Feb. 23, 1918-March 31, 2014
If you like excitement, consider Marie’s mother, Zieta, giving birth prematurely to a baby weighing 1 pound 12 ounces in the family’s farmhouse. The country doctor arrived in a snowstorm by horse and buggy to attend the birth. He advised nothing could be done to save such a small tot, tiredly saying he would return later in the morning.
While Zieta was recovering her mother used a cigar box lined with a small blanket, then placed Marie on the open oven door of a wood burning stove for warmth during the remaining night.
When the doctor returned to find the baby alive, but immobile, he immediately indicated she should go to the nearest hospital about 20 miles away in Iowa City. The only available transportation was the caboose of the local train. Marie was covered and wrapped up in the box and carried by her father Louis Schnoebelen, accompanied by his mother and Maggie, a midwife. Marie, breathing but not moving, stayed several weeks in an “incubator” in the hospital with her mother often in attendance. A “wet nurse” provided milk which was fed to Marie in a type of an “eye dropper,” as her mother called it. After moving about a bit, she returned home to mother’s care.
She surprised everyone, developing into a healthy young woman, albeit small, a little under 5 feet, moving to the Northwest about 1942. She married Larry Bidlake, moving to Woodinville after his military service ended. They then lived on Lake Leota for 55 years as did Marie’s brother Orval Schnoebelen and his family, in fact nearly next door.
After Larry passed in year 2000, Marie moved to the Olympic Peninsula in Sequim to be near her sister Joy. Four of her five brothers have passed, with one remaining, Jake in Vancouver, Washington. There are many nieces and nephews, some scattered across the U. S. and many in the Seattle suburbs. A large family with all in touch and connected!
Marie and Larry thoroughly enjoyed their many years living on Lake Leota, considering it an idyllic place to live.