Liblady's Genealogy Blog

Thursdays Treasures: Child’s Rocker
August 18, 2011, 1:38 pm
Filed under: Personal History
My rocking chair

Gift from Santa

This rocker is one of the few presents I got from Santa Claus.  I was about 5 or 6 when this chair was my Christmas present, almost 60 years ago.  We lived in a two story house, and there wasn’t a chimney for Santa to come down. That Christmas morning I was told Santa had left my present in the barn.  So I had to go down the hill to the barn where my parents milked the cows to get my Christmas present.  At that time is was more reddish colored wood.  Over the years, I used the chair, as well as cousins, nieces and nephews, my children and grandchildren.  When I was in high school or college, I refinished the chair to it’s present color.

Several years ago, my son’s family was at my house, I had the chair available for their then 4 or 5 year old granddaughter.  I told her the story of how I came to have the chair.  We had been visiting in the dining room.  We later moved to the living room.  When we got in the living room Suszan looked around the room, then looked at me.

“But, Grandma, you have a chimney”.

I hadn’t explained that this wasn’t the house I lived in as a child.

This is still a special treasure from my childhood.


Week 33: Nicknames
August 12, 2011, 12:16 pm
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 33: Nicknames. What was your childhood nickname, and what was the meaning behind it? You can also discuss the nicknames of other family members, both past and present.

We did not use nicknames.  I was always called Karen, and my sister was Melba.  My brother Kenneth for me has always been Kenneth, when he was in school there were 2 other Kenneth’s they were Ken and Kenny, and my brother was Kenneth.   Even today when I talk about or to my brother he is Kenneth, even though others call him Ken.  My mother was Inez or Mrs. Voss.  My dad’s name was Rudolf (not ph), a few called him Rudy, when we were lived in Mankato he was called R.K., but when we moved to Manhattan he was usually called Rudolf or Mr. Voss.

Week 32: Dinner Time
August 12, 2011, 12:08 pm
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 32: Dinner Time. On a typical childhood evening, who was around the dinner table? Was the meal served by one person, or was it a free-for-all? What is dinner time like in your family today?

I don’t remember where we ate when we lived at Mankato.  I am sure it was in the kitchen.  When we moved to Burr Oak, my sister left for college a few months after we moved.  My brother was only there for 1 year, but he drove 15 miles to complete his senior year at Mankato, and I don’t remember many meals with him.  We would have SUPPER about 6pm, it would be served family style, usually with a meat, potatoes, gravy and a vegetable.  Our table had chrome legs with a green variegated laminate top with matching chairs.  The table was squeezed up next to the wall and the stove was at one end.  If there were more than 3 of us the table had to be pulled out.  If there were more than 4 we would eat around the round table in the dining room.   Daddy would sit at the end, Mom and I would sit on the side with me between them.

When I talked to my cousin about writing for this blog, she wanted me to write about the plate.  She has always told me she was envious because I had my own plate, and I would not share.  I had always thought she was referring to the plate trimmed with stripes and stars.

But not long ago she stopped by and looked in my china closet and said there’s that plate.  She was referring to the child’s plate that had the alphabet around it.

Repaired plate

Repaired Plate

Good plate

Good plate

The child’s plate was one of two that my father bought for my brother and sister.  When he brought them home one fell off the seat and broke in two.  This was late 30’s or early 40’s, in those days you did not through something out because it was broken.  So they glued the plate and it was used for Melba and Kenneth, with arguments about who would get the “good” plate.  Then I used the plate, as well as grandchildren have used the plate. It had raised sides, and the alphabet was around the edge.  Today my sister has the broken plate and I have the unbroken one.

What I remember is the plate with the black stripes and stars.  There was only one and it was my plate.  We had a matching bowl and it was almost always used for mashed potatoes. The plate finally broke, but I still have the serving bowl.

Serving bowl

Plate matched this bowl

Today as a single person, I try to eat at my kitchen table, which is wooden with drop down leaves and sits in the center of the kitchen like an island.  For family gatherings we sit in the dining room around the same round table I grew up with.

Week 31: Grandparent’s house
August 11, 2011, 9:46 am
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 31: Grandparents’ House. Describe your grandparents’ house. Was it big or small? How long did they live there? If you do not know this information, feel free to describe the house of another family member you remember from your childhood.

My father’s mother was in a nursing home the one and only time I ever saw her, she had lived in Montana, and was now in Idaho.  We visited my mother’s parents in Arkansas, but there were so many relatives, I don’t remember Grandpa and Grandma’s house at all.

House from the road

Auntie's house with swing set

So I will share about the house which was a family gathering place over the years.  Whenever family from Arkansas would come for a visit, Auntie’s house is where we would gather.  I also would spend some time there during the summers, with my cousins. We had many holiday meals there.  A previous post tells about a family gathering that was held at the farm.

from the back

another view

Auntie and Uncle John lived on a farm about 12 miles from town.  Their house was a 2 story white (it was all white when I was growing up) frame house, that had been Uncle John’s grandparent’s home.  It had one bedroom downstairs, and 4 upstairs.  The staricase had about 3 steps up and then curved to head up to the top.  David’s bedroom was the first one, then there was a large one that was shared by his sisters, Dedria & Cindy.  It was a very bright and cheery room. No A/C to cool it off just fans. There were a couple of other rooms upstairs.

Auntie's house

Auntie's house

They had a living room with a large picture window, and one of the other windows had squares of colored glass.  From the living room window you could see the clothesline and the swing set with it’s tractor seats. There was a door to a small porch that was seldom used. This room had the TV.  It was always a treat for me to visit as we did not have our own TV.  It opened into the dining room with the china closet, a round table and the spinet piano.

The kitchen was always a favorite place.  No matter what time of day there was always a pot of coffee ready. Any visitor would be offered a cup of coffee. The kitchen was long and narrow with a small round table squeezed in by the refrigerator.  This is where we would gather for breakfast, and many times with our cup of coffee.  Two things I remember about the kitchen was the black cat clock with the swinging tail, and moving eyes.

Auntie cooking

Her stove is on the left of the picture

Auntie had a “modern” kitchen stove. A 1960 Flair Frigidaire Electric Stove.  It had 2 ovens, a large and small one over the heating elements.  When the heating elements were in use they pulled out, after a meal and stove was cleaned, the elements were hidden away until needed.  This stove cooked many, many meals.  My Aunt was a good cook, and quite often we would come and be there for holiday celebrations.  One of her trademarks was angel food cake, made from scratch.  The eggs were fresh from their chickens.  We also had lots of fried chicken.

Uncle John bought his grandparent’s house from his great-uncle. This was the house his grandparents had built after homesteading the ground. They move in a few months after they were married and raised their family there.  They lived in the house for over 55 years until health issues forced them to live where they could be cared for.  Auntie just celebrated her 89th birthday and would love to be able to return to her home.

This house has had some face lifts over the years.  The kitchen was expanded by knocking out the wall to the back porch.  The kitchen was roomier but it just wasn’t the same.  The house has gone through some recent renovations, preparing it for a new generation.  Auntie’s great granddaughter and her husband will be making it home, for another generation.

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