Photographs and Memories ~ Little Did We Know…

It’s been a while since I’ve devoted any time to “Photographs and Memories”, but I think it’s a post that’s long overdue. They say “every picture tells a story”, and I do believe that’s true. I know most of our old family photos do, anyway. It’s fun to look back at old photos and remember how things used to be.  I hope my readers won’t mind accompanying me on a little walk down memory lane today.

7-16-2011 2;03;10 PM Nov 78

Ed in 1978

This picture was taken of Ed not long after our first child, Brandy, was born.  I still called him “Edward”, back then, and just look at all of that brown hair on his head!  This picture was probably taken in the late fall.  If you look closely, in the background, you can see the remainders of harvested cornstalks, still out in the field.

If you look even closer, you’ll see our (white) house in the far left background of the photo.  Actually, at this point in time, our “house” was actually a mobile home with 1/2 of a house built all the way down one side of it!  As Ed’s mom used to say, “Back then, we were poor and didn’t even know it!”  We may have been “poor”, but we were happy, and were proud of our “house that Ed built.”

Eventually, we completely enclosed our mobile home, so that it looked just like a house.  It was a process that would take us about thirteen years to complete. The mobile home section of the house is now gone, totally replaced with new construction in 1991.   The “house that Ed built” still stands, today, next-door to where we currently live.  Our daughter and her family are living there now.

The most interesting thing, to me, about this picture, is the fact that it was taken in what now serves as our oldest son’s back yard!  Little did we know, thirty-six years ago, that our son, who had yet to be born, would be living on this very spot of the family farm!

10-13-2011 6;03;10 PM21My daddy (left) and Ed’s daddy (right)  cir. the mid 70’s

Several things come to my attention when I look at this picture.  First of all, both of our daddies still had dark hair!  By the time our daughter was born, in 1978, Ed’s daddy’s hair had turned totally gray.  He previously used ‘Grecian Formula’, for men, so I had no idea his hair was actually gray!

I see that daddy is wearing shorts, and Ed’s daddy is not wearing any shoes!  This was usually the case during the summertime. Ed’s daddy rarely wore any shoes around the house, and, often, rolled the legs of his pants up.  Ed’s daddy is also wearing, his trademark white t-shirt!

The next thing I notice is the grill in the picture.  That was the best grill daddy ever owned!  He could cook a ton of things on it, at one time, and he used it for years and years.  Bar-b-Que chicken was his specialty, and was the meal we  had for supper on the night of my first date with Ed!  The grill was green, and was made out of heavy-duty metal, much different from what’s being manufactured, today. I still remember having to share the backseat of our little Firebird, with that new grill, on a trip home from Jacksonville, Florida.

Last, but not least, is daddy’s car, in the background.  I think this Oldsmobile was one of daddy’s all-time favorite cars.  It was the last new car that he purchased.  Little did we know that daddy’s beloved Oldsmobile would become the victim of fire, when the storage building/shelter caught on fire, one evening.  We never knew, for sure, what started the fire, but it claimed the car before daddy could get it moved to safety.  Fortunately, my parents’ house was spared from the fire though.

David and Kay22

the pool and deck that Ed built 

I’m going to flash forward, a bit, and share a picture of the pool and deck that Ed built.  The year was 1995, and that’s my brother and his family posing on our newly completed deck.  The baby in the picture is now twenty years old!

We bought the above-ground pool at a JC Penney ‘end of the summer’ sale in 1994, for about two thousand dollars.  We stored the pool until the spring of 1995, then Ed and a couple of friends set it up in March.  It was a huge oval shaped pool, 16 x 32, I think.  We bought a special, stretchable, (Doughboy) liner, and dug out one end of the pool, so it would be suitable for diving.

Ed built a huge deck along one entire side of the pool, then he built a walkway all the way around it.  We put indoor/outdoor carpeting on the large area of the deck.  Ed even built a walkway from the pool deck, and joined it to the house.  We didn’t even have to get our feet dirty on the way to our pool!

We enjoyed the pool and deck for ten years.  Eventually, the children all grew up, and we no longer used the pool.  Ed took the pool down, and I gave it away to a co-worker.  Ed took the deck apart, and got rid of most of it.  We’ve used many of the posts and decking boards for other projects, over the past few years.

Little did Ed and I know, when this picture was taken, that, one day, we’d build another house on the back side of this deck and be living in it during our retirement!  Do you see that Magnolia tree, in the far right of the picture?  Little did we know, when we planted it as a shrub, it would furnish shade for us, in our golden years.  That tree sits in what is now our front yard, and we sit underneath it, almost daily.  Back then, little did we know, indeed!

Published in: on June 11, 2015 at 7:36 am  Comments (4)  

The Tale Of Two Kitchens…

I’ve been scanning old photos for the past several days.  In the process, I’ve been taking a long walk down “memory lane”. The picture below was taken of mine and Ed’s parents together, on Christmas Day, 1981.  That’s their granddaughter (and mine and Ed’s daughter, Brandy) standing in front of them.

Ed's parents on left, mine on the right

It wasn’t uncommon for mine and Ed’s parents  to spend holidays together.  My parents usually celebrated most holidays early, because my brother and his family lived out-of-state.  So my parents usually spent the actual holiday at Ed’s parents’ house with all of us.  It was wonderful how our parents always got along so well.

These photos were taken in the new kitchen that Ed’s dad had recently built onto the back of their home.  See that brick wall in the background?  It used to be the back outside wall of their house!

Their original kitchen was small, and after adding new kitchen cabinets on the back wall, Ed’s parents discovered they needed more room to  dine–desperately!  Their family was growing– in the form of daughter-in-laws and grandchildren!  There simply wasn’t enough room to eat in the kitchen anymore.

Ed’s dad was a retired carpenter at the time, so he got out his hammer and saw, then added a new, larger kitchen to the back of the house!  I love a “do it yourself” kind of guy!  He was proud of his handiwork, and we soon put the new kitchen to good use.

After the kitchen was finished, Ed’s parents bought two large folding tables and placed them together.  It made a very large dining table, and we all had a place to sit–for a while.  Back in those days, we still put the food on the table, “family style”.  We almost needed some “pot passers”  like the Clampets used on the television show, “The Beverly Hillbillies”!

cousins setting the table for MeMa

Eventually, we outgrew this table, too, and at that time, the grandchildren began eating in the “old kitchen” while the adults ate in the “new kitchen”.  Of course, the children loved having a kitchen to themselves!

Those folding tables are long gone now, as are all the chairs.  We haven’t had a large family dinner in the old house since 2004.  My parents died first, both during the nineties, followed several years later by Ed’s daddy in 2002.

These days, Ed’s mama spends most holidays with us, but occasionally she visits one of her other sons.  Last year she chose to spend Christmas at the personal care home where she currently resides.  I didn’t blame her, cause I was overing a nasty case of the flu!

For the moment, our son, Brad, and his new wife, Jennifer, are  staying in the old family house.  (You may recall that Brad lived with his grandmother prior to her health issues.)  The house still has those two complete kitchens, but Brad and Jennifer use the original small kitchen.  It’s just right for two of them.

I find it interesting how the old house has come full circle.  Over sixty years ago, it began with a family of two…hosted a family of eighteen at its last dinner in 2004…and now has dwindled back down to a family of two again.  I don’t know what the future will hold for the old family house, but that house sure holds a lot of sweet memories for me–two kitchens and all!

Published in: on July 19, 2011 at 8:24 am  Comments (11)  
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My Old Neighborhood…

 Actually, I had more than one neighborhood while growing up.  My family lived in at least six different neighborhoods during my childhood!  The final house we lived in was my favorite, and I’ve always considered it my childhood home.  We moved there when I was eleven, and my parents lived there for about eight years.

Before we moved to my final childhood neighborhood, my uncle and his family were living in the house that we eventually ended up moving into.  My family and I lived one street over, so I was a frequent visitor to my cousins’ house!  My uncle had two daughters just a couple of years older than me, and we had some fun times playing at their house.  The house was already like a “second home” to me by the time we moved there. 

mama during one of those fun times...Christmas 1970!

The house was located beside the main strip of Highway 301 which runs through our town.  In those days, the teenagers rode up and down the strip of Highway 301, between Reese’s 301 Drive-In and The Dairy Queen–because there wasn’t anything else to do!  (there still isn’t!)  Teenagers weren’t supposed to loiter, so they had to keep riding!  I could see the “main drag” from my bedroom window, and it was always fun to see who was riding up and down the strip!  Teenagers love to ride, you know!  Sometimes all that riding caused excitement!

this car belonged to a friend...he actually drove his "convertible" around town!

Late one night, my future hubby and I were sitting in his car, parked in front of my house.  We did that a lot at the end of our dates.  I had to be home by 11:30, but Ed could stay later if he wanted, so we frequently sat and talked a while.  Ed’s car was  facing away from the main strip of highway.  Suddenly, we heard a very loud crash down by the highway!  It turns out that a couple, out on a date, were going way too fast, lost control of the car, and hit the light pole at the end of the road in front of my house!  Not only that, but somehow the car flipped!  The couple had some minor injuries, but no fatalities, thank goodness!

There was a small vacant lot beside our house, and a larger vacant lot across highway 301.  Eventually, someone decided that the larger vacant lot across the highway would be a great place to host the yearly carnival!  So for a week each October, the carnival was held across the street from our house!  Lights, noise, action–until 1 o’clock in the morning–for six days!  Oh, and that vacant lot beside our house?  It became the parking lot for the carnival! 

me and a friend...the small vacant lot is behind us, then Hwy 301, then the larger vacant lot where the carnival was held

The house next-door to ours was a rental house.  At one point, a mother and her teenaged daughter moved into the rental house.  The daughter was a couple of years younger than me, and looked like Cher. From that moment on, things got a lot more exciting in our neighborhood!  Before long,  the house next-door became very lively, with a never-ending stream of visitors–both male and female.  The females were young, shapely, and wore revealing clothing.  We don’t know for sure what went on in that house, but we were pretty sure a lot of  it had to do with sex and drugs.  The girl who looked like Cher?  She is now a resident in a nursing home, a victim of her lifestyle choices.

The little house across the street was a hub of excitement, as well. It was the home of a middle-aged divorced woman who led an active social life, too.  Her little house can be seen in the background of the “convertible photo”.  Between the house next-door, the house across the street, and the “main strip”, there was always plenty of activity in our neighborhood!  My parents spent a lot of time peeking out of the windows!

my parents, relaxing in the backyard...daddy's garden is in the background

I married and moved away in 1972.  I left all of the neighborhood excitement behind.  My parents bought a house in a quieter neighborhood,  a couple of streets over, in 1973.  Somehow, their new house never felt like home to me. 

I used to ride by the old house and remember…I have lots of good memories of living in that house.  Some fun family Christmases in the living room, playing with my Barbies in the floor for hours,  getting my first kiss from Ed while standing on the front porch!  Spending fun times with friends in my bedroom–while watching the cars going by on “the strip”.  Gathering vegetables from daddy’s garden or sprawling out in a lawn chair in the backyard to get a suntan.  Good times, gone but not forgotten!


Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 10:44 am  Comments (6)  
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Photographs and Memories…

Yesterday I began a task that I’ve been putting off for quite some time.  I began disassembling old photo albums, scanning the pictures, then placing the pictures into new scrapbooks.  These photo albums are very old–over forty years old–and they tell a story.  They tell a story about a boy and a girl who met, and fell in love.  They tell how he was sent overseas while serving in the army, and how she stayed home and waited for his return.

Ed in Okinawa

Kathy at homeThere are two photo albums.  One belonged to him, the other belonged to her.  For you see, every so often, the two of them would exchange photographs through the mail.  It was always a great day when a picture arrived!  Some of those pictures traveled thousands of miles to reach their intended destination, for he was stationed on the tiny island of Okinawa, while she  remained in the United States. 

His army locker was decorated with many of her photographs, and she kept a large photo of him on her dresser.  Photos were all they had of each other for nearly two years…

Ed's army locker

 As I carefully tried to remove those old photographs from the old, sticky, magnetic photo albums yesterday, I couldn’t help but smile!  So many photos, and so many memories to go with them!  For instance, how I cried the day Ed got on that plane bound for overseas…How he loved my long hair, so I refused to cut it the entire time he was away…How hard it was to celebrate Christmas without him…How his little brothers grew into teenagers while he was away…How he grew a handle bar moustache while gone overseas…How my skirts got shorter as my hair got longer… Ah, those were the 70’s!

With the help of a blow dryer, I was able to finally get the glue soft enough to release those old, faded photographs from their very old hiding places–and I will never use a “magnetic” photo album again!  Who knew that the glue would actually melt into the photos?! Who knew that photos would fade away with age?!

I’ve decided to share a few of our old photos on my blog.  Once a week, I’ll be sharing a few of them, and telling what was going on when they were taken.  It occurred to me that my children have no idea about the stories behind these photos.  It’s about time they learned!  Some of them will be good for a few laughs, too!  Those were the days, my friend!

Ed in his barracks, late 1970

The photo above takes me back in time, and still makes my heart skip a beat!  I remember that white banlon shirt, and those tan plaid slacks! (yes, plaid slacks!)  I remember that watch, which helped us keep up with the time on our dates (I had to be home by 11:30), and I notice that Ed’s wearing his class ring again.  That’s because after letting me wear it (filled with wax) on my finger for just over a year, he replaced it with an engagement ring (on August 15, 1970) shortly before he went overseas.

Kathy, spring of 1972

I let my hair grow the entire time Ed was in the army, so by the time he returned it touched my waist.  Wow, back then I could actually get away with wearing horizontal stripes, too!  I’m sitting on daddy’s car, and our house is located behind me.  Ed returned home just a few weeks after this photo was taken!  Our separation was almost over, and our marriage was about to begin!

Thanks for stopping by today, and sharing my photographs and memories!  I’ve had a song stuck in my head ever since I began this post.  I think it’s only appropriate that I share it, as I sign out…I love this song!

Published in: on March 3, 2011 at 8:45 am  Comments (7)  

The Black Ford Elite

Our 1975 Ford Elite

Our 1975 Ford Elite

Ed and I had bought a 1975 black Ford Elite car not too long before we decided to make our move to the country.  It was our first brand new car and we loved it! 

It was a two-door, sporty-looking luxury type of car.  It was our first car with air conditioning and am/fm stereo!  We searched long and hard before we found just the right car.  For those of you who may not know, the Ford Elite was only manufactured for two years, so it is somewhat rare.

  Unfortunately, while the Elite rode very good, the gas mileage wasn’t good enough for Ed to be able to drive it 130 miles to work every day.  As much as we loved that car, we had to make a decision.

We put it up for sale and Ed’s mama and daddy decided that they would buy it.  I don’t think it was a car that they would’ve gone out and bought for themselves, but being the sort of people that they were, they wanted to help us out.  That Elite must’ve been built pretty good because one day Ed’s mama ran over a cow in the highway with it and didn’t even make a dent in the car!  They don’t make them like that anymore! 

Ed’s mama drove the Elite for several years.  She even loaned it to us to bring our first child home from the hospital in (I’ll explain why in my next post).  When she finally decided to sell it, Ed’s oldest brother wanted to buy it.  He drove it for a while, then put it in storage.  He still has the Elite today.  It’s now almost 34 years old.

****In the photo above–behind the car is our boat, which we also sold when we moved.  Behind the boat is the trailer where the theives lived that robbed   us.

Published in: on June 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Getting Ready For the Move…

our old home in a new place

our old home in a new place

You know, it’s a scary thing…to think about someone actually moving your home!  That’s the thought that was foremost in our minds as Ed and I prepared to move back home.

We were busy for a while, making all of the preparations.  We had to have a well dug and a septic tank put in.  Last, but not least, we had to get a power pole set up and wired.  All of this preparation was going on back home.  Meanwhile, in the city, I was busy boxing up dishes and breakables.  Ed found a mobile home mover and got a date for us to move. 

We were set to move on March 17, 1977.  There was a reason for that date.  In the city where we were living, March 17 is heavily celebrated as St. Patrick’s Day and Ed had that day off for a holiday.  I guess it’s nice that we moved on what some consider a holiday, because we can always remember the date with ease.  We just celebrated our 32nd year of living back home on the family farm.

We got an early start that morning of March 17th.  We decided to follow the truck that was pulling our mobile home.  Oh my goodness, I don’t know if that was a wise decision or not!  Have you ever noticed how those truck drivers fly with those trailers?  Well, this guy was flying!  I had visions of everything in the trailer being broken…

A strange thing happened on the way…we met Ed’s parents on their way to the city as we were heading to the country with our trailer.  Ed’s mama had a doctor’s appointment.  We pulled over and stopped to talk for a minute.  They had bad news for us.  Just the day before, the power people had called them to let us know that it would be three weeks before we would have electric power to our trailer.  Gulp!!! 

It seems that they had to order a special transformer just for us because our power was going to have to come from a major power line and the power supply needed to be reduced before it got to us.  I hope that makes some sense…What it meant for us was–we didn’t have any place to live for three weeks!

After this life-altering news, we continued on our journey to our new place of residence.  The trailer made it there all in one piece, thank goodness!  We made the only decision that we could under the circumstances…to move in with Ed’s parents for three weeks.

I was still somewhat immature at that point in my life and I cried.  Ed’s mama was so sweet, she talked with me and made me feel better.  It never occurred to me at that time that her life was being altered, too.  She was having house guests for three weeks!  If it was an inconvenience, and I know it was, she nor Ed’s dad never let on.

Remember those goldfish that I posted about a few days ago?  Well, I had replaced them after the first ones died, so I had this aquarium of fish that had to make the move with us, as well as three cats!  Nothing like a few pets to complicate things!  Of course “B.B.” was used to traveling, so she wasn’t a problem.  The fish aquarium was a big pain.  I had to set it up at Ed’s parents, only to move it again when three weeks  passed and we got to finally move in. 

Our closest neighbors were a herd goats that stayed around the corn crib at the other end of the pasture.  I loved those goats!  They would come running to the fence every time they saw me outside.  My favorite was an old white pregnant goat the I nicknamed “Preggie”, for obvious reasons.  Preggie loved cookies and would stand on the fence and beg for them.

"Preggie"(on fence) & friends, our neighbors

After over five years of living in the city, with people on every side of us, it was absolutely wonderful to be living in the country with no neighbors except for a herd of goats!
Published in: on June 10, 2009 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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