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CHAPTER NINE

Early Days In New Home

Our kitchen was white and black, with square tiles on the floor, when we first bought the house. We had since painted it pink, the doors and trim was painted a sandalwood color. The four panels in the doors were also pink. A little later we had the tiles taken up and inlaid linoleum put in - it had a cobblestone look to it, pastel colored, odd-shaped stones. When they took up the tile, we saw that there had been a fire in the area where the kitchen stove was - either from a stove, or from the furnace that was just below in the basement.

I was a firm believer in washing all the windows (19 of them), every Spring and Fall. Eventually we got combination windows; they were quite a chore, but not as much as the storm windows had been. Joe had built a very large picnic table for out in our back yard. While he was in the mood for building them, I had him made a small one for the small children (they couldn't sit up to the large table without falling off the bench).

We eventually painted the small table pink and put it in our kitchen, as our family had outgrown our kitchen table. Sometimes Joe would sit with half of the children in the dining room and I would sit with the other half in the kitchen, just to break-up the gang and cut down on the noise at the table. Many years later we got a custom-made table with 10 chairs in the kitchen.

We put the small, pink picnic table on the front porch, near the mailbox. Rose and Joey had learned how to play chess and they were pretty good at it. They would sit at that table and play it. One day the mailman came and put mail in the box - he couldn't believe what he saw - two small children playing chess, he didn't even know how to play it.

I had a nice rest when the children would play outside, but they were always leaving the yard and I had quite a time of it, trying to find all of them. So, I finally talked Joe into putting a fence around the entire back yard. It was about 4 feet high and was all wire, but it sure did the trick.

Then, Joe built a three/board fence that went across the driveway, with a gate on it. That way they were really fenced-in and I no longer had to run after them. The wood fence was removable, for the winter so we could keep the driveway shovelled of snow. Joe also made two window boxes and I planted pink geraniums in them, with a green/white trailing vine of some sort - they looked very nice. I had a pink, hanging geranium in a corner of the front porch, right near the kitchen door and mailbox.

Later on we bought a three piece, wooden lawn set that was made by the Seminole Indians; someone had come door-to-door selling them. It lasted many years and was well-worth the $35 we paid for it.

One Easter we decided to get two California bunnies for the children. A California bunny is something special - white and black streaked all throughout their bodies, very pretty. The store had them in two different pens; we figured the males would be in one pen, the females in the other. We picked out two bunnies from the same pen, thinking we had two of the same sex and wouldn't have a lot of little bunnies running around the place. Guess what...! Very soon we had 8 little bunnies, and a 9th one had died. We raised them until they were big enough to go to a pet store and ended up giving all 10 of them away (to the store).

Rose was going to St. Leo's Parochial School, first grade. It was time to make her First Communion. We began to think of the expense of a dress, etc. for that day. I was asked to stop in the convent, which is where the Nuns lived, close to the school. I couldn't imagine why they wanted to see me, unless it was something about Rose in school. One of the young Nuns came in the room, she carried a lovely, very lovely, dress. She said someone had given it to them to give to us. It also had the beautiful veil to go with it. We had never heard of such a thing, but we certainly were thankful.


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Rose Marie - First Communion.


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