First and foremost, thank you to all who have read my past blog posts and my book, “Homey’s Adventures.”
As promised, I am writing this book as a sequel to the happy ending of my first book. I recently started writing this book, and I have been inspired lately. I decided to share this with you. So, without delay here is Chapter 12 of my third book:
Chapter 12 – Propelled into Two Different Worlds
My mother and father were married in Yuma, Arizona prior to going overseas. My dad was transferred there and there was not any way my mother could be with my dad other than marriage. My dad’s nickname for my mom was Friday. I believe she was called this when she worked in Barry Goldwater’s secretarial pool. I think this is where they made my brother. Can you guess which day of the week my brother was born on?
The adage that “opposites attract” could not be any truer for my parents. My dad grew up in a sod house in northern Oklahoma. I remember him saying that he had to share shoes with his sisters because they did not have enough money for shoes for everyone. My grandfather was Sheriff of a small town in northern Oklahoma. He died when my father was still in school, and this made it even tougher for them to survive.
My mother grew up on a farm. Her father died when she was still in school too. Her and her mother lived with my grandfather who owned a mattress factory and a livery stable in a small town in central Oklahoma. Even though the depression, they lived adequately. My grandfather also had oil wells which he gave to my grandmother’s brother. My mother was well off enough to have a notice of her eighth birthday party published in the local paper.
My mother was usually soft spoken, gracious, and always proper. My father was gregarious, rambunctious, and loving. I believe that God makes men and women so that they complement each other. God making Eve out of Adam’s rib may be a metaphor for how we are incomplete without our other half. I cannot think of any better example of this than the contrasts between my mother and father.
The war propelled my parents into two quite different worlds. My dad was on an island in the Pacific facing death every day. My mother was in Oklahoma City pregnant with my brother and babysitting her nephews and niece while Aunt Shorty helped build Gooney Birds.
My dad mentions the food available to him after several of his missions. Victory gardens help make this possible. Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Germany during World War II. In wartime, governments encouraged people to plant victory gardens not only to supplement their rations but also to boost morale. They were used along with rationing to reduce pressure on the public food supply. Besides indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens a part of daily life on the home front. Home-grown vegetables supplied 40 percent of the produce grown in the United States by 1944.
As I was growing up, I can remember my mother and aunt frequently canning or cooking something. I can picture them in the kitchen in Oklahoma City in March 1945:
“Hey, sis, what are we going to plant in our Victory Garden this year?”
I think some tomatoes, carrots, peas and green beans. Oh, what about watermelon?
“Do you think we have enough room for watermelon?”
“I’ll make room sis.”
“Shorty, you always were so good with growing and cooking things.”
“Yes, and mom taught you to sew up a storm.”
“Do you remember when mom made dresses out of old flour bags?”
“Yes, I don’t think she ever wasted anything. The flour companies put the flour in colorful material so that it could be reused.”
“The baby is kicking again; do you want to feel it?”
Aunt Shorty puts her hand on my mom’s stomach and exclaims:
“Feels like a boy. He’ll probably be rambunctious like Andy.”
They both giggle at Aunt Shorty’s comment.
“If it is a boy, we are going to name him Andrew. Andy’s father was named Andrew and his father named Andrew. We don’t know for sure how far back the tradition goes. None of them had middle names.”
“That will be confusing. When you call one by name, both may answer.”
“We can name the baby Andrew Junior. We can call him Junior when Andy is around.”
“Well, you know that Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and you, my dear, are Scottish.”
“Yes, I would love to go to Scotland someday.”
My mother did eventually go to Scotland with my sister a few years before her death. As I write this, I miss my mother. She was such a good woman and the first woman who loved me. That makes her very special in my heart.
We tend to adapt to the circumstances God propels us into. For my dad, it was a little slice of pie or candy from home that made it bearable. For my mom, it was rationing and Victory Gardens that made her feel she was part of the winning the war.
End Of Chapter 12
I recently started drafting this book about 3 months ago and I still have a lot of research to do. I plan to share some of my work as time and resources allows. I am hoping by next Father’s Day, my new book will be completed and published.
I encourage anyone who had a parent or grandparent who flew in the B29’s from Tinian Island in 1945 to contact me. Without these heroes protecting our freedoms, we would not be able to celebrate our country’s founding on Independence Day.
Originally, I started this blog as an eclectic mix of what I was thinking during the week and book reviews. I will do some of that too. So, you do not want to miss what follows. Follow my blog to make sure you receive it.
If you do not want to wait that long and you have not read my first book. I encourage you to go to my website, www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters for free, and you can also buy it. Or you can buy it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other fine retailers. Just search for it using the words: Homey’s Adventures by Jim Wish.
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I liken myself to the Vienna Violinist described in chapter 5 of Homey’s Adventures Too. I play (write) for your enjoyment and mine. God bless you all.