The Story of Larry: California and Canada 2


We flew from Japan to California and picked up a car there. After a short time at Nahnee’s house in San Jose, we were in our car on our way to Canada.

Grampie and his sisters had a lot of new things to try out.

At Uncle Stan and Aunt Jean’s, Marilyn learned to ride a bike.

Marilyn on bike

At their cousin's farm they got to ride a horse.

Larry and Marilyn on a horse

At another friend’s farm Grampie and Marilyn got to drive their small tractor.

Marilyn on a yard tractor

At Grandma Carlson’s farm Grampie and Marilyn tried milking a cow. Marilyn said it just didn’t work! Grandma Carlson did a much better job of milking the cows.

Marilyn milking a cow

After the milk went through the separator, most of the cream was put into large cans to be sold, but some of it was kept to make fresh butter for us to eat. The skim milk that was left over was poured into a trough for the calves. They were so eager to get their share, sometimes the milk was poured on their heads! When the milk in the trough was gone, their ears were still wet, so they would suck each others ears to get the last of the milk. They were funny.

Grandma Carlson and Auntie Margith’s kitchen looked the same as it had 5 years earlier when we were there. And the cereal with the fresh whole milk on it was just as delicious as we had remembered it.

In Grandma Carlson's kitchen

There were just too many interesting things to tell you all of them, but I’ll tell you a couple more.

We got stuck in the mud at the farm where Grandma Bernice had lived. She had passed away, and so had Uncle Chester. Chester’s wife, Auntie Olive lived on the old farm. It rained the day we visited there. The day after it rained, the road in and out of the farm was so muddy that our car got really stuck when we started to drive out. Auntie Olive began making baking powder biscuits for us to eat, with Roger’s Golden Syrup on them. They were so delicious, so she had to keep making more and more for us! Finally, cousin Randy Waters, who lived on a nearby farm, came with his tractor and pulled on our car and got it out of the mud.

GGpa’s father died when he was 4 years old. His mother, Grandma Bernice married Philip Johnson when GGpa was 13 years old.

Benice and Philip Johnson

After Grandma Bernice passed away, step-grandpa Philip lived in Rich Valley. We visited him at his house. Some of GGpa’s sisters are in the picture, and I am holding Lisa.

Philip Johnson's at his house

We went to see Grandma Bernice’s grave in the cemetery behind Rich Valley Church, the church GGpa had gone to when he was a boy.

Grave site of Bernice Grove-Johnson

On our way back to Nahnee’s we stopped at the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, CA. The Grove kids climbed up on Paul Bunyan's boot (1968).

Climbed on the foot of Paul Bunyan statue



We got back to Nahnee’s house in San Jose in time for Grampie and Marilyn to start school. They were both in Grade Two. I drove them to school every day since I was teaching music at their school.

We lived in Nahnee’s house with her and cousin Christy in San Jose. A couple of months after Christmas, Nahnee had to go down to Los Angeles to take care of the apartment building. The people who had built the apartment stopped making payments to Nahnee, so she had to foreclose on them. That meant that now she owned the apartment building. It also meant that she had to take care of it and manage it. That was a huge job for anyone but especially for someone who was 74 years old.

The last weeks before we flew back to Japan we were able to help her with her work in the apartment building.

Somewhere along the way Lisa had got a pair of red shoes. I’m not sure how it happened, but those little red shoes were left at Nahnee’s apartment when we got on the plane to go back to Japan. Nahnee said it made her sad to see them knowing she would not see Lisa again for a long time, not for another 5 years.

Saying goodbye to Nahnee was not easy. She was getting tired from managing the apartment building. We did not expect to see her until we were all another 5 years older.



2020-11-21 updated 2021-03-25   © 2021 Larry Grove