Yesterday after we finished the laundry and came back to the apartment we had many hours to fill. Elder Ashton had planned to go for a bike ride but the wind was blowing fiercely and we were getting some rain so I suggested we drive around Provo and see if we could find the three places we lived while Elder Ashton was attending school at BYU. I surprised myself to be able to find all three places without too much trouble - had to look at one additional block before we found the first place we lived but drove right to the other two. Memories came rushing back as we found these places.
1967/68 We lived in a little upstairs apartment in this house. We drove around back to park and entered a door at the back right side of the house. Stairs went up to our upstairs apartment and a set of stairs went a different direction to a basement apartment. I moved into this apartment as an 18 year old newly wed...it had a kitchen with 5 shelves to hold dishes, pots and pans, etc and no cupboards. There was a combination living/bedroom and the bathroom was located across the open hallway that led to the outside stairs. That turned out to be quite a challenge for me when I became pregnant with our first child and suffered with morning sickness....I hated running across that cold hallway in the mornings while I was suffering with that morning sickness. I remember that we paid $55/month for that apartment and that included utilities. Elder Ashton made $110/month at that time as a teaching assistant to one of the professors in the Industrial Arts program. The most memorable thing about that apartment was the daily "entertainment" that was provided by the homeowners - a widowed mother and her 18/19 year old son. I remember very few days in the 9 months we lived there that the mom and son did not have a yelling match that lasted at least 30 minutes! I moved back to Evanston in early May of 1968 to await the birth of our baby and Elder Ashton came a few weeks later when school ended for the summer. The baby (Curtis Ashton) was born on 6/8/68.
1968/69 When we moved back to Provo in September we moved into this house that had been converted into 5 apartments for college students. (We drove right to this house and found that it looks almost exactly the same as it did all those years ago - although I do believe it has a new roof on the house. The windows you see in this photo on the ground floor were windows into our apartment...the windows on the left are the kitchen windows, the 3 in the middle are the living room windows, and the window on the right is the bedroom window. I don't remember for sure but I think we paid $70/month for this apartment. Elder Ashton still had his teaching assistantship and we had saved some money during the summer with him working construction around Evanston, so we had a little more money in the budget.
The unique thing about this apartment was that we finally had a separate bedroom and a bathroom that was part of the apartment - not across any hallway and that bathroom was so tiny that it had a square tub! That made it kind of interesting to take a bath, especially toward the end of our time there when I was 8 months pregnant with our second son.
Curtis took his first steps on the patch of lawn next to the big tree when he was 10 months old. We left this apartment at the end of May 1969 when Elder Ashton graduated with his BS in Industrial Education. We were ready to take on the world but instead returned to Evanston where our second son, Wyatt Ashton, was born 6/9/69!
At the end of the summer of 1969 we moved to Pacific Beach, Washington where Elder Ashton had accepted a teaching position at Moclips High School. Moclips and Pacific Beach were both tiny towns located close to the Olympic Peninsula/Rain Forest and there was lots of logging that occurred in the area. There was also LOTS of rain that occurred in the area - in fact, the second winter we were there it rained for 87 straight days and we never saw the son. At that time I (Sister Ashton) was fed up with wet soggy ground and gray skies and said we needed to do something different. So we left Washington and returned to Evanston where Elder Ashton again got a job working road construction for the summer prior to returning to Provo to obtain a Master's Degree in the fall of 1971.
1971/72 School was set to begin for Elder Ashton on September 10, 1971. We had timed it pretty close but thought things would work out fine as we were expecting our 3rd child on September 4. But, the baby decided he was not quite ready to make an appearance and our third son, Ryan Ashton, was not born until September 15. Elder Ashton moved into our NEW apartment (we were the first tenants) for the first week of school and then returned to Evanston to get Sister Ashton and the 3 boys.
We moved into the second apartment on the first floor on the left side of this picture (the first door you can see clearly). We paid $135/month for this apartment and just didn't have enough money saved so we finally had to take out a student loan. At this apartment complex we first became acquainted/re-acquainted with some people from St. Johns, AZ. Pam Conant and her children lived in the complex. I had babysat Pam's children in 1968 and lost track of her so was surprised to find her living in the same complex. We also became acquainted with Barry and Risa Udall who lived there with their 4 children, Travis, Symonie, Brady and Cord. In addition to the people from St. Johns we became acquainted with newlyweds Steve and Sheila Driggs who "adopted" Curtis and Wyatt and loved to have them come up to their 3rd floor apartment to visit. If I remember correctly, one of Pam's daughters had left her doll buggy in the playground one day and Curtis decided it would be fun to drop it from the 3rd floor balcony to see what would happen. Needless to say, the buggy broke and Curtis had to go and apologize and work out a way to pay for the buggy!
Those were eventful days/years and I loved reliving the memories, but I don't have the energy to go back and do it all again.
We had some great meetings this morning....it is so invigorating and uplifting to see all the young missionaries with their energy, enthusiasm and smiling faces. I don't think I have seen any young missionary that looked mad or sad in the week we have been here....and I wish I had half the energy that they do!!!! As we left, I was stuck by this scene and asked Elder Ashton to take a picture of the low hanging clouds over the mountains behind the Provo temple.