp for dinner. Iris and Mildred were the cooks. The meal was very good. I appreciated it a lot. May 10 was Mother's Day. Douglas was still at camp. Morris and I went to Freeport to church and sat with Audrey. By dinnertime, Douglas was home from camp. Besserts were with us for dinner at Audrey and Douglas' home.
May 13 was Douglas' birthday. We called to wish him a Happy Day. Audrey had gone for a blood test. The count was way down. She could not take chemotherapy.
Carl Myers came to see us and for dinner. He was asking f2or a promise of money over a term of five vears, called Vision of the 90's. We promised him we would give $1,000 a year for five years.
May 15, 1992, Dena graduated Cum Laude from the School of Engineering in Applied Science from Washington University of St. Louis with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. May 17, Michele graduated from Notre Dame with a Degree of Master of Business Administration, With Honors.
May 18, Steven had arranged by phone for us to meet him and Kaela on the steps of the Capitol Building in Madison, WI, at 8:30 a.m. He gave me a birthday gift, a blue flannel jacket lined with pockets. It was very nice. We had breakfast together. Then Kaela had an important meeting, and Steven took Morris and me to an arboretum in Madison. We had a nice time.
Katheryne Smith, Jackie, and Jack Bulloch were visiting Ardis on May 19. We stopped in to see them, and we all went to the Golden Corral for dinner. We asked Audrey if she would like to go with us, too, and she did feel good enough to go. We were happy for that.
On May 20 we left for the cabin to be there over my birthday. Morris put the pier in the first thing. On May 21, Morris took us to the Open Kitchen for my birthday dinner.
We hoped Douglas and Audrey could come to the cabin to be with us. We received word that her doctor said not to leave Freeport—but they came anyway. We were glad to see them when them came on June 4. Audrey said she could rest in the cabin as well as at home. Her blood tested very low. We left for Pinecrest the next day, getting home on June 5.
On June 17, Paul and Mary Helen Wade and Art and Doris Hauger were here for supper in the dining hall. We enjoyed being together with our cousins. On June 23, Galen and Thelma, cousins living in Lakeland, FL, came to visit us. We planned a cousins' reunion in the home of Paul and Mary Helen Wade on a farm near Sterling. Around twenty plus cousins got together on June 21. We'll probably never do it again.
June 27, 1992, Douglas, Audrey, and Dena left for No. Carolina, where Dena plans to start work at the University of North Carolina in Raleigh. She will do research in cement at first, she said. July 1st Morris started work on a new drain bed system for the septic tank at Breezewood. July 4th, Roger and Ethel McCulloch, Charles and Vera Johansen, Douglas and Audrey, and Morris and I ate our 4th of July meal in Johansen's dining room.
July 5, Willard and Olive Gingrich came to visit, tour Pinecrest, and Camp Emmaus, and have lunch here. On July 9, Morris' birthday, we left for Morrie and Joyce's home over night. Next day we left for the cabin in Wisconsin. We stayed until July 19. Audrey's count was down then, too, so they did not come this time, and we went through Freeport on our way home to see them.
July 28, we signed up to stay at Econolodge for August 16 so we could attend the Johansen reunion in Bloomington, IL. We planned to go with Charles and Vera to Helen and Martin Johansen's 60th Wedding Anniversary celebration.
In August, Audrey could not take chemotherapy.
On August 7, Ken and Margaret Myers came for 11:30 dinner in the dining room. Johnsons ate with us. Myers and we played 500 in the afternoon. On August 10 we called Douglas and Audrey and found out that her blood count was lower than the last time. We were wondering when we would get an answer to all the prayers that were being prayed for her remission of this dreadful disease.
Our garden was keeping me busy freezing cauliflower, green beans, and broccoli.
Tuesday, August 11, Thelma Kaufman and Ethel Genandt came for the noon meal, which we ate in the dining hall. We played 500 and also had a good visit.
We dug almost a bushel of potatoes from our garden.
On August 13, another friend who had lived in Freeport, but now works in Tennessee, came to visit us. Donna Lizer, who had been in Freeport for a funeral, stopped by to visit us on her way home.
On August 15, Vera and Charles stopped for us to go with them to Bloomington, IL, for Helen and Martin's 60th anniversary celebration. Helen is my cousin. In the afternoon, pictures were taken and lots of visiting done. In the evening, we ate at Bishops and enjoyed visiting and recalling memories and taking more pictures. We stayed at Econolodge, Saturday morning, after breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, we said good-bye to all and were home by 2:00 p.m.
Ralph and Ann visited their son Dan and wife Karen in August. Dan and Karen Hauger were newly married and lived in Seattle, WA. It happened that Morrie and Joyce were visiting Steven in Seattle at the same time. I had given Morrie and Joyce Dan's telephone number. By telephone they arranged a time to get together. Morrie had his camera and took some good pictures. Kathy Hauger was there, too. It was nice that these Hauger cousins could get together. I surely would have liked to be with them. We had to be satisfied by looking at the pictures when Morrie and Joyce got home.
Audrey's count was still down, but she was given one half dose of chemotherapy. The last of August we were still harvesting from our garden and giving some produce away to Village residents. On August 31, we told Larry Elliott we wanted to make a charitable gift on the annuity plan to Pinecrest Village in the amount of $20,000.
In the first part of September, Audrey was sick again with cramps and a sore back. I wasn't sleeping very well, and my colitis seemed to be coming back.
On September 5, Ruth and Carl Summers from Elgin and Art and Doris Hauger called on us for a nice visit. Ruth would like to move down here.
Peaches were on the ground in the hay field where we had planted 36 peach trees several years ago at Breezewood. I canned 19 quarts.
Audrey was sick again, and Douglas, too, was sick. On October 1, the doctor found Audrey's white cell count up a little. We were all surely glad!
On our way to close the cabin in '92 we stopped at cousins Ray and Hazel Firebaugh in Owatona, MN. Fishing was bad at Island Lake, and I got a sore throat. So after only five days we came back to Pinecrest, just in time to get a flu shot. During October, Perot decided to run for President again.
On October 5, Audrey rode with Zandra and Cy Carothers, her cousins, to the hospital in Madison. Her blood count was still down. The doctor took some bone marrow from her. The results he would call or send to her.
Michele liked her work at Cooper Industries in Houston, TX. She doesn't seem to mind traveling a lot, even going outside of the U.S.A. Dena was doing fine with her research work in the University of North Carolina at Raleigh. During mid-October, we were still bringing in lettuce and broccoli from our garden.
October 19 is an Important Date because Douglas called with news about Audrey. She heard from the doctor in Madison that she has no cancer cells in her bone marrow. She is in remission. We are really glad! It is an answer to prayers of her many friends and relatives!!!
Zandra has cancer and must go through the same process as Audrey did—surgery and chemotherapy. Morris told Pastor Donna about Audrey's remission and she told the church audience. Vera wrote saying when Audrey told the Freeport Church, they all clapped.
On November 3, Darrell and Maxine Miller came down for dinner and paid their rent again. Bill Clinton won the presidential vote. Thirty-one of the fifty states voted for him.
On November 7, we took Howard and Mary Elizabeth Garrison to Dixon to the C.O.B. District Meeting. There was a good supper, and Douglas and Audrey sat with us.l
Those who live in the Village here and can drive help take others to the doctor and other important places or errands. Morris is called on many times. Alice Stees and Gloria visit us when they come to visit Mary Jane Stees in the Manor.
Morris went hunting often this hunting season but did not get a deer with either the gun or arrow.
We attended my cousin Elery Shank's 80th birthday party in Polo November 21.
On Thanksgiving Day we invited our immediate family here. Dena and Steven were absent, and we surely missed them. Michele showed us her pictures of her time in Italy on business for Cooper Industries. Michele used her weekends for sight seeing. It was Susie's first time to visit us in Pinecrest Village.
On December 3, our U.S. troops were preparing to go to Somalia in Africa to feed the starving natives. It was dangerous because the natives have guns and are in continuous civil fighting.
When Morris has time he works on the cabins at camp. Bill Hare wants to change the bed arrangements for both boys and girls cabins. By mid-December, U.S. troops were in Africa. At first things seemed peaceful. The TV pictures of the hungry people, especially children, were horrifying.
I kept busy making candy to give to all the grandchildren and some extra. I used empty card boxes to put the candy in. With the help of friends, I had enough to fill and give away. We wrapped and gave thirteen boxes. Vivian and Bob Martin visited us during the Holidays.
We had our traditional Christmas with Ardis and family in her home at which we opened Kate's package of gifts for all. That makes a happy evening, and we call Kathryne and tell her our Thanks. Zandra and Eric were absent.
Christmas, 1992 — The Women
Christmas, 1992 — The Men
December 24 we went to the traditional breakfast at O'Neals with Douglas, Audrey, and girls. December 25 we spent Christmas Day at home and ate dinner in the dining hall. Morris and I couldn't remember when we were ever alone on Christmas Day since we were married. But Charles and Vera saved the day by calling to say they had the same situation. So they came here. We played Rook and had lunch in the evening and were happy! December 26 we drove to Freeport for Douglas and family. The six of us arrived at Morrie and Joyce's home at 11:15. We had a good dinner and nice gifts, too. All were present, including Kaela. A Happy Day!
On January 1, 1993, Morris and I went to Douglas' (as usual on that date) to watch the Rose Parade and have dinner. Karl Guth was there. We stopped at Ardis' on our way home.
January 3, we had Larry and Donna Elliott in our home for evening lunch. Esther Frey visits here quite often when she is in Mt. Morris. We enjoy so much the times when Charles and Vera Johansen can visit us and play Rook. Helen Duffy had a couple bad falls while living in Apartment 350 in our Village. Mary Jane Warkin thought it best for Helen to give up her apartment and live in the Manor where care is more available. She has Parkinson's disease and suffers much.
Our Sunday School class at Church is trying to find a better way of selecting teachers. We hope we can get a schedule that gives the teacher at least two weeks to prepare. We study the Messenger every third Sunday.
Our new renters at Breezewood, Scott Welle and family, please Douglas very much. We are glad for that.
Iraq kept on making trouble by not destroying their war machine as the treaty states. Also Saddam bombs the Kurds who live in Northern Iraq and bombs other installations, which are off limits to him.
Helen Duffy is sad and troubled since her transition to the Manor. Her children come and are helping her clean out her apartment. I try to visit her a couple times during the week.
January 20, 1993. We are glad Bill Clinton is our President. We listened and viewed his Inauguration. He is our 42nd President, is 46 years old and his was the 52nd Presidential Inauguration. The Republicans are trying to find fault with those he chooses for cabinet positions, and so on. Trouble is mounting in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Somalia.
Esther Masterson became a regular resident of the Manor, too, because of falls she was having in her apartment here.
Neither of our sons could arrange to go with Morris to Father and Sons banquet at Church, so Morris took three men from the Village here as his guests.
We still do most of our grocery shopping in Freeport, trying to do it when we have other necessary things to do in Freeport. We try to keep in touch with Roger and Ethel McCulloch. They have both had sickness and surgery in the hospital. They seem better now and invited Johansens and us as their guests on February 4th. We spent the afternoon playing Skipbo.
Johansens were here January 28th as our dinner guests in the dining hall, celebrating Vera's birthday. We played Rook in the evening. Douglas and Audrey took us to a high school play called "Rumors" in February. We enjoyed it.
On February 5th, Grace Thoren died in her home at Durand. She was 86 years old. A nephew. Ed Bliss, Gladys' son, had been living with her and helping her.
Joyce and Dad Skiing, February, 1993
Morrie and Joyce came to visit us Saturday, February 6. We ate in the dining hall. Then they played pool with Dad. Before they left, I served apple crisp, tea, and coffee. They are going to France in July.
Kaufmans came to visit Sunday, February 7. We played 500. Then the men played pool. Later, I served lunch. They left at 7:30 p.m..
Four or five of us women get a ride once a month to the Women's Fellowship meeting in the Mt. Morris C.O.B.. Their program is generally good. Once a week for seven weeks Morris and I are taking a Bible study class in Esther Frey's home with her as teacher.
I appreciated Morris' valentine to me in February—a noon meal in the dining hall. Morris has our income tax made out early and sent in. We hope it will not be questioned. Morris has decided on a project in the shop which will take quite a while to finish, It is to make a nice end table with a drawer and shelf underneath out of our own walnut lumber for each grandchild—a wedding gift perhaps?
June 7, 1993—Morris and I have passed our 59th wedding anniversary milestone, and Morris Wm. volunteered to place my whole autobiography in book form. In the beginning, Douglas and Audrey helped me with the mechanics of typing and so on. I had only one year in high school typing, and that on big clumsy machines. I was glad to have a more modern one for printing the first fifty years of my story. Even so, Audrey helped to answer some problems that came up. Then, after typing all pages in triplicate so each family had a copy, I wanted to place in pictures, so Douglas helped do that. Then I thought, back in 1984, that I was through.
But in 1989, I was persuaded to add another five years, since that was our 55th wedding anniversary year. I did it on the same typewriter and often needed help from Audrey. I really thought I was through then.
This year, 1993, we've passed our 59th anniversary, so Morris J said he wanted me to write down some events of the last four years and bring these "Memories" up to date. I decided I could do it, especially since we've made a drastic change in our living space—from a large country home to a smaller, two-bedroom apartment in a retirement complex, Pinecrest Village, in Mt. Morris, IL. It is a drastic change, and we are gradually getting acclimated, but it has been uncomfortable for me at times.
Morris Wm. has had experience in writing books—three editions of his energy book and two computer science texts. He insisted on putting my story in a book format. It will contain better printing and pictures and some blank space in the back to add items that are important to remember. So, when all is considered—this is truly a family story! Today is June 14, 1993.
Florence Hauger Firebaugh