Analysis Of Audrey 's Final Years

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Audrey’s Final Years

Ronald passed away at age fifty-nine. Audrey’s Aunt Bessie and Bessie’s daughter, Teck, came for the funeral and stayed with Audrey and her children. Years later, Audrey’s son, Jim, described the weather on the day of the funeral as the beginning of one the worst snow storms in Oregon history. The snow delayed Bessie and Teck’s return to South Dakota, which may have been a blessing. Bessie and Teck remained with the Griggs for two weeks and assisted the family as they dealt with the loss of a husband and father. In addition to her grief, a cast encumbered Audrey, as she recuperated from a broken leg. Although saddened by the loss of his father and probably overwhelmed by yet another task piled on his already
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To protect his feet from cold, moisture, and the abuse of long hikes, Bessie and Teck taught Jim the prairie custom of double socking. They told him that nylon socks next to the skin would provide a protective layer underneath the heavy socks that he needed to wear for warmth. Trusting the wisdom of his elder and compassionate relatives, the young man followed their advice.46

About a month after the loss of her husband, Audrey decided to return to the ranks of the employed. Still encumbered by her cast, she asked her son, Jim, to assist with a job search. In addition to a willingness to facilitate her search, Jim responded with a summation of her challenge and an inquiry into her plans. “You haven’t been a practicing beautician since leaving South Dakota and you haven’t even been employed since working in the shipyards during the war. What are you qualified to do? What kind of job are you looking for?”

Audrey had already thought through her predicament and succinctly answered, “I know how to keep a house spotless. I’ll be a cleaning lady.”

Armed with a telephone book to obtain addresses of cleaning firms, Audrey and Jim drove off in quest of a job for a cleaning lady. At the first place they stopped, American Building Maintenance, the manager, Doc, thought that he had become the victim of a practical joke when he witnessed the middle-aged woman with a cast hobbling in on crutches. After introductions, he took Audrey in his office for an interview and
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