Sunday, January 05, 2014

Life Changes - Changing Life - Remembering...

Now that I'm 70-something, I find it's easier to look backward rather than forward. Life takes on new meanings and there are new ways of seeing what has been. And it's easy to be grateful for the new perceptions as they bring understanding that was missing when I was younger.

For instance, when I was just 3 years old, my family moved in with my grandparents for an extended stay of 7 years. I'm sure my parents never wanted or planned to stay that long, but that's the way things worked out. As for my grandparents, they were in their mid-60's when we arrived and in their 70's when we moved two blocks west of their home. I have an sister five years older than I, and while we were living with our grandparents, my younger sister was born when I was 5 and my older sister was 10. It was another 5 years before the family moved to our own home.

My grandparents had a lovely home, built in 1929 - white stucco with deep red trim. There were two bedrooms on the main floor along with the kitchen, living and dining rooms. There were two large rooms on the 2nd floor. One was a large bedroom with a huge walk-in closet - rare in the 1940's. There was a clothes chute that we used for sending laundry to the basement. And the basement was huge - at least to my child-self. Pop Pop had a workroom that he used as a dark room for his photography. There was a large laundry room, where the laundry fell from the clothes chute into a tall, wheeled, wooded lattice cart. That laundry cart occasionally became a jail cell for one of the younger ones - if the older ones could talk us into getting into the cart. The bribe was generally a "ride" in the cart - and that bribe worked remarkably often! On laundry day, the laundry was removed via the cart door, sorted, and washed with a ringer-washer, then hung in the cellar to dry, unless it was warm enough. Then the laundry was carried out back and hung on the clothes lines outside. And those clothes always always smelled SO clean and SO good. I still love to hang my sheets outside in decent weather. Funny how my spouse doesn't especially care for the smell of laundry hung outdoors...

There was more to the basement - a fruit cellar, a small toilet room (the 2nd in the house - also rare in the 1940's). And there was one large room that we used as a play room. It had a full sized ping pong table at one end, Gam's ancient pedal Singer sewing machine, tables, chairs, and a book case. On the walls hung maps from the Minnesota Highway Department, where my grandfather worked after his first retirement. Pop and I used to play "Find It" with the maps - of course, he knew the state very well, but he pretended not to know where every Minnesota lake, city, town, river, and more were located. And I learned where many of the cities, towns, rivers, lakes and more were located. I learned how to read maps, something I have loved doing ever since - whether or not I need to figure out how to get somewhere shown on the map. Maps are works of art, things of beauty, as well as useful tools, in my opinion.

Enough remembering for now... in fact, I wrote this in September, and now it's January 2014!

1 comment:

Deryl Purvis said...

Thank you for your memories, I enjoyed reading them