Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Weekly Planner: Five Questions about Home

In honor of Family History Month, the 24/7 Family History Circle site has listed a set of "challenges" to assist people in writing their own personal history.

The third topic is Home.

What was your room like when you were growing up? Did you share it or did you have your own room? What did it look like?
We lived in a large three-bedroom apartment in the village of Liberty, New York until I was 12 years old. This place was over a warehouse and the rent was only $80 a month. In 1976, my mother scraped everything together that she had and purchased her first and only home with two acres of land about three miles outside the village. The place was interesting because it was a Lustron Home.

Did you have a backyard? A garden? Did you grow fruits and/or vegetables?
We had two acres of land, one of which was fenced off for horses that our neighbor would bring over each day. He was happy to have some extra room for them to roam and we were happy with their lawn mowing capabilities.

Did you have a secret hiding place? Not physically. I hid in my books and in my schoolwork. What household chores were your responsibilities?
Wow. Well, I began cooking for the family at the age of nine. I was also helped out with house cleaning and some lawn duties.

In what room did your family gather most? Was it in the living room or around the kitchen table? What did you do there? Sing? Talk about the day? Watch T.V.? Tell stories?
The dining room table was the focal point, mostly when company came over, and it seems we always had company. There was always lots of food, or perhaps a pinochle or canasta game going on. Crazy aunts and uncles, lots of cousins to play with.

Photo: The house belonging to my great-grandparents John Ralph Austin and Therese McGinnes Austin in Grahamsville, New York. Circa 1944.

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