More random memories….
A fun memory is of the winters in Albuquerque. It can get quite cold there,
and when the milkman delivered the milk to our back door – we would find that the liquid had “frozen” and the cream on top had pushed the cardboard liner out of the neck of the bottle, and it was standing several inches above the top of the bottle – with the paper cover on top! We always got a laugh out of that!
Daddy shoveling a pathway to the street.
18″ of snowfall this time.
While there was a doorbell button outside the front of the house, if one passed through the screened area, then you had to knock on the wooden front door to enter the house proper. Another interesting point is that there was also a doorbell button at the back door of the house! I had never seen that before – or since. It had a little different tone to it, so we knew someone was at the back door, rather than the front door.
I remember there was a huge weeping willow tree in the back yard. I remember it, especially, because when it was time for me to get a spanking, my parents made me go out and “pick out” the “switch” with which I was going to get my spanking! And if the switch wasn’t to their liking, then I had to go get another one! Fortunately, I don’t remember getting too many “switches” like that! When my parents put in the concrete fence, they moved the clothes lines to behind the garage – and it gave the back yard much more open space. And the weeping willow tree was gone!!
I remember starting piano lessons the day I started first grade. I would ride the bus from near our house to my piano teacher’s house – by myself at age six – clear across town. Of course, “across town” wasn’t too long a ride then. It was somewhere around 10+ miles travel. And remember – times were simpler then – and safer. My parents had no problem with my riding the bus by myself. It was a great adventure for a 6-year-old child!
Me at our old upright piano – notice my hair in pigtails!
Eventually, my teacher persuaded my parents to let her come to our house and teach the “northeast heights” students at our house. She wouldn’t charge for my lessons. So my parents purchased our new piano (which I still have), and the lessons began.
Our beautiful new piano
For the most part, I think my parents were glad to have them there. The only time they didn’t like it was when one of the students put an apple core down the toilet and plugged it up! What a mess that was!
I seldom saw my mother afraid of anything, but one time I did, and we had a good laugh out of it – after she calmed down. I’ve written about our cats – and especially the one who stayed with us the longest, Boots, or Bootsie, if you were baby-talking to him. He was a good old cat, and we really loved him. He was both an inside and outside cat, and back in those days, cats were not declawed, so he had his full complement of claws. For many years, Daddy had an apricot tree back behind the garage. Boots would go out and just sit and wait for the birds in the tree. Eventually, he would catch one. I never saw him actually catch the bird (my brother, Bill, says that he would shoot the birds with his bb-gun, and then Boots would pounce on it), but then Boot would bring it to the back door and just yowl until one of us – usually Mother – would find it, praise Boots for being such a good boy, and then he would kill and eat the bird.
Bill, myself and Boots
All that story to say that, there was one evening, after dark, Mother and I were coming home. As she parked the car in the driveway, we thought we saw “something” streak up and over the fence onto the patio. But neither of us were sure. That is, until she opened the back door – and in ran a mouse! Mother was absolutely dancing from foot- to-foot trying to get away from that mouse!! The funniest thing then happened: Boots came out of nowhere – and that mouse ran right into his mouth!! All you could see was that tale swinging back and forth! He took it outside – after we had praised him effusively – and made quick work of that mouse. And that is the last mouse we ever saw in our house!
~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~