Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Winter Weather

We had a cold, snowy winter in Stanford.  I was advised to fit the car with a head bolt heater.  This device places an electrode in the oil pan and when plugged into 110 volts A. C. it  warmed up the oil and allow the engine to turn over easier.  These are used in Montana were it gets below minus 20 degrees in the winter,  It is the same process we used on the old ranch truck with the pan of burning ashes placed under the oil pan but a head bolt heater is a safer process.

Our plan was to go to the ranch for Thanksgiving and Saint John for Christmas.  As we left for the ranch two days before Thanksgiving we encountered a snow storm that was blowing horizontal across the highway.  It created the condition known as “white out”.  It was impossible to see where you were going and the only way to stay on the highway was to roll down the window and watch the edge of the road.  That made it very cold, so we pulled off the road as soon as possible.  As the storm subsided and evening came it improved visibility tremendously.  It made us late in arriving at mom’s home, but she was expecting us and it worked out fine.  We all went to the ranch the next day for a big thanksgiving dinner.  That was the first time Marie had met all my family.  Dorothy had started community college and was going to teach after two years.  On leaving, to return to Stanford we went out to Mary and John’s ranch to see them and Mark, and we asked about the expected baby.  Mary said all was going fine and the new baby was expected in mid December.   By driving north from there to Jordan and taking the east/west highway through the center of the state it took us directly to Stanford.  This early snow storm put white frosting on all the mountains around Stanford and stayed that way for the rest of the winter.

I had a chance to reassure grandpa while at the ranch that I would be towing the Ford back to him from Cheney in the spring.  He was relieved as he supposed it had been traded in on the new car.

Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 2, Roles and Responsibilities of an Educator", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Special Visit

“Surprise!, Surprise!”; Eva, Maries mother, called out as she came up the walk.  We had noticed the familiar car slowly pull around the corner and park at the end of the walk.  Marie let out a gasp and started straightening up the front room.  I went to the front door and let them in.  Arnie was all grins and Eva was talking a mile a minute.  Their excuse for driving over to see us just a month and a half since we left their place was, “to bring over a few things you had forgotten”.  That explanation didn’t hold water with Marie.  She suspected as I did that they wanted to check on how we were living.  They had rented a motel room down by the highway entrance and had looked around town some before coming by to surprise us.  Marie bluntly asked how long they were going to stay.  Arnie replied they would like to look around at the country a little so probably a couple days.

Eva wanted to unload the car which held a wealth of wedding presents.  This changed the focus of the discussion as the thrill of opening presents took over.  All of Marie’s relatives had left their gifts with Eva.  Because of the late notice, they had no time to purchase a present and bring it to the wedding.  It was getting toward evening so I asked Marie if she wanted me to start dinner.  Eva announced she had put together a little something that was in the ice chest in the car.  She asked if I would mind bringing it in.  We soon had a cold casserole in the oven and plates of home made bread, vegetables, and cookies on the table.  I put on some coffee water and as we finished the unwrapping of presents the casserole warmed and filled the kitchen with mouth watering fragrance.

I could tell Arnie was enjoying his road trip.  He related a conversation he had with a service station attendant.  He had asked, jokingly what all the white things were out in some of the fields, knowing full well they were boulders.  The service station attendant, only slightly younger than Arnie, responded, that they were fertilizer.  Then Arnie wanted to know why there was a worker in one of the fields, picking up the fertilizer.  The attendant was quick to respond that the guy that owned that field must be gone and that worker is stealing his fertilizer.  Both men had a good laugh over their exchange.

It was the weekend, so we went for a ride with them and visited along the way.  I felt comfortable with them now.  I sensed they had decided we were going to make it, and the community and residents weren’t too different from Saint John.  They packed and left early Monday morning for Washington State.

It was a delicious meal, enjoyed by almost all.  When I glanced at Marie she looked uncomfortable and I had to excuse ourselves to take her back to the apartment.  I’m not sure what every one thought about our quick exit.  Our thanks were expressed as was regret we had to leave so suddenly.  There may have been speculation that Marie was pregnant.  I felt very sure that wasn’t the problem as we were taking measures to delay a couple years until we were more settled and could afford a baby.  However, it evolved that it was longer than that before we were able to have our first child

Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 2, Roles and Responsibilities of an Educator", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill. 

Monday, June 1, 2015



Early one morning we were awaken by the sound of sirens and flashing lights.  Coming through our many windows with sheet curtains, the lights painted the walls of our apartment with moving hues of red.  We scrambled out of bed to see what was going on and if we were in any kind of danger.  All activity was centered on the building directly across the street.  It was a church, a Lutheran church I believe.  We had been laying low, not interested in joining a church just yet.  When we did make that commitment we would like it to be a serious decision, one we would plan to keep over time.  We discussed my job, this location, the pay and future of Industrial Arts in my assignment.   The conclusion was we might look for a better job next year.

Now that the church was burning, it seemed like a sign, but I think not.  Finally the fire was brought under control and gradually the men and equipment moved away.  We got back in bed and tried to sleep, but it was difficult after all the excitement.   I had classes that morning so couldn’t sleep in.  When the alarm clock went off I was about to nod off.  Everyone at school was excited about the big fire.  I guess it didn’t happen too often.  I looked at the church when I left the apartment, but couldn’t see a lot of damage.  The story at school was that the floor was being refinished and an upright sander had collected the sanding dust which had high varnish content, and it hadn’t been dumped at the end of the day.  The fire started by spontaneous combustion.  I used the fire and its cause as discussion in my Industrial Arts class.  It made a good lesson and the students showed interest.

Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 2, Roles and Responsibilities of an Educator", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.