Friday, August 10, 2012

Fifty Fridays: #2

Today, this seems like a daunting challenge I have set for myself.  Looking back at so many old photos...which to choose?  Which has the best story?  Which stories do I really know?  And there are so many photos in the selection box.

This one is me, my Mom and my baby sister.  I don't know who took the picture but it was definitely my Brownie box camera.  The facts: I must have had my 9th birthday because the Christmas decorations are up.  Ros is about six months old and we have been living in this house since before she was born.  The house is rented and it is HUGE.

The downstairs has a kitchen plus a kind of work pantry where dishes were washed.  The den was our living room.  There was a formal - really formal -  dining room.   There was a huge room that was more like a ballroom than a living room.  It was definitely made for grand receptions.  Upstairs, the master bedroom has a wonderful covered balcony.  I can't picture the bedrooms but I do remember the airing cupboard.  The grounds are large - like a park - and there are lots of trees dotted around.  Many years later, it was re-purposed as a nursing home. It was very elegant at one time and I know that my mother loved to wonder about the dinner parties and gatherings that would have taken place here.  I'm sure that the one-time owners would have had servants to help manage such a home.

What do I think of when I look at this photo?  I remember being a Brownie.  We were much older than today's version.  My tie could be made into a bandage or a sling and folding it right made me feel very clever. And the brass pin had to be polished just so.  I remember finishing the school year at my old school which was 1.5 km away across a busy highway.  Not as busy as today, though!  When this photo is taken, I'm at my new school -  a much more manageable .5 km distance.

Having a baby in the house was a big change for me and my brother as we had been the only kids for seven years.  I hadn't really had any experience with babies before but my memories are not unpleasant ones. .  I remember my dad was ill and, for most of that year, he recuperated at home and took baby-care to heart..  She was a very well-cared-for infant!  And she was always happy.

I have an image of my brother and I roller skating around the huge ballroom place.  This was in the days of metal-wheeled skates.  You know, the ones with keys.  And the floors were beautiful hardwood.  It was a perfect place to skate but I cringe when I think about it now.  What were our parents thinking?  I'm guessing it was in the rainy weeks.

Living here was a happy time for me.  There were lots of kids around to play with and, of course, I was older and could do more interesting things.  It was here that I began my horse-riding phase.  And my brother and I would ride our bikes everywhere.  There was the most gorgeous hill that swooped and curved.  I know we occasionally flew down without hands.  Dares and challenges were a big part of kids' life back then.  And, luckily, for us it, there were only minor scrapes and bruises. 

The house was just a stopping point for us.  Before that school year was finished, we were on our bikes, scouting out the new neighborhood  - the next town - where Dad was buying a house for us.  We felt like explorers setting out to find the New World.  We were heading into the 'here be dragons' part of the unknown.  It was exciting and scary and sad all at the same time. 


Pam Lofton said...

What sweet memories! Is this an idea you had that you won't mind me stealing? LOL I can't wait to see next week's selection!

Angie said...

You look like the young Queen E when she was a Brownie (I mean the uniform, not the camera.) Do you have all or some of your photos on a disk?

Stephanie V said...

Angie - thanks! I do have all the photo on disks now. Of course, I've got the hard copies, too :)

Pam - I'm flattered that you want to steal this. It'll be fun to see how your photos trigger memories.


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