Blog Post # 38: My Mom: Miriam Elizabeth Hall Gateley, Part 7 – Married Life

The Cliffhanger Ending

Last blog post I left you with a cliffhanger.

“After working two years and saving for college Mother decided we needed a bigger house because Erica and Parker were coming to live with us. Mother asked me for my college savings to make a down payment on a bigger house, so I let her have it and signed a note to make the rest of the down payment. If I remember right the house cost $4,500. I was 19 then when I helped buy my first house (in Tulsa, Oklahoma). Erica didn’t stay long with us, so we didn’t move into the bigger house. Instead Mother rented it out and it paid for itself.  I think the most interesting thing about that house was…”

Now for the rest of the story.

After the house had been rented long enough to pay for itself, Mom’s mother (my Grandma Hall) and her grandmother (my Great-Grandma Haswell) then moved into it. 25 years later, after Mom was divorced, Grandma Hall moved to Florida and lived in Mom’s house in Vero Beach. Mom then used the rent income from the Oklahoma house to pay for some of my Grandma Hall’s expenses.  

Remember how Mom had originally given up on college and given her savings to buy the house? Mom finally did go to college — when she was 45 years old! Then, after my Grandma Hall died, Mom sold the Oklahoma house and used the proceeds to help pay her college tuition.  

So the most interesting thing about that house … her original savings for college that she used to help her mother buy the house instead, actually did pay for her college  — just 27 years later!

Now back to more of Mom’s story.  Last Friday we left her at 19 years old, working as a Telephone Operator. 

Getting Married and the Farm

 Mom worked at SouthWestern Bell until she got married 3 years later.  She met my Dad in October, 1950 and they were married in May, 1951.

During their 22 years of marriage, they raised 5 of us children (Donna, Deborah, John, Luke, Elizabeth). Our half brother, Davis Day, from my Dad’s previous marriage, spent the summers with us.

Here we are at the hospital, my Mom giving me a hug, my sister Deborah, and my Dad holding our new baby brother John.  Luke and Elizabeth hadn’t been born yet.

Here is my Grandma Trick (my Dad’s mother), my sister Deborah, our little baby brother John, and me.

Several years later, here is my Grandma Hall with my sister Elizabeth, brother Luke, a neighbor boy, and brother John.

Mom spent her time teaching us older girls sewing, cooking, gardening and vocabulary words (she sewed all of our clothes). She was very active in Girl Scouts. We moved to a farm where we had sheep, cattle, chickens, cats, dogs, horses and peacocks. We also had a mulberry tree, grape vineyard, pecan tree, wheat field, peach trees, vegetable gardens, flower gardens and two oil wells. We learned canning, freezing and making homemade ice cream and homegrown peach cobbler.  We entered our canned peaches, baked cookies, cakes and fudge in the Oklahoma State Fair and won ribbons. One time I even entered a dress and a coat I made in the Fair. 

The picture below was taken on our farm of our Collie Molasses’s puppies. Look closely at the picture and you can see the top puppy is a cat, lol!

I’m in my lush tomato patch on the farm. I grew these in a former chicken pen. Great fertilizer and the pen kept critters away from my tomatoes!

Here I am on our farm with Molasses and her puppies.

Here is our sheep Matilda.



We moved to Titusville, Florida when I was 14.  Then came bird watching on Merritt Island, watching rockets take off from Cape Kennedy Space Center, and teaching us older girls to drive.  After a few years we moved to Orlando, where I went to 12th grade.

Lesson Learned:  It’s good to remember. I’d forgotten how many great things I only did because Mom taught us, encouraged us, and even joined us.

Lesson Learned: Call it Karma or The Law of Energy Conservation, but indeed “what goes around comes around.” At 19, Mom might have thought her chance at college disappeared into that house with her savings. Yet nearly thirty years later, that “lost” money reappeared just in time to fulfill its original purpose. Amazing!

Games and YouTube Videos

Here are the links to my signing and cueing YouTube “Word Of The Day” channels. I post a new word every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Check it out and I would love to know what you think of them!

YouTube ASL Word Of The Day

YouTube Cued Speech Word Of The Day

Also, Check out my Adventure Games in the App Stores

Please join me for my new blog posts each Friday.  Have fun with your ASL and/or Cued Speech Adventures!

Published by Donna Gateley

Developer of SignCueQuest and CueQuest

2 thoughts on “Blog Post # 38: My Mom: Miriam Elizabeth Hall Gateley, Part 7 – Married Life

  1. Donna, your history of your mother is wonderful! You have so many details that you have remembered. I wish I could write about my mother’s life and her desire for college. She ended up working at a college (Notre Dame) but never got to go to college.

    And I love your brilliance at making the old chicken coup a tomato patch!

    Love, your shirttail cousin,

    Liked by 1 person

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