Monday, October 5, 2009
Monday Memory - the new Graham place
When Grandpa retired, he and Grandma Graham bought a smaller place in Fruitland. I'm not sure of the exact date, but I think it was the early 1980's. It still had a small orchard, although I don't know if Grandpa actively farmed it. It also had an oval dirt path that went around the buildings. There was a nice yard on one side of the house. I remember having some really fun badminton games there.
I was told that the house itself was a mobile home. It seemed pretty permanent to me! Parking was behind the house, and you would enter through a sliding door in the back. Coming from Southern California, my brother and I marveled at the fact that Grandma & Grandpa left the keys to their car in the ignition. We would never consider that where we were from. (People in our neighborhood would even steal an inflatable easter bunny from a little girl if it wasn't nailed down. But that's a story for another Monday!)
There was nice decking that went up to the back door, and led down to a game room. When you walked inside, the living room was on the right and the kitchen on the left. In between, was a small counter that a few people could sit at for quicker meals or less formal times. Like the old house, Grandma was in the kitchen a lot. Many of my memories of her are of her in the kitchen. If you went to the left through the kitchen, there was a utility room on the next left. That was another place Grandma spent a lot of time in. She often would spend a lot of time doing everyone's laundry while they were visiting.
Heading straight, however, was the dining room. When we all were visiting, this is where we would have meals together. Grandma and Grandpa used to have a big dalmatian dog named Pepper. At mealtimes, Pepper would sneak up next to you and try to get scraps. It kind of freaked me out to have a big dog be so demanding. Our family just had a little white mutt of a dog named Penny. She stayed outside and did her thing. (You can see Penny in the picture at the top of this post).
Going down a small hallway was a bathroom and two bedrooms. This is where we would stay. Mom and dad would get one room, and us kids another. There were two beds in there that wold accommodate us all. I remember these clown pictures on the wall in our room. In the closet were stacks and stacks of paperback books.
On the other side of the living room was Grandma and Grandpa's room. I don't think I ever went in there. I do remember hearing the radio on in there at really late hours. I vaguely remember someone telling me that Grandma listened to the radio all night.
The coolest part about Grandma & Grandpa Graham's place was the GAME ROOM. A whole room dedicated to fun and recreation! It had a big pool table that the men would play on. I would give it a try from time to time, but never was any good. I was always kind of embarrassed to try in front of the older relatives there. There were times when Grandma's brother, Uncle Dick Shelton, would come. He, Grandpa and Dad would play together and drink beer. When my brother got a bit older, he joined in. There was a refridgerator out there and I remember seeing cases of "Pabst" or "Hamm's" in there. I also remember them talking about "Billy Beer." This was referencing President Carter's brother, Billy Carter, who had his own beer label. I don't think I actually saw the beer, but I think maybe Grandpa had a sign our something. Or maybe they were just talking about it. They never got drunk or anything, they just enjoyed the time together playing and enjoying a few cold ones. Funny what things stick in a kids' memory.
The game room also had its own pinball machine. That was my favorite part. I don't remember what it was called, but it had clowns on it. You didn't need to put quarters in the machine for it to work. They also had a shooting game, but I never played that. There was a small bed out there, and a 1/2 bathroom. You could literally spend the day out there. If you got bored, there was an 8 track stereo with dozens of 8 track tapes. Now, it was a bit "out" of style then, but not too bad. At that time, cassette tapes and vinyl were the most popular formats for music. But the 8 tracks worked, so we could listen to music and play pinball. That was fun.
That was pretty much the limits of my experience in that place. I never really explored the land. I'm pretty sure there was a barn, but it wasn't a place I ever went. The last time I was there was when Grandpa died in 2001. I brought my second baby, Isabelle, with me. She was still too little to leave home.
I'd love to hear some recollections of my Graham relatives of the place.
Let's reminisce! Leave a comment with some memories of your own.