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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: November 24, 2020      Views: 68
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 ABOUT
BETHSHELBY 

BethShelby is retired from the printing and commercial art field. She is married and has four children and three grandchildren. She and her husband presently live in Tennessee.

Painting, photography, and writing are her passion. She has ha - more...

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She is an accomplished poet and is currently at the #38 spot on this years rankings.

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Chapter 81 of the book Remembering Yesterday
After the summer of 80, we have three in college.
"Summer and Fall of 1980" by BethShelby

Background
The chapter is about the summer of 1980 for the five of us, and the fall when the three children are in college in Texas. Connie, is in third grade.


For new readers, who may not have read my author notes, this is written in a conversational way as I talk to my deceased husband. When I refer to someone just as "you" this means I am addressing my husband, Evan.

Shortly after the twins graduated, Carol came back from college in Texas. She decided she wanted to spend part of the summer with Mom and Dad. She wanted Mom to teach her to sew, so she could make some new school clothes. Carol only stayed a few weeks. Mother helped her make a few skirts and dresses, but then Mom talked to someone she knew at the local café and told Carol she had found a job for her. Carol tried it, but she didn’t like the work. She hadn’t expected Mom would want her to take a job. She let us know she was ready to go back home.
********

The week we had taken Carol to Newton was the week prior to Connie’s seventh birthday. Connie wasn’t feeling good that day, and she was running a fever. Your sister, Nan, happened to be visiting your mother that weekend. Richard wasn’t with her, but she had brought Kelly. Connie was irritable and didn’t feel like playing with Kelly. Nan let Connie sit in her lap, since she was sick.
 
By the time we returned home, we discovered that Connie was breaking out in a rash. My trusty Dr. Spock book confirmed that the problem was chicken pox. The rest of our family had that childhood disease behind us. Unfortunately, Nan and Kelly hadn’t had chicken pox. Nan told me later, the disease almost killed her. That may have been an exaggeration, but I know those things are much harder on adults.

After the fever broke, Connie didn’t seem that sick. The following day, she was covered with the red patches that looked like little blisters. She enjoyed her birthday in spite of the disease. She was pleased with her presents. Connie had begged for a scented Strawberry Shortcake doll for Christmas, but since they were new on the market, all the kids were asking for them, and the stores were sold out. By June, I was able to find them, and I bought her one, as well as a Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag and other presents.
*******
 
During the first weeks of summer vacation, Don and Ce-Ce spent a good bit of time together. Eventually Don and Christi both got summer jobs and Ce-Ce and her mom moved out of the area. She and Don stayed in touch throughout the summer. The twins both worked at Wendy’s for a while. Later, Christi had some temp jobs. Her jobs didn’t usually last long.
********
 
In July, we took a short family trip down the East coast of Florida and spent a couple of nights in a beachfront motel. While we were there, we went to Cape Canaveral and toured the Kennedy Space Center. You were especially interested in that. We saw the control room and their space museum. They showed films of the rocket launches and took us on a bus tour out to the launch pad.

We also spent a night in Saint Augustine. While the kids were still asleep at the motel, you and I got up early and took a long walk over the bridge into the main part of the city. We walked up and down the streets until we found a nice little hidden café serving breakfast. We were gone several hours. When we returned the kids were just getting up and watching cartoons on TV.
*******
 
In August, Don and Christi decided to go to the college in Texas with Carol. Carol had a different roommate this year. She and Carmen were still friends, but they had both found other people who they wanted to room with.

 I gave Carol a checkbook and put her in charge of any money they would need while there. She had a head on her for business, and I knew she wouldn’t abuse the privileges. She wrote all the checks with our permission and was responsible for taking care of their needs. It wasn’t a smart idea, because the twins never learned to be responsible with money. For them it was like having a parent there, and they nearly drove Carol crazy with their demands. She resented having to be responsible for them, as well. Don’s need for money caused him to start selling pints of his blood in order to meet some of his needs.

Carol and her roommate attended a word-of-mouth Bible-study group someone told them about. She was already a bit obsessive in her beliefs, and after attending meetings with this group for a while, she became even more so. She decided it was wrong for women to wear pants or shorts, and she decided that from now on, she would wear nothing but skirts and dresses. A man that went by the name of Mac was leading the studies and some of the things he was telling the group seemed to us like more of his own ideas, rather then something purely from the Bible. She told me enough of what was being said that I talked to you about it. We became worried that she might be getting involved in something more cult-like than Christian.

She had also met a boy, who she was more than a little interested in. Tommy was part Korean. His father was a GI who had apparently abandoned the Korean mother. Unable to care for a baby,  she had placed him on the steps of a orphanage. At some point, he ran away and spent some time on the streets of Korea. Eventually, he was found and sent back to the orphanage and was adopted by an older American couple when he was around thirteen. Neither his background nor his nationality bothered me, because I thought it was about time Carol started dating. 

However, having served in the Korean War, you were concerned about what he might have gone through while living on the streets. I think there was a bit of prejudice involved as well. You were worried that your family might have a problem with a member of the family perhaps marrying someone from another culture. You wanted me to discourage her from dating him. I listened to her and knew how much she liked him, but I didn’t pass judgment. I figured she had three years of college left and maybe it was too soon to let this become an issue.
*******
 
The Christmas break was coming up soon. The kids were hoping to be able to take the van back to college when they returned for Spring semester. This was something we needed to think about. We still had the Dodge charger, but we both needed a vehicle to drive since we worked in different directions. If the kids had a car, they could come back and forth without us having to provide them transportation.
******* 

In November of 1980 there was a presidential election and Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter to become our 40th president. George H.W. Bush was his vice president.

The book continues with Changes in Store For the Four. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
I'm continuing to recall memories of life with my deceased husband, Evan, as if I am talking aloud to him. I'm doing this because I want my children to know us as we knew each other and not just as their parents.
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