If you haven't already done so, you may want to read The Introduction to this series of posts.
Goose Lake Farm, continued
The dining room had wainscoting about three feet high all around and this room was my favorite. It had the heating stove beside which we kids would always get dressed on cold mornings. There was a table upon which we played games and got our lessons, Grandma had a nice cupboard here and a couple of rocking chairs. There was a wall desk that I just adored - the front came down revealing pigeonholes with lots of things in it that us kids were not to touch! The telephone was in this room, which was the heart of the house.
And it was in this room that I recall my first Christmas tree. It was just before Billy was born. I had kept saying that I wanted a yellow doll (a doll dressed in yellow) and after all the gifts were removed and opened from beneath what I thought was an enormous tree, Papa lifted me up and there in the tree was a beautiful doll dressed in yellow!
Off this room was the parlor. When Grandma lived here it was very cold and formal. In fact I don't believe we ever went into this room except for Uncle Hale's funeral. But when we moved into this house in 1911 all that was changed and we used it always whenever we had company. Later Papa bought us a piano and we took music lessons and I guess this room just came alive.
Off this room was the great bedroom, which became Jane's and mine when we grew older. There was another bedroom off the dining room, which was the master bedroom. Mama would let me stay in that room sometimes when I was sick; I remember the pink roses in the wallpaper. This room was at the back of the house but you could see the orchard from the window. It was really lovely in the spring.
There were two large rooms upstairs and an enormously interesting attic. The large room in front had a closet that ran the full length of the room, this was Hale's room and it was sacred to Grandma and was kept locked. But after Uncle Hale died and we moved into the house this is where we kids slept. It was papered with a white rose paper that was lovely. The crab apple tree, which even now stands west of the house, would then touch the windows of this room and the perfume from the blossoms was so lovely, I can still remember spring mornings in that room.
The other room was never papered, the stair well was here and the entrance to the attic. And oh, what an attic! We were allowed to play here on rainy days and it was delightful. Grandpa had a civil war gun with musket and his knapsack. There were candle molds and the butchering equipment was kept here - sausage stuffer and lard renderer, the great big meat grinder attached to a bench. There were trunks of old clothes and books that I would give a lot to see now. This room had just one window but the chimney came up through here and it was always cozy. It also had mice and wasps, which nearly scared me to death - but I loved to go there anyway.
We had things to play with, but not toys like children have now. Papa put a large plank onto a stump in our orchard using a large bolt. As we pushed it around it made a noise that we called music on our Merry-go-Round. We would take turns pushing with one pushing and two riding. Then we had an old buckboard. We put ropes on it to guide and turn the wheels and we would push it up the rise to the house, give it a push and down we would go to the road. These things were really fun, but we soon outgrew them and had to do our farm work and housework like adults while we were still very young.