My grandkids are sleeping so back to my story.
The summer of 1984 was fun with excursions of our own to the Battleship Texas & Monument, the zoo and birthday parties at Chuck E Cheese pizza and Water World. We went to Alabama for a visit to see my family since my parents moved there, before we were on the road again. Jimmy had taken another job and we were moving to Lawton, Oklahoma.
His new boss took us on a tour of this town before we even settled in. He brought us to the Wichita Mountains and drove up Mt. Scott. That was all I needed to see, I was completely taken over by the beauty of this place. We seattled in our new home, which needed a lot of work, but the price was right and it was huge. The park was full of ducks. I really never seen ducks like this before, so we got into the habit to bring bread and feed them every time we visited the park.
One of my first visitors who came by to say hi was my grandpa & grandma Ricci. Which means this were my children's great grandparents. It was so wonderful to take them to Mt Scott and watch them play with my kids. I made friends pretty fast, and we also enjoyed Jimmy's boss and his wife. For Thanksgiving Jimmy's dad and sister with her daughter came for the holiday and Christmas his mother came. All this company helped to keep the homesick feeling away.
The following year, I still had visitors as my sister Nanci would come by to visit and my father in law would come and stay for weeks at a time to help Jimmy re-finish the house, paneling in the hallway, and new kitchen cabinets. He also helped to re-build the screened in porch in the backyard. My
sister in law with her husband Steve also helped us feel back at home.
We lived by the army base Ft Sill and they put on holiday fun with games for the kids to play and yes us civilians were invited.
Jimmy's job was only four days a week with three days off. His days off were never in a row, but he only
worked two in a row which left him a lot of free time. He made friends with Charlie Riner from work, and they always seem to take one day of the week and go fishing. In turn I got to meet his lovely wife Sherry and we became best friends. She had three boys and one girl. We had three girls and one boy. It was
Along with the other friends I made life was now good. It was like home again. I had birthday parties at the house with lots of kids over from all my new friends. We went home in 1985 just in time for the big Gaeta family picnic which was something held every year on my husband's side of the family. The kids got involved in soccer and pep club. And our holidays were now spent with the Riners, our new family. We didn't get away on dates; instead we would take turns with the Riners, and play cards either at their house or ours. We would put on a movie for the kids with pizza and ice cream and have our Friday night fun.
We also decided that I needed to work, because it is pretty expensive to bring up four children. I tried calling some of the day care centers, with the idea I could work with my kids there, just like I did in channelview, but I was wrong. The day care centers wanted me to work for minimum wage, plus they wanted to charge me for my kids. When I did the math, I would owe them money, so I decided to babysit at home. That was how I started my own home daycare. Yea I was crazy but my days started at six A.M. and I watched anywhere from three to six extra children.
In 1986 Jimmy decided that he wanted to coach a softball team and that was the first time we coached our kids, Kristina and Jennifer's team.
When I first met Jimmy he coached a soft ball team in Blue Island, Ill. The name of his team was called Buds Gang. He started with these girls at the age of ten and stayed with these girls as they got older and older and in 1975 they won the Blue Island Park District Teen Girls Softball Championship.
That summer also The Cabaret Supper Theatre was looking for a cast for its Cabaret's 'Pan'. You
guessed it, Kristina and Jennifer tried out and were in the cast. They were one of the lost boys, and how exciting to see them on stage. Our summer was busy taking the two girls back and forth as they practiced for the play, spending time at Arbuckle Wilderness, picnic's at Turner Falls, and swimming at White Water Park. It was such a high to see my daughters performing at the Supper Theatre for the paying public.
The winters were also fun. We were back in snow again and the snowmen made way to my front yard. Only thing about Lawton is you never knew what to expect with the weather. It could snow today and be in the fifties tomorrow as the snow would melt. So I always made it a habit to get the kids dressed as soon as there was enough snow, to make the snowman in the front yard before the snow would melt.
When the New Year rolled around making it 1987, that March I had another beautiful little girl. It was amazing how times had changed. When I had my first baby, no one was allowed to be in the room with
you as you waited to deliver your baby let alone be in the delivery room. With my last one I had my kids and my best friends in the room with me while I was in labor and my best friend Sherry and my husband stayed in the room when I delivered my Regina.
Well I hope you have enjoyed what you have been reading. I have a lot more to tell, so stay tuned.
I am the Author
a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and still believe in the power of love &