Pt. Hueneme California 1966-1967
We spent not quite five months in northern Virginia. Richard had worked on a plan for a floating dock that was immediately constructed and used in Viet Nam. The dock was named for the noted engineer named Amerikian, but Richard received a significant increase in his pay level and an award of a few thousand dollars.
When we returned to California our house was still rented and the people wanted to stay several more months. We retrieved our furniture from storage in our garage and rented an apartment in Port Hueneme near the facility where Richard worked.
When I attended church I didn't see my friend Carol. I assumed she was out of town, but another week passed with no sign of her. The next week was Stake Conference and I saw Carol's husband in the chapel. I approached him and asked, "Where's Carol?" He looked at me with surprise, and sorrow.
"Carol's dead," he said and turned away. I later learned that she had died suddenly of meningitis. She was a wonderful young woman, an excellent mother and an efficient housekeeper. For years she had kept her home on a tight budget so that her husband could follow his preference to be a hod carrier instead of pursuing a career in business or banking as he had been when they married. With a family of five small children, he soon remarried, but this time to a wife who urged him to overcome his reservations and return to the 'cut-throat' world that Carol and let him abandon years before.
Our apartment was located in a complex with a pool. One day we took our two young children out to play. For just a moment both Richard and I were swimming and David decided to join us. Fortunately we noticed him just as he took the final step down the steps of the pool and his head went under the water. It was our first and last attempt at a family swim. On another evening Richard invited a co-worker to join us for our evening meal. The man was an Orthodox Jew. He didn't eat anything. I wondered why he had accepted a dinner invitation. We entertained on other evenings with better success.
We lived in the apartment for about seven months. I became pregnant with our third child as December began. Meanwhile Richard investigated a return to the D.C area where he felt there would be more opportunity for advancing his career. We moved from the apartment and back into our house when the lease I had signed with our renters was up. The landlord kept our security deposit on the grounds that our children had damaged the rug in the living room, pointing out a yellowed spot. I could distinctly remember seeing the spot when we moved in and the landlord said it had been made by a previous tenant's dog. Both of my children were toilet trained by then and the claim the landlord made was entirely specious.
We put our house on Iris Street up for sale and waited for word to come that Richard had received a job that fit his training and ambitions. That spring he received the offer of a position with the Navy, working at David Taylor Model Basin, a large testing and research facility on the Potomac near Great Falls. Once again we packed up and prepared to move. Once again, I was expecting a child when we moved. I would move during five of my ten pregnancies.