by Neva Bodin
Memory is the capability of retaining or recalling mental impressions, facts and feelings. This past week was a walk down memory lane for me, although my house causes that walk too. Please notice the double entendre of my title!
To explain the past week, we visited my family home to determine if we should have an estate sale. We will, and the auctioneer examined every nook and cranny that he could. And of course, as I followed him around, many emotions kept pace with me. Each room holds many memories as well as the items there. I am the last survivor of my immediate family.
Our current house is full of antique furniture and other articles accumulated over 100 years plus by family members. A friend visited my house and said, “It’s like visiting a museum!”
I took many snapshots tonight and will share some of them. Although there are more antiques than those I will show, I think you’ll still get an idea of my past life! Walk with me down memory lane.
I am sure I’ve shared enough for this time. Toys were built to last years ago, and were very much like the adult’s items.
All eight of my children (dolls/teddy bears, etc) rode in this doll carriage at one time or another.
My family had many conversations on this party line phone. It had an idiosyncrasy other phones didn’t. We could hear the neighbors without picking up the receiver. Great “rubber necking!” When my cousins wanted to call, they whistled into their phone and we heard the whistle and picked up. Other neighbors didn’t know we were on the phone unless they picked up too. Our ring was “two longs.” The small sewing machine, all heavy metal that really sews, was my sister’s. She was 15 years older than me. The red one was from my dollhouse and is plastic.
I loved to crank this phonograph and listen to the old records. A couple favorites: I Just go Nuts at Christmas; I’ve got Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. My cousin and I danced to this when it was relegated to the attic, causing my mother to come see what all the stomping above the ceiling was. I found the metal evening purse hanging on the front in my sister’s things.
My dad would sometimes play his violin in the evenings before TV came to dominate. Some years ago I rosemaled (a type of Norwegian painting) the case and now I’m practicing playing. I played a screechy tune for our cockatiel today and he gave me a wolf whistle. Shows how much he knows about music. The afghan it’s sitting on was made by my mother.
My mom used this cookstove till I was four or five. She’d been married 22 or 23 years by then and it had been moved to the “new house” just built when I was two. Before that my parents lived in a two room house–kitchen and bedroom–with three kids. My grandma’s tall cupboard sits beside it. They sit in our family room now. The dishpan, water dipper and coal pail were well used items by all of us.
My little pretend family and I had our lunches at this table.