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The Day Before Yesterday: 105 - A Garage But No Car

Gladys Schofield is expecting another baby, and domestic harmony is not all that it should be.

Summer was fading into Autumn and everything was going well. We had been in our own house just two months and I found out I was pregnant once more. Susan would be five in two months time. Why now, after so long? My husband's mood changed once more. It was my fault, you would have thought he hadn't contributed at all. The harmony was spoiled once more, as he thought I could just wish it away.

It was hard times, the house was not made to take another baby. That had been the furthest thing from our minds. I told my doctor how Cliff felt, just in case there was something he could do to rectify the situation, as he had come to know us over the years and still travelled the distance although we had moved but he said he hadn't the power to do anything at that time, only take care of me so I had a healthy baby. I wouldn't have cared if I had had a dozen. I had that caring feeling, why I was put through this turmoil each time I didn't know. Things settled down after a while.

Alan at thirteen was so good at cricket, he played in the adult teams when they were a man short and by fourteen was a permanent member of the team. He had grown into a handsome lad and didn't seem to have to look for the girls. I was glad he was at a single sex school as he would never be able to concentrate on his work otherwise.

We had not been living very long at our new house, when a girl came to the door to see if "Alan could play out". This must have been the start of the modern trend, as I thought it was the boys who asked the girls. The girls were supposed to play 'hard to get'. I know I was a bit taken aback and said "No, he is not. He is doing his homework". They never came to the door again but I knew the crafty lad planned his outdoor activities further afield and kept silent about these encounters. He was nearly as big as his father at fifteen.

Rod had a day trip with the school to one of the seaside places. He still looked very young, although he was broadening a little at the age of twelve. He put a penny in a machine, hoping to win a bar of chocolate or maybe a small tin toy but all he got was a piece of paper. On reading it, it said "You have won the star prize". He took the note to the office. He had won a music box in the shape of a barrel organ. You turned the handle and a small monkey jumped up and down to the tune, it was a bit young for Rod and Susan took charge of it before long. I can still picture Rod in his school blazer and grey shorts as he came home with his prize, a group of school friends at his heels.

We didn't keep in touch with Cliff's brothers. Men don't write the same as women and only occasionally did a letter move backwards and forwards between them. Harry and Betty had a small boy called Ian by this time and Reg and Anne had a little girl, Eileen. It's a wonder she was here at all, as an accident at her birth nearly cost her her life. Someone placed the new baby on a hot water bottle that hadn't been suitably wrapped, before placing in the cot, the top of her legs and her bottom were badly scarred. No one admitted to the responsibility, although only two women were there at the time, besides the mother.

Ann was a very friendly person, I liked her a lot. When she heard we were going to have another baby, she said "Could she come over for a week to care for me?" We never seemed to be short of helpers at this time, so that problem was sorted quite early.

We had a garage now but no car. A few of the houses had garages attached but this would have meant more money than we could afford at the time so others like us, ordered a sectional garage and levelled the ground ourselves, as the ground steadily sloped at the back.

I remember Cliff ordering a load of stone to be delivered. This was used for the base of the garage. He cemented them into a cube shape differing in height, levelling off at the entrance to the garage. This took in the slope of our land and when the garage was in place, he had a good store place underneath.

Some more hens found themselves caged in there at a later date and Rod had a pet hamster. It would store loads of food in its fat cheeks. I thought it would burst one day. The grassy back gardens of the neighbours around must have been too inviting as it went missing, never to be found or maybe a prowling cat got it, intent on a gourmet meal.

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To read earlier chapters of Gladys's autobiography please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_day_before_yesterday/

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