Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fast Forward

We skip ahead now to 1982. Jennifer is now eleven years old and living in California. She was nine the last time she wrote in her diary and living in Colorado.
There were two reasons for the move. First of all, Jennifer's mother had some friends who decided to start a real estate company in the booming state of Alaska! She was invited to relocate and help them start their business.

Also (and this will sound familiar) she had an adjustable rate mortgage. It began to adjust upward and she could no longer afford to stay in her own home. Jennifer's mom decided to sell her house and take the offer to relocate to Alaska--the last frontier!

At this time Jennifer was in fifth grade and Daniel was in eighth grade. Daniel was supposed to begin Columbine High School. This is the high school that would suffer a horrible student killing spree eighteen years later in 1999 and make headlines around the world.

Jennifer's mother and father decided to let the kids choose where they would live. Would they follow their mother to Alaska, or would they move back in with their dad? They hadn't lived with him for four years. Jennifer was about ten years old. She couldn't decide between her mom and her dad. She did not want to hurt any one's feelings. She decided to choose instead between California and Alaska. That decision was easy--she moved to California and so did her brother.
The house was sold and her mom left all by herself to Alaska. She was forty years old. Jennifer's dad was fifty and his world was about to be turned upside down. From bachelor to full-time single dad in a four hour plane trip! He was ecstatic!

The kids got to bring their dog, Muffin and Jennifer's cat, Cocoa. The cat had been a gift from her mother on her tenth birthday. She was a calico cat. Jennifer loved her like a daughter! She was one of those ultra-shy cats, but she had a nice little motor on her. She got along well with Muffin too.

Jennifer and Cocoa at the Spinnaker St. house

Her dad rented the Spinnaker house for his returning children. The house had four bedrooms, a family room, living room, dining room, kitchen and two full bathrooms. The yard had a plum tree and there was a small atrium at the front door. There was also a fireplace. The house seemed huge to her. She got lost in it for the first few days.
Her dad painted her room yellow and put up curtains. She was quite impressed! The carpet was green shag. This house was in Foster City, the land of no children. But as Jen and Dan began school there--they discovered that children did exist in the marshland that was their town.

I will post a few entries for you to get an idea of what was on her mind. She's eleven here and in sixth grade at Bowditch Middle School.

Jennifer loved the look of Bowditch. In the Midwest, schools are in big buildings with hallways because of the bad weather. In California, a lot of schools consist of a series of buildings, outdoor walkways and courtyards. Lunch is eaten outside almost every day. Jennifer couldn't stand being inside a building all day so this suited her well. The wood paneling gave the school a homey touch too.

January 20, 1982

Dear Diary,

"Sonia and Paula came over today. It is raining today. I have homework. Last week I got a lock on my door. Steve and I got in a fight. I like him. I have to go now, bye."

The interest in boys returns to the diaries.... Steve was her brother's friend--liking her brother's friends was a recurring theme in her life and a recurring nightmare in her brother's!

January 22, 1982

Dear Diary,

"Today was a normal day. I only had math homework. I heard Daniel singing, it was funny. I don't have much to say so bye."

January 23, 1982

Dear Diary,

"Today Daniel, Steve and Robbie had a rock concert. They had fake instruments but they sang and they had a tape recorder. Edna is going to spend the night. Well bye. P.S. Steve likes me I think."

Dan's desire to have a band probably began in Foster City. He acted out a dream on January 23rd that would become a reality. In fact, Dan and his future friends would go on to help create and shape Bay Area music for decades to come. Almost all of them are still active and successful in music today. Dan's future hit single would go Platinum and his best friend's single would star in a Target commercial during American Idol in 2008. (Jennifer did not inherit any musical talent, much to her disappointment.)

January 24, 1982

Dear Diary,

"Today I had horse back riding lessons. I jumped three fences in a row. Edna came with me. Today me and Edna called prank calls. It's not my fault, I didn't invent phones! I have to see a specialist soon about my thyroid. I also wear glasses. I finished my math homework. The time is 8:42pm. Well I have to go, write in ya later (ha,ha). "

Jennifer had begun horseback riding lessons in Colorado on Saddlebreds. When she was trying to decide where to live--her father half-promised that he would buy her a ranch and horses if she chose to live with him. Jennifer would have moved to California anyway--but the promise of her own horse made her feel better about leaving her mother. He never did buy her a horse or a ranch. He did, however, enroll her in riding lessons in Woodside, California. Woodside is an ultra-wealthy horse community located in the hills of San Mateo County. It's beautiful there. Jennifer learned to jump on a horse named Rosie. (she also learned to rationalize bad behavior....whoever invented phones should be punished for making her crank call people!)

Note: Jennifer forgave her dad about the ranch, but she did not forget. He did want to buy it for her, but wishes aren't the same as realities. It just confused her and led to mistrust later.

Jennifer and Rosie after a ride through the sprinklers!

Woodside, California in the winter (2007 median price of a Woodside home--$1,873,974.00)

Here's some irony:

January 25, 1982

Dear Diary,

"Today I met two new friends on the phone, Erika and Jean. There is a boy in my class I sort of like. His name is Kye. I think he likes me. A strange man called me and talked to me at 11:00pm. I am sort of scared. Well bye."

It's interesting that after a flurry of crank calls, Jennifer received one herself. Even though these were the days before caller I.D., it made her feel as though someone were watching her. She doesn't remember making many, if any, crank calls after this experience!

January 27, 1982

Dear Diary,
"Today I saw a doctor. I left school at 10:30am. I had a physical and the doctor talked to us. the doctor said I might be 5 foot 6 inches tall when I grow up. I have not started my period yet but she said I will in about a year and a half or more. I have started to develop. I am 5 foot 1/4 inches tall right now. I am 11 years old going on twelve. Mom called tonight. I still like Steve and Kye. Well, write in ya later."
At this appointment, Jennifer discovered that she has Hashimodo's disease. It's an easily treated hypo-thyroid condition. She was put on medicine immediately and remains on it today. She never suffered a single side-effect from the disease. She did grow up to be 5 foot 6 inches (the doctor should have aimed higher!)
Have you ever had to choose between your parents? If so, how did you make the choice?
President of the United States: Ronald W. Reagan
Israel invades Lebanon in an attack on the PLO
MRI machines are introduced in Britain
Michael Jackson releases, Thriller, the best selling album of all time

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer I love this comment ..."wishes aren't the same as realities. It just confused her and led to mistrust later."

    This is so true & completely relate to this.


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