Thursday, April 4, 2013

D ~ Demolition Delayed


These are the continuing adventures of a Swedish immigrant during her first year as an American. She boldly went where she'd never gone before...please come along on Adventures in America.

You might be wondering more about our first American house, besides the fact that we had parking meters in front and a backyard pool. The house Grandma Vivian fixed up for us was really quite spectacular.

Grandma Vivian, among her many skills in investing VERY well in the stock market was also skilled in real estate investing. She had bought this property, newly zoned residential/commercial and the plan was to tear it down and build an office building, which she would then lease space in. With us coming, she fixed it up instead.


(These are from a Creative Memories album my mom made me, so I can't rip 'em out and take a better shot, but this is the front door and Grandma Vivian had hung a welcome banner)

We had come from a ranch style house, with a sunken living room, and decent sized backyard. We moved into a brick, two story house with a finished basement, and a much bigger back yard with HUGE trees. She even found us a used swing set (which The Swede was forever tightening the screws on...) 


(You can see not only the swing set, but to the right, part of that basement rug with the game boards)

and the rug in the basement had the boards for all kinds of games: checkers, Chinese checkers, hopscotch, etc. Of course she bought the over-sized game pieces to go with it. We LOVED playing in the basement.

At first my sister and I shared a room. I adored that room ~ it had a window seat with a built in cedar chest, and a closet that was big enough to be a playroom! We could FINALLY set up our Barbie "house", or our doll playing stuff, and not have to put it all away every time we were done playing. Oh the joy!

However, when I broke my hip my little brother and I changed rooms so that all my nursing needs wouldn't wake up Swissie. (I bet you're wondering what letter that will be...and I feel like telling you...but I also want you back each day...so I'll tell you this. I'm trying to keep these stories as chronological as possible. I broke my hip on December 13.)


(I did not break my hip during this fire drill, but I wanted to show you the back of the house, which led to the kitchen)

That room I moved to was really cool, too. Smaller, but decorated in purple, and there was a window I could look out of while lying flat on my back in bed.  And we used it for this drill.

I have no idea where she got us all the furniture, but being a woman of means, I'm thinking she just bought it all. We sure felt welcomed, and spoiled. We settled in quickly, and felt right at home, despite the distance from “home”, the lack of neighborhood friends, and those darn parking meters. I think it was the obvious love she put into making us feel so welcome that did the trick. Starting with the ice-cream, of course.

30 comments:

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Awesome post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Waiting for the hip-breaking story. (Not heart-breaking, just hip-breaking.)
A real fire drill. Back in the days when families did that.

Dani Jax said...

You broke your hip?! Ouch! These are great adventrues for sure.
Dani & Jax @ Cover Girls

MaryAnn Millington said...

Loving your stories. Can't wait to read more.

Tales of the Reborn Crafter

http://talesofthereborncrafter.blogspot.com/

Cathrina Constantine said...

Interesting life stories, I love them. Good Post!

Brian Miller said...

you broke your hip as a kid? yikes...that is not a lot of fun at all...lets see december...i dunno how long it takes to heal but i am thinking it went into summer which is way uncool...

Melanie Schulz said...

Your Grandmother sounds like the best! How wonderful that she went so over the top to help create a home for you here.

Cindy said...

Life stories are always interesting. Your grandmother sounds awesome.

Sally said...

Breaking your hip must have been quite painful.

Shail said...

I like life stories and you have a gift of expression that makes yours interesting to read.
Got here via the A to Z challenge.

Dani said...

I love old pictures.
Dani @ Entertaining Interests
#warriorminion

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, I love the sound of that house! I like houses generally, but details like window seats are fabulous. You know... I grew up on a second floor and we never once had a fire drill. I would have just been out of luck.

Donna said...

Wow, what a blessing! Neat house, awesome grandmother, broken hip - well, you know - so you could write about it later! When is H coming? It had better not be S. That' too long to wait!

Sandy said...

Love the old photo's and am enjoying the story.

A-Z

Carolyn Branch said...

Love the memoir theme! Maybe I'll steal it for next year. My memoir is all written. Very different from yours - the title is "Snakes in the Kitchen"

Tyrean Martinson said...

It sounds like a House of Dreams - love the playroom closet description, and that fire drill pic! I had to do a fire drill like that a few times as a kid ... some of the joys of living in a second story room.

Banker Chick said...

I look forward to all your adventures. What a fantastic grandmother. My grandmas would be a story for the ages.....
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

Jean said...

I love old photos too!
Many of mine were torn up by one of our children with Autism, but
my older sister is in charge of the really really old ones--PHEW!

jean yates http://prettykittydogmoonjewelry.blogspot.com/ also know as Snap out of it, Jean!

PSL I have a PROBLEM--I cannot find my blog on the list--the last time I checked it was # 196..
I am afraid it was removed, although I contribute every day.
Could you help me? THANK YOU!

jyatesnewyork@ail.com

JoJo said...

I was gonna ask if you broke your hip climbing out that window! Your grandmother sure did a great job with the house! I wish I'd had one like that! But I grew up in an old, and kind of small, farmhouse with a teensy upstairs and only a crawl space and cellar that contained the oil burner.

Sue McPeak said...

Grandma Vivian was indeed a 'Grand' grandparent. Nice to hear your special memories of her and of the home she provided for you...broken hip and all. Great photo of the Fire Drill.
Sue~CollectInTexasGal
AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

Brett Jonas said...

This is SO interesting! I'm loving all of your posts and check each day for the newest one. :)

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Love fixes everything, doesn't it? Great post for D.

EvalinaMaria said...

Great story! Thank you for co-hosting this challenge.

Kellie Netherwood said...

Great post. I love that this A to Z challenge takes me outside of my own (travel) blogging community and introduces to me to sites like this!

Your description of the house had me dreaming I grew up their myself!!

Looking forward to the next instalment!

http://www.mydestinationunknown.com
A to Z Participant

Andrea said...

How great that your mom scrapbooked for you!

Samantha Jones said...

Now I have to come back and hear the hip-breaking story! I can identify with that element at the moment - I fractured my hip a couple of weeks ago *shakes fist at bike wreck*

Rachel said...

That house is gorgeous! Your grandmother really put a lot of effort into making sure that you felt welcomed and loved.

Lucy said...

I could feel the love and totally know why you were happy,well,minus the pain of breaking your hip,now that must of not been fun at all.

Amy "Lyre" Turner said...

It sounds like your Grandma was an amazing lady and that your first home in America was very welcoming. I wish I'd had such a nice welcome when we moved overseas as a kid; military housing is pretty bland.

Lyre at <a href="amy-lyre.blogspot.com>Lyre's Musings</a>

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I agree with Amy above - what a great grandmother to have - that was smart of your mother to marry your Dad?!

So interesting to read about .. cheers Hilary