Then there was the year Big Brother got his first REAL job. He was in high school and worked as a lineman for a rural electric company. He made pretty good money, but was saving for college. That year he bought me the biggest doll I can ever remember getting. She was beautiful - a Cinderella doll, 24" tall and dressed in gold lame'. She even came with a small gold (plastic) coach that would hold all the pearl and diamond jewelry and tiara that she was wearing. I was so proud of her and had to show her to the neighbor girl that lived down the road. My mother wasn't too keen on this family and wasn't crazy about having the kids in the house and I was soon to discover why. One day after she and her younger sister were visiting, I discovered that my Cinderella doll's coach and all her jewelry were missing, along with the gold lame' dress that Cinderella had been wearing. Now I had a naked doll.
And of course, there was Christmas Day of 1966 - a day I shall never forget. Ole came to pick me up in the dark blue 1949 Ford that he was driving at that time. We were going to spend Christmas Day out at Aunt Mary and Uncle Henry's house with all his relatives. As we got into the car to take off, he dug in his pocket and pulled out a small velvet box - a diamond engagement ring! We were married five months later. Back in those days it didn't take a year or longer to plan and execute a wedding like it seems to today. Nor did they cost up into the thousands and thousands of dollars like they do now.
Our first married Christmas we spent in a little rented trailerhouse too - just like when I grew up. We knew Ole's draft number was coming up (Viet Nam era), so we just kind of lived day by day at that time. By our second Christmas we were living in Chicago where Ole was going to school gratis the Navy, and we were able to drive back to Minnesota for the Holidays. Then came Iceland, where we spent two Christmases - I'll tell you more about that tomorrow. Until then - - -