Mothers Diary
"You know that blanket of Bruce's?" I said desperately to Nancy, "The one we waited on to get dry - so we could leave for Yankton?"
"Yes?" Nancy looked startled. Her eyes left the road for a brief apprehensive glance in my direction, as if she already knew what I was going to say.
"It's still at home in the dryer." I nodded sadly.

There was not a great deal we could do about it at that point. We were already speeding on our way home after depositing Bruce at college - without his blanket. I wondered how loud he would scream when he discovered it was missing.
The frustrating thing about it was that if it had not been for that blanket, we would have started for Yankton at least an hour earlier Sunday afternoon.

I had all Bruce's clothes washed by Saturday night except for that blanket, but had supposed I had plenty of time for it Monday morning. I did not know until we returned home from church that he had to be back in Yankton for classes and work Monday. I had supposed in my innocence that he had Easter Monday off like everyone else.

So there was some scurrying around. Becky and I decided to go along to keep Nancy company on the return trip, but we couldn't leave until the blanket was washed and dried. So we fooled around waiting on it - and I don't understand how we all finally got in the car and started off without it.
Or why I didn't even remember it until we were on our way home.
One of life's mysteries!

Anyway, Nancy and I sat in gloomy silence for a while as we neared Sioux City.
"Well," Becky announced briskly from the back seat, "we ought to have some fun to remember on this trip. Let's stay in a hotel all night."
It took us some little time to realize that she was completely and totally serious, and then a longer time to convince her that we couldn't possibly stay in a hotel overnight, or even in a motel.
She stubbornly resisted all our arguments. That we didn't have enough money with us; that we could be home in less than three hours; that I had to go to work in the morning or that it would be just plain silly, for heaven's sake!

"Anyway," I told her, "You have had fun on this trip, in spite of the fact that I warned you that you might be bored. You had a malted milk and a hamburger at Yankton, and you saw Bruce's room and you have all that stuff in the back seat."
She really had more in the back seat than I had bargained for - especially the radishes and the jar of milk. When she started loading up for the trip I had paid no attention. And maybe I should have. She ate and drank all the way to Yankton - a sandwich, 2 oranges, an apple, radishes, potato chips, milk, water and her big chocolate Easter egg. And two dolls and paper dolls to play with. She was sad though because she had forgotten a pillow.
She still had time to view the passing scene, the highlight of which turned out to be a church almost surrounded by a cemetery.
"Look," she shouted, "what a neat idea! A church with its own cemetery! Why don't we do that?"

I tell you - eight hours of concentrated Becky is something to remember. And besides that in the eight hours, we had rain and sleet and cloudy skies and sunshine and wind, and then came home to snow after the Rockwell City corner.
"You sure bring out the worst in the weather," I told Nancy, "whenever you get in the car to go anywhere."
"It did pretty well today," she admitted, "especially since it had to work fast because it thought all along that I was going tomorrow."

"I like your new Easter hat," said Mildred politely to me as we met in the church aisle.
I looked at her also hatless head and answered just as politely, "I think yours is pretty, too. We must have bought them at the same shop!

Jeffery Hansen came into the bakery last Friday afternoon, blissfully consuming his free ice cream cone from Klotz's Big Dipper reopening.
"Now this," he said happily, "is what I call a Good Friday."

(back to top)

Mothers Diary
I wonder if the children are confused or if I am. Or if it's the weather.
In our neighborhood, the youngsters are dividing their time between playing baseball in our back yard and basketball in Dalton's driveway.
When I watch them pitching and batting and running bases in snow flurries, as they did Saturday, I know they are all right. They know for certain it is baseball season, and that they are supposed to play baseball no matter what the weather does.
This is the same principle they use when they don helmets and shoulder pads in August heat for football maneuvers in the back yard.

In April, children are supposed to be playing baseball or careening around streets and country roads on bicycles, or spreading blankets on the damp ground with sack lunches and dolls,, or playing hide and go seek without coasts in the chill darkness - driving their mothers crazy for fear they will catch their deaths of colds.
This we expect.
But this basketball craze worries me.

I took the flowering crab branch out of the milk bottle Sunday and threw it away - the branch, not the bottle. Leaves had appeared in regulation clumps along the branches but they got tired and died. No blossoms.
Some things are a snare and a delusion.

When Marian Rankin said that she was absolutely amazed at all the things she had learned about the library since she began working there Wednesdays last fall, we were surprised.
What is there to know about a library? If you want a book, you walk into the library, you pick out a book you think you'd like to read, you give it to the librarian who checks it out, and you take it home. Even a child can do it.
But Marian seems to think there are many more exciting possibilities in using the library, so she consented to prove her point at the open house. You will want to hear her informal discussion so plan to be there Friday afternoon, April 21.

(back to top)

Mothers Diary
I thought that my husband had only to yell "Charge" in the play - and then do it. And I have been somewhat nervous - expecting him at any moment to start rehearsing at home by shouting "charge," waving an imaginary sword, and bounding up the stairway. Which would be all right, of course, since we're used to anything around here, just as the characters of "Arsenic and Old Lace" are.
I just hoped he wouldn't do it while the children have guests. Because that might be embarrassing - not to my husband, but to the guests.

But that is not all!
He also has to blow a bugle.
My husband had never played a bugle, so he brought one home Friday night. That fearful noise the neighbors may have heard blasting from our house at intervals over the weekend was that bugle.
It was Dale showing his father how, and it was his father practicing.
The awful thing about learning to make a noise on the bugle is that for two or three powerful attempts, accompanied by bulging of cheeks and eyes and a firm stance on two feet - nothing happens. And then when we least expect it, a blast erupts from the horn that startles, not only the unfortunate listeners within range but the player.

The only one who really enjoyed it was Becky, who has never outgrown her love for confusion, unexpected excitement, and loud noises. The only things she likes better than hearing a ruckus, is to be making it herself. She is somewhat like her father in this respect.

She sometimes frightens me a little as she turns a simple little song into an opera as she trills before a mirror with a dresser table scarf flung around her shoulders; or follows music and dances on television in a series of wild gyrations and intricate dance steps.
"She will probably make something of herself someday," I murmured as I watched her Sunday evening during the Dinah Shore show.
Martha snorted as she tried to see TV around Becky's convolutions.
"She already is something!" said Martha.

I had never seen or heard a bugle close up before. And I was fascinated as Dale tooted away on it. I didn't know he could play it.
"But where are the levers to make the notes?" I asked in deep mystification.
"There aren't any," he said, and blew a call.
"Then how do you make the notes?"
"It's the way you hold your lips and blow," he said.
"How come you know how?" I asked with respect.
He thought this over. He guessed just from experience on the baritone and bass horns.
"Play scales," I said.
"Can't": he said, "The notes aren't all there."
"Aren't all where?" I asked.
But he ignored me.

(back to top)

Mothers Diary
Under the very best of conditions, Becky despises to wash her hair and get it set, so she was in vast despair Saturday evening with a sunburned ear.
The children all ran wild with the spring Saturday, and the momentum carried them over into Sunday afternoon and evening in spite of the gloomy skies. Baseball was the thing in our back yard; and sunburn on Saturday, and falling flat on faces in the slippery grass on Sunday were only minor distractions.

There's one thing I do not have to do anymore in the spring. I do not have to chase around trying to keep track of a toddler, fresh from winter confinement and giddy with freedom.
It was not so many years ago that I never put my whole weight down in a chair, or went about my duties more than five minutes at a time without checking to see where the youngsters were.
And many a heart stopping moment there is for a mother chasing after a child who has casually stepped off the curb in search of greener pastures on the other side of the street!
There is no peace for mothers or older brothers and sisters with a little one darting about in the spring.

Mrs. Rosenquist told me once how a family had a 'street problem' solved for them. It was a family who lived many years ago in the house on Main Street where Fred Heise now lives. The little children in the household were casual about getting across the crossings and careless about street safety in spite of repeated parental warning, threats and reprisals.
Then one Sunday before Easter, the little folks came hurrying home from Sunday school with some startling and tragic news.
"You know what?" they told their mother, "Jesus died on the crossing and we're going to be careful on that crossing after this!"
And they were!

Muriel Vetter tells me that there has been some misunderstanding concerning who won at the Forensic contest at Iowa City a couple weeks ago. They were what we have been calling the 'A' team all winter, but they debated in the 'B' division at the meet. The schools were classified according to school population and the 'B' division consisted of schools of 500 students or less, just as in athletic contests.
During the year, at Invitational tournaments teams are entered as 'A' and 'B' teams according to experience and ability. So all year, Merle Ricklefs, Richard Howie, Ruth Van Roekel and Faye Carter have been the 'A' team because they are Manson's top debaters in years of debating and in skill in meeting opponents.
The other debaters are less experienced and have been acquiring experience and debating skills in the 'B' division but did not go to Iowa City.
Our 'A' team went to Iowa City to debate against all the other 'A' teams and won in their classification of small high schools.
Still confused???

I guess there are very few people around here who do not know that part of the Junior-Senior banquet decorations were blue crepe paper painted with silver stars! The streamers were scattered far and wide.
Some people will do anything to advertise, but is this the kind the Juniors and Seniors want?