Thursday, July 19, 2007


Memories of Walt

Today marks 5 years since Walt passed away. Many things keep coming to mind. Like how he used to tell me " I love the smell of your hair". At the time I was just washing it with Prell shampoo. Remembering this reminded me of how he was when we first started going together. You all probably remember the movies where it was said " Cookie, cookie, lend me your comb, or some actors who never allowed anyone to touch their hair in the TV program. Well, Walt was like that. Don`t touch his hair- he hated having his hair messed up. If the wind should blow and mess it up, out came his comb to smooth it back down. Reminded me of Henry Winkler and his actions towards his hair in the weekly program. He was always combing it. Walt wasn`t quite that bad, but close.
We were married for a few years before he stopped complaining if I should touch his hair. I used to love the feeling of his soft hair when I would run my fingers thru it. Always soft, never felt rough or course, or oily or dirty-- just as soft as silk. He was a blond when I met him and he kept his blond hair till he was older. He got his blond hair from his Mom, while I had gotten my blond hair from my Dad. Main difference was my hair started darkening while I was in grade school. It`s no wonder our kids have blond hair.

Walt was always so worried about me. He was like a mother hen. Whenever I was working hard to accomplish something he would say " Why don`t you sit down and rest before you get hurt". If he was here to see all the items I have made and the house repairs I have done in the past 5 years, he would have insisted I stop so I wouldn`t get hurt. Yet, he never minded me running the Bike Shop, building bikes from scratch, right down to making the wheels from a rim, spokes, hub, band, tire and tube, etc.. I learned to do every type repair except for the speed adjustments. Oh, I knew how, but I never let him know just to keep him working along with me . Actually the sign out front said "Walt`s Bike Shop", so why shouldn`t he have to do some of the work. Actually I ran the shop days while Walt worked in the Mill, and he ran it evenings and week-ends. He never knew all the times I did the three speed adjustments while he was working. If someone dropped off a bike needing speed adjustments, I usually left that part for him to do. But if the customer was hoping to get the bike fixed while they waited and Walt was working, then I did also did the speed adjustment for them. Walt used to tell everyone I was better at truing up a wheel. I wonder if he just wanted me to do the work of straightening the wheel, but his voice sure sounded like he truly meant it.

Then there was the kids. He hated being the mean parent, so most of the discipline was tossed onto my shoulders. But, when I see how the kids turned out, we must have done something right as they are all hard workers and like helping anyone who needs help. All good kids that I can be very proud of. I taught them somethings and he taught them other things. Helping with school work was one of my chores. Teaching them camping was one he enjoyed. That`s what made the neighborhood boys also enjoy being in his Boy Scout Troop. I remember how hard it was to talk him into becoming the Scout Leader. I was running the Cub scouts when the Scout Master quit, leaving no Troop for me to turn my cubs into. I helped Walt start the troop, I did Badge counseling and things like that. But after the first year, Walt was enjoying it so much that he remained for over 10 years. He even earned the Eagle award. I had over 15 years in Scouting and when we retired, no one else was willing to take over and there has never been either a Cub Den or Boy Scout troop again to this day in our area. It`s a shame that parents can drop off their sons, but can`t spend any of their own time for them.

Getting tired and thinking of heading off to bed brings even more memories. OH, How I loved falling asleep with my head on his arm and his other arm around me. I would fall asleep feeling so protected.

Then there was the time when I was practicing to get my drivers license. I had taken and passed driver`s training in high school. But I never had a car to take the actual Drivers test on. The year Walt decided to let me use his car, I was 8 months pregnant and could hardly fit behind the wheel . My sister went out with me to practice driving and every time we got back, Walt would walk around the entire car to be sure there wasn`t the slightest scratch or dent on the car. This went on until one time as soon as we got home, Walt hopped in the car and headed for work at the Mill. He wasn`t gone very long when the phone rang. I answered to to hear Walt tell me he had dented in the whole back of the car. He had parked the car outside the main building and went in to sign his card in. Then he came out and backed the car up around the end of the building like he always did. Only this time the train had pulled in and was sitting just out of sight and he backed the car right into that stopped train. $100 damage- at the time he was only earning $104. a week, so that took care of that weeks pay. But, as you probably already guessed, he never again checked the car after I was driving it. At that time he was working second shift- he worked 10 days straight then had 4 days off. There was a time when he was working as the night Watchman, which he did for about 6 years. I hated that shift because he slept days and how do you keep 5 small kids quiet on rainy or snowy days when they had to stay indoors. It was awful. I felt like I was raising the kids alone- including his daughter from a former marriage. Walt would get up long enough to eat supper with us, and then back to bed till it was time to get ready for work. I remember one time he told me that he laid down on the stairs and took a nap and the boss almost caught him when he showed up early one morning. Don`t think he tried that again. I was glad when years later he got tired of the night job and transferred to days. He spent about 36-37 years at that same mill. First it was a wallpaper plant, then another co. bought them out and turned it into a paint making plant. Years later the mill was again sold and the new owners started making just car paint. Who knew years ago that working with all those chemicals would result in many of the workers having lung problems. They wore masks and uniforms, but there was still a lot in the air to breath. It really was a health hazard, but we weren`t educated on it back then like workers are today.
Walt was one of those workers who went to work even when he was sick. I could never get him to stay home when he was sick. He never felt he could afford to lose time and still make all the bills. That`s why i went to work to lighten his load once the kids were a little older.
There is so much more running thru my head tonight, but I am getting so tired i am making too many mistakes, so guess I`ll stop and take my precious memories of him to bed with me. Gone, but never forgotten. Five years is an awful long time alone without my true love. He would have said "without my one and only" as that was how he used to sigh every card he gave me over the years. Well, there was one card that just said "All my Love, Walt" and later it must have dawned on him because he said- Hope you aren`t mad because I didn`t say my one and only like I usually did- but you should know that by now. I can still see that smile creeping onto his face that day. He had such a loving smile that even lit up his eyes so they sparkled.
Well, I`m off to try and get some rest. I sleep with a C-PAP machine at night. Should have had it before so Walt wouldn`t have had to worry so much. You see he once told me that i keep stopping breathing when I am sleeping and he would shake me till i gasped and again started breathing. I never knew I had sleep apnea till almost a year after he passed away- if i had, he might have also slept better without worry about me. He never told me any of this till that last year when one morning I awoke to find him slapping me on the back. He was never the kind to hit, so I lost it till he explained why he was hitting me on the back. This time shaking me hadn`t worked and he remembered that Dr`s often slap newborn babies on the back to help them start breathing. Well, it worked.
Well, Good Night Walt, till we meet again.

Hello Dot, I have just come to visit and congratulate you on the Thinking Bloggers Award that Walker bestowed on you. I spoke so glowingly of you that I decided to come over and read you for myself.

What a beautiful post and what a wonderful marriage you had. You obviously miss Walt very much, every word you wrote told me that. Walker was right, you are a great writer and you really do get lost in your words. I will be back Dot and take care.
oh dear Dot, that was such a tender, touching post! Your memories are beautiful. Hugs to you.
Dot, First I would like to congratulate you on the award Walker chose to bestow on you. He was so correct when he chose you as one of the five to receive this award.

I have never read a post that you wrote that did not have me "thinking."

This is a post of love and their is nothing any more beautiful than the love I have seen between couples who were married for many years. You know it was true love they shared because they shared many years together and not all the years were easy ones---there was problems be they financial,health related or otherwise but love prevailed with them.

As I read some of your post when you talk about Walt, I often see my parents and my in-laws. When I hear you talk about how you feel without Walt I feel my mom and now I feel my father-in-law.

To lose your special love must be difficult but to have those special memories to hold onto makes it easier.

Thank you so much for sharing such special memories with us.
One of the best posts I read recently.
You made him come alive in front of me with your special writing style, dot.

I am back here to share, Dorothy.

Thank you for all the liason with 'gazza' in my absence, which shows your concern and care to others.
Dot,i love your stories,i've added you to my blogroll and you as well jac.....take care all ........
Very beautiful post.
True love is undying and lasts for and eternity as your has and will.
Your speak of you times with Walt so vividly I feel I am sitting there watching the both of you raise your children together through all the bad times and good.
At night when you sleep I know Walt’s arm is still there around you keeping you safe.

Take care
Thanks Gypsy. Walker is a good friend to many. Right there to help if he can. Not sure I completely understand how to answer this Tag.
Thanks for stopping by. I also went and read some of your posts and did enjoy them.
Come again any time.
Thankyou hillgrandmom. Many hugs on their way back to you. Wishing you the best.
Vickie, Thank you. My heart goes out to your Mom and also to your Father-in-law. Yes, they may be gone, but we never forget them.

How many years were your Parents married and how long has your Mom been alone? I might have read the answers to these questions on your blog in the past, but if so, then I have forgotten. Sending her my best.
thanks Jac. Have already checked back on your blog. Nice having you back. Gazza sounds like a nice caring friend. He sure cared enough to find out if you were ok. Takes a caring friend to do that.

Talking about Walt is easy as I have so many years of memories in both my head and in my heart. To me, he was very special rather it was a good day or a bad one- Love stayed strong.
gazza, nice meeting a new blogger and welcome to my blog. I am also checking out your blog. I see you are from England. I used to have penpals from England when I was a kid. Sad that we lost contact over the years.
Walker, Thanks for your touching remark. To me Walt was very special and I wouldn`t have traded him for the world. Love is funny. There can be days when you are so mad you could feel like running for the hills, but just knowing our love would get us thru the problems, made it all worth fighting for. I have so many beautiful cards from him - Birthday, Anniversary, Easter and so forth that I have kept over the years and whenever I come across one and read it, I can feel his love for me in them. A sister-in-law once told me I should burn them all because it hurt her to read her Mom`s cards after she was born. But, I think these cards will someday mean as much to my family as they do to me. I came from a much different type of family than mny sister-in-law did.
Thanks for the blog Thinking Award, now I just need to do some thinking before writing it. There are so very many whose blogs I enjoy.
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