Mosquitoes and Fan – 1968

Posted in Love Letters | 8 comments

Once arriving at our apartment house, I was not really sure who was most excited, Frank, or me.

After opening the screen door, we ran up the stairs to a front door to enter into our new home.

We had arms full of bags of groceries and were followed closely behind by our friends who had their arms full of groceries, too.

As Frank opened our door, he looked at me, smiling, saying, “Welcome home, Nancy Lou.”

I went past Frank smiling, laughing, then looking into the first open doorway to our right as we all walked down a long hallway to another door which we entered then I saw a kitchen through the next doorway.  After running to put bags of groceries down on the kitchen table, I just stood there taking it all in.  It was my very first kitchen as Frank’s wife.  I loved it, and I loved him.

Our friends helped us put the groceries away, and we thanked them for everything, then they left us to get settled in.  Frank showed me everything he had already done to the apartment.  Our things that I had shipped had not arrived yet, but Frank had bought some things to get us through until they arrived.

Frank and I had such a magical and memorable first night in our new home as every day and night would be for us as we grew to be one heart and soul for eternity.  God had truly blessed us with an unbridled love for each other as we went on our journey together.

The following is the first story I will share with you from Ayer, Massachusetts, in 1968.  Enjoy.


“Dive Bombing Mosquitoes”

Since it was Summertime in Massachusetts, it was sweltering and humid.  Frank and I did not have any sort of fan, so we moved our head-board-less bed under the only window in our bedroom.  Our pillows were lined up under the window so that when we laid down on the bed, our heads would be the closest thing to the open window hoping to get as much of a breeze as possible.

One night as we laid in bed sweating and praying for a breeze, mosquitoes seemed to be not only buzzing outside the window, but they were coming through the screen into the bedroom.  They did not just come in as a few, but it seemed like by the hundreds.  I don’t know what those screens on the windows were made out of, but it seemed to me that it had to be chicken wire because they were not stopping one mosquito!

Now, I know that you all know that sound a mosquito makes when it is “Dive Bombing” at your head and believe me these dudes were in full “Dive Bombing” mode.  We tried to put the sheet over our heads, but the sound was unreal.

All of a sudden, Frank jumped out of bed, flipped on the light, then grabbed his pillow, and pulled the pillowcase off.  He smiled, showing those awesome dimples of his then started swatting mosquitoes with his pillowcase.  Well now, since I was his forever “Shotgun Wife,” I grabbed my pillow, pulled the pillowcase off, stood on the bed, started swatting mosquitoes on the ceiling, laughed, and jumped up and down on the bed.

Frank evidently thought that looked like fun, so he joined me on the bed, and we both swatted mosquitoes while we jumped up and down on the bed.  We were swatting blood-sucking, dive-bombing mosquitoes and laughing really loudly when we realized that it was in the middle of the night.  Also, we remembered that we lived upstairs and that there was an apartment below us.

Oops!  Everyone in the apartment house knew that we were newlyweds and they surely had figured out that we were very, very young and energetic.  Of course, that just made Frank and I laugh harder because we knew the neighbors had no idea that we were just swatting mosquitoes.

Finally, we decided that we had enough of the “swatting” and we put new pillowcases on the pillows, laid back down and we’re just fixing to drift off to sleep when a strong breeze started coming through the window.  Thinking, God had decided to give us a gentle breeze as a reward for our efforts.

We had solved the mosquito problem together for at least one night.

Although the mosquitoes would never really go away, the biggest challenge was getting a breeze to help us sleep and keep us from sweating to death at night.  It was not so bad in the apartment during the day because I could open the windows that flipped back up on to the roof, which helped draw the air through the apartment.

We could not open those windows at night because they did not have screens.  The mosquitoes seemed to come out after dark, so the screenless windows had to be closed.

The next story is about how we solved the breeze problem.  Enjoy.


“The Beater Fan”

Frank always left early to go to Fort Devens for school since we did not have a car.  He walked the three miles to the base then after he got out of his Morse Code Interceptor classes, he would walk the three miles home.

It was a Friday morning, and I had told Frank before he left for school that there would be cookies waiting for him when he got home that evening.  Knowing that the cookies would need to be made in the morning because of the temperature rising outside and inside our apartment during the afternoon, I decided to get busy making them.  It is said that heat rises and since we lived in an upstairs apartment, I really believe that was true.

While thinking about the temperature rising in our apartment during the day, I got out my trusty handheld electric mixer then put one of the beaters into its slot.  Suddenly, I did not see it as a mixer anymore, but a gonna be fan!  I was in invention mode, but now I needed something to make some fan blades.

Looking around the room, I spotted the Cornflakes cereal box.  Perfect!  I got a large bowl out of the cabinet, emptied the cereal into the bowl, got out my scissors, and cut four beautifully shaped blades out of the cardboard cereal box then attached the blades to the single beater’s four “rung thangys” with masking tape.  Of course, being excited, Nancy Lou did a “Happy Dance,” but I was not done yet.

Foil, the foil would make the blades of my “Beater Fan” look awesome, so I covered each blade with foil, plugged in the mixer turned fan then turned the mixer on, and that dude worked!  Now all I had to do was wait for Frank to come home to show him my new invention.

Hand made Fan

A Replica of the Beater Fan Nancy Lou Made in Ayer, Massachusetts 1968

Frank was whistling as he came up the drive to our apartment house, and I ran out to meet him.  Excitedly I told him about making the “Beater Fan,” as we walked up the stairs to our apartment.  Of course, Frank loved it when I showed it to him.

That night we placed the “Beater Fan” on the window sill above our heads then turned it on.  It really worked well, and before long we both fell asleep under the cool breeze from the fan.

Suddenly, in the middle of the night, we were attacked by the “Beater Fan”!  The fan had vibrated off of the window sill then landed between our heads, slapping us with its blades, grabbing at the pillowcases, bouncing around, and making an awful noise.

Frank jumped out of bed and pulled the plug on that fan. Frank smiled at me as he laughed saying, “Nancy Lou, thinking we are gonna have to tape that dude down!”  So, of course, we got the masking tape then after a few repairs to the “Gone Wild Beater Fan,” Frank taped it down to the window sill.


Of course, this was just the beginning of the Frank and Nancy Henderson duo escapades.

<<<<< Beginning | Next Chapter >>>>>



Hits: 472


  1. Ahhhh…crazy newlyweds….lol….so, you were McGivering before it was a thing!

    • You got that right. Nancy Lou thought she was an inventor. Lol
      I actually made that fan again for the picture. Still works! Lol.
      Thank you for commenting and reading Kim.
      God Bless You, Kim and praying you have an Awesome Day.

  2. Bless you too, Nancy…thanks for sharing

  3. Wow! How creative was that? You sure did find a way to solve your problems. Maybe not very conventional, but, hey, they worked! Good post, Nancy.

    • Thank you, Diane. The picture of the fan in the story is a replica that I made while typing the story. I had to do it one more time and it still works! Lol! I am glad that you are reading and enjoying.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      God Bless You,

  4. I loved this story I could picture you and Frank jumping on the bed.

    • Thank you so much. Frank and I were so full of fun and together, very funny.
      God Bless You,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *