Almost 2 years ago now….I had to say good bye to my family home. The home that my family built in 1976 (before I was born). I was born into this home, lived there for 19 years, and then moved on. Lots of firsts happened there and countless memories. There’s so much that could be said, but I thought it would be fun to relive some of the quirky things about the home through a collections of pictures.
Here’s my house probably around 1982-1983. Located 7 miles west of Langdon on the south side of the highway. For the longest time, it was this bright bright blue color. I loved it. Before that it was kind of a peach color. My family didn’t care so much about what color the house was, but that the paint was affordable. So….blue it became and I think it sort of became a landmark to many driving west. Every year my mom would plan petunias in that brick flower bed. She liked them because they were hardy and lasted a long time through the summer. That flower bed in the very front never seemed to grow anything very well so it wasn’t for anything special.
This is the crib I slept in and probably all my other siblings, cousins, and kids that stayed at our house for 40 years. Yes, my parents still had it. Pretty sure it was illegal by now, but somehow we all survived.
See this chair?
This chair is way older than me. I have no idea who it belonged to or where it came from, but I would bet that my mom could tell you! Anyway, once upon a time, many Christmas’ ago, I puked in this chair. I was probably 5 and I had never EVER thrown up before. I had no idea what had just happened! I knew I wasn’t feeling great so I went and sat in this chair to take a break and then….blaaaahhhh. Right in the chair. Then I ran to the bathroom where my cousin, Scott, was sitting on the toilet that I had hoped to use. I yelled at him to get up, but for some reason he couldn’t. 😉 So I proceeded to use the sink for the rest of my puke fest. I don’t remember what happened after that, but it must have gotten cleaned up and all was well with the world because we had this chair until the house sold. 🙂 They don’t make chairs this solid anymore. I also read and listened to a lot of “The Lone Ranger” books while sitting in this chair. It was placed right next to our tape/record player and made a cozy spot to curl up and read right in front of that large picture window that faced the south side of our yard.
This old light hung above that chair. This isn’t a great picture of it, but you get the idea.
The pool table.
Oh the stories we could tell about this old thing. First of all, it weighs a ton. Probably literally (or at least close). My parents got a good deal on it and when they were building the house, moved it into the basement. The problem was…..it didn’t fit down the stairs!! So stuck in the middle going down, they had to cut a hole in the wall to get it down. That hole provided a great little window to visit while sitting on the stairs and in all honesty, I thought it was meant to be that way for the longest time. Kids would often stick stuff down the holes and we’d have to get inventive on how to get the stuff out. Also, that front door where the balls are held would fall off when you’d jiggle it too hard. Always created some exciting times when people didn’t know that would happen. They thought they’d broken it!! Sometimes we’d let them think that too. The wood paneled walls were just a smidge too close to the table so you couldn’t really get a full shot at some angles. You had to get very creative in how to hit those balls…..made for some pretty good pool players back in the day.
Here’s that hole….and our crazy carpet.
Remember folks….this house was built in 1976 and this may not have been the most wild carpet in the house.
See this post.
There’s a funny story involving this post. Back in the day, my cousins and I liked to hang out in the basement. We played a lot of games including “Blind Man’s Bluff”. For those of you who don’t know this game, it’s basically tag, but the person that’s “it” is blind folded. Once upon a time, there was a chair right in front of this post. This was sort of to protect the “it” person from bonking into the post, but also for extra seating. 🙂
So what happened was this: My cousin, Scott, was it. He was tagging people left and right, but this one time he lunged forward for someone he heard and it just so happened that his knee hit that chair in front of the post, his arms went on both sides of the post, and WHAM!!! His head hit the post so hard, he bounced backwards, onto the floor, and laid there for a few minutes seeing stars! Poor guy….I think he about knocked himself out! We all laughed and then got worried, but then laughed again when we found out he was ok. Man…..none of us will ever forget this incident. In fact, I saw Scott in April and he asked if I remembered when he almost knocked himself out on that post in my basement. Yup….not going to forget that one ever.
Raise your hand if you grew up and had some sort of “store room”….We had TWO!
The pictures you see here are of empty rooms, but imagine these rooms filled with stuff, from stop to bottom, front to back, and everywhere in between. That’s what they once were.
The one with green carpet held all kinds of treasures. Bed frames, mattresses, dressers, relatives old discarded clothing, antiques, every school paper/project us 4 kids ever did (well most of them anyway), chairs, desks, wigs, hats, a couple of Ataris, Erector sets, a doll house, old dolls, and on and on and on. We never needed to shop for Halloween costumes or any kind of costume….we’d just go down to this room and “shop”. You could usually find something that would work in here. Many a lazy day, my friends and I would adventure in here and come up wearing all kinds of goofy get ups.
The other one with grey block walls, was our “cellar. Every single one of those shelves were filled with home made canned goods all through my growing up years. Sometimes 2-3 jars deep. Corn, beans (yellow and green), beets, salsa, tomatoes, jellies, pickled peaches…. everything you could grow in a garden in Northeast ND. That’s what we had in there. We had a GIANT garden and my mom would spend many hours slaving over a hot stove in our hot farm house (with no kind of air conditioning) in the fall to save up for the year. I always joked that we could have fed an army at a moments notice with all the goods we had down there…and I still think we could have. That counter top with the sink hole….that’s where we kept our potatoes. In the fall it would be full to the top. Since it was cool and dark down there, the potatoes would stay pretty good throughout the winter. They’d grow “eyes” that were kind of creepy, but they still worked for feeding our family. Oh and that’s also where my dad made his own shot gun shells right next to it. Ha!
The room with white walls….well imagine that’s it’s 1999 and you might be slightly concerned that the world as we know it will end in 2000. Well this is where you might store extra everything….just in case. Again….full. We would have been just fine if the world ended that winter.
Some of the things we found in the storage rooms
Yes, there were two dead mice in these pictures….You’re welcome.
The bathroom that never really worked….
At some point in the history of this house, this bathroom worked. It was the one in our basement, right next to the pool table. The toilet worked….I even remember using the shower once. But at some point, maybe due to the crazy wall paper or the pink paint (again we didn’t care about color….just affordability) the bathroom gave up. Everything stopped working. I remember sitting in there as a kid and looking at this wall paper sort of mesmerized. I think it was sort of like reading a magazine, without the magazine.
There was a time that a litter box and cat things were kept in this room. Someone at least had a functional bathroom!
Then after the cat was gone it became the room where we stored empty boxes. We kept those….from everything. Just in case. At one point it was FILLED to the ceiling with boxes. Never needed to buy boxes for Christmas packages or shipping items anywhere….
I have no idea where that fancy looking flooring came from. I think it was some sort of crazy linoleum when I was growing up, but I honestly can’t remember now. Shoot.
The rest of the basement…
In addition to the large storage rooms, the bathroom that never really worked, and the pool table, we had 2 bedrooms, a tv area, and a nook/ library/ office/ work out area. Back in the day, this floor had carpet on it. It was very 70s carpet, but it was carpet. Several years back now, the washing machine overflowed and caused some water damage which forced the removal of said carpet and some of the flooring, but picture this. In the corner by the window was our tv space. We didn’t have cable, but we DID have an antenna. That device hanging from the wall…..that’s the thing we could use to change the direction of the antenna to see if we could get the channels to come in better. Somehow it was connected to the thing on top of our roof and would actually turn it! Amazing, right! I think on a good day we could get channel 8 (ABC), 12 (NBC), or maybe 13 (PBS). I remember doing lots of exciting work out videos in this space with my goofy friends and as a kid I watched Mr. Rogers. We had some very retro furniture down here too. Some day maybe I’ll find those pictures and share.
Tucked away underneath the basement stairs was this magical closet. Genius use of space in my opinion. You see, my family liked books. And encyclopedias. In fact, my mom sold Encyclopedias for awhile. So we had lots of them. You may have found them and many many more books tucked away in this wonderful space. It had doors that closed that were the same paneling and you wouldn’t even know it was there if someone didn’t tell you….
How do you like them curtains….yeah buddy.
How about that orange carpet. That’s my sister going through all her “text messages” aka “notes” from her school years. What a blast from the past that was!
And the personalized window. Pretty sure some of my siblings snuck out through that window. Not me….just them. Seriously!
Once I graduated from the crib, that was in my parents room, this is the room AND the bed that moved to. The walls used to be a bright blue on the bottom and some very patriotic wall paper on top. When I was in high school I ATTEMPTED to paint the bottom burgandy and the top a sponged grey….but guess what….grey is hard to mix and often looks purple. And since we don’t spend money on paint….it stayed burgandy and purple. Uffda….The red curtains are original. And if you could see the floor, it’s still very blue.
In 1976 when this home was built, this was my sister’s room. At 4 years old she got to pick everything out. Rose carpet and all. What you don’t see here is the wallpaper that used to live here. Little pink ballerinas….. everywhere! When I was old enough to live in this room I could only handle the ballerinas for so long before they had to go and I replaced it with blue. Here enters my blue stage. I loved blue. Everything blue. I might have gone a little overboard. In the picture with me on the floor I may have been channeling a movie….can you guess which one?
I didn’t get a good shot of my parents room, but I did take a picture of their light fixture. Yep….fancy chandelier. That might be so old it’s coming back into fashion!!
The end….for now.
Oh my goodness….I’ve spent a lot of time writing this today and I have so much more to do! So I’m going to leave off today with this little gem. We often had little signs around our house to remember who we are or who holds tomorrow or that God wasn’t finished with us yet….and that our rooms might have been messy….:) I’ll return another day to finish this up. I hope you enjoyed a little taste of what our farm was like! Until next time….