We had a very close extended family with whom we visited often. My cousins on both sides were my best friends. . . still are.
I was very influenced by one of my uncles. He was an architect and I always thought he was so incredibly cool. He always had such neat stuff and his houses were always so interesting. I wanted to be like him, but at that time, women were not really in the architectural field, not unless she was unusually bold, talented, and of ginormous intellect. At least that was the way things were in the world I came from. This was the early sixties and my parents were thinkers but they stayed inside the box. My father was a Lutheran pastor and my mother was a librarian for a junior high school, both of Norwegian heritage. We were a “Leave it to Beaver” sort of family. Our house was simple with touches of Norway tucked here and there. My mother always kept the house nice and clean, just in case someone from the congregation stopped by, since we lived in the parsonage right next to the church. We didn’t have much extra money so everything had a purpose or we didn’t need it. My mother was influenced by Jackie Kennedy (Onassis) and wore pencil skirt dresses belted at the waist with jackets that stopped at the belt, spike heels, pillbox hats with netting, and gloves. She sewed all her own clothes as well as mine to save money. She loved shoes, and would frequent the high end department store downtown when there were really good sales. She started "jogging" way before it became popular. She was always concerned about her trim figure. She also was the forerunner of the recyclers, having us wash all plastic bags and tin foil to reuse, never even buying paper towels, and using the ‘grey’ water from her clothes washer rinse cycles for the next wash load. My father wore wingtips, even mowing the lawn and didn’t own a single pair of jeans. His ‘play clothes’ were his worn out dress clothes, which he only wore when he was mowing the lawn, washing the car, or some other grimy endeavor. One break from the ordinary was his pith helmet that he wore when he would go fishing at our cabin in northern Minnesota. He would go out in the old white and mint-green rowboat wearing his old dress clothes and old wingtips, his pith helmet firmly on his head, smoking a big old cigar, which he said kept the mosquitoes away. So, in this simple, culturally rich, comfortable, secure environment full of purpose and reuse, I secretly dreamed of being an architect. But alas, it didn't come true.