52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee,
the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Describe the house(s) in which I grew up... whoa! Another thinker...

Oh, my! I've lived in a lot of houses, so I didn't really 'grow up' in any one of them; but, all of them. I'm going to post in list form, to start. Then, I'll expand on them. This will be the ever-changing post!

 The first house I remember was in the Rainier Beach area of Seattle. It had a long front porch, and I can remember running across it and jumping off one end into my dad's arms. I remember the big back yard, and I had a bedroom in the front part of the house. If I understand it correctly, my parents sold this house when I was about four years old. Apparently, the sale fell through and we moved back here by the time I started kindergarten. I attended Emerson Grade School for all of kindergarten and the first part of first grade. {UPDATE: Since posting this, I have learned that I didn't attend kindergarten. This explains why I could never remember two different teachers while at Emerson! I guess the levy failed the year I would have been in kindergarten, so I only attended about 1/3 of the school year at Emerson - that being first grade.}

Between the two times living in the Rainier Beach house, we lived in an apartment in Wallingford (all of our homes were in Seattle or the Seattle area until we moved to Sandy Hook). I think it was an old house divided into apartments. I'm pretty sure Jaci was born there because I remember watching JP Patches in the morning with Rich and knowing our mom was upstairs with the new baby. My only dramatic memory from this home is that a baby bird, too young to live on its own, fell from a nest in a tree in the front yard and died. I remember being very sad.

Also before moving back to Rainier Beach, we lived in a cute yellow and brown house somewhere in Ballard. While we lived there, I was the flower girl in my Uncle Fred's wedding. I had a babysitter there named Beth. She was really nice and I think her dad made sausages and hung them in the basement. I also fell out of our car on the way home from church one Sunday. I had bandages on my face, elbow and knee. I still carry dirt, or something, in my right knee from that little adventure.

When we left Rainier Beach permanently, we went to a  house in Highline or White Center. I went to Highline Elementary for the middle third of first grade. I don't really know why we moved; I was just a kid and didn't ask. I remember the house was nice, but I have bad memories of mice. :( It did have a pretty cool closet. From the living room, it was the coat closet; but, it also opened into my bedroom. I thought it was neat that I could go into the living room from my closet.

Then, before school was out that same year, we moved to a house in Loyal Heights. I think this is near Ballard. I went to Loyal Heights Elementary School. One of my memories of living there is of when my Uncle Jack and Aunt Mary came to visit. They were always a lot of fun. Another memory from Loyal Heights is of when my parents brought my little brother, Gary, home from the hospital as a newborn. I thought he was the hugest baby I had ever seen!

That summer, 1962, my parents bought a home in the Wallingford district of Seattle. It had two floors with a full 'daylight' basement. We lived in this house for six years. So, if I 'grew up' anywhere, it was here. Jaci and I had a bedroom upstairs that overlooked the Lake Washington Ship Canal. We loved to watch the boats. We also watched as they built Interstate 5. They had to build a double-deck bridge over the canal. Even now, when I drive or ride on I-5 over the ship canal, I look out to the west to find our old home. I have many good memories from living at 3618 Meridian Avenue North.

In June 1968, we moved to the Sandy Hook community on the Kitsap Peninsula. We were very excited. Our property had two small vacation cabins on it, and for the summer months, we lived in both of them. During the winter of 1968-69, which is one of the snowiest I can remember, we all lived cozily together in the cabin with the fireplace. It had exposed beams on which we displayed numerous pieces of melted Tupperware called 'Mom's Masterpieces.'

We only lived there one year, but I loved it. My favorite memory is probably climbing one of the tallest trees on our property with my school bag full of books. I would climb until I could see the water, which must have been Agate Passage. From my perch, I did my homework, read books and wrote poetry. I really missed Sandy Hook. I think I still miss the peacefulness of that home.

We then moved to a house on the waterfront in Suquamish. I loved it there, too. Our house was at the top of a 100' bluff overlooking Puget Sound. We could climb up and down the bluff, but we usually walked down the street to the public path. The view was phenomenal! We could see Bainbridge Island to our right, downtown Seattle and all the way north to about Richmond Beach. Closer, to our left, was Jefferson Beach and Indianola. It was especially amazing during a storm and on Independence Day.

The house had a deck on three sides where we could sunbathe. It wasn't the safest deck, being very narrow on the longest side. But, we spent a fair amount of time out there when it was warm. There was a basement with two bedrooms and a large 'family' room. Our piano was down there, so I liked to be down there for musical relaxation. We could walk out onto the front yard from the basement. The main floor had the living room, with windows facing the water and a fireplace. There was also a narrow kitchen, a bedroom (our parents'), a bathroom, an enclosed porch that became Jaci's bedroom later, and a 'wreck' room. There was lots of space for our family.

The yard on the street side was fairly large. We had apple trees. I loved climbing into a tree to read and eat.

I lived in this house through the last four years of school and right up until my marriage in September 1973. My parents moved from Suquamish in 1974.

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