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More Stories - The Way We Were

Aboard the Queen Elizabeth
By Hilda Graham   

<<<...Previous  We spent several weeks with my family visiting with old friends and being invited to many homes and different social events. My father even had a trip planned to Clacton on the Sea, a seaside resort, for a week. The children loved being on the beaches, as living in west Texas they did not get to do much of this type of thing. They loved building sand castles and wading in the ocean.  Meanwhile my Auntie Doris and Uncle Sim were looking forward to our visit with them.  They had no children and what a ball they had with ours.  When we got there, we went to the ice-capades in Blackpool where they took us to the amusement park and climbed Blackpool tower.  I forgot to mention we took two or three other young people with us and this is when I met Joyce, a very dear friend now, who we visit with every time we have been back to England.  She has in turn visited us here several times and enjoyed every minute; she seems like part of our family.  We are still in contact with her regularly.  My aunt and uncle took us on many drives about the countryside all through the Lake District and on up into Scotland. They lived in Lancaster which is a very historic site.  I even got to go back to my old home town of Darwen and was happy to meet up with several of my old friends from my early school days.  As we were driving through the villages one day we came into a little village named Giggleswick and for some reason Julie laughed so hysterically that I finally had to swat her to get her to calm down.  She still laughs uncontrollably ever time we mention this village. York was by far one of the favorite places we visited.

Auntie arranged a birthday party for Linda who was ten years on August 12; she had neighbors' children over and all had a great time with a special birthday cake.   We stayed there for several weeks and the children were so good; I was so proud of them.  All my aunt's and uncle's friends commented on how well behaved they were.  It seemed time flew by and we had to get ready to leave.  We were all feeling so sad but we had to say our good-byes. Many tears were flowing; Auntie Doris had always been so special to me she and Uncle Sim had married after I had left England for the States. 

We had traveled to Lancashire by train and were returning to Corby by train. We broke the trip in Leeds to visit with friends we had met in Midland.  They returned to England to live but we had kept in touch.  What a thrill it was seeing them again and we spent a few days there sightseeing as usual.  Finally we had to return to Corby.  My parents were anxious for us to spend more time with them.  I forgot to mention that the day after we arrived in Corby - you have never seen a grandfather who was so proud of his grandchildren.  He had only known Yvonne, our eldest daughter, who was born in the very house they were living in and we had been there 6 months when we left to come to America.  He could hardly wait for them to get up and have breakfast.  He wanted to take them and show all his friends.  I dressed them special for that occasion.  I have never seen my father as happy as he was that day.

I must confess that we were all missing Eddie, especially me. We kept in touch regularly but I could tell he was missing all of us. We noticed Linda was not feeling well and she began having stomach pains and running a temperature. We were worried so my mother called the doctor; he came to the house about 7 PM.  I was so surprised to see Doctor Wilson!  He was getting ready to retire but he remembered me as I worked for him for a short time and he had been our family doctor for years.  He determined that Linda had appendicitis.  He immediately called an ambulance and sent her to Kettering Hospital which was about 7 miles away.  They operated on her about 12 pm.  We had followed her there and were so relieved when they came and told us she was going to be fine.  Remember back then that was a serious surgery - now you are in and out in a day.  What a difference the years make. 

In the meantime we called Auntie Doris, so she and uncle Sim drove down, also a neighbor of theirs who had taken up with our son Edward.  They insisted on coming, I remember they had a little caravan which they brought so as to help with sleeping arrangements.  I called Eddie to tell him what had happened and the operator said "Are you sure want to wake him up right now as it is 3 am over there." I said "It is my husband and this is an emergency," but when I called Eddie did not answer. This was so unusual, so I called Don, Sheila's husband.  He then told me that Eddie was in the hospital and they did not know what was wrong with him, only he was running a very high fever, had him packed in ice to bring it down.   ...More >>>

Copyright 2005 Hilda Graham

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