Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Last week, I awakened with a dream still in my head. It was a memory from one of my more confusing first days in America.

I arrived in America late September 1938. I was 18 years old. It was imperative I get a job because I had no money when I arrived and I needed to continue my studies.

I went to a Scandinavian employment agency on Madison Ave. in New York City and, within hours, I had a job. My salary was $70.00 per month plus room and board and I had the fabulous title of kitchen maid. The butler, who's name was Urban, was waiting for the lady-of-the-house to make up her mind and then he drove me to Princeton, New Jersey. It was a scary moment. Eveything was so different.

The help -- and there were lots of us -- there were parlor maids, a chamber maid, a butler, a chauffeur and several gardeners. The gardeners lived elsewhere. The chauffeur had a house of his own. The rest of us had a separate 2-story house where we slept and ate.

All of a sudden, Halloween was coming. People decorated and bought candy. I had no idea what they were celebrating. I had never heard of Halloween in Sweden. We lived on the outskirts of Princeton in the country where we didn't have any children knocking on the door. There were two children who lived in the main house as the children of the house. They had a German governess. They didn't go out trick-or-treating and they didn't get any candy.

We each had a bedroom in this separate house. Halloween evening we were off from work and gathered around our living room radio. Someone said let's turn on NBC. The broadcaster was Orson Wells. In a hysterical voice he was shouting about Martians who had landed on the New Jersey hillsides. He had a strong voice as he spoke very emotionally about how the Martians were looking for mischief. I had no idea what was happening. I think the chamber maid was from the area. She was terribly upset because her elderly parents lived in Trenton where the Martians were headed. She worried her parents could be picked up aliens.

The next morning we read about Orson Wells show in the newspaper (the big house had lots of newspapers delivered). When we learned he almost lost his job as a newscaster, we realized then what a historical event it had been.

When I woke up, I was amused by the memory. When I picked up the newspaper, I saw an article about Orson Wells and his Martian joke. I thought, wow! I was right there. Such a historical event in a different century and now very few people remember or have even heard about the historic Halloween night.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


The other day it was raining just slightly and I decided I should have more exercise. I put Edgar on my walker with a leash and we walked down to the parking lot for residents.

 Then we out on the sidewalk of Miller and to Alto Camino. It was a mistake I discovered early on and I should have turned back. Edgar was absolutely hysterical. He tried to run away. I picked him and put him back because he jumped off the walker a couple of times.

Since I am pretty unsteady on my feet and I had to let go of everything to pick him up, I was afraid I would tip over.

I wondered if I should let go of the leash and let him run home but I was afraid he may not know his way or could get caught on his leash and get lost. The sound of the cars scared him so much.

So scared I was going to lose him, I hurried along, turned the corner and came in the front door. There he was happy. People were talking to him and petting him and he loved it.

I gave him a treat. He ate it and went next door and went to sleep on my neighbor's pillow.