Weekly Planner: Five Questions About Home

Mary DennisIn honor of Family History Month, your challenge is to answer five questions from each Weekly Planner topic–or make up five of your own. This week’s topic is home. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What was your room like when you were growing up? Did you share it or did you have your own room? What did it look like?
  • Did you have a backyard? A garden? Did you grow fruits and/or vegetables? 
  • Did you have a secret hiding place?
  • What household chores were your responsibilities?
  • In what room did your family gather most? Was it in the living room or around the kitchen table? What did you do there? Sing? Talk about the day? Watch T.V.? Tell stories?

Feel free to share your memories in the Comments section of this blog below; or, if you have a blog, post a link to your responses. Your memory may help spark the memories of other readers who had similar experiences. For more interesting questions, see TheRememberingSite.org.

Previous challenges:

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6 thoughts on “Weekly Planner: Five Questions About Home

  1. –double decker beds. Whispering with my brother at night.
    –a back yard full of vegetables, beautiful tomatoes, a crab apple and a pear tree. Planting radishes seed by seed. Egg plant growing on its own beneath flowers. Roses and Tulips.
    –dusting the stair banisters, ironing handkerchiefs and sheets
    –Talking before, during, and after meals in the kitchen and dining room. Heated discussions, funny tales.

  2. Am running late today, but since these items have been great for getting me to put my memories down in print, here are my answers for this week.

    1)What was your room like when you were growing up? Did you share it or did you have your own room? What did it look like?

    With four girls, we switched back and forth, both rooms and roommates. That way we got a change of scenery and a change of roommate. One room was pink with bunkbeds, and the other had a double bed but I can’t remember the color. Seems like it was off-white. Mom?

    I loved the top bunk and only remember falling out once–and I was just turning over to go back to sleep when my mom came in to see what the loud noise was. I didn’t even notice! I loved the top bunk because I could keep my bottle of water on the window sill and it would be nice and cold in the winter. (We didn’t have disposable water bottles, so I had washed out an old shampoo bottle really good and that was my night time water bottle.) In the summer it was nice too, because we didn’t have air conditioning and I loved the breeze at night.

    2.)Did you have a backyard? A garden? Did you grow fruits and/or vegetables?

    I had a very small vegetable garden for a couple years. I remember being so mad at the rabbits that kept eating my cucumbers!

    3.) Did you have a secret hiding place?

    In our first house I would sit on the gas meter behind the lilac bush and that was my secret spot. I would bring my sit-upon from Brownies and put it on top and read my book. I also liked the big branch on the tree out front. I would climb up there and watch everyone coming and going.

    In our second house, the people before us had built a small dark room in the garage. My mom painted it pink and we called it the “pink palace.” Again, a great place to curl up with a book.

    4.) What household chores were your responsibilities?

    We did the usual chores, but I was best at doing dishes. I liked to shine everything up really nice. I hated cleaning my room. (Some things never change.)

    5.) In what room did your family gather most? Was it in the living room or around the kitchen table? What did you do there? Sing? Talk about the day? Watch T.V.? Tell stories?

    I remember gathering around the dinner table the most. Mom and Dad would talk from either end and we would sit along the sides and goof off. I liked to sit by Diana because she would take all of my Italian green beans for me. I still can’t eat those things!

    Hope you’re taking the time to print out all your answers. I am printing mine and saving them in my journal.

    Have a great week!

  3. My room was my own as my only sibling was an older brother. I remember painting it, but don’t remember what color; could have been blue. It had a twin bed, dresser, bedside table and desk. As a teen I would sneak a cigarette from my mom’s open pack and smoke by my window, (thinking I was being so discreet).

    Way in the back yard there was a huge peony bush, still one of my very favorite flowers. I still cringe when I think of all those ants. In the house we lived in when I was between age 5 and 10 we had a vegetable garden in a field two houses away. I can still taste those fresh peas and tomatoes and feel the hot sun on my arms as I planted seeds and pulled weeds.

    In the country there were many hiding places, like the woods behind the garage or the apple tree out back. Then if you really wanted to get away there was the cemetary or corn field or the stone quarry and I could go on and on.

    As I got older and as my mother worked my chore list grew from dishes to dusting and vacuuming to the chief ironer. I can’t imagine ironing pillow cases, sheets and boxer shorts but those I did. Thank heaven for permanent Press!!

    We gathered mostly at dinner time. Yes, back in the 50’s families ate together. However, I regret that there were few stories told, it would have probably made my geneology research easier. And niether do I remember heated discussions on issues of the day. My kids and grandkids will probably never undeerstand why I try to pass on at every opportunity.

  4. I’m going to answer questions one and five.
    There were seven kids in my family. I’m the oldest and I remember sharing a big bed with my sisters Lynne and Sue when we were little. My grandfather owned a business where he made bookmobiles and sometimes he made things for us kids. We had a huge dollhouse that he made and a really nice long low bookcase that fit under our bedroom window.
    I also shared a bedroom with Sue when we were in our teens. We didn’t have heat in our rooms. There was a heat register in the floor in the upstairs hallway and we would each take turns standing over the grate in our nightgowns and the hot air would make our nightgowns billow out like balloons!
    Also because we had no heat in our rooms, in the winter there would be ice on the INSIDES of our windows! We learned to get out of bed really quick and get dressed quick too!
    One of our favorite passtimes was rearranging our rooms or switching rooms with our brothers,
    Question five
    We spent a lot of time in the kitchen. It was huge. There was a big pew like bench along one wall and a long table with chairs around the other three sides. Every sunday after Catholic Mass at the commune down the street from us we would come home and my mom would make ten or twelve pizzas and some of her buddies who loved to play music, guitars mostly, would come over and have jam sessions in our kitchen.All of us would sit around the table eating pizza and listen to the music.

  5. I had three sisters and a brother so I always shared a room. My parents were divorced and we moved some, so I had many rooms. My last room before marriage was a large room in an old farmhouse I shared with two sisters. My stepmother papered the walls, which were short on the sides (maybe 3 feet high) with kitchen wallpaper (it was on sale) yellow with red Cherries. The slanted part of the ceiling and the small flat part of the ceiling were papered with white wall paper. The room wasn’t heated, though there was a round hole in the floor with metal frame around it to let heat up from the Dining Room below. My stepmother (who was handy with a hammer and a sewing machine) added some improvements. Along one of the low walls she fixed a long pole for hanging our clothes, with each of us having our own section. She also made most of the clothes that hung there. She also built a vanity (which was a long board), each of us had our own mirror and stool, where we did our hair and put on our makeup. We were sent to our room at 9:00 pm, but didn’t have to go to bed then. Some of my best memories are of those times in our room.
    We lived on a farm with about 30 acres, we had horses and dogs. Sometimes we had a garden, one year we had a big one and at years end there were lots of watermelons left and we thought it great fun to smash them against an old garage nearby. Because of the horses we also had to “make hay” in our field, with our part being to haul it after it was bailed — and no one looked forward to that. When we had boyfriends later, they learned to avoid our place during hay season.
    There was a place on a hill near the horse pasture we all liked it, and called it “Daddy’s Pitfall”, why I don’t know. I remember going there often to be alone.
    My older sisters and I were responsible for washing dishes, my sister Bev insisted that she wash, so Linda and I dried, but we all cleared the table. We had various other cleaning jobs.
    Mostly we gathered in the kitchen around the table. My Grandma when she visited (and stayed for a while) loved to play cards. Sometimes I did, but sometimes I just wanted to go outside, but to get there I had to pass through the kitchen, if they were short a player, I’d get pressed into service.

  6. What was your room like when you were growing up? Did you share it or did you have your own room? What did it look like?

    We lived in a large three-bedroom apartment in the village of Liberty, New York until I was 12 years old. This place was over a warehouse and the rent was only $80 a month. In 1976, my mother scraped everything together that she had and purchased her first and only home with two acres of land about three miles outside the village. The place was interesting because it was a Lustron Home.

    Did you have a backyard? A garden? Did you grow fruits and/or vegetables?

    We had two acres of land, one of which was fenced off for horses that our neighbor would bring over each day. He was happy to have some extra room for them to roam and we were happy with their lawn mowing capabilities.

    Did you have a secret hiding place?

    Not physically. I hid in my books and in my schoolwork.

    What household chores were your responsibilities?

    Wow. Well, I began cooking for the family at the age of nine. I was also helped out with house cleaning and some lawn duties.

    In what room did your family gather most? Was it in the living room or around the kitchen table? What did you do there? Sing? Talk about the day? Watch T.V.? Tell stories?

    The dining room table was the focal point, mostly when company came over, and it seems we always had company. There was always lots of food, or perhaps a pinochle or canasta game going on. Crazy aunts and uncles, lots of cousins to play with.

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