Climbing the Ladder of Dreams
As a youngster on a farm, I had to drive a team of horses hitched to a hay wagon with a ladder fixed to the front on which I stood. While perched on that ladder, I would dream of the day when I would be able to have more than one pair of good shoes and many fancy clothes. It seemed that only on that ladder I would dream of what seemed impossible.
Few farmers' daughters continued their education after junior middle school at that time. My dear mother insisted I should; my father reluctantly agreed. We lived twelve miles from the nearest high school. There was no bus transportation. I had to stay with a family in that village during the first two years, helping with chores after school. Transportation was available the last two years but there was a two-mile walk each way to the bus stop.Cold weather prohibited this walk so I had to stay with a family near the bus stop. I tried desperately to be and do the best I could. I maintained well above average scholastic grades, participated in athletic and social service activities, receiving one of the seven medals for excellence at graduation.
那时，农民的女儿们很少有念完初中后继续受教育的。我亲爱的母亲坚持认为我应该去上学，父亲不情愿地答应了。我们的住处距最近的一所高中有12英里。因为不通车，我只好在上高中的前两年寄宿在那个镇子里的一户人家里，放学后帮忙干些家务活。最后两年通了车，但从家和学校去车站都有两英里的路程。严寒的天气里，这段路就行不通了，于是我只好寄住在车站附近的一户人家里。我拼命努 力，争取做到最好。我一直保持着超出平均分很多的好成绩，参加体育锻炼和社会服务活动。毕业时，我成了当年的七位优秀毕业生之 一，获得了一枚奖章。
There was no financial help available to attend college. So I decided to seek employment as a stenographer-typist . I typed and sent more than sixty letters with my resume to business places in Buffalo, NY. Only one response was favorable. Following an interview, I was hired. But that was short-lived, as eight weeks later my father became seriously ill. I was needed to cope with the farm work. He passed away in October and for the next six months I had been doing the work of a farm hand.
After that I was again successful in obtaining office employment.Subsequently I took the Federal Civil Service Examination. Eighteen months later I was on my way to a position in Washington, D.C. While being there, I took an evening course at a University. One year later I was transferred to the US Weather Bureau in upstate New York, becoming its first woman weather observer.
Learning that an acquaintance needed help in his campaign for election to Congress, I resigned from the federal job and went to work for him. Upon winning the election, he chose me as one of his Washington secretaries. I then resumed my evening studies, receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Accountancy. I continued in secretarial and administrative work as an aide to Congressmen for a total of twenty-eight years. My next goal was to become a CPA .
I believe that dreams can come true. Mine did! Of course, there were many ruts and detours along the way, but hard work and perseverance made it happen. Never say "It can't". If it can happen to a poor farm girl, it can happen to anyone.