The Story of Larry: California and Canada 1


Nahnee was looking forward to seeing Grampie again and meeting Marilyn for the first time. She got things ready for all of us. She got a place ready for us to sleep. She also had some ice cream in the freezer. Nahnee had been to Japan when Grampie was a year old. Grampie got his first taste of ice cream from Nahnee’s bowl on his first birthday then! He loved it!

Larry and ice cream

Now it was Marilyn’s turn for her first taste of ice cream, and that was why Nahnee had ice cream in the freezer. Marilyn got her first taste when she was 7 months old. She liked it! And you know what? She stayed asleep at night better when she had ice cream before going to bed!! If you have trouble going to sleep, maybe you need to try eating a little ice cream before you go to bed! It works for me!

Do you remember your first taste of ice cream?

Since we were going to visit lots of friends in Canada and stay overnight with them, GGpa and I decided to buy beds for Grampie and Marilyn that fit into the car. That way they had the same bed every night. Grampie’s was a small folding bed that we carried in the trunk of the car. Marilyn’s was a folding crib that fit on the back seat of the car. We could adjust the legs of one side to be on the floor, and the other side just fit on the seat. Marilyn was free to move around. Seat belts and car seats were not required for babies and kids yet. We found a harness for Grampie to either stand or sit between us in the front seat.

When the car was finally packed, we started out on our way to Canada to meet Grampie’s other Grandma - GGpa’s mother. When we got there, Grandma Bernice had made special preparations for us too! She lived on a farm. She had moved a little shed close to the house that was just big enough for the four of us and she covered the floor with straw for us to sleep on. This was new to all of us except for GGpa who slept in a big bag in the straw in the barn with his brothers in the summer when he was growing up.

It was fun to get acquainted with GGpa’s family. There were 5 Aunties and 3 Uncles and their families: George, Florence, Pearl, Hazel, Myrtle, Helen, Chester and Stan. Some lived on farms and some in town. Oh yes, there also was GGpa’s “other Mother down the road” where he stayed a lot when he was 2 to 4 years old. (GGpa’s father died when he was 4 years old.) So, we stayed at Gramma Carlson’s farm sometimes too.

Grampie was a very curious little boy. He was especially curious about the electrical things our friends had in their homes. When he was a year old and we and we were at our cabin in Nojiri, we had discovered that he didn’t need a lot of toys. All he needed to be happy was the cord for his daddy’s electric shaver! Grampie had fun going around trying to plug it in! But, when we were visiting in our friends homes, he wanted to turn on the electric equipment too. So we had to keep a careful eye on what he was doing!

It was hot at Uncle George’s farm, but they had a great way for us to cool off in the washtubs!

Marilyn and Larry outside in tubs

Christmas at Nahnee’s house in Los Angeles was fun. Grampie’s cousin Christy was there too.

Christmas in California

Nahnee is in the other room in the background.

Marilyn and Larry with Nahnee in back

New friends at GGma’s church gave Grampie some very nice clothes. Here he is watching Marilyn take some of her first steps.

Little Larry and Marilyn dressed up


After Christmas, there were a lot more changes.

Nahnee sold her house in Los Angeles to people who were going to tear it down and build a three story apartment building there instead. While Grampie and Marilyn ran around investigating everything, we began packing up things we could take with us from the house back to Japan. GGpa made a big box to put things in. Of course we could not take that on an airplane. So the trip back to Japan had to be by ship!

Before Grampie had his 3rd birthday, he had traveled by car, train, bike, and jet plane. Next he would travel by ship!

On the ship there were many fun things to do. Another family who were missionary friends of ours were going back to Japan on the same ship. They had 5 children. Bobby was the youngest. Grampie and Bobby’s birthdays were two weeks apart, and they were best friends. Often they could be found in the ship’s play area for children. I guess you could say it was a family cruise.

Ocean liner ship


2020-11-21 updated 2022-12-27   © 2023 Larry Grove