Chapter XI - Irvington
We left on the second day of November. On this date I was again leaving behind everything my husband and I had worked for, but we also were bringing with us untold treasures, our children, and a lot of hope for the future.
The house I had rented was ready for us to move into and so was the landlady. Mrs. Brown, a widow, lived with her married daughter. She asked me how many people were in the family. I told her there were eight children and my husband and myself. Immediately I saw her jaw fall but I assured her she should not worry because we would take good care of the house. She handed me the keys as she received the balance of the month's rent, but I could see she did not feel too sure about her new tenants.
I heaved a sigh of relief and happiness as I realized that our new landlady had accepted us. With that anxiety over we proceeded to start a fire in the furnace. The coal had just arrived since I had ordered it beforehand. Although it was unusually warm for November, the house needed to be heated.
My next chore was to shop for some groceries and to prepare our first meal in our new home. Hope was again restoring faith in the future and I felt a surge of confidence. We were all together in a warm house with food on the table, and for some unaccountable reason I felt happy.
The truck arrived with our furniture and the whole family pitched in to arrange the furniture. First the beds were placed in the bedrooms and then the kitchen table and chairs were brought in. Supper was ready and everyone took his place at the table to eat. With bowed heads we asked the Lord to lead us in our new transition.
On Monday I took Edward, Lee and Helen to the grammar school on Chancellor Ave. Mr. Stellhorn was the principal and I gave the children's report cards to him. Edward had a notation recommending the principal keep my son back. Mr. Stellhorn looked at my son and turned to me.
"I'll put him in the sixth grade and if he cannot do the work, he'll be put back," he said.
Helen had the highest commendation on hers and the principal was quite impressed with what he saw.
The ones in grammar school had no trouble adjusting to the new curriculum and neither did the older ones in high school.
Colette found it hard to adjust at the beginning. She was 21 and had left an established way of life. Now she had to create a new life for herself.
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