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Friday, January 7, 2011

Geneablogger Week 2: Winter

"Prompt for Week 2: Winter. What was winter like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc."

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
Christmas that year was WARM and my brother and I could play outside, in the sand.  I don't remember much grass or many flowers, just SAND and dust storms. I recently found out from a friend who lives in Phoenix the dust storms are called haboobs .

We both loved our new cowgirl
and cowboy outfits!  See the sand?
We came back to Indiana in 1959 sometime after Easter. 

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.
About 1 A.M. we would pull into Grandma's drive. The yellow house light would be on for us. Dad would climb the steps to the porch and knock loudly on the wooden green screen door.  As usual, we'd hear Aunt Sally throw open the window on the stair-landing and yell out, "Who's there?"  We'd all laugh and yell back, "It's just us!" 

Me (Joy), Bud, Kerry in front
Mom, Kathy and Dad
Thanksgiving 1960 at Grandma Good's in PA.
We couldn't wait to rush into the house and hug both of them! 

Uncle Eddie, Grandma Good, Aunt Sally around 1951
near Listie, Pennsylvania
 It always smelled so good at Grandma's!  She'd been baking pies that day, so the whole house had the aroma of pumpkin, apple, cherry, and pecan pies!  I can smell them now! 
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
construction company.

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
Dec 1963
Peru, Indiana
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!




Gini said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving me a wonderful comment!

I love your blog and glad to see you here joining the genea-blogging community. I very much look forward to reading about you and your family history Jo.

Bunny Jean said...

Joy... This post was like looking back into my childhood. We had a salmon colored Merc (Mercury)and then later we were so lucky as to have an Edsel!

Thanks so very much for participating in my first Bunny Hop. I hope you will be back often.

xoxo Bunny Jean

WhyCuzICan said...

Thanks for sharing this touching post. You've made me smile looking and reading.

Visiting from Bunny Jean's Bunny Hop Party,
~Suzanne in IL


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