UPDATE Aug 3, 2011: I'm adding this post to the Bunny Hop Wednesday Party, hosted by Bunny Jean's Decor and More! This is the first day of the new blog hop. HOP on over and join in!
The first winter I remember, I was 5 years old. I'd been born in northern Indiana (VERY cold), but we moved to Casa Grande, Arizona sometime in 1958.
|Christmas 1958 Casa Grande, AZ|
My brother Kevin (Bud) and me.
|My brother and me with our Dad|
Christmas 1958 Casa Grande, AZ
|We both loved our new cowgirl|
and cowboy outfits! See the sand?
Just about each Thanksgiving after that, our family would pack up the car after Dad got home from work Wednesday night.
We would joyfully head for Grandma's, singing Christmas songs! This was Mom's mother and she and my Aunt Sally lived in Listie, Pennsylvania.
We had to take the turnpike once we got into Pennsylvania. All of us kids would count the trucks - we'd take turns motioning to the drivers to blow their horns, see who could spot the most different state license plates, again - sing Christmas songs, finally wear ourselves out and fall to sleep.
|Grandma Good's back in the 1930s.|
|Me (Joy), Bud, Kerry in front|
Mom, Kathy and Dad
Thanksgiving 1960 at Grandma Good's in PA.
|Uncle Eddie, Grandma Good, Aunt Sally around 1951|
near Listie, Pennsylvania
To be at Grandma's was so comforting, like being held in a big hug! We'd get tucked into bed, fall fast asleep, and wake up Thanksgiving morning to the smell of toast, coffee, and cigarettes. We knew Aunt Sally was up and at it already!
Whenever I smell those three aromas, I'm transported back to the wonderful times at Grandma's!
The Thanksgiving meals were always delicious! Grandma and Sally were good cooks and put on a great feast. Turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, rolls, and "filling." This was the term Mom grew up using for dressing or stuffing. It took a long time for us to start using one of those two terms instead.
Most of the time, Grandma had her homemade apple butter, grape jelly, or elderberry jam. UM-UM-GOOD! (By the way, that was Grandma's last name!)
There were a few times we'd visit my Dad's mom in southern Indiana for Christmas. She always had her aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel. We were fascinated with that color wheel and how it changed how the tree looked! While the grown-ups would talk, we kids would lay on the floor and stare at it in wonder.
|Kerry, Kathy, Joy, Bud|
Christmas at Grandma Hilda's 1959
|Kathy at Grandma Hilda's 1960|
Note the tree in background?
Grandma Hilda was a good cook, too.
She'd fix chicken, green beans, corn, made-from-scratch noodles, dressing, along with her homemade pickles. Loved those pickles!
These were canned in the old green-tinted Mason or Ball jars with the wire around the neck of the jar that hooked over a cap and rubber ring.
When it wasn't a holiday, Mom would fix grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup a lot. I still love to sit down with a meal like that in the winter! I remember a lot of fish sticks and Jello with fruit, too!
My Dad and Uncle Eddie (Mom's brother) worked together at Dad's
Every day Mom would fix a huge lunch for them (also called dinner in different parts of the country).
"They work hard, so they deserve to eat well," she'd say. I remember she'd fix gravy differently every other day. One day it would be a water and flour slurry, the next a milk and flour slurry.
Dad liked it with milk, having grown up on a farm. Uncle Eddie liked it with water, as that was how Grandma Good made it.
Supper was always a lighter meal of hot dogs or hamburgers, something along those lines. We used to love it when we got ice cream! Yay!
Birthdays were celebrated the same no matter what season it was. Mom would make a beautiful cake and serve ice cream with it. We'd sit around the dinner table and sing "Happy Birthday," always ending with either "and many more!" or "cha-cha-cha!"
|Kevin (Bud) and Joy|
August 1957 Peru, Indiana
|Kathy's 4th birthday|
|Joy, Kerry, Mom, and Bud|
My 6th birthday - March 1959 Casa Grande, AZ
We didn't get outside much in the winter months. When we did go out, we were always bundled up so much we could hardly walk! Remember little Randy in "A Christmas Story?" That was us! Mom would send a note to our teachers that we were not to go out for recess if the temperatures were less than 60 degrees. Our teachers weren't too happy about that!
We couldn't wait for Spring to arrive! It seemed like time took forever to move! We would say "I wish it were next week" or something like that. Grandma Good would tell us to stop wishing our lives away. She'd say, "it goes by quickly enough, especially when you get older." Boy, she surely was right!