Friday, February 14, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge - Week 7 Childhood Memories part 1

I have decided to add some of my childhood memories here.

My parents married in April 1945, I was born the following January.  I am the eldest of the 7 children that they had.  Mom and dad first lived at Hilltop Manor Apartments in  Bladensburg, Maryland.  As an aside Hilltop Manor would be the first apartment that hubby and I would live in after we married. Mom & Dad  purchased their first home in College Park, Maryland in 1950.  At that time there were 3 children and the house was a 4 bedroom 1 bath home in a great neighborhood.  My youngest sibling is 11 years younger than me and my one and only sister is 10 years younger than me.  Sharing bedrooms was something we all ended up doing.  My sister and I had the front bedroom which was a very good sized room.  That is one thing about that old house 2 of the bedrooms were very large.  The back bedroom which was even larger than the one my sister and I had was the room 4 of the boys were in.  I don't really remember who had the middle side bedroom, the folks had the other middle bedroom.

We had a very large yard and it was always filled with neighbor hood children.  There were many "roads" and the boys always had a lot of traffic on their "roads".  We had a apple  tree and while the fruit was not good eating I remember mom making apple jelly that was great.  During the years mom did a lot of canning and preserving to help feed this very large family.  There were many times that the meals were "light".  Dad was in construction work and seems come winter time there would be a layoff.  Dad was also disabled and later in life he would no longer be able to work in his trade.

I remember that every weekend my father would stop and pick up his parents on his way home from work.  My grandparents did not drive.  They would spend the whole weekend with us before being taken home on Sunday afternoon after our fried chicken, mashed potatoes, creamed gravy dinner.  Yummy, yummy, yummy!  Wish I could still eat that food but age does things to us.  I don't know exactly when that tradition started but know that it lasted until my grandmother went into the hospital in 1958 dying of cancer.  Nana died in February 1959 and after that my grandfather moved into the house with us.  Dad set up pops workshop in the basement and he worked for many years after her death.  He was an upholsterer by trade and did wonderful work.  Pop was lucky enough to have a smallish room downstairs right beside the bathroom.  Remember, we had only one bathroom and now there were 10 people living in the house.  I can remember learning to do some things for him and had a great time.  I sure wish I had learned more in that trade. Christmas time at our house always had a big family gathering.  Seems everyone lived close by and we all knew our cousins then. We had a very large front room and the live Christmas tree always stood in the same corner each year.  We would go out into the woods and cut our tree.  No matter how hard we tried to get the right size seems dad always had to cut it down in order to have it stand in the corner.  The fragrance was wonderful.  This photo shows my beloved grandfather "Pop Kosack" in the center, my mom, Patty and dad, Buck are on the right side and dads older brother "Uncle Herb" and "Aunt Betty" are on the left.  This was Christmas in 1960. It would have been the first Christmas that Nana was missing.

 This photo of Pop was taken in our yard in College Park in 1965. The house you can see was our neighbors but our house was as large if not larger than that one.

Pop stayed with us until one of my much younger brothers came down with Multiple Scleroses and needed a great deal of care.  Pops health by then was very bad and he really couldn't take care of himself.  We were all very sad that he had to go into a nursing home but we couldn't take care of him and our brother.  I had already married and didn't live at home so I was not able to help out much either.

I think that is all for now.  I hope to add to this soon

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