Friday, October 22, 2010

a little history

Thought you grandchildren might like to read this bit of our history, although I'm sure you've heard some of it. Lyndsey asked us about reasons and dates, etc., for moving around the country. The first part of this I had already sent to her earlier this month. This letter is just about the reasons for our moves. Love,Gma

The moves we made for the first 7 years of our marriage were usually because of the Air Force. However, we moved many times while we were stationed at one base, always hoping to find a better place to live. We were the lowest in pay scale, and at that time, air conditioning was only available in the houses owned by wealthy people. Most of the rental homes around a base did not even have a foundation of cement, but rather wood studs, or whatever you call them. This allowed many, many cockroaches and other disgusting insects to get into our houses, especially in the kitchen. I will give you a few such situations.

Gpa was going to Flight Engineer School at Rantoul AFB, Illinois in 1953. When we moved from Rantoul to Champaign (just a few miles apart) it was because of large, overgrown, sick flies! We lived in a small lean-to that was built onto some kind of a business; seems like maybe it had to do with mechanics working there, or something. We had a small bedroom, which also served as a living room, a bathroom that had a door so narrow that when I was 6 months pregnant with our Rea Jo, I began to have to somehow twist through the door instead of just walking through it! The kitchen was tiny...that's all the rooms we had. The wood around the large picture window in the living/bedroom was rotting and full of holes, and we could watch the termites entering and leaving this favorite abode of theirs!

We adjusted to the termites and we didn't have to live there in the winter, so it wasn't too miserable.....UNTIL, one night when I got up to make a trip to the bathroom, with bare feet, I stepped on something that crunched and was also mooshy. I screamed and Grandpa jumped up and turned on the light to see what was wrong. (Now this is no exaggeration, although it will definitely sound like a Halloween story!) As we looked down at the floor, horrified, we saw literally hundreds if not thousands of larger than normal and slower than normal, black crawling flies. They covered our floors, our kitchen cabinets, sinks and everything that wasn't in a cupboard or drawer!

They couldn't fly. Obviously, they were somehow diseased or disabled. More and more of them seemed to be slowly emerging, congregating on the floors, so we followed their direction (backwards) until we found that they were coming from a hole in the baseboard near our back door! Every time I remember this incident, I still cringe. We left the apartment (?) and went to the store to purchase some poison spray. We sprayed into the hole and all over the house to kill them. After quite awhile, they stopped coming out of the hole. We gathered up our belongings (which were not much at that time) and immediately went to Champaign and rented a two room apartment in the upstairs of a very nice house, where we stayed until we were assigned to Randolph AFB, Texas.

We bought our own home in Bowers Beach, Delaware, and it was the happiest time of my life before we moved to Utah. We joined the church there in 1959, and our 5th child was born, so it was a huge turning point in our life. I dreamed of being back there many times, especially whenever trials came up in my life. It was as if my heart and mind thought that if I was back there in Bowers Beach, all the problems would be solved! It was always the same dream, and my joy was so great in the dream that I didn't want to wake up, even though I evidently knew it was a dream!

In the Spring of 1963, a major hurricane hit the beach area. I will never forget that morning. Grandpa was on a trip. The kids were just beginning to get up and start getting ready for school and/or the day. I went to the back window and looked out at the swampy area that was just beyond our back yard, and saw the water creeping up at a pretty fast rate, coming toward our house. I ran back up to the front of the house, yelled upstairs that we might have to leave, so they needed to hurry and get dressed. Immediately, I took another look at the back yard and was astounded at how far the water had advanced since my last look, so I RAN to the stairway again and hollered, "Never mind your clothes, just put your shoes on and come down to the car!" The quickly obeyed. Our car sat near the front door on the highest ground of our property, but when I opened the front door, the wind nearly knocked me over and I knew that only the 2 oldest children could possibly stand up in that wind, as the water was now up to the middle of the hubcaps on the car! I carried each child, one at a time, to the car. Rea Jo and Glenn had to also have my help, but I didn't have to completely carry them. I hung on to the support at the corner of the porch and then grabbed for the car door so that I could stay standing in the wind, and in the deep water I had to wade through. We ended up staying with a neighbor whose house sat on higher land, as we couldn't get out of town because of the deep water on the road. Our furnace was ruined in the flood. (It was a floor furnace) We didn't have the money to replace it, so we sold the house and moved in to Base Housing. That was a very sad day for us.

Side Note: Grandma and Grandpa Clodfelter were listening to the radio as the storm progressed when it was announced that a family in Bowers Beach with 5 children had drowned. Since it was pretty unusual for families to have that many children, and because there was no phone in service so that I could call them, they thought it must be our family. So, it was a pretty panicky time for them.

(3) Grandpa is not sure whether he told you this, so this may be a repeat. In 1964, Gpa was up for reenlistment, and had made the decision to stay in the AF 4 years longer. While he was flying on the day he was to sign the papers, he suddenly had the very plain inspiration that we were to NOT stay in the AFB, but get out and go to Utah. He came home that day, announced to me that we were getting out, and we started packing. He had no job, no insurance, no place to live in Colorado or Utah, but we knew it was right.

Why did we stop moving when we got to Kaysville? Because I was sick of moving! Also, because I fell in love with our house in Kaysville, as soon as I saw it for the first time. Even though Grandpa was worried about making a house payment that was a whole $20 more than the rent we had been paying in Centerville, he knew how I loved the house, and so he asked for a raise, got it, and we moved. It was such a wonderful day, and there's no doubt that THIS is my favorite place of all! Grandpa had to commute a lot to get where he was actually based for many years, but I had told him when we bought the house that I never wanted to move again....I wanted to be buried right here! He worked hard to honor that desire!

Well, that was probably a lot more than you wanted, but maybe some of it will be appropriate for your paper!

Love you, Lyndz!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


We are at Glenn's and Pam's, having a great time. Yesterday, Pam and I (mostly Pam, of course,) were able to get a bunch of pickled beets done, which is Glenn's favorite (mine, too). One of the bottles exploded in the canner and got beet juice all over the kitchen and on to the burner, making the house smell like burned sugar! Such fun!

This morning, early, Glenn and Dad/Gpa got up and went flying in Glenn's plane. They went over Zion's and around. Now it is time for Conference. I am really looking forward to watching all of Conference this weekend.The Spirit is always so strong.

John and Ryanne are having serious water problems over at their house. Barely getting a little water occasionally until last night, then we had to have the water turned off completely, because we found out that the water meter is still running.....which means that there is at least a chance that water is running constantly somewhere, causing expense without the benefit of water in the house. It is such a mystery! Anyone have any ideas? WHY is it that every time we come to St. George, we have water problems of some sort at home???

Chuck, I have told them that they could come to our house for showers if they need to. They think they can get by for a few days until we can find the problem, so they probably won't be doing that, but just wanted you to know of the possibility.

Jeff, thanks so much for helping us with this problem. And Lynda, thank you for sending my forgotten flashdrive, camera and exterior back up disk. Sorry to have caused you both so much extra time and effort.

Often, as I am listening to a speaker, if I am blessed with the Spirit I find that truths come to my mind that are NOT what the speaker is saying, but are for my own particular learning. I can recognize these times because at each instance, I am able to comprehend all that is being spoken perfectly while simultaneously hearing the words for my own instruction. This morning, during Conference, Pres. Uchtdorf spoke of being sensitive to the needs of others. That concept led me to think of an instance recently in my life. I evidently said something one morning in a voice that was NOT sensitive to the feelings of my husband. I noticed all through the morning that he felt "down". Later that day, he said he was sorry for the times when he 'disgusted' me. Having no idea what had brought these thoughts to him, and not remembering being disgusted with him at all, I asked him when the last time was that I sounded disgusted. He said that it was that morning, but he couldn't remember what I had said or what it was about! I tried and tried to think what it could have been, and he did too, but nothing came.

Knowing that I have often said things that sounded different than I intended, I knew this was one of those times. I also knew that whatever had transpired was not at all the important
thing.........only my tone of voice had caused the pain in his heart. I would not have caused him that kind of pain for anything, IF I HAD JUST CONSIDERED THE SOUND OF MY WORDS BEFORE I SPOKE!

I've heard other spouses speak or act in uncaring and unfeeling ways to their mate, and I'm sure they didn't mean to appear that way at all. I have felt the hurt that has caused their spouse, although no verbal complaint was made on their part. It is then that I know I must change my own way of speaking and acting in all incidences. I intend to consider how my words sound before I speak, and how my actions will 'speak' before I act. I want to know that my words and actions speak only tenderness and caring, no matter the situation.

I also want to apologize and ask forgiveness for the times I am sure I have seemed thoughtless to all of you in my family. Please bear with me as I strive to overcome this weakness! I know there is absolutely no rigihteous reason for sounding or acting as if the other person, especially spouses and children, are not the most important thing in the world to me, because all of you are just that! If we can speak kindly to others outside our home and family, then obviously we can find a way to speak that way to our most beloved ones!

I wanted to share that with you, and tell you all that I love you very much.