After five years in Texas, we next moved to Moline, Illinois. 

Moline is one of the Quad Cities spanning an area around the Mississippi River consisting of Davenport, Iowa, and Bettendorf, Iowa on the west side of the river and Rock Island, Illinois and Moline, Illinois on the east side of the river. Sometimes it’s called the Quint Cities when East Moline, Illinois insists on their place in it.  These cities sit all right up next to each other making it a larger metropolitan area in an area of the country mostly dedicated to farming.

My dad worked at Rock Island Arsenal on, yep, you guessed it… Rock Island, an island in the middle of the Mississippi River. Note that the city of Rock Island consists of more than just the island in the river, but it’s part of it.

My parents bought a 100 year old house that needed some fixing up, but it clearly had been a nice house in its day.  For the first time, we had a second floor and a walk-in attic (not some hole in the ceiling you had to use a ladder to get up into and then crawl around in, this had a door and stairs up to it and you could stand up and walk around in it) and a basement!  It had a covered porch that went around most of the outside of the house.

I was entering seventh grade when we moved to Illinois and going to a new school in a new state with no friends. 

I went to John Deere Junior High School.  To say John Deere was a major name in the area is an understatement.  Farming was the thing and John Deere was THE name in farming. 

I was going to be in the band here, but I played the oboe.  The band instructor knew NOTHING about the oboe and couldn’t help me and there were no private oboe teachers in the area. I loved the oboe, but with noone to help me learn it became too hard to do on my own, so I ended up switching to the flute, a MUCH easier and much more common instrument.  The fingerings for the notes were mostly similar to those of the oboe, so it was an easy switch.

My first and only brother, Nathan, was born while we were in Illinois.  After five girls, my parents were surprised and delighted to have a boy. lol.

My mom was set on a home birth again after all she had learned from the midwife in Texas.  There was no midwife in the area as it was illegal. 

Now, it wasn’t illegal to have your baby at home – they couldn’t outlaw that – but it was illegal to have anyone who knew anything about it to assist. Even my dad had too much knowledge from assisting in births in Texas to legally be there.  I don’t know how the law was written, but that’s how it was explained to me. 

There were no midwives in Iowa, either, but there were nurse-midwives who helped with births in the hospital so the doctor didn’t always have to be there. In Illinois, there always had to be a doctor there, so there were no licensed nurse-midwives in Illinois.

After searching long and hard, my parents found one nurse-midwife in Iowa who was willing to buck the system, take the chance of getting in trouble, and come over to Illinois to assist my parents with their home birth.

The birth went smoothly, with no complications, just as expected, and Nathan was born at home just as my parents wanted.  And we all got to participate.

When they went to get Nathan’s birth certificate they just said, “it happened too fast to get to the hospital”, and after six children that was definitely believed, “and no we don’t want to stay in the hospital, everyone is healthy”.

When I was in ninth grade, my parents made the decision to take a transfer to Germany for three years. They had always wanted to go to Germany as my dad had served his mission there and my mom had lived there also while growing up (she was a military brat) among other places like Japan and Iran (I think it was Iran, but definitely somewhere in that part of the world).  So, this opportunity, was a dream come true for them.

So after three years in Illinois, we moved again.

Oh yes, and between eighth and ninth grade I took a summer school class and learned to type on a typewriter. There were no computers back then (well the big military organizations had them, but definitely not something the average person would know anything about or expect to ever know anything about). Typing was a good skill to have and it turned out later to be an excellent skill to have when I had my own computer. Now a days, everyone knows how to type and learns it young, but back then it wasn’t so common and we had to work hard to learn how the keyboard was laid out since we hadn’t been exposed to one since we were young, like kids these days are.