Snippets from my five-year diary.
*1970 (age 12): Happy Birthday. As one of my presents – no chores all day and night. Had a slumber party for my birthday. I got from Cindy – Magic Mushroom Stationary, Vicki – a card and candy. Mom – Tape, Miss Lollypop cream sachet, Dad – a weeder! Mom and Dad – a watch. Went to church.
One of the highlights of my birthday was no chores. As I’ve mentioned before, my Dad was all about chores – every day. My one day off – day and night! Oh, and he loved to give “practical gifts.” Note – the weeder. This was not a weedeater, it was a hand-held weeding claw (for Saturday chore-days).
*1971 (age 13): Sun. My birthday. I’m 13 a teenager, teeny-bopper, etc. Had fun at Janice’s. Saw her horse. (continued in back of diary) Janice’s mom baked me a cake. Went to Bakersfield on 6th and 7th. I got stationary from Bob and Dad, cologne from Mom, $3.00 and cologne from Adelaide. $1.00 from Grandma. Theme from Love Story (piano piece) from Dad.
We moved from Bakersfield to Fresno a few months before the end of fourth grade. One thing I remember about my parents – they never said no when I wanted to go back and visit my Bakersfield friends. They even let me spend my birthday weekend with my friends. I also had a habit of listing my gifts. Now, it’s interesting to see the monetary gifts. Back then it was a big deal to get $1.00 and $3.00.
*1972 (age 14): Tue. Happy birthday. I’m 14 today. Everyone spanked me and sang Happy Birthday to me at school.
I find it interesting that no mention of gifts or a party this year. Even looking ahead a few days shows nothing.
*1973 (age 15): Wed. Happy Birthday to me. I’m 15 today. Adelaide gave me $3.00 (check). I got spanked a couple of times. I got a Yahtzee game, ring, Almond Roca, 1-2-3-Paint-on-Wood, plastic baseball, 2 pens, stationery, a new bike tire.
Good ol’ Adelaide. She was my mother’s sister-in-law’s sister. Kind of family, and always at every family gathering. She lived in Bakersfield and was a fourth-grade teacher. She never married. When we stayed at her house (visiting from Fresno), I remember this annoying mantle clock that ticked ALL NIGHT LONG. Since we had to sleep in the front room, I’d lie awake and think of ways to hide it. Years later, my mom said she also hated the clock but was too polite to ask Adelaide to take it out of the room when we stayed.
*1974 (age 16): Thurs. Sweet 16 today. Happy Birthday. I’m 16 today. Everybody wished me a happy birthday. Mom & Dad spanked me. Kim gave me a very dainty necklace. I also got 5 dollars from Dad. Stationary from Adelaide, Bob, and Sue. Also, new sheets – pink and white checked. We also had steak – a twice a year treat.
Note how popular stationery was as a gift. I received it four out of five years (and maybe on that other year I didn’t talk about much). And that comment about the steak being such a treat. We only had it TWICE a year??!! Guess that was a treat.
Note to self: Treasure the sacrifices your parents made to send you to Bakersfield on the Greyhound bus. If eating steak was a twice-a-year luxury, I would imagine sending you to Bakersfield was probably not in the budget, yet, they never complained.
Also, all that stationary – it’s practice for when you write all those short stories later in life.