The first of seven sisters-in-law to live close to me
Yvonne (Bonnie) Allen Crawford
Born Humboldt, Nebraska 1924
Buried Camas, Washington 1986
|Our second child, Marcy (age 16) with her Aunt Bonnie|
My new husband and I spent our honeymoon night on your “click-clack” davenport in Camas, Washington. The next day Max took Husband to Crown Zellerbach Mill to apply for a job.
That fall after our first child, Kathy Ann was born, we moved to our cracker box apartment on Hill Street less than a block away from you. We were so young. I was so lost and lonely.
With Husband working long shifts, a brand new baby, no phone, no car, no friends, and my first move away from my family, I was one scared eighteen year old.
I needed guidance and friendship. You gave me both.
“Why did you keep feeding us when I didn’t even volunteer to bring food to your house?” I asked about ten years later. You smiled in your quiet way and shrugged like you didn’t even remember those meals. But believe me, I did.
For three years, at least till after Marcy’s birth, we ate many meals at your cramped table in your tiny kitchen. Food a plenty served with laughter. Those were the days when I barely knew how to open a can, much less complete a recipe.
About then your Max helped us buy the white house where the garage touched the corner of your backyard. Our girls loved to visit you. They’d squeeze between the garages and play in your fenced backyard. Many summer days Max lit the bar-b-que. The brother’s and your boys played horse shoes or badminton.
That’s when you showed me how to hang a neat line of
clothes, taught me how to keep the diapers white, and tried to teach me to
|Public Domain Photo|
One day you said to me, “I may not dust, but if I make the bed first thing in the morning, I feel good all day.”
I put that housekeeping tidbit into practice.
If you were here Bonnie, I’d squeeze you close and tell you I’ve survived the mother-in-law hurts that you and I shared. You helped me through emotional trauma that, looking back, is of no consequence at all.
“In ten years it won’t matter,” you said.
You were so right on many things.
I did learn to hang a nice looking line of clothes, but my clothesline technique never equaled yours. Can you imagine my thrill when Husband bought me a washer and dryer?
I did manage to become a right smart cook.
Oh yes and I taught our children to make their beds first thing in the morning. You’d be proud.
|Public Domain Photo|
You were a special lady in my world. I’m blessed for having you as my sister-in-law—my sister-in-love.
Affectionately, one of your many sisters-in-law,
|Marcy, Bonnie, Kathy Ann, James and Max about 1977|
For my readers: Unfortunately we didn’t take a lot of photos when we first married. When I looked for a picture of Bonnie, I couldn’t find one with her alone. You notice Marcy standing close to her Aunt Bonnie. The two of them were very close from the time she could walk until Bonnie died.