Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Home

Last year I came across a cache of slides in our storage room.  I grabbed a slide viewer that was probably over 40 years old because I remember using at my grandparents’ house up in Elk City.  I started to look at some of these old slides and to my surprise, I saw some pictures of my mother while she was still in her Last year I came across a cache of slides in our storage room.  I grabbed a slide viewer that was probably over 40 years old because I remember using at my grandparents’ house up in Elk City.  I started to look at some of these old slides and to my surprise, I saw some pictures of my mother while she was still in her teens.  Some of the best pictures were of the house that my parents moved in when I was born.  That alone is a great story.

My parents were living in a 600 sq. ft. house just around the corner from where we currently live.  There is a story to that little house.  My grandmother had been married to Richard Tannahill and after he died in a hunting accident, she decided move the little house that was on the property to a property in the Orchards.  This property was located across the street from Orchard’s Elementary School on Airway.  She accomplished most of this without any input from her husband.  It was, in fact, a complete surprise.  He arrived home one day and found her checkbook on the counter.  Grandpa Gwen glanced at it and noticed entries for plumbers and electricians and was very curious as to what was going on.  My grandmother wasn't available at the time, so he did the next best thing.  He took my mother to the bar and bought her a root beer and proceeded to pump her for information. Mom was about eight at the time and remembered that she definitely enjoyed that excursion into her first bar!

Fast forward to about 12 years later and my parents had bought that original little house that had been moved up from Richard Tannahill’s land.  It was definitely “little”…it was about 600 square feet and while it might have been an improvement from the trailer they were living in…three children later, it was definitely cramped.  Mom and Dad started looking for another house when they were expecting me and about a month before I was born, they got the ok for financing.  A few days before I was born, they made an offer on a house just around the corner from where they were currently living.   Dad found out that when he got home there was a message for him…they had got the house.  Dad went to the florist and ordered roses for my mother.  He placed a card in the envelope that listed the address of the new house with a key in it.  When the roses arrived, the doctor had just left the room after checking Mom over and as he was walking down the hallway, he heard a yell from her room.  He rushed back to her room to see Mom almost jumping for joy…even though she was in hospital bed.  Needless to say, it was a happy yell.

A few weeks later, my grandmother made another visit to town from Elk City.  (She had been there to take care of my siblings while Mom was in the hospital with me.)    She wanted to see the new house and Mom certainly wanted to show it to her.   I don’t know if they drove the short distance or walked…but after Grandma and Mom started looking around the house, Grandma commented that it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and pack a few things and bring over to the new house.  So they went back to the little house around the corner and started packing.  Mom told my brothers to go in their room and to start packing their things for the new house.  Mom said that my brother went in the room, put all of his toys in the toy-box and said “All done, Momma!” 



Mom & Dad during a spring visit with my Grandparents
The house as it appeared - soon after they moved in!

The field behind our house - Mom  (Betty) Gwen & Capitola Shearer (Grandparents) with Cream Puff
By the time my father arrived home from work, he found out that his plans of moving during his time off wasn't going to work…because between my Mom and Grandmother, they had moved almost the entire house.  All that was left was the heavy items.  As he relates it, Mom made fried chicken for that first night in their new home.  Dad took the chicken bones, threw them into the garbage disposal and turned it on…not realizing that he needed to turn the water on as well.  We had plugged drains and he was up until 2 am trying to fix the problem…and he had to be up at 5 am to go to work!

It must have been exciting for my parents to move into a new house that had over twice the space of their old house.  They had outgrown that little house.  Dad likes to tell the story that when they brought me home from the hospital and sat the baby carrier down, their cat who liked to sit up on a shelf took one look at me and promptly left, never to be seen again.    

So…in a few days it will be my birthday and in a few weeks we’ll have been at this address for 46 years.  It looks nothing like the house Mom and Dad moved into all those years ago.  Everything has been remodeled and changed and my Dad has done a lot of the work.  So, when I came across those slides I saw not only the house I remembered as a child but pictures of the way my parents looked when I was born.  They are quite special to me!


My Mom - Betty.  She was 25 when I was born. and she looks so happy here with  her signature red lipstick on!