Monday, June 29, 2009

Be It Ever So Humble

I have been wanting to post some pictures of where I grew up so today is the day. I wanted to put this picture in a different spot, but I have not figured out how to change the order so will just let it be the opener. This would have been taken probably three years after we moved into the old house where we would grow up. There was an apple orchard behind it - orchards are fun places. This is my sister, Jo, and my brother, Bud (everyone else calls him Chuck - but he will always be Bud to me) and for some reason they were posing under the pretty blossoms. One thing for sure, there are not that many pictures of us through all those years - unlike today! My sister has been gone for almost 11 years and I miss her.

This is what the house I grew up in looked like the last time I saw it. Not long afterwards, the local fire department burned it down. I was back in Chillicothe for one of my high school reunions and Jo and I went down to look at the old place. This would have been taken about 1976.

Below is how it looked when we moved in when I was seven years old. My parents, like so many other people, had gone into debt because of the depression and lack of jobs. They had unsuccessfully tried living with my grandparents. North of Peoria about 20 miles was a little village called Rome and they found this house that could be rented for $10.00 per month, and Dad was able to pay the rent by doing work for the family who owned it and three cottages along the river. He took care of their yards and kept meticulous records of the time he spent. We three kids knew never to take his pencil - that was a given!

Regardless of the fact that we had no bathroom or telephone and were probably considered poor, I look back on my childhood and high school years as happy ones. My parents were hard working, loving people who took good care of us and loved us very much. The picture below is in 1943 when the Illinois River left it's banks and flooded the heck out of everything. We had a one room cellar (with a dirt floor) and I remember hearing the fruit jars gurgle as they filled with water. The water did not come up into the house and we stayed in it throughout the flooding period. Everyone had to have typhoid shots since all the wells were covered. Naturally, drinking water had to be boiled. We rowed the boat around the yard and up and down the street - kids enjoy things like that.

This next picture is not really very good - but that is our outhouse!! And to the left is the coal shed. In front is Dad's canna bed and in the right background are lots and lots of gladiola. His garden was gorgeous. Almost every kind of vegetable you can name and also peanuts and popcorn.

In the picture below is my cute, grinning kid brother, Bud, maybe 10 or 11 at the time. I know you read my blog, Bud, so leave me a comment and set me straight on whose gocart that is. I think you told me it wasn't yours and I don't remember you ever having one. The old house looks much nicer with a coat of white paint and roses climbing on the old fence. That, I am pretty sure, is our old Chevie parked there. And the gate is where I stuck my tongue one winter day and lost some taste buds! Never did that again.

Hope you enjoyed a little Piece from my Past. I look back on it fondly. (Click to enlarge)


Jewels said...

A lovely blog Carol. My you had an interesting time growing up - and really not that long ago - but how things have changed. We take so much for granted. I expect with the way the economy is many folks have come to respect (if only a little) what our parents and grandparents went through - we have it so good. But to your point - a loving family can make the best of it! Cheers, J

Leslie said...

Oh Carol, I can remember in my great grandparents house, where of course my grandma and later my mom lived, a very scary coal room in the basement. It was always very dark and the coal room had an opening to the outside where they would shovel the coal into the basement. My brothers use to lock me down in that room and i just use to scream until Grandma would rescue me. Well there you go that's my memory for today. lol

blushing rose said...

What a lovely sentimental writing, the photos are beautiful. TTFN ~ Marydon

Karen said...

Such a wonderful post Carol.

Anonymous said...

Oh Carol, I found your page searching lilly of the valley patterns... my hubby and I just had a wonderful reminiscence through the reading of your original home pics. My dad was passed already when a cousin discovered her 'what is it' pic was the only one of the original 1910 farm pic. Thank you for your heartful sharing! Doris.