Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Memory-The Osgood house

A word of disclaimer: The facts and assumptions that follow may not be 100% accurate. They are the memories of a little girl and there are most likely innocent or misunderstood things in this post. Please excuse any of these, and I bet your indulgence for a short while....

On our trips to Idaho, we would sleep at the Graham's, but we would spend days at Grandma & Grandpa Osgood's house. I loved the look of the outside of the house with its turquoise accents. They had land that went far back as well. At one point when I was small, I remember Grandpa having cows! I also remember chickens and geese. Grandma also had a lot of farm cats. They stayed outside and did their thing, but it was always fun to see kitties running around.

As a young girl, I called Grandma Osgood my "pink" Grandma. I don't remember why-perhaps she wore a pair of pink slacks that impressed me once when I was young. But pink being a rosy and cheerful kind of color, it fit with my Grandma Osgood perfectly.

We would have to go down a long driveway to get to their house. There was a ditch that ran along the road that the driveway went over. My mom told me of times as a kid when asparagus grew wild along the ditch bank. I was always afraid we would fall in it! The driveway bordered a huge front yard. When I was small, there were huge apricot trees in the front yard. I remember eating my first apricots at Grandma Osgood's. The driveway ended at a garage. I was always kind of wary of this area, because they had two boxes with BEES in them hooked onto the building. I was told they weren't the stinging kind, but I still didn't want to be near them.

In between the driveway and the house was a contraption with a big stone wheel and a seat on it. It was kind of like a bike without wheels. I'm pretty sure now that it was a sharpening stone. If I'm wrong, I hope one of my Osgood relatives will comment here and correct me. Here is a picture of me when I was about 2 on it with my Grandpa holding me on the seat.

Grandma had a large kitchen garden in the back. There was also a good sized yard with trees. Grandma was a great gardener. Mom told me recently that there were times when she was young that Grandma's garden fed the family. I remember her making big "dinners" for the noon time meal. It was strange for us to have "dinner" at lunch time. I particularly remember some delicious rasberries that were partially frozen and sprinkled with sugar. I've never had raspberries like that since!

I remember summer days out on the back porch visiting. There were these funny chairs made out of tractor seats for everyone to sit on. Grandma & Grandpa had an old-fashioned Coke machine that took dimes. Grandma was a Pepsi drinker. No Coke for her. There was a difference, and you couldn't fool her. (Or was it the other way around?) The sodas (or "pops") came in glass bottles. We would drink them right out of the bottle, or pour them into one of Grandma's "Loony Tunes" glasses. She had a collection of glasses with all the Loony Tunes characters on them: Bugs Bunny; Elmer Fudd; Daffy Duck; Speedy Gonzales; Pepe le Pew; the Tasmanian Devil; etc. Mom let us kids have one soda per day. It was always kind of hard to decide when to take it. If you took it too early, you were done for the day.

I don't remember much of the house before they added some rooms onto the back. We would enter the house through the back, up a ramp built for my uncle who uses a wheelchair to have access to the house. The first room you would enter was the kitchen. There was a small room off to the side that had an old hospital bed and other stuff in it. The kitchen had a blue and white short carpet. Grandma's kitchen was a busy place. Her refrigerator was an old one...I think it said "Coldspot" on it. It had these complicated ice cube trays that I never did figure out how to use. This picture is from our trip during the summer of 1976.

The next room was the dining room. There was a huge table that we all would sit around and chat or play Uno on. It had claw feet on it. My mom now has this table at her house. The bathroom was off to the left and it would be freaky sometimes at night or in the morning to go in and see a pair of teeth or two in a glass by the sink! Both Grandma & Grandpa wore dentures and that took some getting used to. Grandpa used to play around with my brother by popping his teeth out of place, yet keeping them in his mouth and chasing him around. It was funny to watch...I was just glad he wasn't chasing me!!

Past the dining room and through some accordion doors was the original part of the house. There was an old living room that smelled of old cigarette smoke. Grandpa was a long time smoker. It didn't bother me as a kid. It was before the days where there was any stigma attached to it. I remember a big velvet painting on one wall of a matador fighting a bull. There was a window air conditioning unit on the opposite wall. There was a downstairs bedroom that my uncle used. Like my Grandpa Graham, Grandpa Osgood had his chair. There were two couches for the rest of us.

I was always fascinated with the doorknobs in this room. They were so pretty to me--like jewels-chiseled diamonds. One door led to the upstairs. When you would start up the creaky stairs, it would feel like an older house. At the top was my aunt's room. I'm told that at one time my mom and 2 of her sisters all shared this room. When I was a kid, my aunt still lived there. She was a high school cheerleader and her pom poms would be tossed to the side of the room. She would go out on dates and was just so stylish to me. She had these pretty shoes in a size 5. She was only 10 years my senior, so I looked up to her a lot. Kind of like a living Barbie doll!

There was a very short and narrow hall way with a bookshelf packed with books and old Archie comics. I remember the high school senior portraits of my mom and her brothers and sisters in 8x10 frames on top. I was so impressed by these pictures! The girls all got to wear these pink or blue boas--they all looked like movie stars. The boys were in suits and looked so handsome!

At the end of the hall was Grandma & Grandpa's room. I rarely went in there. It just didn't seem right. All I can remember of it was their being a lot of "stuff" in there.

Sometimes, we would spend a night with my mom's parents too. But this post is getting pretty long, so I think I'll save that for another Monday.


  1. Tonya, this is wonderful. I found myself walking around the farm and through the house with you as I read. Things were a bit different when I visited (Uncle Buddy & Aunt Linda were of course already out of the house by the time I was born), but I can see everything clearly in my mind. Thank you for reminding me of this happy memory that we both share.

  2. Monika, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'd love it if you post your memories here too. (That goes for all of you Osgoods!) That way we can have it all in one place. :-) To us, it may not seem like a big deal, but to our children and grandchildren, it is all they will ever know about these things.