17 February 2013

Marlene Village

We moved to Marlene Village in the Sunset area of Beaverton when I was almost ten.  This was a neighbourhood about 100+ houses built after WWII.  I believe that there were three or four types of houses with fairly large sections.  The streets were sealed but there were no footpaths. 

I got my first bicycle while living there.  The area was flat, safe and not much traffic, so I spent quite a lot of time riding my bike.  I also had school friends who lived on other streets close by.  When the weather was reasonable, I would ride my bike over to their houses and spend the afternoons there following school.

My mother enjoyed living in that area.  She made a couple of friends who lived close by.  One of them was Donna Jean Lamoureux who was about my mother's age, had two kids, Kathy and Ken, and her husband traveled as much as my father did for his job.

Donna Jean and my mother spent a lot of time together.  Mothers didn't work outside of the home very often then. I remember my mother helping Donna Jean work on her house and then Donna Jean helped my mother with ours.  They were constantly "doing things up", visiting "barn sales" (now secondhand stores and garage sales) - you name it -  if the Internet had been around, they would have spent a lot of time looking at furniture, etc. on it for sure.

Donna Jean was quite talented at remodeling things.  She and her family later moved to Lake Oswego outside of Portland and she had their home remodeled.  It was beautiful.

In the areas beyond Sunset (Forrest Grove, Hillsboro & Scholls) lived a variety of relatives who came from my Grandfather Stretcher's side - this was my mother's father.  These were the people who we got together with for holiday meals.  The meals at which my sister and I, with our cousins, ate ourselves crazy.

We usually met at Aunt Hazel's in Hillsborough.  She was  the one with the huge pipe organ in her dining room.  She would play the organ at the end of the holiday meal - arms and legs flying over the keys and the pedals.  The temptation to sneak a touch of those things was almost impossible to overcome - but I don't think that either my sister or I gave into it.  Who knew what would have happened if someone found out?

We had quite a full life while living in the Sunset area.  Both of our grandmothers were still alive and living in their own homes in Portland.  The drive was about thirty minutes away to each of their neighbourhoods.  My parents were part of the founding group who started a new Episcopal Church in Beaverton. My sister and I were involved in after school activities such as Girl Scouts and I started riding lessons near Beaverton at Nichol's Riding Academy.  My mother had ridden there when she was in school.  I almost forgot, too, that I took dancing lessons - ballet and tap dancing.  I had problems with my feet and it was decided that dance lessons plus the most insane amount of other "therapies" were going to help me later.  They did but it was a total hassle - more for my mother than me.

My feet ended up being rather a major part of my life for years.

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