This picture is circa 1959.
This was at my Grandma Mitchell's house at Christmas.
I'm the stylin' one on the right with the banana curls.
My cousin who is the little blonde on the left recently sent me this picture.
I would not take any amount of money for it.
These were the original cousins...comprised of the kids of siblings Margaret(my mother), David and Bob(Mom's brothers).
All who are no longer with us.
Grandma's house in today's eyes would be a dump.
It was small.
Heated with a coal stove in the living room.
You walked into the living room and kept on walking right through Grandma and Grandpa's bedroom and to the kitchen and out the back door.
The bathroom, which had no heat but a big clawfoot bathtub, was right off the kitchen.
Every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas was at Grandma's until 1967 when first Grandpa got sick, had to move in with us and died and the following April my mother died. My dad ran my grandmother who was still living with us off because he wanted to get back together with his first wife and kids...the ones I found out about at my mother's wake when they appeared and always thought I was an only child.
Grandma cooked the best food!
We would eat in shifts.
The men ate first.
The kids ate at the table in the grandparents' bedroom.
The women ate last, sat around the table, talked and cleaned up.
We played in what was called the front bedroom because it was at the front of the house off the living room.
Many a pair of snow boots were reduced to puddles of rubber as we sat them by the coalstove JUST to dry a little from the snow and we set them too close.
The fire was so fierce when Grandma opened the door to feel the coal stove that I thought it was where the Devil lived.
We lived 100 miles to the northwest of Grandma where noone heated with coal stoves.
I was the only child in my class who knew what a clinker was(burnt piece of coal, like a cinder).
Grandma had all the necessities and we lacked for nothing.
Later did I find out that Grandpa's miner's pension and Social Security wasn't quite enough and all the kids chipped in to help with the rent and utilities and food at holiday meal time.
I look at that picture and I feel love, peace and safety...things I no longer feel in today's world.
Grandma's traditions shaped the way I do holidays in my own home.
I did not have any pictures of my mother's family until now.
Now my kids really know there was a Grandma and Grandpa Mitchell's and the stories that Mom tells about that wonderful house really are true.
God Bless my cousin for sharing that picture with me.
Money can't buy everything.