At summer's end we moved to Ontario where Ted taught at Jarvis Christian School. A motel cabin was home for seven last weeks of pregnancy. I nurtured nesting instincts; braided a rug, painted a rocking chair. Craving sweet corn, took ears from an unfenced field; boiled, buttered, salted but tasteless. Oh, field corn! Finally our top floor Simcoe apartment was ready. After the long moving day we slept until labor pains started at 3 a.m. October 20. Twelve hours later our son was born; took him home on my 22nd birthday. I was reborn with Christopher (Dopher, Baby Duff), nursing, napping, singing, talking, hanging clean diapers to dry in balcony sun, discovering Lake Erie Sand Hills Park. It was a year of kairos time and space for forming a new satellite family, a nucleus sprung from roving Ribbens-Roorda transplants.
Impulsive, flighty, hardly an adult though intrigued with independence I lived with five girlfriends in an old house near the one where Ted lived with guy friends. Babysat young cousins sometimes; felt at home like in Harlem at Madison Square where Ted taught Sunday School. Admired his cheerful, hard-working immigrant mother and was awed by his cab-driving job. We applied for Peace Corps, were accepted, assigned! But had to give it up: I was pregnant. Wow, must have gone all the way--when?! Hormones had run rampant; I was blind, confusing passion with compassion, in love with love. And Love saw me through student teaching High School Art; graduation at Knollcrest, marriage in Franklin Chapel where Mom and Dad were married and where we'd met; camping trip to Canada, Maine, Cape Cod; summer in Ruth's Manhattan apartment while she was in Europe, Ted working at Altman's. I may have had twenty loves by then but none as real as baby Christopher stirring in my body's vibrant chrysalis.
Gertrude DeWitt taught third, fourth and fifth grades in Sheboygan where Theunis Ribbens' sisters befriended her. Marjorie Ribbens earned room and board near Franklin campus doing childcare and housework with the Brunson family. Katie Bogard, bookkeeper, traveled to cities with sister buying supplies and selling their handmade hats. Marjorie Anne studied Fromm, Kozol and Montessori; wrote term paper "Education for Loving". Clarice VDK roomed with girlfriends; finished Calvin; got engaged to Bill Ribbens; started nurse's training. Marjorie wrote to Aunt Ruth, couldn't "understand why no one in the family except Calvin likes Ted". Ruth VandeKieft, president of nonresident students, graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. Marj roomed with Mary Schans; worked at Altman's; took classes at New York School of Visual Arts. Jean Roorda lived with Mom, nursed baby Judah; started researching vaccines; worked as church secretary.
Lived with Gram again, babysat in her neighborhood; shuttled between campuses, found footpath to Knollcrest. volunteered with KIDS (Kindling Intellectual Desire in Schools). Aced term paper "Hamlet's Noble Mind in Action". Ted Roorda sat near me in Chapel (seats assigned by last name); his friend George's girlfriend Paula said Ted wanted to meet me so we talked; our first date was St. Paul Oratorio April 1. What passions lit up or darkened my Festival artworks titled Tree Reflection, Twilight, Easter, Swamp, Youth? For six weeks in Harlem, work and love harmonized: "The kids are so friendly, altho' a little loud. I see they (my 11 & 12 y.o. girls) want loving and I love them." Bonds with Calvin guys on our team formed easily but Ronald from down the block was hardest to forget.