I spent the first few years of my life in a tiny little corner house in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. I only have fleeting memories from living here though and I don’t think of it as “home”.

When I was still in preschool, and my sister was a toddler, my parents decided to transplant us from the city to a little wooded island in the southern Puget Sound.  I was approaching school age and Seattle was trying out a new system of bussing kids to different schools through out the city, so that they could diversify the schools.  Great idea in theory, but when it comes down to it, it makes the neighborhoods lose a sense of community.  My parents were upset that I might not be attending the school just down the street – and that I wouldn’t necessarily be going to school with the neighbor kids.  They didn’t want their Kindergartner riding across town to another school and I thank them for that.

My parents had already bought 5 acres on the aforementioned island and I think that they visited there on weekends when I was little – camping and clearing the land.  I have a bunch of pictures of me in the woods.  Here is one of them. This had to be about 1977 or 78. Don’t you love our ax-murderer van?  No windows in the back.  And plaid pants?  Very cool.  I especially love my Cookie Monster hat though.

We lived in a duplex a few miles away for a short while and then later moved into a trailer on the property while the house was being built.

Here I am in the unfinished house:

It was pretty small – 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, a large kitchen/dining room and a laundry room.  That was it.  I remember that my mom let me paint the walls Pepto Bismal pink.  I was in a Strawberry Shortcake phase. I would live to regret that decision, because I was stuck with that color on the walls for years….

After my two brothers came along, the house didn’t seem big enough anymore.  We added onto the house.  The “addition”, as we still call it, was actually larger than the original house.  It added on 3 more bedrooms, another bathroom, a formal dining room, and a 900 sq foot family room.

Yes, this is actually my sister and I in a septic tank.  I promise that it hadn’t been used yet.:)  We were just checking it out before it got hooked up to the house.

The addition became an ongoing project.  Both of my parents worked on houses and my dad was actually a contractor for a while.  When you have the skills, you just can’t pay someone else to do it – even if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.  So, a good portion of the addition just sat and sat.  My parents used the back “family room” as a shop for their woodworking tools.

Since I was the oldest kid, they finished my bedroom first (yes, I got one of the new rooms).  I had the coolest bed on earth.  It actually wasn’t even in my room.  My parents cut a large hole in the wall (near the ceiling) and put a queen-sized bed in there.  The neighboring room was a storage room and since my bed was a loft bed, it simply made a section of the storage room lower.  I had to climb a ladder to my bed, but it was the neatest cubby hole.  I really loved it.

The family room didn’t get finished until after I had already moved out of the house.  That’s what happens when you’re the oldest.  Your parents end up having more time and money as they have less kids int he house. Darn!

I feel lucky to have spent almost my entire childhood in the same home.

And now my parents are all alone in that really big house.:)

Someday, (if my husband ever retires from the Army), we’re going to be building our house on the adjoining 5 acres.

  • Greta Koehl - January 26, 2011 - 7:37 pm

    “When you have the skills, you just can’t pay someone else to do it” – oh, boy, that was so much my dad’s (carpenter/general contractor) philosophy – and living in a “work in progress” was very much my experience as a kid.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 26, 2011 - 9:34 pm

      Yes, me too!! The funny thing is that there are still things that aren’t finished in that house. The plumbing still has to be hooked up to the 3rd bathroom. And why isn’t it done? Because my little brother is a plumber of course!ReplyCancel

  • Marian Wood - January 27, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    Fascinating post. I love your memory of the cubby-hole bed and I especially like the photos–particularly the one with you looking out from the septic tank (pre-use, of course).ReplyCancel

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top

Here is a short biography of my ancestor, Alexander Cowen Robertson which is in the History of Washington County, Iowa.  Oh, how I wish they mentioned WHERE in Kentucky he was from.  I’m still trying to figure that one out. I am, however, very grateful that it lists when his family moved from place to place.

“Robertson, A.C., farmer; Sec. 34; P.O. Washington; was born in Kentucky, July 8, 1839, and in the fall of 1848 he moved to Knox county, Ohio; came to Iowa in the spring of 1860 and located in Louisa county, and in the fall of the same year game to this county locating where he now resides; he owns 70 acres of land; was married December 23, 1863, to Miss Elizabeth J. Covit, a native of Pennsylvania; they have seven children living; Elmer E., John E., Charles W., Ella M., Dessie A., George L., and Annie E.;  Mr. Robertson has held the office of constable for two terms.”

I also found another article about an Alexander Robertson who was the steward of the town’s poor house.  I got really excited about this article, because it was really interesting.  The poor house apparently burned down and 5 people died.  Alexander had tried to go up and save the people, but had almost been knocked out by smoke.  His son John had to get him out.  I was even more excited, because my Alex had a son John.   Then I was disappointed when I looked through the 1880 census and found my Alexander on a farm and this other Alexander working as the poor house steward. Darn!  I almost had a really cool family story….

I need to keep this in mind now when I’m doing research in this county.  There was another Alexander living here at the same time.  I need to make sure not to confuse them!!!

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top

And no, I’m not a member yet. I’m a slacker.

I still need to set aside the time to get my paperwork together and to get it checked and then printed out on the precious paper.:)

I was quite surprised by the meeting.  I’m in Savannah, so I had envisioned old ladies in big, bright-colored hats, sipping tea.  That wasn’t the case.  We did have some refreshments and most of the people were considerably older than me, but no big hats, no huge formalities, and no tea.:)

The meeting was held at the botanical gardens, but naturally nothing was in bloom.  We met in the Civil War Era building on the grounds.

They had a very interesting speaker. He wrote a book about his ancestors who were amongst the first settlers of Savannah.  It made me again wish that I had some roots in this very interesting area.

I’m planning on attending the next meeting and hopefully getting my paperwork turned in before we make our big move to El Paso in June.  Wish me luck!

  • Lisa Strohm Holden - January 25, 2011 - 3:31 pm

    Hey, I officially joined in December. It took me about 2 years to find everything I needed…I started from square NONE. ..My Patriot, Abraham Strohm, lived in Lebanon, Pa. I was also thinking it would be all “old gals”, but it is not, and anyone adult woman can join. Our group is made up of ladies who really care about Veterans, and our country, and I think I am really going to like it! It also be the best way to get out East to really look things over…I live in Oklahoma…
    Happy Trails!
    LisaReplyCancel

  • Sheri Fenley - February 18, 2011 - 11:00 am

    So have you got your application turned in yet? You know, I was talking to another genealogist just the other day about how much time – as chapter registrars – we spend on each new member application. We figured that from start to finish about 40 hours per application. And that was only if it was a good line to begin with.

    Let me know how it is going with your membership adventure!ReplyCancel

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top

I’m still working on figuring out my 2nd great-grandmother, Ella Jane Hattery.  She’s been driving me crazy for years.

My Genealogy Bank membership came in handy yet again and I solved the mystery of where/when she got married to a Mr. Rickman (one of at least 4 husbands).  She lived in Council Bluffs, IA – which is across the river from Omaha, NE (she may have lived there at times also).  The announcement of her marriage license was found there in the Omaha World Herald, dated April 16, 1904.  Now maybe I can send away for the marriage record.

I just love how it’s titled “Connubial Ventures”. :)

  • Heather Rojo - January 31, 2011 - 9:53 am

    Connubial somehow sounds rather naughty, like the word conjugal. I had to look it up in the dictionary. LOL!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 31, 2011 - 4:11 pm

      It does, doesn’t it? And I had to look it up too! :)ReplyCancel

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top
F i n d   i t
B l o g r o l l
T a g s
B u t t o n