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More Stories - The Way We Were
 

Aboard the Queen Elizabeth
By Hilda Graham   

<<<...Previous  Sheila and I were both shattered by now and decided to try and relax.  I had left Julie my youngest with her two older sisters and Sheila's eldest son Donny.  I was panicked when I discovered she was amongst the missing.  The older children were playing a game  - no Julie.  By now I believe I was close to having a nervous breakdown.  I asked the older children where Julie was and they calmly reminded me that I had taken her to the nursery where she was being taken care of; she was 4 years old,  and I was so shaken I had completely forgotten.  Oh, the life of a mother; how did we survive those childhood days and still remain sane.  I often ponder this and I recall that my son, as he got older, at times he almost drove me crazy, to which he replied, "Mom, that would be a very short drive."  Now I believe he was probably right.

Lunch was served and by this time Sheila and I had calmed down.  Our stewards were getting to know us and seemed pleased that we gave them very little trouble.  Actually they seemed to enjoy teasing us about leaving England and living in Texas.  I wonder about this often and how I miss my family and all the little villages and the green green grass of home, especially when we have to water our lawns in the darned heat.  But then I remind myself of the wonderful family we have, and such a loving caring father and husband - this means all the world to me. Guess I had better get back to our voyage.

Sheila and I decided to rest awhile, as you know the young boys were confined to quarters, Julie was asleep, Donny, Edward, Yvonne and Linda decided to see what was going on.  I believe there was a movie, thank goodness they were old enough so they did not require supervision.  We did ask them to come and let us know when they were going to have afternoon tea.  It was served with a beautiful string orchestra playing in the background; there were dainty little sandwiches and all kinds of desserts - my mouth is watering just thinking about them.  It was so pleasant and relaxing. We began to unwind and enjoy this, ah, peace at last.  We decided we would go to the ball room later after dinner was served.  It was so much fun watching all the dancing and the good music they played every night, we certainly looked forward to it.

We were fortunate to be able to do this as the older children took care of the younger ones and we knew they were safe.  I might add we bribed them with the thoughts of sandwiches which were served during the dancing and nightly entertainment.  We always managed to take some of the goodies down to the cabin for the children and they were always ready for the treats.

We were on the third full day of our voyage getting more spoiled with all the amenities.  It was such a treat meeting so many people as they came from all parts of the world and it was so interesting to hear their stories.  Some of them had many adventures which they shared with us.  I notice that I have mentioned food so much but believe me, everyone seemed to enjoy all the food which was served and I am sure many of us weighed more when we got ashore than we had before boarding ship <Grin>. 

We enjoyed taking walks around the decks and there was always some of the ship's crew around (except the time our young sons decided to drop the pucks), maybe that is just as well; we might have all landed in the Brig.  We were talking to a couple of officers one morning and again being teased about Texas when Julie came up to us.  She had been looking at the ocean with the other children, I believe we had told them they might see some whales.  I asked her why she had stopped looking at the ocean and as usual, from out of the mouths of babes, answered with "I am tired of looking at that river!"  The officers just laughed so hard and told me I could never deny she was a Texan when she had just diminished the Atlantic to the size of a river.

Another incident happened when we were going to breakfast.  The children were hungry as usual and were in a hurry.  Poor Steven was going up a small flight of stairs to get brother Donny and somehow stubbed his toe and fell up the steps (not down).  We were behind him and he let out a yell - it scared us to death.  It was only moments until he had a knot on his forehead the size of an egg.  We took him to the ships doctor and he examined him and said he would be all right.  He had not broken the skin so thank goodness he did not require any stitches.  He had calmed down, but I must admit he got quite a few stares from other passengers.  I believe Sheila was embarrassed - she said that maybe people would think she had done this. ...More >>>

Copyright 2005 Hilda Graham

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