Monday, January 16, 2012

Blog 4: Memories on Cassette, Growing Up and Leaving the Nest

Our dad went to Germany to work and my sister Lynda and I went to live with him for a year.  We went to an American high school.  I was a senior and graduated there and Lynda was a sophomore.  It was the most amazing experience to live and travel in Europe, and it was something my mom understood as a great opportunity, even though she worried about us being so far from home and from her.  I am so grateful we got to do that, and I was able to share that time with my dad and my sister. 

My mom mailed a video camera to me because she couldn’t afford to fly to Germany for my graduation, and this way she would be able to see it.  My friends were amazed that my mom bought me a video camera for graduation.      

While we were in Germany my mom and sisters would record themselves talking on cassette tapes and then after each of them talked on it, Mom would mail them to us.  Lynda and I would listen to the tapes and laugh and cry, and sometimes rewind and listen again.  We would set aside time to record ourselves talking on the tape and then mail it back.  We did this on several cassette tapes over the entire time we were there.  Mom recorded my sister’s chorus and band programs, and we recorded ours and mailed them back.  Lynda and I described our European adventures on those tapes and we talked about our everyday lives at school and at home.  Mom also tape recorded her and my little sisters opening the Christmas presents we mailed to them. Mom always knew how to make Christmas magical, and her recording them on Christmas made it seem like we were there.  It was almost as good as that. 

I took for granted how special those tape recorded messages were, but I cherish those tapes very much now.  I safely kept them all and got them out a couple of years ago so we could all listen to them, and relive that period of time in our lives.  It brought back many memories.  We all got tears in our eyes as we listened to each other talk.  Our voices were so pure and innocent, and we were so loving in our messages to each other.

When Lynda and I returned to the states, my sisters Kathy and Renee went to Germany for half a school year.  Kathy was in 9th grade and Renee in 6th grade.  Annie didn’t go because she was too scared to leave Mom, and even though Mom did all she could to encourage her to go, Annie refused.    

The five Carver girls eventually grew up.  Some went to college, and eventually all got married and had families of their own.  Everyone stayed in our hometown except Renee, who moved to another state after graduating college.  She was the last one to leave the nest because she was the youngest, and she was also the one who was more determined to expand her horizons.

Life was finally a little easier for Mom.  She had the house to herself and she had a whole new world opening up for her.   


  1. Oh, how I remember the cassette tapes and yes, they are treasures now. I know you enjoy yours and it is a record of your life, one your children and grandchildren will enjoy for years to come. Sure hope you have made copies of them so that they won't be lost.

    I am enjoying your stories so much.

  2. How wonderful to have those cassette tapes. I bet hearing them brought you right back to those times as if those moments happened just yesterday.