My earliest memory of living in a house goes back to Akron, Ohio, where Dad was working as a research chemist for either Goodyear or Goodrich - can't remember which one.
We were living there when Johnny was born. Mother was terribly weak for a long time after his birth - it was all she could do to take care of the new baby, and we had a live-in nanny who taught me how to knit German-style.
I can remember Mother often rolling my hair up in rags before I went to sleep. Old sheets were used for the rags. I can still hear the sound of the worn fabric being torn into strips. And actually they were pretty comfortable to sleep on! The next day I'd be this pretty little girl with ringlets. All little girls like to look pretty!
There's an old black and white photo of me around here someplace standing outside Grandma's cabin in Wisconsin brushing my teeth. Even though it's not in color, you can see the sun shining through the trees and lighting on my hair. I'm smiling as the picture was taken, and my head is kind of leaning forward so I don't drool toothpaste all over my clothes. Oh, the things you remember!
This was during World War II. Coffee was rationed. We re-used coffee grounds until they absolutely had to be thrown away! Sugar was rationed. Lots of things that we now blithely take for granted were rationed. We saved tin foil. Remember candy bars with the tin foil inside? We'd peel it from the paper and make foil balls. Everything went to the war effort! We were living in that house when Roosevelt died. I remember how sad everyone was. Schools were let out early that day, and we all stayed very close to the radio.
We moved to Munising, Michigan when I was in the 3rd grade. When we first got there, we lived in the Nebel Apartments. We were on the second floor of a pretty ugly stucco building. Anyone remember stucco? Mother was a little upset about our living situation, but there was nothing else available at the time that either Dad or she thought would be 'acceptable'. That didn't last long, however.
A new minister was coming to town to preach at the Presbyterian Church. He was a bachelor, and the manse became available for rent. I wrote in this post about a near disaster that occurred while we were living there.
One particularly fond memory I have of living in the manse is a birthday party. My birthday is in June, which is "iffy" weather-wise up there, but this year the weather was nice enough for one of Mother's patented (They weren't 'patented', but should have been!) outdoor games. She had two old suitcases crammed full with paper bags of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and whatnot. There were two teams. The first person from each team would make a mad dash to their respective suitcase, grab a paper bag that contained an "outfit", put it (along with all of its accessories) on, and then make a mad dash back to tag the next teammate in line who would then repeat the process until each team member had 'been there and back'. It was great fun!
We didn't have to move from the manse until after Reverend Steen got married and then, some months later, discovered that he and his wife were expecting twins! This was really good news. Everyone liked Reverend Steen and his wife, and were thrilled to learn of the soon-to-be doubling of his family, except -- it meant that we would have to find another place to live.