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Great Grandma's House
There is no straight forward way to write this story. These are just random memories I have of visiting my great grandma's house and why it was special to me.
When I was young I was obsessed with the time, Laura Wilder, wrote about in her books. It was made more real to me when Hollywood turned the books into the t.v. series , " Little House on the Prarie".
The closest I could get to those days was visiting my great grandma's house.
The house was a two story without a toilet in the house. The plumbing was different than anyone has today. The pipes ran from a well to the kitchen sink and a room that had a bathtub. You had to pump a handle up and down until the water would pour into a glass or the bathtub. There was a hot water tank, but it had to be filled with water and then turned on to heat the water. You still had to use a bucket to carry the hot water to the tub to take a bath. I don't remember ever being in that tub, but I did always wish I had a tub that big at home.
The Out house
I used to like out houses too. Being in a little building doing your thing seemed like fun. My great grandma had an out house. It was like none I'd ever seen before. It was a little building with a bench type seat with two holes cut into it. My great grandparents had six children, 3 boys and 3 girls, so I guess having two go together made things faster.
The out house was fun, because there was an old catalog of Sears. It was fun to look through it and see the prices and different things they sold back then.
The only draw backs to the out house was no heat. Winter days meant you got a cold tush. Then the summer meant bees or wasps building a nest in the ceiling.
There was a large bell on a pole out front. The bell looked like a school bell. One day I decided to see if the bell worked. I was surprised by how loud it sounded. Then I was even more surprised when my great grandma suddenly appeared beside me. I didn't know she could move that fast. Great Grandma looked worried and she asked me why I rang the bell. I told her, then she told me the bell was not a toy. Before we had telephones, that bell was how people called for help. The number of rings would bring a doctor, the police, or the fire department.
Even though Great Grandma and all the neighbors had phones, she said she didn't want to worry the neighbors. Old habits are hard to break.
I always liked the idea of a one room school. Great Grandma had a huge black board or chaulk board in her kitchen. She kept it stocked with chaulk all the time. My sister and I would pretend to be in school for hours visiting great grandma. We would always leave pictures and messages on the board for her to see and read when we had to go home.
The Double Doors
The front doors on my great grandma's house were never used. The thing I loved most about the doors on the house was the stained glass. I can't remember the pictures. The beautiful colors they left on the walls inside the house were amazing. It was like having a rainbow inside no matter what the weather was like outside.
Great Grandma never allowed anyone to go upstairs. She stacked newspapers up to the 5th or 6th stair to keep everyone from ever accidently going up there. I finally asked one day about why no one could go up there. She told me nearly all the pieces of furniture up there were built by my great grandfather and she didn't want any of it broken.
Losing the house
I'm happy I have the memories and got to experience that piece of history. I am sorry the family wasn't able to keep the house.
Great Grandma couldn't live alone anymore. She moved into Grandma's house. No one was able to afford to take over the house, so it was set for sale. There was an auction before the house was sold. I hope the family was able to take or buy what they wanted from the house before the auction or during it.
No one seems to have any pictures of the house. That's one of the saddest things to me.
The new owners have completly changed the look of the house. I know the out house was the first thing to go, because they installed indoor plumbing. They also replaced the front doors with solid wood. They added pillars and a small roof to the front of the house. It has the look of a mansion. It was always a mansion to me.
The old saying is true : A house is just a house until someone makes it a home.