Isn't it amazing? I remember that day very clearly. The house was completely bare except for the few necessities that I and the children needed to head for Laramie. As everything emptied out, Dad came to ask Mother if she had packed his shaving gear. She informed him that he could pack his own, and the disagreement escalated from there. I ended up sitting with Mother on the front porch, as she poured her frustrations into my ear, including the thought that they might never have made it in their marriage if they had lived today (the late '60s). Then, Dad poured his grievances into my other ear on the back porch. However, about that time, the discovery was made that Dad's drivers license had expired on his February 3rd birthday - he had made a trip to Laramie, and one to Washington on that expired license. The disagreements were forgotten, we all laughed, and they headed for Cody and the drivers' licensing office, and from there, they headed for Belfry, Montany, Laurel, and then on west. I always felt that the reality that really hit home that morning,of pulling up the long-standing roots of life in Penrose precipitated the disagreement, as well as unspoken fears about the future. I have always been sorry that I didn't have a better camera for this picture, because it is a memorable one.
They look like a couple of kids starting anew. I still wonder how they ever had the courage to make the move to Washington. I only know that for awhile Thurston County, WA became the gathering place for other family members as well. It was here that Steve came after returning from the war and here that he acquired three children. Ann and Paul came for a critical period before and during Mother's illness. Elizabeth came to visit and found Ron Gage and stayed. The Petersens had the privilege of sharing in it all, including visits made by Dwight and his family, Louise and her family, and other extended relatives.
This was a very small picture that was in one of Mother's files. I didn't know who had taken it, so thank you, Elizabeth, for identifying the picture taker. Mother and Dad both look so young! I must admit that when they left Penrose, it was my true test to see if I really believed what I had been telling my little family about all of our moving - it wasn't the place that made it home, it was the people. The adjustment to their Washington move wasn't bad for me, other than I longed for Penrose. I also knew how happy they were to be close to Judy and family, then Steve and then me and Elizabeth. Both Mother and Daddy wished we could all be closer. The question was how to bring Dwight and Louise to the northwest. Those years when some of us were closer made the hard times a little more bearable, hopefully.
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