Friday, March 3, 2017

Family History Writing Challenge Day 27

Catherine with Joseph
and Kimberly
Following Kenneth's birth, Catherine experienced a couple of miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, resulting in the removal of one ovary and all but a piece of her second ovary. The doctor told her that she had a chance in a million of ever conceiving again, and a chance in 10,000 that a baby would be carried full term. When she started feeling ill in 1953, the doctor ran a pregnancy test even though he was sure she could not be expecting. At the time, the test involved injecting the urine of a woman into a female rabbit. If the woman was pregnant, the chorionic gonadotrophin in the urine would cause the rabbit's ovaries to enlarge and develop characteristic surface changes. Unfortunately, the only way to read the test results was to cut open the bunny. This is where the expression, "The rabbit died" comes from. Son Joseph joined the family in 1954. In 1955, she advised the doctor not to kill the bunny because she knew she was pregnant. Kimberly (that's me) was born later that year. Catherine definitely defied the odds, not once but twice!

Roy's household was expanding during a time period when the Railway Express Agency was contracting. Following the war a flurry of construction on highways and the widespread purchase of automobiles resulted in a downturn of passengers traveling by the rails. The railroads began sharp reductions in the number of passenger trains, which cut back on the reach of Railway Express Agency. It was perhaps this turn of events that caused Roy to seek employment elsewhere. He ultimately took a job with a trucking company in Chicago, Illinois at about the time Kimberly was born. He went ahead to find a house for the family and get established. A few months later, Catherine boarded a train in Cincinnati and took the four children to Chicago. How hard it must have been for her to leave her friends and family - her whole support group - behind.

Catherine's mother Mayme
Crusham comes to visit in
Chicago for Easter 
The house purchased was in a new subdivision by O'Hare Airport. The airport had just officially opened to commercial air travel in 1955, and their new next-door neighbor worked in the control tower at O'Hare. The second story of the home was unfinished, so all 6 members of the family slept on the main floor until Roy could add two bedrooms upstairs. Chicago was close enough to Cincinnati that both Roy and Catherine's parents could come over for a visit.

By 1960 Roy took a position with a different trucking company in Des Moines, Iowa. The family was on the move again. This time Roy and Catherine purchased a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home located on the north side of Des Moines. The walkout basement afforded extra living space for the family, and the dead end street was a safe haven for growing children. Cornfields surrounded the area, giving a feel of country living in the city. Nearby Woodlawn Park was easy walking distance, and offered play equipment, a baseball field that converted to an ice skating rink in the winter, a wading pool and a park shelter with games and activities throughout the summer.
Des Moines house with neighbor
girl and Kubler dog, Duke
Holy Trinity Church and School
The three older children were enrolled in various Catholic schools, and Kimberly attended kindergarten in the Johnston School District as Holy Trinity did not offer this grade. Roy and Catherine found a bowling league to join, and resumed their golf games. The family members settled nicely into their new lives in Des Moines.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

More cool facts. Glad you didn't kill the bunny,