Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Summer Sunday 1978

This is the second picture Elizabeth mentioned in her post this morning. What a fun memory. This isn't a short story, but I will try to not be too wordy. Paul and I had taken a trip to Olympia by way of Lovell where we picked up Elizabeth, Dorothy, Sarah and Tony, who had just gotten back to the U.S. from her teaching stint in Germany. She hadn't seen family for a very long time, Paul and I and our seven kids were going to Olympia , so it just seemed like we should combine our efforts. At the time, Paul and I had a very large ugly orange van that held 14 adults - so even more little kids could fit( no seat belts at that time). We picked up Elizabeth and company from Norm and Cindy's house and headed to Olympia via Montana, northern Idaho, over Snoqualmie Pass and on to Olympia. We made quite a sight - Paul, with two women and lots of little kids. There was more than one person who stopped to stare at us as we made our way towards Olympia. Neither Elizabeth nor I can figure out where everyone slept at Mother and Dad's, but I suspect there was alot of overflow to Petersen's. Judy?
So this picture (and it's companion) were taken on Sunday, when the tradition was to go to church. Because of the number of people to get to church and the timing of meetings, Paul and Dad had gone in to Priesthood meeting, Mother and I were to load up and drive the van with the kids to the later meeting. We hurried to get everyone ready, and at the appropriate time, closed the front door and went out to the van. It was about that time I realized my keys were still in the house, and it was about the same time that Mother realized her house key was in the house. We had "church" in the van, sitting in front of the Tumwater house. There were no cell phones, so we couldn't let anyone know where we were or what had happened. So the laughing pictures were taken at the end of this experience, Dad had gotten home and let us into the house, but we really took a great deal of teasing about our intentions regarding going to church - or not. If you look at the faces of Nathan and Kristen, you can see they both thought Mother and I had lost our sanity. I can still hear the laughter.
The conclusion of this trip was quite eventful. Paul had to fly back to Utah because of a building project, however Elizabeth and I felt very confident about our ability to drive the van full of kids back to Lovell, and then I would head home to Salem, with just the Tanners left to deliver safely. As we drove across northern Idaho, we had a flat tire, and had no idea how to change it. A very nice man stopped and rescued us, but he was really puzzled about all of those kids in the van. Then, we got back to Norm and Cindy's house, and I called Paul to let him know we had gotten that far on our adventure. While I was talking on the phone, a little field mouse came running up the phone cord. All of our kids chased that poor little mouse all over the house, and were able to finally catch it and turn it loose out in the field. I suspect that little mouse had no desire to return to the shelter of the house ever again. So that is the story about these pictures.
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Judy said...

I am absolutely stunned at the detail which you remember this incident! That van of yours was outstanding. I'll bet you have never had anything that could hold as many people as it could. Who do you think was the most dangerous: you and Elizabeth? or you and Mother?
Some of the kids slept at our house. What a rowdy time! I was thrilled when the family come to visit Mom and Dad, because I could get in on the action also.
Ahhhh the music of laughter!

Elizabeth said...

I'm so thankful I was there to take the picture. Ann, was that van really orange? I'd forgotten that!
And the fact that I was driving the van when we had the flat tire, and was able to slow it down and stop without mishap was a major miracle! Ann, you were so kind about the field mouse - actually, I think the kids dropped it in the ditch. Or not. Ask Jim and John.

Ann said...

Let's call the color of the van burnt orange brown. Poor mouse! Judy, I think the memory is so strong because it was a neat time.