Way back in August of 1963 I was a young newly wed living in a small town called Port Vue. I was twenty years old, and didn't care if I lived in one room as long as I was with the man I loved, Ron.
As it was we lived in an apartment building, one of many called Westwood Apartments. It was on the first floor, a cute little place, with a nice size bedroom, small bath, one huge room that consisted of the living room and dining room. The kitchen could only fit one person at a time. But it was our first place and we loved it. We made friends rather quickly with the other couples and would spend evenings playing cards or just hanging out. Our one neighbor, Donna, made the best fried chicken ever. She coated the chicken in crushed crackers and fried it in peanut oil. My mouth still waters just thinking about it. The family across from us were from the South and Fran, well she made the best Pecan Pie north of the Mason Dixon Line.
I hated to iron, and one day all three of us were discussing ironing. I told them I had at least two bushel baskets full of clothes to be ironed. Well, that's all I had to say, they left my place and came back with their ironing boards and irons, and we had an ironing party. What a fun time we had that afternoon and it all got done too!
When I had our first born, I was such a newby that I didn't have the baby formula made ahead of time. Little Ron would be screaming his head off and while holding him, I tried to make the formula. Here came the girls to the rescue, they heard him crying and came to check - they pitched right in, one sterilized the bottles, while the other made the formula and in no time, my baby was content.
I have never forgotten them, they were the best and they taught me so much. I learned if you peel potatoes and let them set in cold water they will not turn brown, how to make Fried chicken and Pecan Pie. How to laugh at my mistakes and how to accept their generosity.
Ron at that time worked in the Westinghouse Astronuclear office located in Large, PA. He was in a car pool, so for two weeks his pride and joy, 1956 Chevy standard shift became mine! The Chevy was Ron's other woman. He loved that car, and was very proud of it.
I for the life of me, could not comprehend how to drive a stick shift, no matter how many times the love of my life showed me.
Port Vue consisted of nothing but hills, and more hills. The very worse place to learn how to drive a standard, or the very best if you caught on quickly, I did not.
I was okay driving, as long as I did not have to stop or shift gears. Heaven to murgatory if I had to stop on a hill, I had to have the clutch pushed in and my foot on the brake. When it came time to go, one of three things would happen.
One, I would let out the clutch two fast, and the car would shake and jerk all over than quit! Two, I would give it to much gas and peel rubber. And three, I didn't let the clutch out far enough, and the car would start to drift backwards, I would have to push on the clutch and slam on the brake,and heaven forbid if there was a car behind me, I would roll down my window and wave him around so I would not end up hitting his car.
I thought nothing of driving the Chevy, even with all the obstacles I faced, I was young, and fearless
In September of 1964, I became a mom to a beautiful baby boy with blonde hair and blue eyes. I could not believe that I produced this wonderful little human being. We did not have car seats back then, so I would lay my precious little bundle on the front seat of the Chevy, and away we would go. Sometimes I needed more than two hands, one to stop my baby from falling off the seat, and the other to shift gears. But we always made it to our destination, where my Mom had fresh coffee and lunch waiting.
God watched over us, but not the Chevy, because I stripped the gears in the rear end trying to drive it! Ron was really upset with me, it cost us a lot of money we didn't have to have it repaired. But he still let me drive it and as time went by I got the hang of it.
(My writing assignment for Memoir writer's group)