Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Trails

New trailer, 1970

We lived in an 8' wide trailer for a year, and then bought a new one, which was 12' x 48' where we lived for three more years. It had an extra bedroom big enough for a crib, and with all that extra space we quickly had a second baby. The kids each got a bedroom and we slept on a hide-a-bed in the living room, which we pulled out and made up each night.

There was a ditch (we called it a stream) behind our house, and a bridge leading to a two-washer laundromat, which the whole trailer court shared. We were all students, most of us with a baby or two, washing cloth diapers several times a week. A huge electric dryer without temperature settings melted all the plastic pants and bibs, and fried anything made of synthetic fabric. I shrunk a bunch of Dee's cotton golf shirts one day, and finally realized the clothesline outside would be easier on our clothing budget.

It seemed that hundreds of diapers floated in the breeze and several young moms would fly out of their doors when it started to rain. I remember collecting a lot of frozen clothes off the line during the winter. The laundry was done while the baby was asleep, or in the crib for safe keeping. It was impossible to carry a hamper and a diaper pail across the bridge with a child in tow. I sometimes placed the infant seat on a little patch of grass while I hung out the wash, but that took a couple of trips, and it was easier to wait until nap time.

I pushed the stroller out to the mailbox on the street, then to the church for Relief Society, stopping at the milk depot on my way home. Sometimes I walked down to the grocery store, but I couldn't manage more than a couple of bags. I only had the car once a week, and that's when I did all my errands and went to the library. Without a TV, and no place to go, I read several books a week.

Christmas, 1970

I looked forward to having a second car, more space, and a washer and dryer, but I didn't feel deprived. We discovered it didn't take much to make us happy. And it was the only time we owned our own home, without a mortgage!

Young Love

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