November 28, 2014

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010: The Tree

charliebrowntree

 

 

 

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010: The Tree

While others in the United States might have had a challenge in finding a Christmas tree, forced to buy them from lots, we were very fortunate to live here in Washington State where Douglas firs were very easy to come by.

We lived at the end of Dennis Street in Tumwater, and up until 1965 we had no houses anywhere near us. We were surrounded by a huge acreage that most likely had been a family farm at one time. The fields around us were cleared and I don’t even remember any tree stumps to speak of. Far behind us were some woods and it could have been from those trees, or the large firs to our west, where the seeds for the small Christmas-size trees in the fields were blown into the sandy loess soil waiting for us to harvest one each December.  I like to think of it as the Old Fuzzy Top effect.

Mom always called it “pestering” when my brother Dave and I would begin our annual campaign with the question, “When can we put up the tree?” No doubt, we didn’t really want the tree to go up so much as we wanted it to be there so we could have presents underneath it! Oh sure, we liked decorating our little tree (not quite Charlie Brown-ish, but sometimes small-ish in size) for the most part.

I think we had some commercial ornaments, and we’d always wind a string of lights or two around through the boughs, but we also had some hand crafted by Yates children artisans these aluminum foil decorated milk bottle caps too.  We’d beg Mom and Dad each year to buy a new package of silver tinsel and we had strict instructions to put it on one piece at a time.  As soon as Mom left the room we’d revert to rebellious heathens and toss it on the tree with wild abandon.  Hey, it looked artistic to us.

The tree was positioned in front of the living room window that faced east so that anyone coming up the road would see the lights at night and take notice of our earnest attempt to show our holiday spirit.  Our little tree was saying, “Hey, look at us, we have a tree too!”.

I’m participating in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 sponsored by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame.  Won’t you join us as we blog about our memories through the month of December?

Preserving Past Family Home Locations With Google Street View

1105 Spring Street

Sentimental Sunday

If you read the title of this article, it might be a bit misleading in that I was able to get the photo below with just Google. I did use SnagIt (which I LOVE!) too to capture the image.  I am not real adept at using Google with SnagIt,  so that’s why you see that silly magnifying glass thing in the picture.  Google presents the opportunity by supplying the street view; SnagIt makes it easy to capture.  No doubt there are other ways.

My Grandpa Elvin “Al” and Grandma Lillian “Eppy” (Epstein)  Moline lived on the second floor in this building probably from the 1950’s to the late ’60’s.  The address is 1105 Spring Street, Seattle, WA.  I think it’s called the Decatur Condos now.  They had the apartment at the bottom of the photo, which included the small balcony.  Grandma was a sun worshiper, so no doubt she was delighted to have a way to get outside.  Their apartment was a corner one, so the three windows from left to right shows the size of their one bedroom abode.

The far left window was their bedroom whose window was really a cool patio door that opened to the balcony. In the middle was the living room, and I think one side of those windows might have opened to the balcony also.  The kitchen windows are last to the right of the three.  My brother has the drop leaf table that used to sit in front of  the kitchen window.

This apartment had an effect on me I can’t quite explain.  We lived in an old farmhouse in Tumwater.  This apartment was the opposite side of the coin and seemed very posh to me.  A couch on one wall in the living room, and two club chairs with a beautiful wooden secretary faced it from the opposite wall.  There were nice paintings on the walls and tasteful knick knacks scattered here and their, but not overdone.  Grandpa Molines’s father was a furniture maker, so I suppose an appreciation for fine furniture rubbed off on him.  Grandma (she was my mom’s step mother) was a bridge player and a registered nurse, so she was very social and was used to being with people all the time, from all walks of life.  Some of the jokes she told would make you blush.

Last, but not least, was one more attraction for Dave and I when we visited the grandparents in this building.  We were always pumped to get in the elevator and ride to…the second floor.  That was pretty anticlimatic, so we would beg Mom to let us go “exploring”.   We made a beeline right for the elevator and rode it up and down lots of times before we saw the same people more than once.  They gave us the “eye” and we knew we had to give up our fun before someone reported us to the office.  We never once did anything destructive or even thought to do that.  We were just kids out of our element. Good times! Good memories!

 

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