Thursday, September 08, 2005

June 18, 1973
Letter to Grandparents

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

Hi there, Please excuse my "beautiful" writing paper, (and ink) but it is all I have with me at the moment. You'll never guess where I am writing this at --- In the apple tree in my back yard. I find this the most beautiful place in Elgin practically. Mother and Kevin are in the yard but don't know I'm up here. Just a few seconds ago a pair of birds (they sort of looked like pigeons) landed below me and sat and talked for a while. I probably should be down, helping them pull weeds -- but it is so comfortable up here. The wind just blew and rocked the branch, causing it to sway and move. The only thing not good about me being up here is the branch my behind is on. I know that when I get up I will have a sore gluteus maximus. I had better climb down now, my bed is still unmade and I have washing and ironing to tend to before I leave for Driver's Ed. (I drive for the first time today -- the last time I was to drive it was called off).

June 19, 1973
7:10 pm


Back again more than twenty-four hours later. I just finished reading my American History. School is ok -- only the fact that it is summertime daunts it. (Is daunt a word?)

You wouldn't believe all of the things that reminds me of Chetek. I walk along the street and hear a sound or smell a scent that I maybe heard or smelled in Chetek and all of a sudden I am in higher spirits.

I have another love now -- England. I have some sort of Englandmania. I live England, dream England and read England. Right now it's a toss-up whether, when I get older, I find a rich Chetek guy or a rich English guy to marry.

Actually at the moment I must settle with poor painters (painters who used to be paperboys).

This was supposed to be an encouraging letter, and all I write about is me.

Well, some more about me!

My driving yesterday was rotten. When I get nervous I laugh. Yesterday I was very nervous and boy did I giggle. My instructor had me stop the car and he scolded me for not taking driving seriously. Then I pulled around and ended up on someone's lawn. I tell you it was rotten. Then, last night, daddy took me out (with the whole family of course) and I nearly turned the car over. I think driving is for the birds!!!!!!!!!!..........

Hi again,

This is a few hours later. Mom and Dad are at Ginny and Jack's fixing the refrigerator. Kevin is outside catching fireflies. I learned how to change a flat tire today in Driver's Ed.


The fact that I still have this letter means my grandparents never got it. I vaguely remember writing it, especially the part asking my grandparents to forgive the paper and ink. I once read a letter my mom wrote to my cousin while he served in Viet Nam. She apologized for using notebook paper so I suppose I thought that was an appropriate way to begin a letter.

After my grandfather died and my grandmother moved to Elgin, I visited the Chetek house a couple of times. On one visit I found a letter I had written to my grandparents in a book belonging to my grandfather. He had corrected all of my spelling and grammar mistakes with a red pen. That gave me a really odd feeling. Kind of angry, but it also made me smile.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Date unknown, Spring 1973
In which I agonize. A lot.

Maybe if I write about it I can understand my true feelings. This will probably sound dumb in future years but it is important to me now. I am now sitting in the most comfortable place I know of. My tree. My little "bedroom" in my apple tree. Up here I see signs of my childhood. carved on a limb - standing for vampires. D & J (Dona & Jeff).

Anyway, today I looked through an old yearbook in Ceurlean (last year's). One from Kimball. I saw pictures of Gary and Robin told me that he had won the Golden Hammer award. Good for him. He is not what I am troubled about. My upset still lies at Kimball, but is our paperboy. At least for today. He may not even be today's. He is quitting the paper route and I am sad. Yes- admit it Dona, you like him. You know you do. I want to like him as a friend -- but something in me wants to KISS him. I cannot figure it out. He isn't very cute - he has got a baby-face. But he is so friendly. And he has such a grand smile. Why? Why can't I realize that he isn't just smiling at me. He smiles at everyone because he is friendly - a very friendly person.

Today will be the last time he delivers a paper to my house maybe. Oh - why do I do this to myself? I am just an idiot I suppose.

I cannot talk to my mother about it because she will say too many things I don't agree with. I don't dare to tell Cindy -- she would seem bored anyway.

Now I will go and make a fool of myself on the porch or something. What a fool I am. And then there are times when I pretend. I have a pretend conversation with him. Am I mad? Probably.

Now I am down from the tree. I have just picked a rose and brough down Romeo and Juliet. I don't even care if he comes by. I don't love him. I love life, grass, flowers, books, birds, sky sunshine that warms me. I am not in love and never have been not ev----------------------------------------------------------------------------

He just came by. My heart is pounding. In my stomach?

"Hey. Wanna see my big dog?"
"You have a dog?"
"Yeah, a poodle"
"Is he big?"
"No, he's a toy"

No more pretending! I can do it alone. Although he doesn't say the things he would in my dreams, it was fine. Fine? I have already said that I am not in love. And I'm not. I just need to prove to myself I can talk to the opposite sex without fumbling.

Now to work on Jeff again -- although I can talk to him pretty well.

I had better go help mother fix dinner.

Now I don't know my feelings. Bob delivered our paper today -- for the last time. I went to the door to get the paper and he turned around and asked me if I wanted to see his "big dog". didn't realize what he meant so he said that he would bring it down later. I said ok and he left. My heart was pounding and I ran upstairs and decided I had to go to the bathroom and ran back downstairs. I kept on assuring myself that I didn't really like him, That he is only a friend. But I couldn't stop my heart from pounding. I rushed around the house like a madwoman. I probably am mad.

Well, mom dad and Kevin got home. My stomach was still jumping. Well anyway he came with his dog -- Coco - and asked me to his house to see his other dog. We walked there and I went in and saw their kittens and dog. On the way there, I told him I was a soph. He seemed turned off. Good. He didn't even walk me home. It has helped me to write about it, really.

Why do I make such a big think out of something small? My dear mother just "defamilized" me. Yester was big, wow. I woke up late, and a while later we left for the store (Jewel-Osco). But before we went there I drove! Daddy took the care into the country and let me take over. It was really fun. Later when we got home I worked on my English final. Then at 3:00 we went to another store (Sears) and I got a racket. We got home after a while and after supper Daddy watned to fix the dishwasher so Mother, Kevin, Franz and I took a walk around the block. When we got to the corner, kitty-corner from Bob's house he came over.
No more to write about. He does like me. I wasn't making a big thing out of nothing ---------- it's something. What to do???

Time to write more this being written two weeks from the first entry - Bob has asked me to go steady. About a week ago (more really) and I turned him down. I have emotions too strong to keep inside. He is so immature - he can't even read. If only he would let me help him with his reading problem maybe, maybe what? He doesn't even remember my name -- he calls me Diane?. I wish I could know what to do. I haven't seen him to talk to since Wednesday -- this is Saturday.

Some more clear thinking needed. I am back in the tree, trying to sort out my feelings. Shall I go back to the beginning? No, I have been over that too much already. No, I don't love Bob. I did love Gary, or loved love in his case -- but I only mildly like Bob. I think that he likes me a bit more than mildly.


I may have already written some of the above in the journal, there are some pages that fell out and it all seems familiar. Some non-Bob points - notice what I call my parents in most of these entries. I call my father "Daddy" and my mother "mother". This was a rough time for my mother and me. We butted heads a lot. Whereas my father was not around so much, therefore he and I had a smoother relationship. The Franz that is mentioned in the post is our toy dachhound. Which is also why Bob referred to his dog as big, I think.

It amuses me to read this post. I love the part where I had pretend conversations with Bob, then had a real one that was very stupid. Then I analyze the conversation and remark that Bob doesn't say the things he did in my dreams.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

July 31, 1973
In which I finish this journal

This will be the last entry in this part of my Journal. A while ago I bought a new one. To wind things up:

  1. Grandpa died on July 9, 1973 - I write that with my hand but my brain contradicts it. Maybe I cannot accept death.

  2. Bob is still talking to me - but I have decided that he was more of an embarrassing element. I don't miss or want him anymore

  3. Greg remains a mystery



There is one blank page left in this journal. In later journals I tried to end them on December 31 and in the moments before midnight would fill the last page with as many memories of the year as I could. I would write them in bold, bright markers. Then I would usually be sad.

This is the end of my yellow journal. The next few entries are from a notebook that must have been lying around and used when the yellow one was not available.

July 6, 1973
In which I see Greg

Oh boy Dona, you blew it -- simply blew it!!! What happened was: I had just walked in the back door after falling off a ladder and injuring my shin. I was in the process of making an ice pack and applying it to my wounds when I saw a movement out the front door. There, standing on the porch was a male person less than twenty and more than fifteen.

I limped to the door and asked, "Yes?" The male person said, "Dona?" I said "Yes". And then I knew it -- it was Greg. My kindergarten sweetheart. "Do you know who I am?" he asked. Although I did I didn't want him to know that I knew. I acted sort of puzzled and then said, "Oh, I know -- Greg." He confirmed it and introduced me to his friend with a broken leg.

We talked for a while about the past. He saw my '75 necklace and has probably figured out what happened.

Anyway -- I am so terrible -- I didn't even invite them in!!! The house was clean for once. I swear I have never been more embarrassed in my entire life! And was he good looking!!!!!!!

Worse things have happened though. I couldn't bring myself to write about it earlier -- but Grandpa had a heart attack. Mother rushed up there. I have been keeping house all week long. I haven't seen Bob at all since Saturday morning -- I think I miss him -- or at least a male companion.

I can't get over how cute Greg is. I was a mess - God, how embarrassing!

I would never tell anyone but I almost think that if Grandpa dies he would be a lot better off than he is now. Not that I want him to -- it would be a terrible blow on Grandma -- but he has gone through so much pain.


Greg P. was in my kindergarten class. I suppose we were friends when I was 5, but then the family moved away. It turned out that he was related in some way to the neighbors for whom I babysat (Chad's father was his uncle or cousin or something). Greg had misbehaved or something at school where he went and his parents sent him to live with his grandmother who lived around the corner. He always seemed older than his years. He had a car and he smoked and drank coffee. He drove me to school my entire junior year of school and each morning we stopped at McDonalds for coffee and hot chocolate. He always paid for my hot chocolate - not that I ever tried to. I wanted to date him, and I think that people thought we were dating, but he was out of my league.

He left the next year. The last I heard of him was that for some reason a poster of him was made and it was at a flea market or something. It had lipstick marks all over the face because girls would kiss it, he was that cute.

I wrote the story of my Grandfather Green in another blog, so I won't repeat it here.

June 30, 1973
In which I break up

It's all over. Last night I asked Mother if I could go to the show with Bob today. She didn't give me an answer except reasons why I shouldn't like him. I agreed but how could I tell her that although he was outwardly immature he had taught me something -- how to kiss. Yes in that area he was far above me.

I made up my mind last night that I would tell him the complete story of why I encouraged our relationship so far -- but fortunately he didn't ask me why. I said that I we shouldn't see each other any longer. That hurt me -- he just said, "Okay -- you can keep the pillow." I told him that I would be afraid to look at it -- so he should take it back. It was sort of easy. But I cried -- for the first time about him alone.


The pillow was a yellow smiley face pillow he probably won at a carnival or something.

This whole "relationship" took place in the month of June. Not very long at all, but it felt like a long time back then, I suppose.

June 29, 1973
In which Bob and I babysit

I didn't read Bob the letter. I would have -- but he was so different -- we played cards. We baby-sat at Chad's -- Chad's mother said Bob could come in. He held my hand and kissed it. He kept on trying to put his arm around me but I moved away every time. Then he walked me home and we kissed.


I remember babysitting sitting next to Bob at Chad's house, which was two houses away from mine. I babysat for Chad and his brother a lot. Their father was in a C & W band. He had another son who was named after himself. He also named his youngest after himself. So there were these half brothers with the same name.

After Bob and I broke up Chad once yelled out the door, "Ha ha Bob, Dona doesn't like you anymore." The fact that Chad looked like the little boy in The Shining is important to get the picture here.

I don't know what letter I speak of in the first sentence.

There was more to this post but I am uncomfortable adding it to this blog.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

June 28, 1975
In which I want to learn more

Well, here I go -- spilling out my problems. I don't like Bob. I don't even like to be with him that much. Why do I continue to see him? Easy - he is a boy, a boy has sex drives. I am a girl who feels the need of a boy with sex drives. I have already said that I am not turned on from his kisses -- but when he has his arm around me and rubs my shoulder or arm, I get goose bumps and wish he would always continue. He asked me to the show Saturday night. I bet we wouldn't watch it, see -- he wants to teach me how to French Kiss. Since I know that, do I decide not to go? No, I Miss Goody-Goody wants to French Kiss with him -- or any other guy for that matter, I'm no better than a whore.

Mom and Dad saw us with our arms around each other. They were upset -- I would have fought with them -- but stopped in time.

What should I do? Should I go Saturday and get some experience then tell Bob that I can't see him on the basis we've been seeing each other for three weeks, or tell him tonight? I suppose the longer I wait, the harder it will be for him -- if he likes me for me, not just for a girl.

On my side, the whole relationship is one of sex. Isn't it funny how sex can rule one's life?


This entry is almost too embarrassing to post, but what the heck. It is funny and sad. I was, at 17, using someone to get what I wanted and then going to dump him after I got it. Isn't that what men do? How funny I called it sex -- as if it was.

June 26, 1973
In which I am almost kissed...but wait....

I was going to write last night -- but I had to study for my American history test. Problems? Yes, I have worries. Can anyone believe it? I was practically kissed last night. I was sure I was going to be - but I chickened out at the last minute. We held hands and walked for a while closer. He told me that I should decide what I wanted, whether or not we should keep seeing each other depends on if I kiss him. What should I do? I asked Kevin (he is the best brother in the world) what to do. He was very understanding but of course he didn't know what I should do. He suggested that kissing, like everything else, was hard the first time probably. What would I do without him?

Bob is very understanding too. He was quite gentle last night and I'm sure he would never force me into doing anything I didn't want to do.

I think I have made up my mind.

What I'm going to do is....


I must have been taking summer school (lots of people did, to get credits out of the way and to have a chance to graduate early) to have an American history test on June 26th.

I am quite shocked I asked my brother for advice. Understand that Kevin is nearly 7 years younger than I am. So here was a nearly 17 year old asking a 10 year old about kissing. What's wrong with that picture?

The last phrase in that entry is referring to Larry Woiwode's first novel. His younger sister was the student teacher in my 6th grade class and she invited him to come and tell us about being an author. I have yet to read anything by him, but I have several of his novels.

Same day, noon.

I'm eating lunch now. I just had a thought. Maybe I have imagined Bob. I have not seen him yet today. Of course that is stupid. He is real. I do want to kiss him. He was so intelligent sounding last night. There was once or twice when I felt near to him -- but mostly I felt self-conscious. When he was about to kiss me - or trying to make me want to kiss him, he did something with his shoulder. I had my hand in front of my face but if he had continued sitting there I would have taken my hand down. Instead, he put his arm around me.

Bob just called. He asked me if I had decided, or thought about what he told me to think about. I said I had, but didn't know. Can I help if if I am afraid of my emotions? I am afraid that if I kiss him I will want to go farther -- or something. Oh, help me someone.


I really don't remember this indecision, but I suspect I was lying to myself about the reason. I think I was just shy and it was easier saying no than saying yes. Had Bob been more aggressive I would have been kissed much sooner -- not that I am advocating that.

Same day - 9:55

I Dona Leigh Patrick have just been KISSED! It was different than I had expected -- sort of squishy. Anyway -- I don't know how to really do it -- But think of it -- Not "Sweet 16 and never been kissed" any longer.

It's all a dream. One thing though -- it didn't excite me half as much as when he rubbed my shoulder yesterday. I wonder why. Oh well, I've been kissed and that's all that matters, isn't it?

(I seem to be getting these symptoms of mono all of a sudden!????!)


Well finally. I really don't remember the actual kiss. Just that it happened and thinking that it was squishy.

Funny that I spelled my middle name "Leigh" when it is really spelled "Lee". I guess I wanted to be different.

June 22, 1973
In which I agonize some more

"Sweet sixteen and never been kissed". Isn't that what I said? Didn't I make a vow to myself to be kissed before I turned seventeen? And didn't I pledge that I would kiss Bob? His mouth was just right, I could imagine his face getting closer, closer...

But -- I do not realize that another life is involved, a person who can get hurt. My emotions after I met Bob are in the way too. I am not mentally attracted to him much at all -- only physically. The fact that he is a male and I a female set off a certain feeling. That he is attracted to me (I know not how) is even more -- well, I guess the word is - excites me.

It is hard to wrote about. I do not understand my feelings. I have tried to tell Bob how I feel -- he has asked me to go steady twice. And I am upset every time I try to explain my feelings.


It looks as if I had a one track mind back then - I just wanted to be kissed before my 17th birthday which was only two months away. Again I really don't remember all this agonizing.

Oh, interesting to note the date here - I was married exactly 12 years later.

June 5, 1973
In which I have a dilemma


Now I know. He does like me -- a lot. He was already talking about "going together". We walked to the creek last night. So many thoughts wen through my mind -- about being older than him mostly. I am no longer afraid of being hurt. I think it will be him. He is a very nice person and I don't want to hurt him -- but we have nothing in common. Except nature. I think he likes nature -- but it seems to be different than when I read about it in books. All I know is that I am definitely not in love with him -- only happy because someone has finally noticed me. I wish I could cry because it would wash out my mind and help me think clearer.

My pretend romances seemed to go much more smoothly. But of course then HE would be older than me and more intelligent than myself.

All I have to do is say the word and I can have a boyfriend. But do I want to have all of that at my call? It is a great responsibility (to me) and so much seems at stake.

Mother and Father are trying to tell me what to do. When I got home last night they were telling me what was wrong with him. They deflated me and I even cut him down. What should I do? I am not asking anyone but myself. Life can be hard. Oh, if only I could cry, I have a feeling in my stomach, a knot, that won't go away.


I don't remember agonizing about this so much. I thought we just hung out and kissed a few times and then I told him I didn't want to "go" with him anymore. I do remember feeling embarrassed walking with him and tried to hide my face with my long hair when we were together. And it was because he could not read.

June 4, 1973
In which I write about the weekend


What a wonderful weekend! It may be nothing really -- but it certainly seems like what I think it is.

I met a cockapoo named Old Style and a poodle named Creme de Cocoa, a cat named puddin' (called stubbies because it is missing its tail), a kitten named Tommy (I think) and a raccoon named Sniffles. Bob showed them to me. Bob, Bob, Bob. Maybe I am fooling myself, I probably am -- but I will continue...

I met him a long time ago. Last year, maybe it wasn't so long ago. Anyway the first time I talked to him he wanted me to buy three half dollars. I didn't and didn't talk to him again until this year.

He was teasing me about Franz (our Doxey) and saying, "What a big dog." The other day he asked me I wanted to see his dog. He brought it over and I walked back to his house to see his cats and other dog. yesterday I met him again and he showed me his racoon. It was cute and when he was holding it I looked up at hem and he looked down at me and our eyes met and held for a few seconds.

He walked me home then.

Maybe I am making too much out of it, but I have a feeling for him. He is not very bright but he is so friendly. I feel differently towards him than I felt about Gary. I don't know...


I vividly remember lots of this. I had forgotten about the racoon, but remember the dogs. I also remember Bob coming by a year earlier wanting to sell me three half dollars.

Bob lived two blocks away. His mother delivered our mail. He had twin sisters and another sister who was blind.


May June 1, 1973
In which I feel better


Well, swimming lessons are over and I passed!

I got rid of the feeling I had Wednesday by climbing my tree. I wrote a lot about my feelings in a notebook. I saw the guy I like and decided I don't like him really. He is just a very friendly person and that is it!

I have a busy weekend ahead of me -- at the library!!!


I may have made note of this before, but it is worth mentioning again. I took swimming lessons every summer for years at a local outdoor pool and never passed beginners. Of course I never actually got my face wet, so it is understandable the teachers would not pass me. Finally I decided to learn to swim at the YWCA with a friend or two and was able to pass beginners by swimming on my back the length of the pool. The water was warmer and it was my idea, not my mom's.

Remember, I grew up in Northern Illinois, so the summer mornings were often quite cool. Going to the pool in low 60 degree weather was not unusual, especially since the lessons were held in the early mornings. I spent most lessons sitting on the side of the pool.

The weekend writing was in a different notebook which I recently found and will post after this or the next entry.

I suppose now the guy I "could not afford to like" was the paperboy. As I may have mentioned earlier, he was what my kids call "special ed". He could not read and went to a special school. Maybe that is why I "could not afford" to like him. It would make my social standing plummet. (my daughter says she is embarrassed for me because my first boyfriend was "special ed". Perhaps it was because he was a year younger than I.

May 30, 1973
In which I am in another bad mood. How depressing.


Great! I am in a bad mood again. Why must I always get anrgy? The weather is rotten, the day is rotten, I am not in a writing mood.

I like someone I cannot afford to like. I don't want to talk to anyone about it but I have to get rid of this feeling. I may go insane. How depressing!


This one nearly cracked me up. First of all, now I understand my daughter's moods. I guess we all go through this stage. I don't know who the person was who I felt as if I could not afford to like. I suspect it was someone popular and I was probably thinking in terms of wasting my energy or something.

I love the "I may go insane" followed by "how depressing". Again, typical of teenage.

May 29, 1973
In which I feel like the center of the universe


Wow! I think our discussion today in English was directed at me! I feel like I should go inside myself - I feel that I have been hurt by people. I am almost afraid to like a boy again because of last year.


Typical of teenagers, I felt like I was the center of everything - conversations and the universe. This works two ways. Either you feel good about it or you feel very self-conscious.

May 24, 1973
In which I first mention Bob the paperboy.


The music is bugging me! Last night I waited for the paper boy to come but I decided that I had better go in or he would suspect something.

I began a letter to Pam. Finally -- after a couple of months.

Homework over Memorial Day Weekend! Good thing I am not going to Chetek. Oh well, I probably will be bored anyway.


The paperboy is going to play a rather large role in the next few months and will leave a lasting impact on me to this day. He gave me my first kiss as well as inspired my first vocation.

May 18, 1973
In which I dream of death


I had the most horrifying dream last night. I hope it wasn't a premonition -- I pray it wasn't. In my dream my cousin, Cindy C. was killed in an auto crash. My family was all upset. Then - later my friend's mother - Cindy J's mother - called and told me she had some bad news -- Cindy had died.. I was more upset then, and cried and cried. Then -- something happened where I found out that another cousin had died long ago and I never found out.


This dream was not prophetic. Both Cindy's are alive and well.

May 17, 1973
In which I come to my senses and dream about a "superjock" DJ


It just dawned on me - I am a member of Larkin High School. Since I was six years old I have waited to be devoured by this monster. Well, finally I have been - and it isn't all so great as I thought it would be. I mean -- if it took me almost the entire school year to fully realize that I was here.

Last night I had a dream about Larry Lujack. He was in Elgin and asked me the directions to somewhere. I didn't jump up and down and scream so he asked me why. I told him that I thought he was conceited and stuck up. DUMB!!! {what a funny dream}


Larry Lujack was a disk-jockey at a pop radio station in Chicago in the 1970's.

May 16, 1973
In which I write a story I like


I finally was inspired! I wrote a story up to my standards. Of course it still didn't compare to the first one I wrote - but that was from a wide range of topics.

Ellen R. graded it. There I can agree with her -- most of the time when someone graded my paper I didn't agree with how they did it -- they usually gave me higher than I felt I deserved. {I'm glad you're satisfied.}

I have been having a dream about a certain boy. I have never seen him before, but I think I am in love with him. Wouldn't that be odd if I saw him someday? Wow! {Yes, it would! But it may happen!!!}


I don't remember anything about the story or boy in my dream with whom I was in love.

Friday, March 11, 2005

May 11, 1973
In which I am analytical


Isn't that just like me? I have always wanted to write down my dreams -- but when some one tells me I must -- for a grade -- I draw back and don't want to. why? Why do I do that -- is it because I hate authority? I do it all of the time. Usually when mother asks me to do something. Maybe that is why we don't always get along. {consider it -- but maybe you just need to forget about worrying}

I'll bet everyone in this school thinks I am a sour puss. I haven't really smiled in I don't know how long. I am always in such a rotten mood -- I don't know. {You have a gorgeous smile though -- why not portray it more often?!}

I am so afraid to grow up -- I sort of want to -- to be more free -- but I am frightened. Who will I lean on? What if I run out of money? I have been so financially secure all of my life I don't know if I could live without money anytime in my life.

I am not afraid to die. I am sure I will welcome it as itself -- not so the people I will have to leave.

Why can't life be more simple? I haven't had it bad but bad enough.

I still have problems with authority. I hate it when I was planning on doing something and someone tells me to do it. My son is just like me.

I have lost potential jobs for lack of a smile. I think I smile a lot more now, but it is a struggle. People always tell me I have a nice smile, but I forget to do it.

May 10, 1973
In which I am shocked that my cousin drives

I am going swimming tonight - Cindy will come later.

Last night Jimmy and Aunt Corrine came over. Jimmy drove. He is only 15. I could have killed him.... He goes to Elgin. It was beautiful yesterday. I picked rubarb and met some little kids in the neighborhood. Cinder Cat was outside with me.


Cinder Cat

Cinder was my black cat. My father brought her home to me when I was 13. It was an unusual event because he always claimed to hate cats. He was working at someone's home who had one black kitten left of a litter. The cat would have been taken to a shelter later that week if someone hadn't taken her. My dad knew how much I wanted a cat and brought her home for me. She lived 17 years.

May 9, 1973
In which I yell back


I had a very interesting half-day yesterday -- I slept from 1:30 - 4:30. Mother was angry at the world yesterday and I had to stay out of her way. Well, I did -- but she was more angry. Oh well, everyone has off days.

I wouldn't have believed yesterday. In gym we played volleyball with the Jr.'s and I kept on goofing up like I usually do with volleyball. Some of my team members yelled at me - so I yelled back -- usually I would just take it -- but not yesterday. {good girl (ha)}

I hated volleyball and remember several times where my teammates would yell at me.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

May 7, 1973
In which I see my grandpa

[Listening to: Teenage Angst - Dan Bern

Well, I got it over with! I saw my grandfather for the first time since his leg was amputated. It was just like everyone said - all right. He hadn't changed - he doesn't smile as much - but that is to be expected. I found something else about him that I had never known before - he is a poet. {wonderful}

I found some love poems he wrote to my grandmother. The first one made me cry - it was just before or after they were married. There was another one about her hair was growing gray (just a bit of it). Then - I found one about me! I was the first grandchild - so he wrote his feelings about me.

I took my journal up - but didn't write in it.

Before school Jeff talked to me. I had a crush on him in 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grades. Last year he read this journal and I almost killed him. Today he asked me about my journal. {and what did you say?}

I remember the trip to see my grandparents. I didn't realize I found the poems then though. I ended up taking the one about me when I visited the cabin many years later during my honeymoon.

I wonder who has the poems, if anyone does. My uncle sold the property with everything included. His interpretation of that was with photos and everything. My mom and dad snuck up and took garbage bags full of personal things before the new owners took over.

Edited 3/11/05 - I spoke to my mother yesterday and she had no idea that her father wrote poems for her mother. She fears they are gone with all of the personal belongings. We hope my aunt has them.

May 4, 1973
In which I have much to do

[Listening to: Confused Little Girl - Dan Bern]
Happy Birthday Gary!

I don't know how I am going to manage this weekend. At five o'clock pm we are going to start for Chetek Wisc to see my Grandparents. I have to clean out the car before we go - I get home at four. I Have to finish a story for English, pack make sure Beth will feed Cinder and do a thousand other things mother thinks up. {you'll be busy}

I am scared to death to see my grandpa. We may have to sleep at the farm with the mice and snakes and no heat. The only good thing I can think of for this trip is CHETEK. Oh, how I love that town. In my opinion it its the best town in the world.

I did like Chetek. We may visit it this summer with my children.

May 3, 1973
In which I wear shorts

I got embarrassed today. It was my fault and I feel bad. Miss Sliger had us do a thing that I remembered doing in 7th grade -- drawing pictures. I got it mixed up with something I did in 6th grade - a listening test - you ended up with a blank piece of paper. Well - I had a blank piece of paper and I was wrong! I know it seems a small thing - but at the moment I was steaming.

I hate it when people look at me! I know I probably shouldn't have worn these shorts - but I saw the sun this morning and was inspired. So far all day I have been having people look at me like "what does she thin she is doing - wearing shorts on a day like today" I have gotten so fed up with it I pretend I am invisible and walk down the hall not looking at any one and pretend no one is looking at me! {don't pay attention (serious) to people's comments - You look good in shorts. so....}

The assignment, which I do not remember, was not the
listening test, which I do remember. Of course I would have been embarrassed.

The shorts incident is actually very timely. This morning my daughter
came to me, upset, because a hoodie she wanted to wear was not dry. She had it
on and it was too damp to wear to school. We found another black hoodie for her
to wear but she didn't want to wear it because it was a brand that the popular
kids wear at school. I know we paid nearly $50 for it, yet she refuses to wear
it because she isn't good enough.

I wore shorts when the sun shone. The
calendar said May (cold in Northern Illinois) but the weather said warm.

May 2, 1973
In which nothing happens except I pass a test


I cannot think of anything to write at all. Nothing has happened worth writing about. Yesterday I was assaulted, almost, while my friend looked on, laughing.

I took my driver's test today and passed. {good}

Not a lot to note here. Don't recall the assault. Do sort of remember the drivers ed test. Mostly remember the PE teacher whose class I was in during the driver's ed class.

Friday, March 04, 2005

April 30, 1973
In which I write poorly

Oh how embarrassing it is to write a flop! This morning I wrote a stupid story about a beaver falling in love. I tried all weekend to write - five times I sat down and stared at a blank piece of paper. Five times I began writing a story. Five times I got a headache. Finally this morning a thought came to me - the best so far, but the dumbest I have ever written. I just wasn't inspired! {You are certainly making efforts - that's all you can do. It will take a while to develop style, so don't get discouraged.}

I still have the story about the beaver in love. It is kind of cute actually.

I mentioned in a different entry something about my first story. I wish I knew what it was. The only story I remember writing was based on a black and white photo of a young man sitting in what looks like a balcony. In the story he is hiding out waiting for the police to find and arrest him for the murder of his twin brother. He begins by denying that he did it, then the story explodes as he relates pulling the trigger and seeing his brother collapse. The one part of a line I remember from the story was, "...and the scream of pain as the bullet hit its mark." The teacher liked it and kept the final draft. Pity.

April 26, 1973
In which I feel sick about my writing


I haven't much time to write. Actually I haven't anything to write about! That is odd for me. I didn't get mad at Cindy yesterday for anything - that deserves congratulations.

I feel sick about the last two stories I handed in - They were rotten - I haven't been able to get mind mind in working order. Oh, well maybe I don't have the talent I thought. {Keep your patience & endure.-- I think you'll do fine.}

I will have a busy summer -- less the traditional summer than I have ever had.

My writing is showing more signs of the books I am reading. Saying "I haven't anything..." is more British than American.

I had a brief thought that what if Miss Sliger has been waiting for me to write a book. I will have disappointed her.

April 25, 1973
In which I hear a bird singing


I really shouldn't say that it probably isn't true - but it's okay to think about perhaps.

On the way to school today I heard a bird singing. Sure I hear them all the time - but mostly I take them for granted. This bird had such a pretty song, a "spring is here, spring is here" sort of song. {what a nice description} It was all I could do to keep from singing along with it. It probably would have been all right but it would be embarrassing if someone had heard me. Though, I'll bet that in Narnia (here we go again!) {fine, keep on going!!!} everyone sings with the birds. {and what a beautiful thought that is}

While I don't remember this day exactly, I remember days like it, walking along Larkin Avenue and feeling that spring was near at hand.

April 24, 1973
In which I read a lot


Oh, how I needed this Journal over the holidays. I had so many thoughts to put into words, but didn't want to use loose paper. {oh, I'm sorry Dona. You should have told me - I would have certainly returned it!} So all I really did was read and babysit. I read a wonderful novel that I have read already. It is called Brief Flower. It impressed me so in seventh grade and now again in tenth. The author is Dorothy Smith.

I am now reading The New Moon and the Old by Dodie Smith. She wrote a different book called I Capture the Castle that reminds me of Brief Flower very much. I was wondering if Dorothy Smith and Dodie Smith may be the same person because of the alikeness in writing style. {You should continue your good reading habits} I have read about ten books about England since Christmas. I want to visit it as soon as I can. {good} I plan on marrying an Englishman - rich of course. {$ Why not?! (smile)} I think I will marry for money.

I had forgotten all about Brief Flower, but I sort of remember reading it. I remember nothing about the book though. It is out of print now, but I just ordered it from Alibris. I was confused again about the authors, looking up Brief Flower by Dodie Smith got no results.

I did become enchanted with the idea of England, something that would drive me to do out of character things the next year when I had a chance to go to England and did. I almost did marry an Englishman.

April 13, 1973
In which I learn about Betsy's illness


I want to begin this sooner than we have time because there is so much I have to write about.

I have learned a very strong lesson about life. For last night I learned that a very dear friend of mine has Leukemia. I am not as good a friend of hers this year as I was last, but that makes no difference. It still hit me very hard. The lesson I learned is about beauty. I have always thought of Betsy as being homely, but last night I found that she has a beauty all of her own. She is very brave to have an article like she had in the paper because now everyone in the school knows.

I remember last year when she sat at our lunch table. She wore a wig and wouldn't tell us why. The article was very touching and I'll bet that not many eyes were dry after they read that if they know her.

This entry was really a lie to myself. I was sad, but I also was not a good friend to her, nor would I end up being. I remember reading this article. In fact I still have the article in a scrap album.

Betsy was not a dear friend of mine. She and I sat at the same lunch table for at least one year. She and Jeff (my 6th grade crush) were good friends, perhaps even girlfriend/boyfriend. I mentioned her earlier in the journal. I was jealous that Jeff liked her and not me. It turned out that Jeff knew about the illness.

I also remember the wig incident. Betsy came to the lunch table wearing a wig. It was obvious and I said in a voice loud enough for her to hear, "Betsy looks so much better without the wig". I felt pretty bad about what I said after reading the article that mentioned how mean some girls at school were to her regarding the wig. I don't think it meant comments like mine, but I was in no way supportive of her that year.

Betsy died the following year when I was on a boating trip on the Chicago river with the British students who were visiting. I never visited Betsy in the hospital. My friend Lori told me that Betsy died in the middle of me telling her about holding hands with one of the British students during the bus ride back home.

This might be a good time to mention the lunch table. When I began junior high school I ate lunch during a period in which none of my friends ate. It was my first experience having lunch at school because in elementary school I walked home for lunch. The first day of school I got my lunch and sat at an empty table. I began eating and was very uncomfortable being all alone. Then a group of very popular students sat down at my table and physically pushed me off. I had to find another table to finish my lunch. I saw an 8th grader I knew through my family (her sister was in 7th grade with me) and I asked Chris if I could sit with her. She was sitting with only one other person I knew, Kathy R. a girl who I remembered from elementary school days who no one liked because she was poor and dirty and smelled bad. Slowly that day and throughout the next weeks the table began to fill with loners and outcasts. Girls who would never be popular for one reason or the other. I don't know if I thought this way at the time, but it was not long before I realized it. This is where I ended up meeting Cindy.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

April 12, 1973
In which I don't understand school


Well, I was going to write more last night, but my journal was continously falling in the water.

I cannot understand this school. Last Tuesday I woke up feeling sick but I knew that we had a million things going on at school and I had to go. I have three teachers who say that they need excuses. Well, if I was sick with a cold and my mother made me stay home - what am I to do if one of those teachers are giving a test. They say that they won't let you make it up. I haven't skipped one class except yearbook and I don't plan on skipping.

I just have been sick once and on a few field trips.

Well. OK, that was exciting.

April 11, 1973
In which I try to write in the bathtub


I am writing this in the bathtub. The bathtub is one of the most relaxing places I know and when I am relaxed I can write. Well, sometimes when I am relaxed I can write. I should write a lot but I am in an awkward position and am not able to relax too much.

It is obvious I had just read I Capture the Castle which begins,
"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining board which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea cosy. I can't say I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place you have never sat before can be inspiring---"

April 9, 1973
In which I discuss prejudices


I'm sick! I was in my bed all day Saturday and 'til noon Sunday. When I got up my aunt and uncle came over when mom and dad weren't home and I had to entertain them for an hour and a half. Boring!

6:10 pm

I was just thinking about all of the things I leave out of this Journal that I wrote other times. Maybe I don't especially like people to read it so much anymore! The only person who does read it is Miss Sliger - but still - maybe I ought to keep one other one just for me??? I guess L. W. says, (not real initials) that I will need to convey my thoughts to me, myself and I this summer.

A lot of people must think I am much different than I really am. I don't like anyone to get the wrong idea of me. This sounds silly - but I have classed all people who wear their coats around school as being cheap and that they probably smoke (I have this thing about smoking, I cease to associate with people who smoke, I hate the thought so much). Well, I have worn my coat around school and since I have this stupid feeling about people always watching what Miss Dona Patrick does and that everyone feels the way I do about coats they think I am icky and everything.

I really should be downstairs helping mom get dinner ready but I feel sick. I can tell what it will be like when I do decide to...

I don't have to make any decision. I was just called to eat ---

My, do I love to write!!!

I am assuming I took the day off due to being sick.

In learning how to use a journal in teaching writing skills one technique for kids to keep certain entries private was for them to fold the ones over that they didn't want the teachers reading. That might be akin to the privacy options on some blogs these days (not this one however).

I remember the coat I probably wore around school. It was a red ski jacket. I still have that feeling about the students that wore their coats all day. They also probably had dark roots growing out and wore a lot of make-up.

April 5, 1973
In which I write fast


I have to write fast because there are only one or two minutes left.

I wanted to write about what happened yesterday but I will have to wait 'til tonight.

Hmm, wonder what happened.

April 4, 1973
In which I write about a girl who writes in the kitchen sink


I (pronoun) am (verb) in the middle (preposition) of a very good book. It is called I Capture the Castle. It is a girl writing in her journal about growing up. They are a poor family (I know this is full of bad grammar) and make what they can of their lives. They live in the ruins of an old castle and life becomes quite interesting for them.

I have a great idea for a story! But I'm not telling about it 'til I write it.

I recently purchased I Capture the Castle after seeing the movie. I suspected that I read it at one time, but didn't know I wrote about it. I saw a preview for the movie after seeing another one and thought it looked familiar.

It is a shame I didn't tell about the great idea because it appears it is lost in the fog of memory.

April 2, 1973


We may visit my grandparents over the spring vacation. (hols in England) and I am frightened. How does one talk to one's grandfather who just had his leg (part of it) removed? {that is difficult - just be loving}

I have tried to talk to Mother about it - but all she says is act natural. How can I act natural? I love him so much I don't want to hurt him by acting cold or anything which I am afraid I will seem like. He has gone through enough pain as it is.

We are beginning grammar in English. I don't like it - but I will go along ungroaning and bear it. I need it, I know. But what I need most of all is help with spelling! I have improved very much since last year - I think Spanish has helped me, and, although I hate to admit it, so has looking things up in the dictionary and now it is a mess, falling apart. {dictionaries are a terrific source of learning!} I hope that means I used it too much. {I think it does}

I am rather frightened about Thursday, for on that day I begin swimming lessons at the YWCA. The last time I was in the water was about four or five years ago - not counting wading in the lake in Chetek. I've probably forgotten how to float. I hope my fear of water hasn't returned. I took swimming lessons at Wing Park for five years and flunked beginners every time.

My first thought in reading that my mom said "act natural" was that if I acted natural I would run away screaming.

I still don't spell well. Thank goodness for spellcheck. Spelling was always one of those things that made me feel bad about myself.

My writing seems different than at the beginning of this journal. I think it might be the influence of the British authors I loved.

March 28, 1973
In which I get mad


That was dumb to write -- of course I don't hate her, I was just angry about not getting into Drivers Ed. I'm old enough but I didn't get there on time. {hate bad luck} Daddy said he would teach me. I don't think I could learn from him too well. The thing that really made me angry was that Carol got into it and she is only fifteen. She is eight months younger than me. {that doesn't seem fair}

That is my problem. I feel superior to people younger than me - even two or three months. Then I feel so inferior to people older than me. I am such an idiot.

Drivers ed will prove to be a lot more than a 9 week ordeal.

March 26, 1973
In which I hate someone


I know I shouldn't say this but I hate someone (I think). I haven't been able to get along with her since I met her. Our personalities conflict.

I have no idea who this was written about.

March 23, 1973
In which I am glad


I started Portrait of Jennie today. I think I like it even better than the movie. I may even not go to Cerulean today so I can read it. I am so glad that I didn't quit Cerulean. It has become more interesting and I really like it now.

I have to write to Grandma and Grandpa. My dad wants me to not take summer school and go to Chetek this summer and drive for them since I will take drivers ed next nine weeks.

Lori is in a badish mood today. I think it is the first time I have ever seen her in one.

Have I written about Cerulean yet? Cerulean was the name of our yearbook (our colors were royal blue and white) Cerulean is not quite royal blue, and the cover of the book was far from this color:

I was optimistic about driving, it seems. Ha what a disaster that was to become.

March 22, 1973
In which I read more Lewis and some Nathan


(in response to the supernatural question)
No, I don't believe in ghosts (only in the dark)

I finished The Screwtape Letters and was a bit disappointed. Well, not really. It was his (C. S. Lewis') style but different. Oh well, nothing can compare to his Narnia!!! Mr. Klatt wants to read the Chronicles of Narnia. Maybe I'll let him borrow mine. Miss Sliger said that someone was asking about The Screwtape Letters. I thought I was the only one in the world to ever hear of them. {I can't remember who it was either, darn it}

I'm going to start Portrait of Jennie. I saw the movie and really liked it.

I remember seeing Portrait of Jennie, but not reading it.

I have not read Screwtape Letters since I was sixteen. I think it is time for a reread.

March 20, 1973
In which I confess a fear


Thinking about the quote on the board, "Fear always springs from ignorance"

I am afraid of the dark. I know what the dark is - the absence of light - but it still frightens me. I am afraid that some cold clammy hand will touch my back or a furry crawly thing will run over my toes. Then there is that shadow lurking in the corner that was never there before. I wouldn't mind if it was a person with a knife going to kill me - just as long as it is human, not a ghost or monster. I suppose this fear comes from my childhood and I have never outgrown it. {do you believe in the supernatural? i.e. ghosts etc.}

I am still uneasy in the dark, but now am afraid of people with knives as well as ghosts.

I don't think that kind of fear is what the teacher had in mind.

March 18, 1973
In which I discuss my future


I talked with Mr. Abbs today about my schedule. I hardly believe it yet, I don't know how he talked me into it -- I am going to take child development! He said that it would help me with my teaching.

This summer I plan on tutoring children in reading. {excellent experience} I already have for two boys (and helped one pass). I have to find people for recommendations. Probably the boys' mothers and Mrs. Peterson (an old English teacher). I'll ask my English teacher this year. {Come in and we'll try to round up some needy people (if your interested in high school age tutoring!)}

Child development was a disaster. The class was populated with the same girls as TAP plus the ones who had babies in high school. I dropped out of the class after a few weeks. I was uncomfortable with being with girls my age who had children, I suppose. I remember being in a group discussion where one of the girls told in detail what it was like to give birth from the pubic hair shaving before the birth to the episiotomy and heat lamp treatments afterwards.

I only remember tutoring one child and that was the next door neighbor.

March 16, 1973
In which I want to cheer people up for a living


I have an ambition that probably sounds dumb to other people. I would like to cheer everyone up who looks sad. If someone lost a member of their family I would like to keep them from being sad. {does NOT sound dumb -- sounds idealistic and wonderful} But I probably don't know what I am talking about. I have never had a great sadness and I don't know how I would take it if someone tried to cheer me up. {I'm glad for you. Don't feel guilty because of that. Feel thankful}

Last year when Penny's dad died I wanted to say something like "I'm sorry Penny" but I couldn't bring myself to say anything. The same thing when Lori's sister had a heart attack and died, even though I grew up with both Lori and her sister, I didn't know how to tell her my feelings. I understand a little bit about the other person's feelings now because Marcia hasn't said anything about Grandpa's operation. Yet when she

What a stupid ambition that was. Going around the world cheering people up? Yeah. Did I want to be a clown when I grew up?

I still have problems with other's grief and how to address it. Good friends is one thing, but people I don't know well is a lot harder. The neighbor's daughter died and I don't know what to do. If it were someone I knew well I would go and talk to her, but I am uncomfortable with this woman. I meant to go to the funeral, but didn't check the paper in time.

March 15, 1973
In which I don't understand life

What I don't understand is life. Sometimes I become so depressed for no reason whatsoever. All of a sudden when I am happy I deflate. Then I have all I can do to keep from just sitting down and crying. {it's often hard to explain emotions}

When I tell Mother she asks me what's wrong. Of course I don't know usually so she tells me "don't worry, everyone your age feels like that sometimes".

Obviously I wanted my mother to listen and not shrug my feelings off. I wonder if Clare thinks I shrug off hers.

March 14, 1973
In which I think about next year's courses


Huckleberry Finn is a real good book. {It's one of the all time greats, I think} I kind thought it would be boring.

I don't know what to do. I have a free period next year that I want to fill. I sort of thought that I would take two English courses = 5 - 6 and [The Literature of] Love and Loneliness and basic writing skills.

Since I don't have to take a math course, I won't. I will take TAP also for two hours and Spanish 3 - 4.

{sounds like a good schedule}

I am annoyed with my high school counselors. They should have insisted I take more math and science instead of encouraging me to drop it since I wanted to be a teacher. What morons.

I did end up taking "The Literature of Love and Lonliness" which was a decent class. Some of the reading material was kind of weird, but the teacher (Leslie Klein) was great. It was in that class that I first ever heard the word "masterbation" said aloud in reference to "self love".

TAP was Teacher's Aide Program. I worked in an elementary school for two hours a day as a student aide. It was set up for potential drop outs, but also utilized by students interested in going on to become teachers. It was TAP that got me interested in becoming a special ed teacher, which I am fairly certain will be a topic of an entry later on.

March 12, 1973
In which I recall a prayer


I don't know how in the world I will be able to complete two books and three sets of questions by this Friday. I really should have planned better - but it's no use saying "should have". I guess I'll have to become a recluse and hide in my room all week and read my books and do the questions.

The quote on the board today "The world is so full of a number of things I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings" held a part of my childhood.
From Robert Lewis Stevenson}

When I was younger I found that quote in a book and liked it. Since I said the daily prayer at dinner I used the saying in place of my usual one. My parents thought - "Oh how beautiful, did you make it up all by yourself? Hmm - they had never read it. I lied that I had.

One day a few months later the quote was in a paper. I doubt I have ever been so embarrassed.

It was written by Robert Lewis Stevenson, wasn't it? {right}
While I remember saying that quote as a prayer, I don't remember the incident where my parents found liked it, I lied and then it was in the paper. It might have happened though.

I didn't recall that it was written by Stevenson though.

I recently saw a movie in which this quote was used as a prayer. And I thought I was unique.

The teacher crossed out what she wrote very well, but I am pretty sure that is what it says after excuse.

March 9, 1973
In which I discuss my reading habits


I finished The Pearl last night and just about jumped a mile when I found out that the son had died. I have been meaning to read that book for a long time but just got the chance this year. {glad you got the chance} That is what I enjoyed most about speedreading - being able to read books I probably wouldn't have never had time to read - but when it is homework you have to. My mother used to complain that I read too much - but can one ever read too much? {No!!! I don't believe anyone can EVER over read.} I used to think so. What if I didn't have any real friends? - Meg, Jo, Bess and Amy were real enough to me.

She [mom] used to tell me to do something constructive like make a wastebasket or Christmas ornaments - but she is the person who likes to make things, she didn't ever like to read. Oh well, I don't read half a much as I used to. I used to bring twenty books home from the library each month and sit in my room and read them (usually romances). For four years now I have been on a gothic mystery/romance kick. I can't seem to drop it. I have read every one of Victoria Holt's books.

{good entry}

I think I did read too much and I think that someone can read too much, especially at the expense of social interaction.

I got another laugh out of this line: She [mom] used to tell me to do something constructive like make a wastebasket or Christmas ornaments...

March 8, 1973
In which I talk about my dad's birthday party

Our "party" last night didn't go as good as we planned. Daddy had two martinis before supper and was quite wobbly on his feet. He also was in a bad mood because Mother interrupted him when he was telling about what he had for lunch. I was doing the dishes 'til 8:30 {that's pretty late} and my homework until 11:45 pm! {and that's even later!} I was in such a deep sleep this morning. I was so, heavy, I guess you would call it. I couldn't wake up.

March 7 is my dad's birthday, so I am assuming the party was his birthday party. This is the first time I write about his drinking. I didn't know at the time, but he had/has a drinking problem. 12 years ago he was in the hospital for heart problems that were blamed on his excessive use of alcohol. I remember my father coming home from work and drinking a couple of very large vodka martinis then passing out in his chair before supper. My mom would plead with my brother or me to wake dad up because he was such a bear when awakened.

He now has a condition called Alcoholic Dementia and recently spent ten days in the hospital.

I once thought a good beginning sentence of my memoirs would be, "My family didn't become dysfunctional until I moved out" Perhaps a fitting second sentence or rest of that sentence would go something like "...Or so I used to think. I suppose they were dysfunctional all along and it took distance to recognize it."

On a lighter note, I actually laughed out loud when I read "He also was in a bad mood because Mother interrupted him when he was telling about what he had for lunch." I don't remember this time, but do remember that he hated to be interrupted.

March 7, 1973
In which I address my temperment

I certainly hope I never meet Dona Patrick. I hope there is only one of me. I would hate her. I don't think I could bear being friends with myself. {interesting view}

I get angry over the least little thing, the tiniest thing someone says to me - even if it is only for my own good. With close friends (and sometimes enemies) I can get angry and blow up. But with a teacher or sort -of-a-friend I have to keep it inside and then go home and tell everyone how much I dislike that person. I don't know how to keep from getting so angry at people. I probably am do for a talk with Mother.

This is an interesting entry to read because I had forgotten that I thought of my anger issues as a real problem, but it seems as if I did and was trying to do something to change the way I reacted.

By the way, I kind of like Dona Patrick these days.

March 6, 1973
In which I feel foolish

Why do I always make a fool of myself when I discuss a book, either in front of a million people or one person. I "um" and "ah" and blink and wiggle my nose and can never think of what I want to say. {You didn't do nearly that badly! pretty good job actually.}

I sound like an idiot in my favorite class and in front of my favorite teacher.

I finally gave into that book that Sandy loaned to me. Ever since she gave it to me to read it has been calling me to read it. Well I began the night before last and read most of it last night. It is so good "you hate to put it down".

I still make a fool out of myself in front of an audience (even one person if I am uncomfortable). I never was very good at talking, unless I really knew what I was talking about. Writing has always come easier.

I wish I knew what book Sandy loaned me.

March 5, 1973
In which leaves are turned and shelves are built

{2} Monday
I think I'll turn over a new leaf this six weeks. I don't know what about - but I feel like being different; quieter? nosier? shyer? bolder? neater? I don't know.

I wonder what in the world I did with those dumb questions. I think I put them in the waste basket Saturday and Kevin dumped the wastebasket in the garbage bag and mother put it outside and our nighttime visitor (he looked just like Morris the finicky cat) ate them. Oh well, since I have to clean up the mess I probably night find them.

I am so happy I have a vanity in my room. (how nice - a real convenience, too} I have always wanted one. And Daddy finished the bookshelves. Now my room is beginning to look like and fee like me. {great!}

I saw Peter Pan last Friday night. Of course I cried at the end (like always) but not for the same reason as I did six or seven years ago; but because I realized that I was growing up, just like Wendy did and there were things that I would have to leave behind. {what a common feeling among all of us mortals} I want to take everything with me. Oh, it's so hard and I'm so frightened.

I don't remember what I chose to change about myself, but the first part of the entry is written very neatly.

Don't know what questions I was talking about.

I grew up in a two bedroom bungalow. For years my brother and I shared one of the bedrooms, his bed folded down and slid under mine. When we were too old to share my parents expanded the living room and he slept in a nook in the expansion. Finally my father made true to his word and refinished the attic and made a room up there. I remember the first night I slept there (before it was completely finished) I had a bloody nose (probably from breathing sawdust all night) and was too frightened to move so I just bled all over the sheets.

The room was dark. It was paneled in a dark honey colored wood and had only one window and few lights. My mom recently painted it white and took up the old shag carpeting. It looks a lot better now.

Watching the television play, Peter Pan, was one of my yearly rituals, as was watching The Wizard of Oz. I would sit in front of the television and sob at the end for Wendy's lost youth. My dad would tease me about it which would make me angry. Recently, after seeing the movie version of it, I wondered if perhaps Wendy made up Peter Pan.

March 2, 1973
In which I don't get angry

I can't think of what to write. Every night before I go to bed I have it all planned about what to write but by the time classtime rolls around I can never remember it. {You're a pretty good planner - Your Journal is always very thought filled and interesting}

Nothing wonderful or terrible has happened since yesterday except Mom and I almost had a fight last night. She was angry because I didn't set the table or something so she was throwing cute, witty little sayings at me and acting cold. Instead of getting angry and talking back I just agreed with her. I know I would end up having a temper tantrum if she had stayed in the kitchen but luckily she left and I didn't act like a fool. {+ + + +}

I wonder what the other student's journals looked like. The only other person I really remember from that class was Dan F. - a boy who would take me to my junior prom and who liked me more than I liked him. I bet he had a good journal. He was smart and a deep thinker.

Not what sure the four plus signs are at the end of this entry. I think it was a grade of some sort. I think it was the end of a quarter or something. The red line was probably the teacher's way of marking that she had read up to that point.

I have finally come to the day of the year it actually is. So this was written exactly 32 years ago today.

March 1, 1973
In which I become invisible

I feel icky today. I don't know why. Maybe I don't like what I am wearing or something. My old inferiority complex is showing I guess.

I have been pretending I am invisible today. {now there's a trick} Then if someone looks at me and looks like they are going to vomit I can pretend that they are looking at someone else since no one can see me. That seems the only way I can live and bear living on days like this.

I'm just glad that these kinds of days come along sparsely.

I had a dream the night before last that my English teacher was a hall monitor for after school. She wore an umpire's costume and wouldn't let anyone go out the doors in the new wing - the ones I go out of. Then she was joined by Mrs. McGiness, the Bible Lit. teacher to keep people from going out of that door. {What a wild dream. {Maybe your English teacher didn't have the "RULES" memorized properly.}

I remember using the invisibility trick. I would go so far as to push my nose like a button, and then be invisible for whatever amount of time I needed to be.

February 28, 1973
In which I have little to write

Mythology is quite interesting. It's fun to read about some person's thoughts on how a certain flower was made or why people fall in love. A lot of the explanations are like Narnia's.

This is terrible - I cannot think of what to write, usually my pen skims across the paper but it doesn't today. Maybe I am excited to go on the Spanish trip to see Man of La Mancha. I dislike Spanish class.

This brief entry brings a few memories. First of all, I remember reading a book about mythology, but am not sure it was the one by Edith Hamilton. Cool if it was, that is a classic.

I remember being at Cindy's a few days before seeing Man of La Mancha. Cindy thought the movie might have some inappropriate scenes in it and pulled out a magazine from under her brother's mattress. In the magazine there was a picture of Sophia Loren with someone standing behind her, with his hands on her breasts. I think Cindy and I hoped the movie would have some inappropriate scenes.

February 27, 1973
In which I think about death

Death is something I think about quite a lot. Not because I plan to take my own life - or anyone elses - but because it is a dark shadow in my and everyone's future. What is it? How will I feel - or will I feel? Is there a place called Heaven and Hell?

My mother reads books about what other people say about death, then she reads certain parts to me. How ridiculous everything sounds. I think I'll go to Narnia.

The sky is beautiful today. On the way to school I was breathing the fresh air and along came a big truck with smoke piling out of the smokestack at 100 mph. The whole area was covered in the stinking mess.

Once again the Soap Opera Cindy takes place.

I don't know what to do about her. I got mad at her again yesterday but I held my anger and smiled. I think I'll get ulcers. {you're too young. Please don't}

My daughter has been talking about death lately too. I guess it is a teen phase.

I still plan to go to Narnia.

February 24, 1973
In which I wonder WWCD (What would Cindy do?)

Lori and I saw Fiddler on the Roof Saturday. It was really beautiful. {It was, wasn't it?} I expected the movie to be about a poor musician who made a living by playing the violin on people's houses.

I haven't told Cindy that I saw it. I didn't want to go with her because if I had been excited over the movie she would say that I was copying her. Just like at J. C. Superstar. She was all worked up over it and asked me why I wasn't hopping up and down over it. I said because I had to be thought about it at first -- she then told me that I didn't like it. The next day when I was excited about seeing it she said I was copying her and doing the same thing she did.

Why do I get sick when I even think of her? We were once best friends. When we are together we still are - but when there are other people around she shows off her wit and humor.

Again it is interesting to read and think about my friendship with Cindy in relationship to my daughter's friendship with her once best friend. I have agonized over Clare and Angela's lost friendship, but after reading my entries from thirty years ago, I know Clare will be fine and she may even have good memories of the good times with Angela.

I thought I had seen Fiddler on the Roof with Cindy and her mother, I don't even remember seeing it with Lori.

I do remember seeing Jesus Christ Superstar though, and do remember the conversations with Cindy about my opinions of it. Cindy had a huge personality and I think I was always either overshadowed by it or trying my best to break free of it and show some of my own personality. I remember thinking, back in junior high, that I could do something really exciting one weekend - something I had never done before (go to Europe or something) and Cindy might have weeded the garden or made a cake that weekend. On Monday, Cindy's stories about her weekend would still overshadow mine, she was always able to make the most mundane of stories much more exciting than anything I could come up with.

One more Cindy memory. In 9th grade (which was still middle school back then) the song American Pie first came out. I heard it on WLS and thought it was wonderful. I told Cindy about it and she was not interested, didn't listen to me tell her about this awesome song I heard that weekend. A few days later Cindy was describing a wonderful song she heard on the radio. It was American Pie, of course.

February 23, 1973
In which I think about friendships

Yes, I do treasure friendships. I suppose it is because there was a period in my life when I would sit in the house with nothing to do, all by myself, with my mother badgering me to go and see if Lori or Colleen could play. What a fool -- I thought. I haven't seen Lori or Colleen for a year - they probably have forgotten about me by now.

Now that I do have friends and do things more and am less shy I understand why my mother wanted me to have fun. I always thought that I was happier by myself.

Lori and Colleen both attended Catholic school and lived one block west of me. There was an easy cut through alleyway so it was no hardship walking to their houses, but because we didn't go to the same schools I didn't have a lot in common with them (although Lori and I shared a birthday - same year and day). My mother was friends with both Lori and Colleen's mothers. She still sees Lori's mother on occasion, and my brother and Lori's brother, Phillip were best friends and still remain in touch.

I remember wanting to be alone. I probably would have liked to hang out with friends, but I was very shy and just didn't know how to go about making or keeping friends.

I am pretty much back to that now. I spend entire days alone and don't see friends for weeks. But it is different now, I am the mother and I socialize with the parents of my kids or the friends of my husband. It seems less important to me now, to have a best friend, although I do wish I had a confidant sometimes.

February 22, 1973
In which I consider my temperment

Wow! Am I glad it's journal time. I am at the end of Shane and I just know something's going to happen to make me cry. I'm glad I can read it at home. Mother tells me I'm too proud to cry -- sure when she wants me to -- but crying is really the best way to let your anger go I think. Of course it is better than hitting someone or screaming at someone and calling them names. I think if people showed their feelings more - than holding them inside, it would be a better world. I shouldn't talk. I hold my feelings inside me 'til I burst -- then I have a fit temper tantrum. {a lot of professional psychologists agree with you.}

I saw Miss Meyer yesterday. It was wonderful. She recognized me right away. So did my first grade teacher, Mrs. Giboney. The teachers seemed so much less overpowering than they did when I had them.

I think I remember reading Shane but had forgotten until just now.

I did have a wicked temper and would have regular temper tantrums. This lasted until I was a young adult, then I learned I would not always get my way if I had one. That was the reason, I had them, I think. I wanted my way and got it if I threw a fit (what my mom called them). Once I picked up a pile of papers and threw them down on a brand new dining room table and put a dent in the table that is still there today.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

February 21, 1973
In which I reminisce about elementary school

Wednesday (8:35)

My mom is right. You can't go back to your childhood places. Even an old school you went to for eight years. I want to go to Highland this afternoon -- but there are so many rules and regulations that say - not in so many words - No, once you've left you cannot come back. I feel like crying and getting mad at everyone - but I will just write my feelings in here.


I was angry earlier this morning when Lori told me that her mother said we might get kicked out of the grade school. Her mother is always butting into things like that. She was all upset over the fact that I wanted to see my 3rd grade teacher - Miss Meyer. She (Lori's mom) doesn't like Miss Meyer. I really don't know many people who do. I learned more from her than any other teacher since. Things not from books - but the fact that I am as good as anyone else and if I have a question ask it. (in school).

I told Lori something that I have only told Cindy. I am more ashamed of this than anything else that has ever happened. The fact that I had to take third grade over.

That's why I make it such a point to do better in school in the grade.

{You appear to have a very mature attitude about life, Dona. It is natural for all of us to have many questions - and fewer answers; we humans seem to have an eternal quest for knowledge. Everyday adds something to our constant growth process.}

Barbara Meyer, was my third grade teacher both years. She was considered the meanest teacher in the school and most parents were as afraid of her as their children were. Looking back, I remember her looking a lot like the "We Can Do It" woman on the WW II propaganda posters. She had a loud voice and was heard to swear on occasion.

Near the end of my first third grade year, Patty K., a classmate down the block, told me that she heard Miss Meyer tell someone I was going to flunk third grade. I ran home crying and my mom told Miss Meyer what Patty told me. Patty (sidenote - she was the aunt of my nephew's longtime girlfriend and neice's roommate in college) got in trouble for telling something she overheard (she was helping Miss Meyer erase the boards or something). What on Earth did Miss Meyer expect? That was quite a scoop for an 8 year old to keep to herself. My mom denied it, but not long afterwards told me it was true.

I was sitting on a tricycle backwards with a pillow behind my back and scooting around the living room. My mom said she had something to tell me and told me that the teacher and principal thought it would be best if I didn't go on to 4th grade next year. Of course I was upset and embarrassed. I was mostly concerned with the first day of school in the fall where normally we all went back to our previous year's classrooms and the current year teachers would come in one by one and read the names of the students in his or her class. I wondered if I would be the last person sitting in that class and everyone would know.

What the teachers did was have me go somewhere else and help out, but return to the class when all sorting was over. I guess it helped me not be so aware of not being promoted, but everyone figured it out at some point, I am sure.

In the long run it was the best thing that could have happened. Had I not repeated that year I may very well have dropped out of school or done so poorly that I would not have considered college. Miss Meyer did me a favor. I requested to be in her class the next year and I think I was a favored student that year. She was surprised because she knew her reputation.

I did get to visit with her later, and when I was in college did a brief internship at the school. I got to hang out in the teacher's lounge and did talk with her some. I wrote her a letter about 15 years ago, but it was before word processing and personal computers were common. I typed it on an electric typewriter, allowed another teacher to look at it and since she found so many errors I threw it away.

February 20, 1973
In which I don't even have to just say no


I have been asked many times this year from concerned grown-ups whether or not there are drugs at Larkin. I always come back with the same answer, "There probably are although I have never come in contact with them. I guess I'm with the right people." Then the concerned grown-up goes away and talks to another grown-up about the lady across the street or her great grandmother's funeral.

That is true though. I haven't heard anything about drugs (not that I want to). {good} I don't see why people get so worked up over the things at Larkin. I was frightened to come to Larkin last year because it was such a "drug market". My uncle was a custodian here. He told everyone about the problems of Larkin.

Is still don't remember any drugs at Larkin.

I was afraid to go to high school. My uncle did tell me scary stories (such as the time a student pooped on the stage). My cousin (this uncle's daughter) was so afraid of going to Larkin she got sick and was home schooled for at least a quarter of a year.

February 19, 1973


Cindy and I are slowly becoming enemies. Mother and I were talking one day and she says cindy and I are jealous of each other. {posibility}. I don't know about that. Cindy has finally gotten what she strove for ever since we met - better grades. Now she is high above me -- better than me in all ways. {I doubt if this is true. You have many good qualities.} Now she is more outgoing, has much busier weekends.

Oh well, everyone can't be perfect.

I'm such an idiot. But I hae on one else to tell my "problems". My mother told me to quit talking to her about how Cindy hurts me. At least now someone reads my writing instead just me and the ghosts under my bed. {writing is often an excellent release of feelings and emotions}

Of course it was jealousy. I can see that now, and probably not Cindy's jealousy of me, but mine of her. My daughter had a friend for several years who is no longer such a good friend. Their loss of friendship broke my heart, but even though it might hurt her now, she will get over it as I have with Cindy.

I may have mentioned this earlier in this blog, but Cindy lives a few hours from me in Charlottesville, VA. My nephew lives there now and we will be visiting him several times during the next few years, so I should really write to Cindy and stop by or arrange to meet somewhere. It would be healing for me, I think.

Oh Ms. Sliger, where are your comments now?

February 16, 1973
In which I worry about seeing my grandfather


I want to see Grandma and Grandpa very much - but on the other hand I feel odd about it. I don't know how I am going to act when I meet them -- especially Grandpa.

I have known people with artificial things - eyes etc..., and I know people who are maimed in some ways. I cry to think that I hadn't paid much attention to him. I always was with Grandma more. Grandpa and I could almost be the same person -- we have the same interests (except he likes dirty books, Ick!!!). {My goodness}

I came across the golf equipment Grandpa gave me last summer. It made me sad to think that I probably will never have the chance to caddy for him like always wanted me to. {Your grandparents must be very considerate}

I wrote about this in another blog. I remember all of this - even coming across the "dirty" books my Grandfather read - one was a classic: Fanny Hill. I never admitted it in this journal, but I snuck some of my grandfather's books out of the house and read them, guiltily, on the dock, away from adult eyes, although this may have been during later visits.

February 15, 1973
In which I discuss friendships


That was stupid what I wrote yesterday.

I have decided that Lori is really the best friend I have. She understands my moods {good choice of words) as a natural thing (for I am a very moody person I'm afraid). Yesterday when I came to school with a frown and a sharp tongue she understood and didn't try to pry into what was wrong. Then she sent me a valentine card and said: (I hope you feel better).

It's thoughtful things like {You seem to have a true understanding of "friendship"} that that brings friends closer together.

I feel terrible - I received two valentines yesterday and I didn't send any. {pretty popular}

I received a letter from Pam yesterday. She said that she could hardly believe that Gary called me. She said that he must be hard-up. I wonder how I should take that.

I had a dream about Gary last night (nightmare actually).

On hindsight, if I had been a better friend to people, perhaps I would have had more of them like Lori. I don't think I really had any idea of how to be a friend at age 16.

And that Pam.

Pam moved from Elgin to a town in northern Minnesota probably around this time so the letter might have come from Minnesota. She married right out of high school, became a nurse and had children early. Her husband, a firefighter, did some stepping out during the marriage and she and he divorced about ten years or so ago. My husband and I visited her in Duluth about 15 years ago. She and I quit writing not long after the divorce. Of course I know what she meant. Gary had no interest in me so he must have been hard-up to call. Ha. Good thing she and I no longer correspond.

February 14, 1973
In which I don't want to wear boots


I'm mad. I am honestly a lunatic. I can not believe what happened today. I'm crazy. I really think I need psychiatric help. Why I am writing this because when I read this over I will remember better (worse).
It was all about wearing boots. I hate to wear boots. I had a fit. I'm crazy. I told my parents I hated them. I'm crazy. I wish I was dead. {I don't believe you. I think you are really happy to be alive}

I think I may remember this incident. I think it must have snowed and my mom or dad insisted I wear boots to school, something I obviously didn't want to do. I remember being furious and running away from my father who hit me (probably for saying I hate you to him and my mom) and I hit him back. This may have been a different time, but I suspect it was this time.

My son has left the house furious with me or my husband. I wonder how he feels after - does he feel like he is crazy and wishes he were dead? I imagine he feels similar feelings, even though he hides it under anger.

February 13, 1973
In which I have nothing to write


I don't know what to write about. I'm not in the writing mood. What did I do this weekend? I answered the phone - that's what I did. We put our car for sale and I think everyone in Elgin called up to ask about it. The person who finally bought it was my eighth grade science teacher's brother. Ick {that's odd, isn't it?}

I went shopping with Lori on Saturday to find a present for Mother. I got her a yoga book and now I found out that she doesn't like yoga anymore. The card I bought for her says Happy Birthday Mom on the outside and inside I couldn't have said much better myself - You are the only person who knows the real me... That is what we talk about after our "fights". She says that she knows the "real me".

My mother and I fought something terrible during my teen years. Part of that was my temper, but another part, I think was the fact that she had little idea of what to do with me. We were probably a lot alike in many ways, both shy for one thing. That was the cause of a few fights - she wanted me to not be like her when I grew up, too shy for my own good. So far my daughter and I get along well, still. We will see.

While I don't remember the car that was sold to the brother of my eighth grade science teacher, I do remember the teacher. His name was Mr. Ludwig and his family went way back in Elgin history. His father was a veterinarian I think It was in Mr. Ludwig's science class that I learned about the birds and the bees. It was all spelled in badly typed purple ink on paper that at first was cool to the touch and smelled of chemicals. Everything was there. I walked out of class deciding I would not marry and have children if that was required.