By Marlea Karns
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Then one day, my Dad said: “we are moving to Iowa“. None of us children even knew where Iowa was located. We asked Mom: “where is Iowa ?” Mom said: “ it’s about a two day drive from here.” Before we knew it, moving day was here and we were off to a place where we didn’t know anyone. On this day, I was happy and scared at the same time. I did not know what to think about the whole thing. The next thing I knew, we were on the road to Iowa! Dad was driving his semi hauling all of our belongings and Mom drove our van. Some of us children road with Dad and some with Mom. When we would start to get on our parent’s nerves, they would stop at rest areas and let us out to run some of that energy off. We would climb all over the truck and my Dad. There were times Dad had all three of us kids climbing all over him! However, Dad seemed to like it when we did that. We would play a little while and then off we would go again. When we finally got to the Iowa state line, mom said to us: “wake up and
look, we are in Iowa.” I remember seeing a lot of hills before we got to our resting place. This place would also be a college town. It was flat and farms were everywhere. Not at all, like the east coast. However, this was going to be our new home.
The house we were moving into was a big old house. I liked the staircase. Made of wood and polished, looked cool. And as we looked around, and there is another staircase that goes from the kitchen up to the bedrooms, so we could ran from the front of the house, up to the bedrooms, down the hallway down the stairs to the kitchen. We could ran in a circle in the house it was fun.
The move to Iowa was in the early 1970’s.
New York to Iowa
I was born in New Jersey. I have two older brothers and two younger sisters. In addition, from my Dad’s second marriage, I have three half brothers. They live with their mother in a small town in Iowa; don’t really see them very much now. I did a lot when they were little. However, I have moved so much thru the years, they did not really know where their big sister was. Alternatively, really what I was doing was calling them from time to time but, not as much now that I have gotten older and they have their our life to live. Do not really know why, maybe the family just grew apart.
I was born in the summer of 1966 and lived in Paterson, New Jersey for about three years. At least that’s what I am thinking because, one of my little sisters was born in New York in the spring of 1969. My older brother of the two was born on Christmas Day of 1962. My brother closest to me, was born in the late spring of 1965. The baby of the family was born in Iowa, in the spring of 1976. So, that’s all five children. Now, let’s get into the fun things on how we all got to Iowa.
Well, if I remember right, when I was a small girl still living in New York Dad was a fire fighter. Later, my Dad went to driving trucks to make more money. Some of the things I remember about New York while still living there was, all the snow in the winter time and going sliding with my brother’s. However, my little sister was not old enough to go out with us. The snow was high enough that we would slide down some big hills and had lots of fun. In the spring time, there was always something to do. We played cops n’ robber’s, cowboys n’ Indian’s a Things are different here then in New York, we did not have to wear uniforms here. So mom had to make some clothes before the boys have to go to school. Mom was busy making all kinds of clothes, and us kids were playing with toys and the trains set that we had. We would make it go thru the legs of the desk. In addition, around the room. Playing all kinds of things that we had to use your minds, not like the kids of today, were the toys or computer’s do all the thinking for them. If we would be tried of playing inside, we would go out doors and ran around in the yard.
School started for the boys, and they began to meet people their age, so we younger kids would have to play with each other, because the boys would want to play with the kids there age. Which I guess was okay. However, missed the time I had with my brother’s. By the time I started school, boys had their own friends and things they wanted to do. Therefore, I found my own friends. In addition, had my own things to do.
Time, went very fast once I got into school, I thought anyway. We are going to fly into the time when, the youngest kid was born. We have move a lot that it is hard to remember which house was for which time so we will go with after the baby of the house was born. It was the spring of 1976 and we were living in a very small town, if you would blink your eyes, you would miss the town. Very different from the college town we move to in the early 1970’s. However, the house we were living in has to be too small, so we were moving again. This time the house we were moving into was, own by my father’s mother. We lived there for a number of years. In addition, things were feeling like a home. In addition, life seemed to be going okay. I was helping with the cares of the youngest child. The bathing and getting her ready for the day. In addition, doing the things that a young girl would be doing like playing and hanging out with friends.
The last real family trip we went on was in the late year of 1978 or 1979, we went back east to visit our grandparents and Aunts and Uncles that were still living there. Had a good time visiting everyone. Then we had to come back, summer was almost over and back to school we had to go.
Being back in Iowa was okay, was happy to see my friends and having to get ready to go back to school. One of the first things that I did do when getting back was to call a friend of mine. To see how her last part of her summer went. She told that it was okay, just glad you are back the last few weeks was very boring there was no one to mess around with. Glad you are back.
Now school is on and I was ready to go. It was the first time I was in a school with no brother’s in the same building, which was great. Because they would pick on my a lot. No so much the oldest one but the one that was closer to me. He was always picking on me and still does when I see him. That was the last year that I was by myself until He was done with school.
My freshmen year was okay I had to go to the high school I was scared. All those upper classmates always did some thing to the new class of freshmen. However, I was lucky for a while, until my brother see me in the hallway and started calling me by my middle name and I was so mad at him that I got him after school. I chase him down and I sat on him and told him that if he made me look like a fool again, that the next time I would not be as nice. He did not do it again at least for some time. So anytime that he would get a phone call, and I would answer the phone I would tell them that he is in the bathroom and will be for a while. And start laughing. He found out what I was doing and told me to stop it and I told him you stop calling my by my middle name in school. In addition, I will stop. Therefore, he did not call me by my middle name anymore.
My older bother graduated the year from high school. The year was 1981. He went off to look at the world thru his eyes, and he did some different things while out looking at the world. He went out on the circus one time, went and sees him at one of the places he was at. He got a ride to the sky by a giraffe; he was to put a lease on him. In addition, after that was in place the giraffe picked him up in the air. I got the biggest laugh out of that. Seeing his eyes get so big. He did some other things as time went on; tell you as the story go on. In time.
Shortly after, He was done in school. My mom and dad were having problems and has time would pass. The problems would grow, so they got a divorced. The reasoning for this is a charter we will get into. So after all that dad moved to another town, nearby, so if the kids wanted to see him, we could. After awhile I did not want to see him anymore. In time, we had to move out of the house, because my father’s mother owns the house and she was going to sell it so we had to move, yet again. So we moved into a house close to town. Like just a few blocks away from the downtown area. By this time, the oldest boy was away in the Air Force boot camp, I think it was in Texas. We would get letters from him telling us how this was going. From the sounds of the letters, he was doing all right. Even If the one boy was out of the house. Life still went on.
The house we move into as I had mentioned was close to town. It was the year(1983) that the brother close to me in age was going to finishing school soon. In addition, I was a junior in school. Feeling really down, because my best friend was going to be moving out of state to California. After the end of the year and she had her jaw surgery. Therefore, we spent a lot of time together. Before she had to move away. I did have a few other friends but her and me where always together. We were planning to have a sleep over at her house the weekend before she was going to be leaving. Their was going to be many of her friends there, to say our good-byes. We went out on the town that night. One of the girls that were still over that night brought some hard drinks and we got a little drunk. Not to bad, because we were just kids having a little fun before a good friend left us, to move out of state with her dad. Yes, she lived with her dad. Her mother and father were divorced too. Maybe that is when we got along so good.
So now my brother, close to me was done with school and he went back east with my grandparents to go to welding school. Now I was the oldest one at home with my two little sisters. A senior in high school now. I was dating with person that had a car. In addition, I was hardly at home; I was at his house most of the time after school anyway. Started hanging around with some kids that like to party. With the fact that my boyfriend had a car. I could drive back and forth to school and give them a ride too. Therefore, this was in the year 1984.
Both boys were out of the house and it was just us girls in the house. That includes my mom. My mom was a smoker of cigs. In addition, from time to time I would steal some of her cigs. Never did be caught until one day she comes up to me and ask me if I was stealing her cigs, and I said at first ‘no mom ’. She knew that I was and said to me ‘I know you are and if you are going to smoke stop taking my cigs and if you really think you need them you can pay your own damn cigs.” Therefore, I started paying my own, but would not smoke in front of her. For a long time.