Friday, June 11, 2010



It's hard to write about these years. There were many ups and lots of downs. Our three children grew up during this period. It was not the way we would have preferred them to. Somehow, someway they grew up to be wonderful, fabulous, loving, sensible, mature adults. Master Carpenter and I could not ask for better children and we are very, very, proud of them. We are blessed!!! They have given us four beautiful Granddaughters AND #5 coming next week...and a Grandson we hope to get to know at some time in the future.

I never realized that day I sat on the steps of the living room of our Tacoma home, that I was going to have 20 very unusual and different years ahead. Years that would test us ...but at the same time strengthen us and our bond.

Master Carpenter left the Air Force after four more assignments, one being a 13 month stay in Korea. After years being a Navigator in the Air Force he started an entire new career....The Restaurant Business!!!!! WHY......WHO KNOWS!!!!!


We lived in Tampa, Florida; Cheyenne, Wyoming ; Tacoma, Washington (the kids and I stayed there while Master Carpenter was in Korea; Concord, California; Galesburg, Illinois; Normal, Illinois, Danville, Virginia (two homes), Richmond, Virginia (two homes); Harrisonburg, Virginia and then our first home in Virginia Beach.

Daddy and Happy were the only bright point of our stay in Tampa. They came every weekend, driving from Hollywood, Florida. We baked chocolate cakes and had wonderful Saturdays and Sundays.....

During our short stay in Cheyenne we purchase land that we "dreamed" would some day have a log home with a loft. This is Patti walking through our estate

Our children grew up helping to run family style chain restaurants. "Family" style was not only the format, it was the reality that our family ran them! We were the management, cooks, dishwashers, waitress and waiters and Yours Truly.... the often fired hostess.

We were in Sambo's 20 hours each and every day and we "took" naps here!

Our Star Waitress, Patti

We had a wedding in our Sambo's in Galesburg, IL between Lowell, a cook and Vickie a waitress.

We took a short break from the restaurant business and opened our own business.....Mr. D's Cheese Shop!! By this time the three kids were married, but Steve came back to help run the business. I was able to experiment with a different field of Design. I was in charge of the merchandising for the store!!! I loved doing it .......

This is our first home in Danville, Va. Another home we just took naps in. I can't even remember the floor plan....but it was a beautiful home!

Our family grew by one; Grandma, at age 90, moved in with us. She was with us for 9 years and 9 months. Her health was deteriorating and it had always been our wish that she spend her last years with me. We weren't able to do a lot of the things we wanted to, but we did have wonderful conversations and fun remembering the past. Grandma was the most special and the most influential person in my entire life...even to this day!!!!

WOW......what a ride! And if you are still counting, we are only up to house #22!!!


  1. Wow that last house was huge! And Don't hold you breath on the grandson. We don't. So cool thou especially the property in Wyoming.

  2. Most of these photos I've never seen before! I can imaging how much you loved merchandising! It's fun, challenging, and open for creativity.

    And how weird that a whole house is "forgotten"... hmmmmm but I guess in the whirlwind of life, some things just aren't as important as others... we only have so much memory space!

    Still loving this series!

  3. With living in so many homes, I can understand forgetting the floorplans of a few of them! Plus I didn't realize you two were such entrepreneurs with so many different businesses. You have definitely had a very interesting and active life.

  4. In that pic, Daddy is the age that I am now!!!

  5. Wow Happy! That's hard to believe! I have seen pictures of Mom and Grandma and have had the same reaction. This is the first though with Daddy!

    Erica.....We couldn't remember the homes because we were never IN them! We were in the restaurants almost 24 hours every day.....

  6. Ok. Bob said that the house in Galesburg is not the one in the picture. He doesn't recognize the car. he says its wrong car could mean wrong house.

  7. Well we can't imagine ever buying a house in that condition....but the back of the picture says in your Dad's handwriting.....Galesburg, Il. We had a Ford LTD. What kind of car is that? We had a leak after we left and came back to fix it. We were in Normal and the house was empty for awhile until it sold.... As I said....no one remembers the house we lived in. The only thing about a house anyone remembers is Patti's remembering finding a mouse....ask her about that story!