My new dad, Bob, still in the Navy, was stationed in Los Alimitos, California, which is just outside of the L.A. County border and located in Orange County. Driving from Pasadena each day had to be grueling, especially if the weather wasn't the usual sunshine. It was the pre-freeway days, the only freeway at that time was the Pasadena Freeway, a small stretch of freeway that takes you through the city of Pasadena. The Santa Ana Freeway was under construction, just partially open.
In late summer 1949, our family rented a small home in Artesia, California. Artesia was a small town located in the southern area of Los Angeles County. In those days it was a small town in the heart of dairyland, surrounded by dairies, ranches and down in Orange County, orange groves. I remember the sunflowers growing in the backyard and developed a taste for sunflower seeds. We got a collie and named him Beans. Beans was gorgeous and looked like Lassie of movie fame (Lassie hadn't quite reached television at that time). Unfortunately, Beans preferred another family not too far from us, and would run away to live with them all the time. My parents would go retrieve Beans, but after four or five trips to bring him back home, they gave up and let him live with the other family. I started the second grade and made friends with other girls my age. The neighborhood ice cream man lived around the corner from us and on Halloween of 1949 when we trick or treated at his house, he gave us candy ice cream cones.