Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Early Life, T1, Part 8

My Early Life With Type 1
........Part 8........
In August of 1963 I moved out of my parent's home, and set up a room
at a lady's house in Bridgewater, Va. She was an elderly lady, and a
substitute dorm mother, She was living there by herself. I was free to
use the kitchen, and watch TV. All that for $75 per month. It did not
seem like such a good deal back then.
I started teaching at Bridgewater College that fall, I was 24 at that
time. I had diabetes for 18 years, and I had no complications, even
though I ran high blood sugar so much of the time. I still did not
know about carb counting, and I ate many carbs every day, but I
avoided sugar, just like the doctor said. I was using the test tape
method of testing my urine. A little urine placed on the strip of tape
would make it turn various shades of green. The tape was initially
yellow and if it remained yellow after inserted in urine then there
was 0% sugar present. If there was sugar then the tape turned green,
the darker the shade of green then the higher the urine sugar. I used
that type of urine testing for many years. I do not remember exactly
what kind of beef/pork insulin I was using at that time. I just know
that certain improvements were made, and there would be some
occasional changes, but it was still insulin from pigs and cows. It
kept me very much alive. I had a good life and good health despite my
high blood sugar levels.
Teaching was going reasonably well that fall, but it was much more
challenging because I had a full schedule of five classes. It was very
different from summer school. I had noticed that the head of the math
department, who was about 5 years older than me, was dating one of the
coeds on campus. I discovered teachers were permitted to date students
as long as the students were not members of their own classes. There
was another young male teacher who was not at all good looking but he
was dating a very attractive female student. I thought "Hey, if they
can do it so can I!!!" I looked at the 1963 college yearbook, and
started with the senior class. I made a list. Bridgewater College was
a small college then and had less than 700 students. I shared an
office with the head of the physics dept. and he knew many of the
female students on campus, at least by reputation. He looked at my
list and immediately said no to all of the seniors on the list. They
were either married, engaged or had questionable reputations. I asked
the dorm mother where I was staying, and she confirmed his decision.
Oh well, on to the junior class. There was one very attractive gal
named Wanda. She was a junior and a physics major. My office mate knew her well. She had the same kind of reputation as Mary Louise, very
intelligent, straight A student and a good reputation. I called her
that evening and we had our first date on Friday of that week. She
agreed to date on Fridays only so I called her "my girl friday" like
in the book "Robinson Crusoe". She wanted to get a PhD in nuclear
physics, and she was a very interesting gal, but I saw no real future
in our relationship. I could see a pattern developing. My girl friends
had been very pretty, and very intelligent, with great reputations.
Why was I able to get dates with such young ladies? I found out later
on that dating a teacher was a really big deal among the girls in the
dorms there, and so I felt I had a chance with just about any girl I
chose. Back to the yearbook. Let's see, one for Saturday, one for
Sunday,....... Can you tell I had delusions of grandeur? I had more
juniors and some sophomores in a list in my little black book. I
showed the list to my dorm mother friend. She looked very carefully at
my list and said date this one, her name is Anita, she is wonderful,
and forget about the others. That was not my plan, but I agreed to
give Anita a call. After a few dates with Anita I was not so
interested in calling any more girls, so I just stuck with Anita and
Wanda. I dated Wanda on Friday, and Anita on Saturday, Sunday,
Monday,..... I guess the dorm mother had hit the nail on the head.
Anita was different in a very positive way. Beautiful, so sweet, and I
felt very comfortable with her, like I had with Mary Louise. I looked
for that little black book one day, and it was gone. I have wondered
if the dorm mother had cleaned my room one day. saw my list, and threw
it away??? She really did like Anita. I DID TOO!!! I stopped dating
Wanda, and Anita and I were going steady. Anita eventually told me
that the girls at her dorm had helped her fix her hair, pick out the
dress she wore, etc before our first date. I think the whole campus
knew we were dating. At that stage I was even dating her on Fridays.
Dating every day of the week. I wonder if any other couple ever did
that. HMMM!
I took Anita home with me for the Thanksgiving weekend. Mother loved
Anita! Daddy did too! Hey, this is getting serious here!!! Anita and I
had already admitted our love for each other. When the semester was
over I went home for Christmas, and Anita went to Falls Church, VA to
be with her family. It was agreed that I would go to Anita's house the
day after Christmas so I could meet her family. Late on Christmas Day
a terrific snow storm hit Roanoke. The roads were plowed late the next
morning, but the driveway at our house had about 18 inches of snow. My
parents insisted that I stay home, and wait to see my sweetie when the
spring semester began. They were out of their minds!!! I shoveled the
driveway, and packed my car while Mother was screaming at me. I
started up the hill on our driveway. Too much ice, it was bitter cold.
My tires were spinning, and Daddy helped me put chains on the rear
wheels. I still could not make it up that hill. I was about to give up
when I saw daddy coming with his tractor. He pulled my car up the hill
to the road, and off I went. The roads between Roanoke and Falls
Church were slick and dangerous but nothing was going to stop me. It
took me about six hours, normally it would have been four hours. I
found her house, and I met her parents and her brother. Nice people!
That evening we went downstairs to the rec room where there was a
fireplace, all warm and cozy. I proposed marriage that evening, and
she said yes!!! HURRAY! Months later her Mother said she knew that we
were engaged, she could tell by Anita's grin as we walked up the
steps. We were going to keep it secret for awhile because we had been
dating for less than two months, but they knew. We planned our wedding
for May 31, 1964. We were married after 7 months of courting. We
celebrated our 51'st anniversary on May 31, 2015. We have had a
wonderful marriage, still going strong!!!
Anita read this after I finished in 2010.. She proof read all my chapters. She
said it was to find misspelled words and grammatical errors, but I know
she had other reasons as well. She was an English major in college.
She howled all the way through this chapter.
The first picture below shows Anita when she graduated from high school in 1962. The second shows us with our firstborn, David, 1966.

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