We didn’t want to be in Lincoln! The office was brand new, my boss and and the staff were great, but the town was small, cliquish and backward. It took us a while to find a home, but we finally settled on a house located on Lincoln’s only golf course. Cherie and I played a lot of tennis, jogged and made trips to Chicago or Saint Louis whenever possible. I would also make frequent trips to Columbia to visit my mother. Arnie moved to Kansas City but soon relocated to take a job in Effingham. He disliked Effingham almost as much as we hated living in Lincoln. Jennifer took a job in Saint Louis and Chris soon followed her. Jennifer and Chris would look after my Mom after we left Columbia, but after they left, my mother was in the hands of a caregiver. I knew the lady from our church and I knew she would take good care of my Mom, but my mother was becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. She was starting to suffer from dementia and after she had a fall she had to be hospitalized. I had to put her in a nursing home after her discharge from the hospital. She was left alone once more.
We spent three years in Lincoln. When my counterpart in the Saint Louis office retired, I jumped at the chance to fill his slot. It was a lateral move, but the money didn’t matter so much. We wanted to get out of Central Illinois. Arnie had left his job in Effingham and was living in a St. Louis suburb, both Jennifer and Christopher lived nearby and in January 1998 we moved into a very comfortable home in O'Fallon, just a 10 minute drive to my office in Weldon Spring. I was also a lot closer to Columbia where my mother still resided in a nursing home. It was on April 27, 1998 that I received a call from the nursing home that my mother had passed away. I was expecting the call, but it was still a shock. My mother was one of the bravest people that I have ever known and it fills me with sadness every time I think about her tragic life. She was alone for so much of her adult life and she experienced a lot of suffering. She really deserved better and if you ever want to believe in an idyllic afterlife for a person, I would want that for my mother.
The Perlow boys getting ready for some soccer fun
in a park in University City, MO
It was good to be close to the kids and grandchildren again. Arnie and Leslie had another beautiful baby girl in the spring of 2000 and Jennifer married in May of 2000. She had moved back to Columbia. Christopher was working his way through school and graduated from the University of Missouri in 2005 and took a teaching job in Korea late that year. Cherie decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a flight attendant and at the age of 52 started flying for TWA. I fell into a routine of work, jogging, and soccer. We took advantage of Cherie’s travel privileges and took many trips together, both domestic and overseas. That came to an end with the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Cherie was furloughed shortly afterwards. It was around that time we made yet another move. We loved our house in the burbs but didn’t like the location. O’Fallon was like any other suburban community, with all the same ticky tacky homes and endless chains of fast food restaurants. We found an old house in a quiet city neighborhood and moved in August of 2001. We set about renovating the house and clearing brush off the triple lot the house stood on. It was a lot of work and we put quite a bit of money into house renovations but loved living in the old "Arts and Craft" home.
In February 2002 Jennifer presented us with yet another Granddaughter, our third! She named her Charlotte, in honor of my mother. You just can’t imagine a more beautiful and sweet group of ladies and Cherie and I love having them around. In 2005 Arnie separated from Leslie and eventually divorced. This was hard for him, the girls and the entire family. The recovery was slow and painful but as of this writing, he has partnered with a lovely woman, also a divorcee with two very nice boys, and is living in a lovely home in Chesterfield. Christopher has ended his teaching job in Korea and settled in Columbia to get his Masters Degree. I retired from the Weather Service in 2006 and am thoroughly enjoying my retirement.
We loved our neighborhood in University City and lived there for 12 years, longer than any other place we have ever lived at. The size of the house and triple lot got to be too much work for me and we set out to find smaller and less work intensive. We sold our beautiful home in U City and moved to Chesterfield, Missouri, just minutes away from my son's home. It was quite a change for us but we have a very nice and comfortable home and also get to see quite a bit of our lovely Granddaughter Allison. Since our marriage in 1966, Cherie and I have moved a total of 20 times. Some of that was necessary because of my military service commitments and moves while working for the Federal Government, but some of it can also be attributed to my restlessness. Maybe it's time to settle down.
O'Fallon, MO 1998-2001
University City, MO 2001 - 2013
Chesterfield, MO - 2013-???
It has been some time now since we departed Lincoln and settled into the Saint Louis area. As in previous years, there have been some “ups” and some “downs”, but in the grand scheme of things, I have had a good life thus far. I feel truly blessed. Writing this has stirred up a lot of memories. There are too many anecdotes and stories to put to paper, but I have it in mind to clean this up eventually and make it into a autobiography that I can pass on to the kids and grandkids. But I will leave that for another day. Right now there are other adventures to be had. Life is good!