Monday, April 27, 2015

reflections down memory lane

It's been a long time since I've blogged.  Mr. Blue is fine, he's growing and is a handful! But he's a sweetie.  I say he's a smart dog.  Kevin says he's not very smart but what does he know!

I'm kind of in a reflective mood today...on Saturday, My Mom, myself, and my Aunt Sandy (Mom's sister) went on a trip down memory lane.  More their memories than mine, but it was fun.  I drove them down to their Grandparent's homestead.  It's on the Oklahoma border, on the Oklahoma side.  It's now owned by someone outside of the family, but they were kind enough to let us go and explore.  My Great Grandfather settled the place in 1912ish.  (I add the ish because I'm not sure of the exact year they bought the place.  And I think all 12 of their children were born there...probably 10 of the 12 were now that I think about it...)  But I still think they moved there in '12 because my Great Aunt Leatha wanted to hang on to the place so she could be a century landowner.  She was the last person in the family to own the place.  I just wish she'd put some money into it and had taken better care of it...but that's another story for another day.

Mom spent quite a bit of time at her Grandad's place.  The youngest Aunts were 7-10 years older than Mom, and she had 5 older cousins who were there often to play with.  Of course, by the time Sandy came along (10 years after Mom), there were more cousins for her to play with (all boys).  So really, both girls have lots and lots of memories.  I have a few...a very few.  By the time I came along (I'm 10 years younger than Sandy is,) the family had spread out and didn't come home for holidays.  Grandad lived there still with Aunt Florence and she was raising 2 of her grandchildren by then.  Mike and Oleta were my age, so I remember going down and playing with them a bit.  So my memories are very limited compared to Mom's and Sandy's.  But, we walked through the house and they remembered where Grandad's chair sat, where the piano sat, how little the house was for 14 people!  Grandad had built a small "house" right outside the kitchen for the boys to sleep in.  It's called "The Boys house."  It was built on top of the cellar.  But they also had a basement under two rooms of the house.  I know when Grandpa was a boy, all the kids slept some in the basement, until they built the Boys house.  Then the girls got two bedrooms inside the house.  Grandad and Grandma slept in a screened in, unheated porch.  My Grandma said when she first started going there, they still had a dirt floor in their bedroom... (this would have been 1939-1940.)

The doorway to the cellar is starting to fall in now.  In fact, we were careful about going down due to the falling in brick and because of the 6' snake who wanted to stay outside sunning, but kept going into either the brick or down into the cellar because we scared him.  (hey, he made us nervous too!)

We also walked back to the garden areas.  Grandad had built 4 or more dams that he used to irrigate his garden and orchard.  I'm guessing 10 acres of garden and orchard.  Both Mom and Sandy remembered the gardens and the fruit trees.

It was fun for me to listen to them talk about their memories and adventures.

After lunch at Mom's house, we then drove out to where my Grandparents lived...where Mom and Sandy grew up.  Grandpa leased it, but they lived there for 20 years before moving in to town.  Their own house was small...4 rooms.  Let me repeat. FOUR rooms.  A kitchen, the "north" bedroom, Grandma and Grandpa's bedroom and the living room.  Notice the missing bathroom. Mom and Sandy spent a great many years of their childhood without indoor plumbing.  In fact, Mom shared that w hen they moved into this house, they didn't have running water.  Grandpa ran water to the house, but it wasn't until after Sandy was born that they had Hot water.  And the water went to the kitchen only.  (Remember, no bathroom.)

The girls talked about how much stuff grandma had in the kitchen.  Her Hoosier, kitchen cabinets, stove, washing machine, sink and table.  It's not a 10 x 10 room...  Then the girls laughed about every time Grandma added something to the kitchen, something got put in their bedroom (the North bedroom).  Like the Refrigerator, later the freezer, the cream separator, etc.  (In my memories, the North bedroom had those items, but was also where Grandma kept her ceramic supplies.)

I can remember having Mom, Sandy and Grandma taking me out to the Outhouse as a little girl.  But when I was 3 or 4, Grandma and Grandpa finally got a bathroom--by moving in a trailer house and using the bathroom there.  (In those days, you only needed a cess pit.)  And, you know, the kitchen drained through a long pipe outside the house that drained somewhere out in the trees.  (Steve and I used to sit on that pipe, or do flips around it...but only until Grandma came out and yelled at us to get off it!)

The Chicken house has fallen in...the brooder house was still there.  And we walked out to the barn.  I don't have many memories of playing in the barn.  But Mom and Sandy did of course.  My only memory of playing in the barn was when Steve and I were playing in the fleeces of wool--and getting in trouble for it.  The barn is falling down now, but it really was a cool design!  I'm going to take Kevin out.  He'll get a kick out of how it's set up.

We ended our day by finding the trash pit and digging around in it some.  Found some glass jars and other treasures that were partially covered by years of dirt and weeds, but we found it!

I really enjoyed our trip down memory lane and laughing and wondering how our memories meshed and differed.  There are 20 years between the 3 of us...and it was funny what we remembered differently.  For example, we each remembered Grandma's garden in different locations!  And we are all correct because they did move the garden over the years.  But Mom and Sandy argued about if the Windmill was there the entire time.  Mom says yes, I said yes, but Sandy said no.  There is one there now, but it's a newer "model".

My reflectiveness revolves around those who could answer all our questions.  Those who aren't here.  I'd love to ask my Great Grandfather about building those damns.  I would ask if they went dry during the 30's.  I'd ask about why they built a separate building for the boys bedroom instead of just adding on.  Heck, I'd ask WHY they built the house down in the hole instead up above where it was more accessible during bad weather!  I've got a million questions for my grandparents.  It's funny...I asked millions of questions.  That's my job in the family, to ask questions!  But now I have a million more and they aren't here to answer them.  I miss them...

No comments: