~~~Around Easter of 1988 Jim and my father in law went ahead to Reno to find a house and for jobs. The girls and I stayed behind with my mother in law. I had been married for almost 5 years and this was the first time I had been away from Jim for to long of a period. Harvey (my father in law) came back to get us sometime around July(I think) to move to Reno. Telling my mama goodbye was so hard! I remember driving off and having to stop around the curve cause I was crying so hard I couldn’t see.
We packed up the Uhaul and set off for Reno, with 2 babies. WHEW! That was a trip I’ll never forget. It doesn’t take kids long to get bored with riding. We stopped in Albuquerque for the night to sleep and got up early the next morning. I vaguely remember Kelly throwing a fit in Arizona at the place we stopped to eat. I’m sure she got a spanking although I don’t remember. That was a long trip and I was so happy to see Reno.
When we got to Reno Jim was at work and when he came home things seemed “different”. He had been in Reno for months more or less living the single life and catching up with old friends. (He grew up in Reno) I felt so alone but was determined to make our marriage work. We had a rough few months or so and I almost went home so many times but we worked it out.
We got our own place and was paying 600.00 dollars a month for a 2 bedroom apartment…they said condo but it was an apartment! Remember this is 1988 and we left Arkansas paying like 250.00 dollars for a 2 bedroom house! Nikki started kindergarten and Kelly and I would walk her to and from school every day. This was the first time Kelly and I actually had some one on one time and I was enjoying it.
Jim got hurt while we lived in Reno and had to have back surgery. We stayed in Reno for 3 years with a brief trip back to Arkansas for a few months. We finally moved back to Arkansas for good in 1991. I remember getting back home and mama had 2 little puppies waiting on the girls when we pulled up. They named them Cocoa and Pepper.
I have so many memories of the girls it is hard to decide which ones to share. I remember one where we had a swing from the Oak tree, it was just rope and a board to sit on. It was Nikki’s turn to swing and Kelly slung the swing at her and busted her eye BAD! I was so scared the school would think she was being abused and call SCAN. Nikki heard me telling mama this and when she came home from school the next day she said “ Mama don’t worry, I told the teacher you didn’t hit me in the eye with the swing.” Now did that sound like she was coached or what?
Kelly was always hardheaded! It got her into more trouble than any one child ought to get into! I have actually had to put cold water on her face to calm her screaming down. It was so loud and it cut through you like a knife. One time I put her in her bedroom for not minding and she screamed for so long and so loud. My brother ask me if I was gonna check on her and I told him NO, I’m scared her head will be spinning around and around!!!!!
Nikki almost never got in to trouble and usually if she did it was because she’d tell on herself. One time I heard a blood curling scream from Kelly and ran to see what was wrong. When I got in there Nikki looked at me terrified and said “mama I didn’t hit her in the head with that baby doll!” pointing at the doll. I knew exactly what had happened.
There’s a lot more stories when they got older but I’ll save them for later.
It’s around October of 1992, the girls are in school, Jim’s fighting for social security disability and life seems to be going on….
Stay tuned for ~ The Beginning of the End ~