Vale


In the spring of 1955, we moved from Marsing to Vale, Oregon, where we had purchased an 80-acre farm located on bench land about five miles west of Vale.  As in Marsing, we ran a dairy farm, and the crops we raised were basically the same.  We had a nice home (even an indoor bathroom!), and there was a large orchard to one side, filled with apricot trees, some apple trees, and berry bushes.

We moved away from the farm for a stint in Medford, Oregon--economically driven.  My father worked there for the Soil Conservation Service, and Mom had a job at Harry & David's.  The only real memory I have of this time is coming home from my babysitter with Mom through dense fog.  I believe the story goes that we had to abandon the car at some point and walk.  My siblings write more details of this period in the family history.

We went back to the farm when I was five.  I can remember the layout of the farm and the house.  I remember the incinerator because we found a new litter of kittens there once.  I remember sticking my hand into the large bag of powdered milk meant for the calves and eating the powder.  I liked to help whip up that powder with a big aluminum whip.  I also  remember going with the older kids down into the field to herd the cows up for milking.  I remember "Superman" on the TV and "Huckleberry Hound Dog."  I also remember going to General Conference in the car with Mom.  She left me with Uncle Orson and Aunt Clarissa.  I remember Ann and Sue took me to a soda shop.  I also remember their Bassett hound, George.

We had some dirt mounds next to the house which we used to use to build elaborate roads for our small cars.  I enjoyed making mud pies--I remember that vividly, decorating them with leaves and flowers.  I had an old trike which I rode around;  I think we had a wagon too.

I remember going to movies at Christmas--"Grayfriar's Bobby" which was so sad and "Dog of Flanders"--another tear jerker.  I remember waking up from a nap and seeing Mom ironing to the background of "The Secret Storm" on TV.  I remember Red Goose Shoes--"Half the fun of having feet is Red Goose Shoes!"  When you bought some you got to stick a token in a big vending machine, and a big plastic egg came out with a prize!  I also remember Mom cutting the toes out of our sneakers when our feet grew.  I remember when Grandma and Aunt Norma came.  Perhaps that is because those are the only pictures we have of this period.  They brought some Christmas ornaments--Santa heads that came apart and were filled with candy.  I also remember a book with a music box inside it that you could turn.  And some collapsible vanity cases. I asked Aunt Norma about this chapter of the family history once.  She admitted that they were very worried about the family.  I'm sure the wolves looked very close to our back door, but as my siblings have mentioned, we were all extremely happy and content to be on the farm!

I also remember all-day suckers with a loop handle instead of a stick for safety purposes I suppose.  Our father worked as an artificial inseminator for a company that distributed bull semen AND candy!  I may have that mixed up in my mind.  I do remember the little glass vials that he gave me for my dolls.  I was in middle school before I put all of that together!  It was quite the awakening!

One memory stands out to me.  I remember Dad bringing home two hula hoops for Norma and me in his truck behind the seat.  I can imagine that we hounded him for a long time.  One was blue, and one was yellow with a red stripe.  I also remember riding with Dad on the tractor in and out of the silage pit.  The smell was very unique.  I still remember it.  I was the only child at home, and my mother worked, so I was often left in my father's care.  I accompanied him to the feed store in town and made the rounds with him to several farms. I also remember the family slaughtering and plucking chickens in the basement.

Small children are dependant on others to preserve the memories of early times.  My siblings record more stories and descriptions.  They also do a masterful job of describing the general mood of the family.  They recall this period with fondness.  Because the farm eventually had to be sold, I can imagine that the discussions preceding that could have been lively.  To the credit of our parents, no matter how "animated" the discourse was, the children were thriving.   












(Foulger cousins at Grandma's)


(Norma with cousin Keith)



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