Time for fun
In the meantime I was invited to attend a picnic in the woods near a lake. Clear Lake was situated on the White Pass to Seattle and Tacoma. The picnic would be attended by Don’s wife’s family in most part. I had just bought a 16 MM movie camera which I usually took every place I went. I took snippets of film here and there. In the yard of one of the relatives, I was invited to go along. They needed an extra car anyway to haul an old couple. When I got there in the woods the party was already going with some beer being consumed. I took a few feet of film of the event. Then I spotted a tall thin Blond who sat on the hood of my new car. I took a few feet of film of her guzzling from a big quart of —hey! 7up. Don’s wife came over and introduced us. It was rumored that I was a “woman hater”. This tall thin blonde was a cousin in this bunch of relatives. I had seen her picture in Don’s ex-wife’s uncle’s house. She was much too pretty to go for me I thought then. This tall thin Blonde slid off the hood of my car and took my hand. I had to operate the camera with one hand now. We started walking with Don’s wife flitting around us like a puppy. There was a lake, dammed up for irrigation and fish purposes. It had a wide walkway so we crossed the dam and just kept on walking and getting acquainted. We followed a trail which seemed would never end. We went thru swamps and brush looking for a place we could cross the stream which fed the lake. I finally saw a place where the rapids would allow me to cross. I tried it and made it to the other side. I laid my camera on an old stump then came back to help this tall thin blonde across the very cold water. This day was June 22nd of 1948.
She was afraid to cross. Near where we’d cross was an old pine tree which the tall thin blond leaned against. I gathered my courage and I kissed her right there against the tree. She didn’t fight. I call it the “Kissin’ tree” now. We visited the old tree a couple times for nostalgia’s sake. I learned her name. It was Mickey.
Mickey was too afraid to wade the creek which did have a swift current and quite deep in one last area. I hoisted her to a piggy-back position and carried her across. I took my camera off the stump and took some really cute scenes of our shadows on the path in front of us as we walked close to each other.
We came back to the picnic site and all the people had gone home. I was as hungry as a dog. There was a loaf of bread and some cheese on a table. Mickey cut two huge slices off the loaf and a slab of cheese which was as thick. She jammed the pieces together. Ah! That’s for me, I thought. She was wearing a green scarf in her blonde hair. I liked her ears and everything. Hmmm I said to myself. I had the only car there so we drove home together and that led to our marriage on my birthday of November 11th in 1948.
While courting, she would ride with all of us to see the land we might purchase. We finally found a piece of ground approximately 119 acres of the sandiest land in the world. It was on a new irrigation project. The land was virgin soil. We built a 12×20 cabin on it and moved in to spend the coldest winter on record in that area. The cabin was just plain thin walled with no insulation. You’d hardly believe that we had three rooms in the cabin. Today after many remodelings and as the family grew to be four girls; the house is about 3500 square feet. We raised apples and pears and all sorts of other crops. I bought more land after our partnership with Donald ended. His wife couldn’t stand the rigors of farm life. Mickey didn’t mind it at all. When we were kids we both had tough life styles from every standpoint. No clothes for school and scarce food supply. Meager living. Lots of hard work, Mickey worked the same jobs we now hire Mexicans to do. We both are no strangers to hard farm life.
My Dad would come down often to visit and to help us. He worried a great deal about our moving– “vhy my boyz move on dot deezert”. How could we ever make a farm out of that sand dune, he thought. My Dad was there to help us harvest one or two crops. On the second or third crop, he had a slight stroke in the spring of 1951. A taxi driver came out to tell me the news. I was stunned. The taxi driver held out his hand for the fee. I damned near dropped. Mickey paid him. I drove up to Ellensburg where I saw him in the bed. He was in a good mood and ready to go home. He came down another time in the fall when we were harvesting alfalfa seed. He grabbed a pitch fork against my will. He said, “I’m joost as goot as tventy vun”. He wasn’t supposed to lift a hand. On about December 13th of that year he had a massive stroke as he helped my brother John load potatoes in a railroad car in Cle Elum. At ten o’clock that night he died. It was the shock of my life. He was only 58 years old.
As I got older and tired, we sold the farm I called “our Honey moon”, but kept the house and buildings. We have our own home made retirement plan.
After selling the farm we built a new home near where Mickey was born and raised. We can see Mt Rainier and Mt. Adams from our front window.
Our oldest grandson Matt Anderson and wife Cindy and little daughter Camille now live in the old house. They pay enough rent to help us pay the highest danged taxes in the world I’ll bet.
The old truck still sits in the old farm yard. It will run. I kept a few of the tractors and have accumulated a few relics to repair and allow to adorn our rural setting.
Recently I had an aorta valve replacement and two by passes which were plugged. One was 100% and another 85%. I am regaining my energies and hope to finalize the restoration of the old 1927 truck which my father bought for $790.—I was going on 5 years old then.
For my hobbies I play a keyboard with all the bells and whistles for senior dances once a week. Also I play for other dances in an old time band. The girl plays an accordion and I accompany her on the banjo doing some vocalizing. We have an able drummer.
My father played the accordion and inspired the family. I heard his music when I was in the womb. Music is my other life.