Wilda Frost Kimber

I, Wilda Frost, was born in Grouse Creek, Utah, on September 28, 1924, the daughter and first child of William and Elaine Shaw Frost. I was born in my Grandmother Shaw’s home with Ellen Blanthorn serving as midwife. The brothers and sisters that were to follow me were:  William Max, Edward Reed, Clara Darlene, Robert Stanley, Ada Elaine, Myrtle Joyce and James Kent.

Growing up, I liked to go to my Grandfather and Grandmother Frost’s home to visit. Grandfather would let me ride “Old Slivers” and when my father would come to get me, Grandfather would hide me in the willows east of their home.

When I was about twelve years old, I stayed with my Uncle Heber’s wife, Almeda, and their two children while Uncle Heber was so sick in Salt Lake City. They lived in two rooms of Grandfather and Grandmother Frost’s home. Heber died in Salt Lake City and when they brought him home for burial, Grandfather Frost brought me the prettiest blue organdy dress that I had ever seen.

I attended the Grouse Creek school until the eighth grade. This grade was never completed because my youngest sister, Myrtle, became very sick with a ruptured appendix and I stopped to take care of my brothers and sisters and the home.

Grandmother and Grandfather Shaw were very special people in my life. They were always there for me whenever I needed someone to talk to and it was there I would go when things were not very well at home. Thank goodness for grandparents.

Basically, I had a really fun time while I was dating. I liked to dance. Grandfather Shaw taught me to dance. He was a great dancer. At that time many dances were held at Grouse Creek. It was our main entertainment. Everyone danced – from the youngest to the oldest.

Venice Carson was my best friend while growing up. Venice would stay at my house when there was a dance or something, and we would spend lots of time at her home, the Carson Ranch, riding the wool trucks to Lucin, riding horses or just roaming all over that big ranch. Marie Roberts was another really close friend. She lived next door across the road. We would curl our hair with curling irons put into lamp chimneys until it was hot and then very carefully make curls. It would take hours to get ready for a dance!

On July 4, 1942, Ray Kimber, (long time girl-shy bachelor), paid attention to me all day – buying me lunch, ice cream cones, etc.  That evening he took me home and from then on I only had eyes for Ray. At that time when you dated, you went to bonfires, rode around, went sleigh riding, etc. It was unheard of to take your date to Burley or somewhere like that. Well, Ray took me to Burley to a movie and then to dinner. Talk about making a girl feel special.

On October 2, 1942, Ray picked me up, we drove to Elko, Nevada, and were married by the Justice of the Peace. Our honeymoon lasted two days and then Ray had to report to the Army. He left for Camp Polk, Louisiana, on October 5, 1942 and as soon as he could he sent for me. It was a long and scary trip. I boarded with an older lady who took in other young wives of the soldiers. Most nights the husbands were able to come in from the camp and stay until morning time. I soon began to make friends with the other wives and we did lots of things together. Most of the girls were from the south and I had picked up a Southern accent by the time I returned to Grouse Creek. In March, Ray’s brother, Ted, wrote informing Ray about a deferment plan which would release him. If someone was more than thirty eight years old and had cattle and a ranch you get out of the Army. It didn’t take long and Ray was out!  Wow! Were we happy, and lucky, too. Within a week, Ray’s entire company was shipped overseas. They hadn’t been there long before they were caught in a crossfire at an intersection and sustained heavy casualties.

We were so happy to be going home. I remember Ray running down the street with his duffle bag hanging from his shoulder and hollering, “Come on, Darling, let’s get for home.”  I think we must have been out of there and on a bus in thirty minutes. We made a stopover in Kansas City so that Ray could tour the stock yards with me at his side in my new red high-heeled shoes.

We were home for about three weeks, staying both in Grouse Creek and Brigham City when we decided that we needed a place of our own. We rented the little house south of the Blanthorn home on the other side of the road and down a little way. Our first child, Judy Rae, was born at Brigham City in September of 1943. We welcomed her with open arms. How Ray loved her!  Ray Jr. was born the next year in October of 1944. We now had a boy and a girl! We felt very blessed. At this time we had a chance to buy the Charles Ballingham place. The price was right ($9,000.00). We tried to buy it ourselves but we couldn’t raise all of the money so Winfred, Ted and Oren helped us buy it. Our first home!  It was just a big old house but we were elated!  The next year we bought out Oren’s share. Then the year after that we gave Ted twenty-four pairs of cows and calves for his fourth. Now we owned three-fourths of “our” ranch. The year after that we were going to buy Winfred’s fourth but he wanted to keep his share so that he could have the hay he needed for his cows. That was fine – he helped us very much. Instead we bought a new tractor and hay rake and mower. The years went by with both of us working very hard, Ray doing the plowing, planting, irrigating, and then harvesting the crops, plus checking up on and branding the cattle and feeding them in the winter. Whenever we could, we would be with him. I cooked two meals a day for the threshers during the fall when the grain was ready, making and baking six loaves of bread a day. We completely redid the old two-story house. I learned by myself how to wallpaper and paint. I knocked down petitions, I moved cupboards out of the little pantry into the kitchen, I carried water from our well in two five gallon buckets, heated it on the wood stove, then carried it to the back porch to wash the clothes. What a day it was when Ray bought me our gasoline-powered washing machine. As for the yard, it took a lot of work to clear it but finally we had a yard and a garden.

David was born in February of 1949 – a big beautiful “Gerber” baby. We had wanted him so badly. I guess the years going by with us not having another child had made us wonder if there was going to be any more children. That was the year the snow got so deep that you drove down tunnels of snow. Winfred plowed us down to the highway and we made a new track all the way to Park Valley in about seven or eight inches of snow. Dr. Bunderson ask us how we got there and I told him, “We flew.”  He believed me, too.

Sharon was born in June of 1950. She weighed barely five pounds. She was so tiny. I made her a pink satin pillow and that’s how we carried her around. She was so beautiful. Now we had two boys and two girls.

It wasn’t until five years later that Elden Rollo was born. He was my birthday present. About this time, Ray’s mother died;  also, my mother and dad died. Ray and I took care of everything that had to be done for my mother and dad’s funerals.

And then in February of 1958, Betty was born, another beautiful girl!  We were very pleased that this one was another girl. Doubly so because Dr. Bundersen told us I really shouldn’t have any more children, that I should be satisfied. He told me that the Lord had his hand on my shoulder each time the babies were born. We now had three boys and three girls. Could anyone ask for anything more?  We didn’t. Our cup runneth over. We enjoyed the children very much. We had lots of love for each other.

We lived about four miles from our nearest neighbors and the kids always played together really well. They enjoyed each other and were always very protective of each other. We almost always went with Ray in the mornings in the wintertime to feed the cows. If he had to go fencing on the mountain we took the dutch ovens and went with him. We went everywhere we could with him. Once a year, for our vacation, we went to the Cassia County Fair and Rodeo in Burley.

During the years that our family was growing up, I held many positions in the church – MIA president, Primary secretary, Sunday School teacher, Beehive teacher, Cub Scout leader and Relief Society work leader with Ella Tanner. Of all the church jobs that I have held, I have enjoyed being the work leader most of all. Quilting was the main activity for work meeting. We could finish a quilt in one day. We would start at 10:00 a.m., break for lunch, go back to quilting and if necessary, break around 6:00 p.m. to run home and prepare supper for our families before returning to finish the quilt.

Some of the things that I enjoyed and still enjoy doing are sewing, embroidery, and crocheting. I used to enjoy upholstering furniture but it has now become too hard for me to do. Every Easter, Fourth of July and Christmas, I would make new outfits for my children. I have never been able to have my hands idle. If I’m sitting, I have to be crocheting or doing some kind of handiwork. I guess the compliment that I treasure the most is when Ray told me, “There isn’t anything you can’t do, Darling, if you put your mind to it.”  I read all that I can. I love to cook. Pineapple rolls, lemon meringue pie, handmade chocolates, and turkey dressing are some of my specialties.

During the early years of our marriage, Max, my brother, and my sister, Darlene, and later my youngest brother, Kent, spent quite a bit of time at our home. My husband truly had a heart of gold. We also spent a lot of time with Martha and Ted, Winfred and Olive and their families.

In 1960, Ray and I were able to take our family to the Idaho Falls temple and be married for eternity and have our children sealed to us. It was all so beautiful and very special. Bishop Hughie and Marge Thompson helped us very much to do this and they also went with us.

Soon after this I had my first heart attack. From then until now, I’ve had problems with my health, lots of operations and sicknesses. I had a blood clot go through my heart and lived to tell about it!

In 1960 we bought the Mervin Tanner ranch. It had a nicer home on it so we moved up to the top of the creek. We moved up there on a hay wagon pulled by our tractor. Oh, how we enjoyed turning this house into our home!  Just before this Ray went to work for the BLM. The drought had gone on for so long we just had to have another source of income or lose all that we had worked for. These were hard years for everyone at Grouse Creek.

We made it through the teenage years with Judy and Junior. Junior married and had a little girl (Dawna Rae) whom we raised from the time she was five months old. We had a lot of help from Judy, David, Elden and, most of all, from Sharon. Judy went on a mission, came home and got married. David was drafted (as a Marine) during the Vietnam war. It was an absolutely horrible time for him. And us!  My hair turned completely grey during the time he was in Vietnam. Judy had a little boy, Robert Dean, then she had a beautiful little girl, Robin Lynne, who died of crib death within a few weeks of her birth. Soon after this, Judy and her son, Dean, returned to Grouse Creek to live. Scott was born soon after that. Eventually, we were able to buy a trailer house for them which we put by our house next to the plum trees. Sharon started work at the Grouse Creek school as teacher’s aide. David came home – married Betty Nye from Malta and started his little family consisting of Wade (their first son), Lisa (a beautiful little girl) and Jason (a special little guy). Elden joined the Army and after he returned, married JoAnn Robinson. She already had two children, Scyler and Brandy, and soon after, a beautiful baby girl, Camille, was born to them.

When Ray retired from the BLM, they had a dinner party for him in Brigham City but they didn’t leave him retired for very long. I don’t think they knew how to get along without him. He was an awfully hard worker. It was about this time we started to enjoy a little better financial security.

Just when life is running fairly smoothly, things happen. Ray was diagnosed with cancer. He had treatments for several months. It seemed to have worked. He could walk again, he started eating again and he wanted to spend all of his daylight hours down at the home ranch. I would fix us something to eat, gather up my handwork and a book and away we would go. He really enjoyed being out in the field.

He did pretty well until the end of 1979 and then he took a turn for the worse. Doctors told us that the cancer was back but this time it was in his bones. He would not go back to the hospital. Ray’s radiation doctor had bought the Homestead from us and he would come out most weekends bringing medicine and checking up on Ray. When Ray died on August 4, 1980, the life went out of our home.

We stayed at our home in Grouse Creek for a year. At this time all of us decided together that it would be better if we moved to town. We chose Burley because that was where Betty and Elden and JoAnn were already living, and Ray and his family were living in Oakley. It was terribly hard to leave David and his family. We moved into one of the better parts of Burley but we didn’t know that when we bought. What good neighbors we had. They made us feel very welcome.

Judy got married again. This time to Dennis Glade Weeks. It was his family, her family and, soon to be, their family marriage. More grandkids with the arrival of Tarisa Mari and Steven Jared.  Dawna married Kenny Howard and she moved out to start their life together.  After the four of them moved out, it seemed a little silly to have such a large house for the three of us and also Betty and Sharon wanted a place in which to have animals so we moved out of town five miles. This place has been a very good place for us and we are still here. Both Betty and Sharon work long hours and I fill my time by quilting, tying fur blankets, crocheting, sewing and cleaning.

Kenny and Dawna had two children, Samantha and Jacob, before moving to Elko. Elden and JoAnn decided to have two more children, Krinn and Cody. This makes for a large and wonderful get together when we all meet.

I would just like to mention a very exciting moment for Sharon and myself.  On December 28, 1996 we were traveling towards Pocatello and ran into some black ice. I had time to almost say, “Sharon, do you think this might be icy,” before we started to slide. At first it looked like we might go off into the meridian but the van must of found a dry spot and back across the road we went slicker than a greased pig. We almost stopped with no injuries nor damages but we were on too much of a slope. Over we went!  Parts of it seemed to be in slow motion but other parts went by too fast to remember. We turned over completely. When we finally stopped the motor was still running perfectly. I had Sharon turn it off. Then she tried to call 911 but dialed too fast. By that time we had people coming down the hill and one of them said that he had already called for help. Sharon was on my side of the van with me and she was bleeding from a cut on her forehead but that was the only cut that either of us received. She got out of the van and walked around to the other side so that she could sit down. When the ambulance arrived, they helped Sharon in it first, then they helped me out. Because of my heart and leg problems they had a difficult time of it but soon were carrying me up the hill. After x-rays and exams, I was told that my first rib was broken, my shoulder had been pushed and pulled out of place and I had many bruises. But we were alive!!! What a blessing. At this time I am almost recovered from the accident although it is still hard to get into the van.

I will just end by saying how very lucky and blessed I feel to have had the life I’ve had. In life bad things sometimes happen but all in all, the good parts of my life far outweigh the bad.

Wilda passed away on November 17, 2005 and she is buried at the Grouse Creek Cemetery in Grouse Creek.