America Here i Come.!!
|Making the decision to leave my family to come to America was a tough one but they knew i had always wanted to go back after we spent the three months in 1957 over seas.At that time we traveled while my dad worked but two months was livign in a lovely home in Seattle Washington,while my dad helped design the Boeing Aircraft.We lived in a home while their owners were in Europe working so all was furnished and we loved this big house.My mother had the use of a washing machine and a seperate dryer.The family who had lived there were quite well off and we really enjoyed all their records and record players and using their girls toys.Things we had not seen before.I was 13 a tthis time and decded i wanted to make some money.As it was October I signed up to sell Christmas cards.I was given a catalog and went door to door selling my Christmas cards.They just picked out what design they wanted and their names were imprinted .I made a dollar a box and felt like a millionaire.I had no trouble selling the cards as everyone was fascinated with my English Accent and bought several boxes.I remember when I got to 100 dollars.I said then.This is the land of Opportunity.I will come back.
So the decision was made to take this job as a live in Nanny with the Willcox family in West Hartford Connecticut..It was just for a year then I would come home to my family..I flew into Boston and was met by Mr Willcox.We drove the few hours to West Hartford hardly talking.He was a quiet guy and that was fine as I was pretty tired.Had not slept for several night as i was so anxious and with the time difference just wanted to now fall asleep.It was late when we got to West Hartford.I was met my MrsWillcox who more or less told me she would see me early in the morning to work and then they were going away for a week.She was a serious person and very different to Anne Crawley.I could see this was going to be a different kind of a job.As it turned out they had a lovely German housekeeper,Dorothy, who I became good friends with and she helped me get used to their routine while the Willcoxs were away.The children were lovely.Caroline was 4 ,Julie was 3 and Mark 18 months and John was 2 months.I had my hands full caring for them. The Willcox had paid for my ticket over and the amount was to be taken out of my salary over a year and given back to me as a bonus.After 4 months i wasn't happy at all.I had no time for a life.I was allowed to use the phone for 1/2 hour in the evening and I took care of the children with Mrs Willcox hovering over me and them cleaning as they made a mess.She was addicted to cleanliness.She had two ladies who came in each day to clean house and Dorothy the housekeeper but she stayed busy following me with cloth and vacuum.I was off on Thursdays and was able to meet some british friends at the YMCA as it had a program for those of us over working.Most Nannies were off on Thursdays so we would get together.While walking the children up their street I met Jeanette and she was working as a Mothers helper across the street.Jeanette was from Perth,Scotland.She wasn't happy either so we decided we would both give plenty of notice and move into an Apartment together. I gave the Willcox two months to find a new nanny and told them to take out what I owed them over the two months..I didnt want to owe them a thing.
Jeanette and I moved into a small one bedroom apartment and she got an office job. I first got a job helping a family with one older school age boy and a small girl and where the mother had had a nervous breakdown and was in a mental institution.i worked with them several months and then a grand parent came to live with them so i wasnt needed.My next job was with a family with 7 children.the children were all ages and wild.I remember when the groceries were brought home and kids were meant to put them away.They would all run off with the sodas and cookies and hide them in their rooms..All but two were in school so i spent the day trying to make their beds and do washing and put the food back in the kitchen.Joanne the mother ran an employment agency.She had a few days when she asked me to go and help her when staff couldnt get there so we put the younger two children in a preschool and I ended up working there every day for 5 months .It was a nice break from the crazy household.
After that my job was with the Fitzgerald family.The mother had been released from a mental facility and was trying to function normally so i took care of her while the children were in school and took her places in their little MG that I was allowed to drive and take home each night.The children were very nice.All in school.Roxanne was the oldest and then Steven and then Denese.Doing homework and their laundry was mostly my job with them and supervising till dad would get home at 5pm.I stayed with them until i got married and the children were all in my wedding.