A Courageous Move

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As a girl of ten years, I don’t recall much of the drive from Massachusetts to Colorado. My parents made the brave decision  to move West.  I remember being in 4th grade in Massachusetts and then living with our Aunt and Uncle for about six weeks in Raton, New Mexico while my parents drove to California where my father’s brother lived.  This was a necessary move because of the health of one of my sisters.  The move proved to be fortuitous.

All five of us piled into the car for the long journey. Another sister was on the way and was born in Colorado.  This was a bold, brave decision and move for my parents.  My mother’s sister and family lived in Raton where we stayed and attended school for about six weeks.  The next thing we learned was that we were moving to Pueblo, Colorado where our father accepted a job as an industrial engineer at the CF & I steel mill.  We rented a couple houses before we finally moved to Belmont where our father built the house.

All our furniture and belongings were left in storage in Massachusetts until the moving van brought it our final destination. It’s a vivid memory that we invented games and played “store” with empty cardboard boxes.  Imagination is a powerful device, and we never lacked imagination in inventing toys with these empty boxes.  My parents purchased a sofa bed which we girls apparently slept in until our own beds arrived.  I took everything in stride except that Pueblo was much less verdant  with only brown prairie and pinion pines to gaze at.  The summers were hot and dry.

Before moving to Belmont, we rented houses and began school at the nearby elementary school. I was in 5th and my sisters were in 3rd and 1st grades.  My introduction to the 5th grade classroom was met with “oh, no!  Not another Mary Ann.”  I looked around the room to discover there were already two other students with the same name.  I think my sister in 3rd grade fared better except for the fact that she was writing cursive which we began in 1st grade in Massachusetts.  She had to listen to her classmates tell her she “wasn’t supposed to be writing cursive yet.”  The rest of the class learned in the spring of that year.  All the teachers were impressed with our reading abilities and said schools in Massachusetts must be ahead of those in Colorado.

We learned to adjust to our new schools quickly and got involved with the local 4H clubs and activities. I began my first job at 11 which was babysitting and later cared for lawns, gardens and took in mail for neighbors when they went on vacation.  By age 13, I added another job which was church organist.  That kept me busy for the next five years and playing daily as well as three times on Sundays, and all the funerals and weddings.  We sang in the church choir.  We continued piano lessons in Pueblo.

A phone call this morning from a friend mentioned traveling through Western Massachusetts yesterday and past towns where we lived. He said it was a bold and brave move for my parents to have made i.e.  without a job in Colorado, to move the family to a better climate.  I doubt I could have made that same decision and move across the country with young children in tow.  They had great faith and trust to make the move.

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This entry was posted in church organist, Colorado, health, Massachusetts, Sturbridge to Pueblo, traveling across the country and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Courageous Move

  1. Great story thank you for sharing. Active Young Life did you yes

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Arno Bode,cologne ,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    brilliant beschrieben sind Deine jugendliche schulische Entwicklung,deine Ortsveränderung und deine Freizeitaktivitäten,die Grundlage für deine erfolgreiche Karriere,deine Liebe zur Musik und zur Literatur.Es ist eine große Freude deine Darstellungen zu lesen.Diese Zeit und Erlebnisse haben Dich sicher so positiv geprägt.
    Du hast zur Ausgestaltung deines Berichtes sehr schöne Naturfotos ausgesucht.
    Ein faszinierener Bericht,ich liebe Deine Art zu schreiben…
    Dir und deiner Familie alles Liebe und Gute,
    Dein Arno

    Liked by 2 people

    • Danke sehr. Your kind words are very much appreciated. My style of writing is just as I am which is a storyteller at heart. My glass is always half full so I remain optimistic and positive. Alles Gute, Arno. ^__^

      Like

  3. robertcday says:

    You have a lively, interesting and informative way of writing, Mary Ann. And look at that gorgeous daff! 🙂 And, seriously? Your dad built a house!! 🙂
    Kindness – Robert.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The men in the Niemczura household built many houses as side “hobbies” in addition to day jobs. One uncle with 6 children enlisted the help of the boys in the family to pound nails in one at a time to build a house in Massachusetts. The flowers are from our gardens, and I used a photo from last year because our daffodils are not yet open this year. So, yes, seriously, my Dad built the Mass. house and finished the entire interior of the Colorado house. In later years, he built his own studio in our Colorado backyard in which he made furniture. All the best. Mary Ann

      Liked by 1 person

      • robertcday says:

        Sounds like you’re a member of as very talented family, Mary Ann. And you’re no less talented yourself. 🙂
        Kindness – Robert.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Although my father was an engineer, he took woodworking courses at the local college for about 20 years so he could use the lab to build his projects. We children received his furniture which was always engraved on the back with details as to the type of wood and stain and who made it and when. I really love his trivets, many of which he donated to senior centers as gifts for bingo and raffles. My mother was a talented writer and musician. All my sisters and I played piano and one continued with violin as well. To this very day, I still play and love it. Your comment is much appreciated and kind. I simply wanted to document family history as I know/knew it for future generations. Do you ever wonder how our words/works will be preserved for the future? How will they see our photos and watch our videos/motion pictures? Have a great week and tell me of your talented family. ^__^

        Liked by 1 person

      • robertcday says:

        Ah!
        Your comment was going so well until you reminded me of my own family. I’m sure that they are talented in many remarkable ways. I will have to think about how I can bring these things out and document them for future generations to know them.
        You have touched my heart. Thank you, Mary Ann.
        Kindness – Robert.

        Like

      • A smile. Kindness and love. Sometimes we have to fake it until we make it. Find the good and leave the rest behind. Always be true to yourself and follow what your heart dictates. Be happy and capture the joy in today!

        Liked by 1 person

      • robertcday says:

        Ah, Mary Ann – you just carry on being who you are. You’re a blessing. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Blessings to you as well. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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