Monthly Archives: October 2008

“I Was Not Pampered”

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Babies eat, sleep and have dirty diapers, but not necessarily in that order.  Teresa’s bottom was covered with nice white cloth diapers that had to be laundered on a daily basis.  I  had a plastic diaper pail in the bathroom and it was filled with water and 2 tablespoons of Clorox.  The poo poo was emptied into the comode and all the diapers went into the diaper pail awaiting washing.  Pampers?  What was that?

I was lucky enough to have a dryer that Basil’s sister gave us and I didn’t have to hang my clothes outside. It seemed like the washer and dryer were in constant motion.  Baby clothes all washed seperately.

Cloth diapers were dried and folded in so one pin could be penned in the front or longways with pins on the side.  I always took great pride in making sure my baby had snow white diapers.  Babies wore plastic pants over the diapers too keep them from leaking.  I never left the rubber pant on in the summer or a diaper rash would appear.

Diapers, even in the 60’s were rather expensive and you couldn’t afford to buy dozens and dozens.  Most usually three dozen would be a good amount to have on hand.  After all, you would be washing everyday.

In 2009, babies still eat, drink and sleep, but they are more Pampered now.  What more can I say!!

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Let’s Rock Around the Clock!!!

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We are now home from the hospital and ready to be the best parents in the world.  We think we are very able to be a parent, feed a baby and get some sleep every night.  Oh, boy are we in for a surprise.  Our life has just changed forever.

Bottle feeding was really the way to go back in the 60’s…so we bottle fed.  All the bottles and equipment had to be sterilized, formula mixed for the day and you would do the same thing the next day.  Teresa was supposed to be on a four hour schedule, but she didn’t really know it.  She was hungry in three hours and I would be flexible and feed about every three and half hours.

They call it reflux now, but it was colic in the 60’s.  Doctor’s didn’t really prescribe the gas drops or reflux meds and they may not have even been invented.  A baby with the colic cries a lot and there is little you can do to help.  Basil and I would take turns holding and rocking, in hopes of giving the comfort the baby needed.  Dr. Shawkey tried a different formula, but it didn’t help much.  Poor baby!!  This went on for two months and MawMaw Woodrum solved the problem.  She babysat one day and she gave Teresa regular homogenized milk instead of the soy formula and WALA Wala Bang Bang….it worked.  Teresa took her bottle, went down for a nap and slept for several hours.  No crying!!!  We tried this through several more feedings and NO CRYING.  I finally called Dr. Shawkey to tell him what we did and was afraid he would get angry.  He said, “Well, I wouldn’t have switched her this soon, but it is working”. 

We all began to get some good zzzzzz’s once the colic settled down.  I loved holding this beautiful gift from God and rocking her to sleep.  Rocking took up some of my time, but I have wonderful memories.  I would rub her little black curly hair as she drifted off to sleep.  I would sometimes let her little fingers hold my index finger and feel the grip of those tiny pink fingers.  She would suck on her “binky” with sweet slobbers running down her mouth.  I would lift her to my lips and plant a love kiss on her warm tiny cheeks.  I never know I could love anything as much as I loved you.

A Gift From Heaven

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Yes, on October 23, 1964 our long awaited for baby girl came into this world.  All the pain, morning sickness and discomfort were worth the gift that arrived.  Another life begins and it is our responsibility to take care of this bundle of joy.

Back in the 60’s you stayed in the hospital for about three days after delivery.  I think you still need that much time in the hospital, but the insurance companies think different.  It was almost time to leave the hospital and I began dressing Teresa in a pink and white outfit that Granny Woodrum bought her.  I thought she was the prettiest baby ever.  Of course, every other mother thought the same thing about their baby.

This baby that was born on October 23rd is 44 years old tomorrow.  She and I had some quite moments with just the two of us this evening.  I bought her a birthday gift and had it in a Sponge Bob gift bag.  The bag is for Zoe, my grandchild and Teresa’s gift is inside.  Some things turn out okay, even with all the mistakes of learning how to be a new mother.

Nine Months of Morning Sickness

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I thought morning sickness ended around the third month.  Wrong.  Morning, evening and night sickness lasted nine months.  Nothing helped.  I would go to church and this woman would wear Avon Topaz perfume and I would have to leave the service and head for the bathroom.  The smell of bacon was an automatic “gagger”.  Meatloaf was a trigger.  Oh, well…it only lasted nine months.

The day finally arrived when I could feel serious contractions and something told me a blessed event would be taking place.  We called Dr. Crites and he told us to head for CAMC.  It was a 25 mile drive and it seemed more like 200 miles.  I didn’t know then, but the birth was 20 hours away from happening.

Things were so different in the 60’s. There were no prenatal classes and I sure didn’t know what I was supposed to do.  The husband could only be with you for a few minutes and they had to go to the waiting room.  I was all alone in a room and I was in labor.  I suppose nature began to take it course and after about 12 hours, I was given a spinal and taken to the delivery room.

All the sickness and pain made the next phase worth it.  I will never forget looking in the mirror above me and seeing the precious gift that God was giving us.  You didn’t know the baby’s sex until it was delivered and that made it even more exciting.  I could see the black curly hair and the doctor say it was a girl.  The love of a mother instantly entered my heart that day and it has never left. 

Our little girl was born on October 23, 1964 and  weighed 9lb and 6oz She was beautiful.  I couldn’t wait to hold her and check out her fingers and toes.  She was named Teresa Lynn and I still love her to this day.

Original Fashion Design

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Most communities in the 60’s had a person that was a seamstress.  Vesta Lawson had made clothes for me when I started to school and all through high school.  She is now going to make me some maternity clothes.  Vesta’s husband died and she and her son’s moved into a big white farm house with her mother and sister, Alma.  The house always seemed creepy and the floors squeaked when you walked down the hall.  The back porch had a water well and a big black hand pump on top.  I always liked to stop and get a drink of the cold, cold water before I went in the house.

The little old women were usually in the kitchen cooking and the smell of cornbread drifted all through the house.  They usually ate what they raised in their garden and what they canned from the year before.  Vesta and Alma’s mother, Ms. Griffith, was in her ninty’s.  She always wore a long dress and her hair was pulled up into a bun.  Alma always smelled like Clorox or Magic as it was known then.  I never knew why….

Vesta would always have you walk down the hallway to a rear bedroom to be measured for your clothes.  Vesta had very little, but she was a genius at fitting and designing.  She could just measure you and come up with an outfit without a pattern.  They always looked great.  No one in the 60’s would have even thought of showing their stomach in public.  The tops were a smock and the skirts had a hole cut out to allow growth of the baby. 

Vesta had two son’s how lived with her in that old white farm house.  Glen was an older son, that was mentally impaired and was about the same age as my dad.  He couldn’t really talk very well and was always upstairs when I was there.  Her other son was Cecil and he was older than me and always had a studder when he spoke.

Memories of the farm house, the old women with white hair, the squeeky floors, the well with a hand pump and new original fashion design are a very good way to end the day.

Something Is Missing

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Okay, we have young love, a new home, but something is missing.  I am thinking about having a baby and we are doing everything we know to do, but it isn’t working.  We just got busy working on the house and I just forgot about getting pregnant. 

About a month later, I came down with what seemed to be the flu.  I was very sick with upset stomach and it just wouldn’t go away.  This was the beginning of a “flu” that was going to last for 9 months.  My doctor confirmed I was pregnant and the baby would be due in October.  I was so excited and so scared at the same time.  There was not a day that I wasn’t sick and actually had to quit my job.  I had committed to working for three years (until the furniture was paid off), but I was too sick to work.

In looking back, I don’t know how we did it.  Money was short.  We were young, but God was with us.  We both had Christian backgrounds and a trust in God that would last our lifetime.  We did what we could and left the rest to God.

The front bedroom would now be a nursery.  Did I say nursery?  Yes.  I am so excited.  I have no furniture for a babies room.  Don’t worry.  My aunt Neva McClure had finished using her crib and she said I could use it.  See the need was supplied.  Basil found a beautiful wardrobe and dresser and I painted it white and it looked so cute. I have never let go of this piece of furniture.  It is in my sister’s storage building.

It was a custom to pass baby clothes down to the cousins, nieces and siblings.  Aunt Naomi had all sorts of newborn clothes that came my way.  Someone had a baby shower and it seemed like everyone knew just what I needed.  I put the clothes in the nursery and would just stand and look and wonder if I would be a good mother.  I wondered if I would know what to do if the baby cried.  Would my baby look like the Hudson’s or the Woodrum’s side of the family?  I just prayed the baby would be healthy.  Will it be a boy or a girl?  Time will tell.

Our First House in Yawkey, WV

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It is important that I let my mind go back to the ’60 and write as the memories come to me.  It seems like yesterday, but it has been around 45 years ago.  I can still remember how excited we were to move into our house and begin our journey.  My parents lived about a mile away and many aunt’s and uncle’s were near also.  Oh, this is going to be good.

When we got married we bought enough furniture for a living room, bedroom and kitchen.  This house had more rooms and we didn’t have enough furniture. It really didn’t matter to us that we would have some empty rooms.  Everything doesn’t have to be perfect when you are in love, have faith and are adventuresome.

I was always very creative in “making do” with food or decorating.  I think I invented “Design on a Dime” before it ever became a television show.  It was exciting for Basil to find an old chair in Gene Byard Used Car office that was covered in silver paint.  I had the paint removed and right there on the back was stamped Senate Chamber of WV.  A rare find that is still in my possession and cherished as piece of historical furniture.

I was 20 and he was 22 and nothing could stop us now.  Each day was an adventure.

Beginning My Adventures

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I have experienced blog block and a summer off.  Now it is time to begin the journey again.

We had been married about 2 1/2 years and decided it would be good to buy a house.  We had no money saved, but we were sure we could buy a house.  There was a nice house with almost an acre of land that was for sale in Yawkey, WV.  Guess what?  We bought a house in 1963 for $6500.00. The owner did not want any money down and we just paid him each month.  See….our life began as an adventure.

Oh, this cottage was so beautiful to us.  The house consisted of three bedrooms, living room, family room, kitchen, laundry room and bath.  There were no sub floors, but the floors were sanded and painted with a gym seal that made them glisten.  We had to do some painting, but the house was in move in condition.

I still worked in Charleston, WV and the 25 mile drive would be a group of women that carpooled.  There were no interstates and we would slide around the curves in the winter weather.  There were six of us in the car and we would laugh all the way to work.  The Governor at the time was Underwood and I thought he was the most handsome man alive.

Our first little brown house will remain our home for 17 years.  My children were conceived in this house, they grew up in this house and some of their best memories today relate to this house.  Picture in your mind an acre of green grass that is mowed and flowers all around.  In the middle of the acre is a brown shingled house with a tin roof, tin under penning, and a large front porch with a swing.

I will begin the journey in the brown house in my next post.