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Memoirs

A New House

Me on the top right with my brother and sisters on the front doorsteps.

My parents rented houses and apartments for their growing family up until I was seven years old. I remember living in six different houses, but there was at least one I don’t remember. Then Daddy decided to buy us a house. A new house. A bigger house. Less than five years old, with three bedrooms and full closets, wood paneling, and a huge yard. Mama was so excited. They financed it with Daddy’s boss and a mortgage for $8000. (This was 1966.)

So I grew up in that house. My brother and two sisters and me. My sisters shared a bedroom with me, and we had three twin beds in one room, just like “The Brady Bunch” sisters. In fact, I idolized Marcia Brady. I wanted to be just like her.

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My brother, being the only boy, got a room all to himself. He didn’t stay in there by himself, though. He took great delight in terrorizing his sisters. He and I are only fourteen months apart, so sometimes I got to do things with him that our younger sisters did not. He would build an entire ranch in the dirt pile under a huge oak tree at the corner of our backyard, and allow me to use some of his Tonka trucks to have a ranch near his. He used his wide open hand to make the roads. I always asked him to make mine because I just couldn’t quite get the knack for it.

After moving into that house in May, we played outdoors all summer long, riding bicycles in the asphalt road, making roads in the dirt, playing with the water hose, and running barefoot everywhere. We got poison oak (similar to ivy), chiggers, ticks, wasp stings, pinworms, and sunburns, but we had a blast.

I guess this house was “the house that built me.” What about you? Do you have fond childhood memories? Was there a special childhood home?

XOXO

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Memoirs

Walking Ten Miles in the Snow–well, not quite!

Although I didn’t have to walk to school ten miles in the snow, I grew up in a time when kids weren’t as pampered as they seem to be these days.  How so?

For one thing, I rode the bus to school every day from first grade through twelfth grade with very few exceptions. My kids didn’t have to because I was a teacher and they rode with me so they never had to experience the hot, crowded, bumpy, long ride that I suffered.  If school started at 8:00, I was picked up at 6:45.  If school got out at 3:00, I didn’t get home until almost 4:30.  There was no air conditioning and there were no safety belts. Kids of all grades mixed together and bullying wasn’t unheard of.  Thank goodness I usually had good bus drivers who kept an eye on us, and if we felt threatened we could sit close to the front near the driver.

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I did get to go school clothes shopping, but I also wore hand-me-downs from cousins. The clothes my mother got me before school started had to last all year–there was no mid-year shopping. One pair of shoes served me all year unless I outgrew them.

We did get new things for Christmas, but we chose to ask for toys rather than clothing.  Imagine a kid asking for toys over clothes!

When I was in the fifth or sixth grade, patterned hosiery was popular.  I wanted some so badly. Finally my parents bought me a pair but they were thigh-high and I didn’t realize they needed garters to hold them up. I didn’t have garters, so when I wore those stockings to school I couldn’t keep them up. I remember pulling on those things the whole day long. I doubt if I ever worn them again.
I wonder if that was my mother’s intention all along? Hm . . .

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We also played outside on the playground during recess unless it was raining.  No matter how cold it was, we were sent outside for twenty or thirty minutes to play. I remember standing against the building near the teachers so that the bitter north wind would be blocked. Girls were not allowed to wear pants when I was in elementary school, so our little legs froze, even with knee socks. I’m sure my coat had a hood, but it wasn’t fashionable to use it so I didn’t. 

The playground equipment consisted of huge metal swingsets with large chains holding canvas u-shaped seats. You could swing really high in those swings but you certainly did not want to walk in front of anyone on the downswing. You’d get clobbered.  We also had metal monkey bars, steel merry-go-round, steel johnny-strikes, metal horizontal ladder, and tall sheet metal slide.  All this was situated on hard dirt. No mulch or recycled rubber for us. 

These are johnny strikes.  What kid hater invented these?  I was scared to death of them!
Johnny did get struck many times!
You can also see the tall slide and huge swings in the photo.

I guess our survival from kid to adult was not a priority back then, but I managed, in spite of the lack of air conditioning in our schools, cars, and homes, and in spite of carrying metal lunchboxes and walking in front of school buses with big front ends.  Today’s safety measures are great: I would imagine there are far fewer emergency room visits, but then kids back in my day pretty much suffered through their injuries unless they were deemed life threatening. 

Sometimes I wish kids of today had to suffer a little more discomfort. But wait, not my grandkids. . .

Hope you’re staying safe, well, and sane. . .

XOXO


Categories
Memoirs

More from the Moseley house

Being a second grader in the 60’s left quite an impression on me.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Winters were cold back then. We wore coats with fur-trimmed hoods and by the end of the season the fur would be matted and dirty. Yet the coat was passed on to a younger sibling.  Some years the coat had come secondhand in a big box from our cousins.
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  • My parents would close off certain rooms in the house to keep from having to heat them. Heat came from propane heaters, usually a big Dearborn in the living room. There’s nothing quite like backing up to a heater like that after coming in from the cold.
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  • My first grade teacher came to the house and sold us a set of World Book Encyclopedias which my parents still have. The collection of yearbooks grew bigger than the original set. My parents didn’t have much money but they made sure we had the tools for a good educational foundation. The set of Childcraft books that came with the encyclopedias provided hours and hours of reading for me and my siblings. I still have the set. The “Make and Do” volume was my favorite.  I thought it so strange that my teacher would come to my house, but I’m glad she did!
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  • We had a fireplace in that house, which was a novelty for us kids. Once there was a bird in it.  I don’t remember what my parents did about that.
  • I also saw the TV animated special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” for the first time in that house.  I was captivated by it. For us kids, those animated figures were the height of modern technology, a marvel.  We didn’t have animated shows available to us everyday like kids do today.
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As I write this, more memories come flooding in. Do these memories spark special ones for you?  Stay tuned for more from the Moseley house.
XOXO
 #growingupinthe60s #Texaschildhood #countrylife #growingupinthecountry #encyclopediasalesman #RudolphtheRedNosedReindeer