Sunday, January 23, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Week 4 - Home

I love the challenge of discovering information about my ancestors.  I know my own history -- so it just doesn't seem important to record any of it.  But who better to tell my story than me?  I might as well give a "leg up" to those who may follow in my path.

I linked my blog to a group of blogs focused on family history called Geneabloggers (logo and link found on the right-hand menu).  During 2011, writing prompts will be suggested for us to share our own personal histories.  This week's prompt caught my eye. The challenge this week:  Describe the house in which you grew up. Was it big or small? What made it unique? Is it still there today? 

This prompt immediately triggered some early memories for me -- so Zippy and I piled into the car in 8 degree weather and traveled to 6 Elm Street, Wyoming -- the location of the apartment my parents shared after their marriage.  It was my first home. 

I have no recollection of living here.  What I do remember, however, is my mother's stories of how difficult it was for her to do the wash.  They lived on the second floor.  Apparently she would carry the laundry in a basket down the back steps.  This task was difficult enough when she had just me, but remember -- my brother, Tom, came along less than a year later.  I recall her describing her dilemma.  If she took Tom and the laundry down and left me up there, I would scream.  If she took me down first and then returned to get Tom and the laundry -- again, I would cry -- and I was mobile.  Here is a picture of the back steps.

Kath and Tom on Grandma's Front Steps
As I think back, I don't remember Mom discussing a solution, but obviously it could not be solved without another pair of hands. Eventually, it was solved by a move into a new home in Golf Manor.

2516 Ardmore Ave., Golf Manor, in 2011

This would be the home of my youth. This house was typical of those built after World War II to accommodate the returning veterans and their "Baby Boomer" children. I lived here from the age of two to the age of 10. We moved into this three-bedroom home with two children and left after the 6th child, Dan was born. I have so many fond memories -- worthy of a whole separate post.

So let me finish this post with one recollection that impacted this ten-year old when we were preparing to move on to Pleasant Ridge. When I was in school, they gave us a forsythia bush (or should I say twig) to take home and plant for Arbor Day. "My" bush is pictured on the left of the house, covered in snow. I could not for the life of me understand why I was not being allowed to dig up and take "my" bush with me to Pleasant Ridge. It made me smile to see that more than fifty years later, "my" bush is still there.


  1. Great post. I love hearing stories about grandma.

  2. To some extent, I can identify with your mother living on the 2nd floor without a washer. It was true when our first daughter was born. The flight down (and up) seemed steep and long. And there was the stroller because we didn't have a car. We finally bought a small washer that could be connected to our kitchen sink. I was so grateful! Do you still wish you had your forsythia bush? I wonder if the owners of the home would let you take a stem (or branch or twig) so you could try to start it.

  3. Nancy,
    I guess I'm over the bush -- it just amazes me thinking back how differently you view the world as a child. Not having a car had to be difficult. How could things change so much in one generation? Thanks for commenting.


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