Pleasant Grove

Pleasant Grove, Utah, was a relatively short uneventful chapter in our story.  Lest you assume we skipped off through a picket fence picking flowers as we entered our cozy bungalow, it wasn't anything quite like that!  We rented a comfortable little brick home with the help of our friends Jim and Billie Fedor who lived in Pleasant Grove--they were the reason we landed in Pleasant Grove when we made the exodus out of Indiana.  As the reader may recall (Don't skip that Bloomington chapter!), we returned to Utah hopeful to find a position in which Chris could teach piano.  That didn't materialze.

Chris was making pizzas in American Fork, and I was doing some free-lance editing for a local publishing company and the Freeman Institute for whom I had briefly worked in Provo.   I proofed a very extensive book on midwifery which took quite a few weeks.  We planted a gigantic garden and hoped for a bounteous return, but some dogs got into it and ruined it. Our children were growing and thriving, and Thomas was in a holding pattern--just waiting until December.  We can only assume he was practicing the mad skills he arrived bearing.  Everyone was busy.  The only thing we weren't generating was an income.  We experienced our first encounter with church welfare subsidies. My parents staged an intervention, and the kids and I spent a few of the summer months in Montpelier in their home--they were living in Blackfoot at the time, so their home was empty.

In Montpelier we had access to their ample food storage.  It was a better situation in that regard at least except that we had no transportation.  Nancy visited with her kids from Smithfield, Utah, and Suzanne and Shelly  barely escaped disaster when they rolled a parked car down the driveway and off into a creek bed.  Apparently Shelly or Suzanne tried to stop it by dragging feet!  In the meantime, Chris had scared up an adjunct professor position part time at B.Y.U.  We returned home, but the intervention was apparently still in process.  My parents suggested that I get further schooling--apparently their faith in my puppetry skills was waning.  Chris was not the most enthusiastic participant, but nevertheless, I moved in with the ever gracious Nancy and Doug in Smithfield, sharing a bedroom with Suzanne, and Shelly and Taggart took up residence in Montpelier with my parents who had now returned to their home.  I started a graduate program in Instructional Technology at Utah State University.  This was  recommended by Doug who had just completed a doctorate in curriculum in the same department.  And Thomas just laid low.

Meanwhile, I found myself delightfully submerged in one of the most pleasant experiences of my life!  It had been awhile since I had given into my "inner student", and I found that my maturation had reached a comfortable place where I could finally become a real student.  I bonded like granite with my fellow students--Scot Proctor, Glenda Steele and others.  We formed tight study groups.  It was all very stimulating and just plain fun.  Glenda had come directly from Switzerland where she had been the nanny and designated custodian of four Greek children whose father was an ambassador in Zurich.  Glenda was one of the most delightful roly poly humans I have yet to encounter, and we became inseparable.  Scot is still my dear dear friend.  Our bond is ever so deep.   I was wowed by my professors and found them to be the stock of the earth!  The classes were stimulating, and it was all around just a great experience.

I left U.S.U. on Friday mornings to return to my kids in Montpelier and then left there on Sunday evenings.  I finished the finals in mid December, and the next day amidst a terrible winter electrical storm, Thomas was born. We shortly all returned to Pleasant Grove.  At this point plans to move to Texas for a doctorate for Chris were formulating.  We hunkered down to wait out the winter. I worked on my breadmaking skills. Thomas and Shelly acquired a healthy addiction to kids' public television. I joined a Joy School group for Shelly.  We spent a pleasant winter enjoying our new baby.  It was all very cozy.  We purchased (or maybe rented) an upright piano.  Thomas shared the opposite side of the wall in his bassinette.  At one point we joked to our friends that the baby was being raised on Bartok (as in Bela), but what they heard was "bar talk"!  For Valentine's Day that year I received an exquisite rendition of Rachmaninoff's "18th Variation on a Theme of Paganini" and "Liebestod"--a Wagnerian high point.  Along with imported non alcoholic wine from the local Legal Stimulants store, what more could a girl want?

This story picks up again in the Texas chapter.  Once again, even in the short time in this city, we were graced with noble friends and good health.  But staying there was just not in the cards.  Lest the reader begin counting on his/her fingers the moves this short history has thus far involved...tell me about it!


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