Pioneer Potluck: About fuzzy pink slippers, motor cycle accident, my friend Marie, creepy crawlers and...

I love warm fuzzy slippers and at Christmas and my birthday someone, usually my mother, gave me slippers. I was given this particular pair of pink fuzzy slippers probably for Christmas probably by my mother.


As I stated in previous stories, I worked in Medical Records at the hospital in Fort Collins but before I could go to work I had to get three little sleepy kids dressed, feed them breakfast, get their coats, gloves and boots on and shoo them out the door to the old green four-door car, that I had started to warm up. I also had to dress myself and at that time the hospital required you to wear uniforms in Medical Records. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, took the hair pins out, brushed my hair and sprayed it with hairspray. Giving myself one more glance in the little tiny mirror, my hair was “growing white” with foam. I had grabbed the Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner that was sitting beside my Aqua Net Hairspray. I scooped off the Scrubbing Bubbles foam, tried to re-arrange my hair, for you see, my hair is as straight string, and I had to curl it every night. I used a lot of hairspray that morning and glancing at the clock, shoo’d the kids to the car and off I went down the canyon road packed with snow.

I dropped Gail off at kindergarten, buzzed through town to the baby sitter, dropped off David and Susan and drove to the east side of Fort Collins to my work at the hospital. I parked the car, went running inside to clock in, one minute before nine. As I took my time card out of the slot and put it in the time clock, I looked down to see big fuzzy pink slippers on my feet!

Always wanting to look prim and proper and neatly dressed, I was horrified to see what I had on my feet! As I was standing there a nurse friend of mine came by and started laughing as I told her what had happened to my hair and my feet. She took me down to her locker and gave me some white nurse’s shoes that fit a little snug but I was not going to complain.

My supervisor Penny, (she lived in a wheel chair) just smiled at me as I tried to explain why I was 10 minutes late to work. I avoided everyone that day because I could smell the faint odor of Scrubbing Bubbles underneath all the hairspray. I could not wait to get home, wash my hair, and get back into my comfortable fuzzy pink slippers. After that the kids checked my feet every time we went out the door!

Part of my job was to go to the emergency room, take the name, medical details and histories of patients that were coming in. One of the patients had been in a motorcycle accident up in the canyon and ended up in Poudre River. His bike slid off the highway, across the gravel and then threw him through a barb wire fence, down the rocky bank into the river. He was not in good shape. As I walked up to him to get his medical history, he grabbed my hand and asked “Ann-don’t you know me? I’m Clark Bean. Would you call my mother?” Details are sketchy about the rest of the day and his weeks of recovery with daily visits from his mother, my friend Marie Bean.

Christmas time, the kids were given a Creepy Crawlers set. All you people that raised children in the 60s know exactly what I’m talking about. It was a little mold with an electric plug to warm it up. The kids poured multicolored plastic into the molds, and “cooked” bugs for a small amount of time. They had brightly colored green, blue, yellow and red, centipedes, snakes, bugs and frogs. They made creepy crawlers until they ran out of compound. They had so much fun with them, laying them under boots and shoes, on tables and cupboards, just to watch me squeal when I saw one.

One of the three kids, I am not saying who, came up with the bright idea of putting them on “The Dad’s” side of the bed under the quilts. Well, I thought that was a pretty funny idea, so I went along with it. That night, Mr. Dad came home, at his usual very late hour, took off his shoes, socks and clothes and the last thing he took off was his glasses. He pulled back the covers on the bed, bent over and saw some bugs, sucked in his breath, grabbed his shoe and started beating on the bed. The harder he beat on the bed the higher the Creepy Crawlers jumped. He screamed at me, to get out of bed… there’s bugs in the bed! I jumped out of bed hiding a big smile on my face. I looked up and saw all three kids peeking around the doorway, with their hands over their mouth, their eyes lit up in total delight. I motioned for them to hurry and get back in bed before “The Dad” used his shoe on their bottoms.

I turned around and hollered at The Dad, “they’re just plastic, just Creepy Crawlers.” He screamed back at me… “NO-NO! They’re not! They are jumping around in the bed!” I told him to quit beating on the bed and they wouldn’t jump. He put his glasses back on, bent over and took a look, and stomped off to sleep on the couch. I gathered up the creepy bugs in the bed, trying not to laugh out loud. For years and years the kids used to talk (and still do) about Dad and the Creepy Crawlers, with tears running down their cheeks in fits of laughter. He NEVER did think it was funny!

I loved that place in the mountains, but it was too difficult in the wintertime to keep warm and drive 30 miles on the snowy, icy, winding road, working at the hospital, the kids to be dropped off at kindergarten and daycare in Fort Collins and absolutely NO help from The Dad!. After two years we moved closer to town, work and schools. I still owned the place when I moved to Alaska, and traded it to my dad for money to buy fishing sites in Alaska. And there is another fish tale to tell.

(Oh by the way – I am writing this with big fuzzy pink slippers on!)


Next week our move to The Pink Log Cabin on Summit View. Fort Collins, Colorado.


Grannie Annie will be available to sign her cookbooks Nov. 10 during an open house at Fireweed Gifts.