Our First Home in Ayer, Mass.

Posted in Love Letters | 2 comments

Getting on an airplane in Houston at Hobby Airport then being nervous because of never having flown before,  I so was excited to be on my way to be with Frank again finally.

Of course, flying Student Standby meant that I could be held up at any point of my trip if the plane I was scheduled to fly on was full with others who had paid the total amount for a ticket. My flight would take me from Houston to Chicago then after changing planes in Chicago; I would fly on to Boston where Frank would be waiting at the airport for me.

After I arrived at the airport in Chicago, and finally finding the gate for my connecting flight to Boston, I heard an announcement at the gate entrance. The announcement said that the plane was full, and all those with Student Standby tickets would have to wait for the next flight.  Needless to say, I was in panic mode.  What should I do?  How would I let Frank know?  Would Frank be going nuts waiting in Boston? 

Frank had asked me to bring all of the money he had saved before we married along with me.  I had put this money in Travelers Checks, so I went to the desk then asked the woman there how much it would cost for me to upgrade to the full ticket price.  After finding out the cost, I paid her to upgrade my ticket to be able to get on the next plane.

When the plane that I was supposed to be on landed in Boston without me on it, Frank called my Folk’s house collect to find out where I was.  When my Dad finished talking with Frank, in a panic, he called the Chicago Airport and had them page me to call home.   That was all good, except Dad had them page me as “Nancy Blakley” instead of “Nancy Henderson” which was funny later but did not matter at the time because I had already loaded on to the next plane to Boston.

To make this all even more surreal the plane I loaded on to had been brought specially to the gate because of the number of people with Student Standby tickets that could not load on the previous flight.  So, I totally wasted some of our money.

When I arrived at Boston Airport, Frank was there waiting for me.  A buddy, who had been in Basic Training with Frank, and his wife had driven Frank to the airport from Ayer, Massachusetts which was thirty miles from Boston.  We got my bags then loaded up in their car for the ride to our new home.

On the way, we stopped at the commissary on Fort Devens base to pick up some groceries.  I could not go in because of not having an ID yet to get in the door.  So while Frank and his buddy went inside, his buddy’s wife and I stayed in the car.  I forgot to tell Frank to get some “foil,” but when telling his buddy’s wife, she looked confused then asked me if Frank would know what I needed if she told him what I had just said.  I told her of course, then she asked me to spell “foil” and she immediately started laughing.  It seems my spoken “foil” word sounded like “fall’!  This couple was from Iowa and said “foil” with two syllables which sounded to me like “Fall-ill.”  We all got a big laugh out of the way I talk.  Until that conversation, I had no idea that I even had an accent.

Frank had rented us an apartment about two miles outside of Ayer, Massachusetts on Sandy Pond Rd. which was the only apartment that was available at the time.  The rent was $100.00 a month but did not include electricity.  This rent was pretty expensive since Frank’s pay was only $60.00 a month, but he had just applied for my allotment, which would be an extra $100.00 a month. I had brought Traveler’s checks with me, in the amount of $150.00, which was all of Frank’s savings but had spent $25.00 of that money upgrading my flight.  We also figured the allotment money would start soon.

Apartment House

Front of Our Apartment Building on Sandy Point Rd. Ayer, Massachusetts

The apartment building looked a lot like an Army barracks that had been moved there and made into apartments. Our apartment was on the left end of the building and upstairs.  We had a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom. At the bottom of the building, there was a screen door which opened to a small foyer.  That foyer had a staircase going up, then leading to another small landing with the front door of our apartment.

After passing through the front door, you entered a long hallway which had a sloping ceiling with a cubby hole on the left side of the hall with a window which when opened then laid back up on to the roof on the right side of the hall where there were two doors.  The first door went into our bedroom, and the next door went into the living room.  Once in the living room if you turned left another door led to our kitchen.

The bathroom door was to the left as you entered the kitchen and had a ceiling that gradually sloped down from the bathroom door to the bathtub.  This sloping ceiling held a window that opened up and laid back up on to the roof.  Only one side of the roof of the building had been extended out from the roof to make more ceiling height space for the kitchen,  living room, and bedroom.

Drawing of Apartment

Layout Drawing of Our First Upstairs Apartment in Ayer, Massachusetts 1968

Our apartment did not have air conditioning or heating, and we didn’t have any ceiling fans or, as a matter of fact, any type of fan.  Also, it didn’t come with a washer, dryer, or dishwasher.

We did not have a telephone, TV, or a car.  What we did have was each other, which was the only thing we really needed and the most important thing to us.

The apartment building was within walking distance of Sandy Pond which looked like a small lake and in its center there was a floating wooden platform that you could swim out to, sit on it, or dive off.

There was also a small convenience store about three blocks from our apartment house. Since we could only go to the Commissary once a month because of the expense of a cab or by bumming a ride with a friend with a car, we would pick up small things at that little store.

At the commissary, we bought a lot of powdered things such as instant milk and potatoes.  Also canned items such as ham, potted meat, tuna, canned milk, and vegetables of all kinds.   Our refrigerator had only a ten-inch by ten-inch cube that hung from the inside top that was considered the freezer it would only hold two small metal ice trays and maybe four one-pound packages of hamburger which limited the number of fresh meats we could buy and freeze.

When beginning to write this book of love and memories of Frank and me, these memories came to my mind in beautiful, fun stories of the things that we had done together.  I  chose to give these stories unique titles.  Since this experience was such a fun way for me to reminisce about these memories, I have decided to share our love story through these fun and beautiful memory stories.

“Sail away with us to another world as we rely on each other as we ride it together.”

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




Visits: 214


  1. Lol….memories of “neighborhood stew” when a bunch of us would clean out any leftovers and share with each other….thanks to those “huge” army paychecks…

    • Thank you for commenting Kim. Sorry I am slow getting back to you. I was out of WIFI range.
      Yes. we had many potluck dinners with friends, especially in Okinawa.
      Oh, yes those checks were so huge and once a month but we ate best the first of the month. Lol
      Thank you for enjoying what I am writing.
      God Bless You, Kim

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.