Friday, October 22, 2010

Flashback Friday # 16 ~ My boyhood family

I'm visiting my sister in Center Point, Iowa, this week.
Today we went for a look-around visit.

Hints: Pictures are from a museum, an institution, and a low water crossing (also known as an Irish bridge).

Answer will be in the first comment of mine.

All about our early family structure is what Linda wants from us this week. Linda asked several questions about us and our parents. Click her icon, right, if you want to read others or participate in this.

How was your family structured when you were growing up? Did you grow up with both original parents in the home? If your parents divorced, did you go back and forth between them? Whether divorced or widowed, did your parent remarry? How old were you?
I was very fortunate to have both of my parents living together with our family for my entire time at home. There hadn't been a divorce in our family for a long time. I think mine was the first in generations.

Was yours a multi-generational household with grandparents living with you?
My grandparents lived about a half mile away and they owned the farm that we lived on and farmed on the share crop system of rent. It was a small farm.

When I was small Mom and I would drive to Grandma's home every Monday to wash. Grandpa was always checking in on my parents to make sure they were doing a good job of parenting. Grandpa made my mother tape my ears back so they wouldn't stick out so far. He also brought us items of furniture that we didn't have but needed.

On holidays my Uncles' families and ours would all go to Grandpa and Grandma's for a noon holiday meal. It was pot luck but Grandma always made the main meat dish. I remember too, her scalloped oysters. I have never has as good as she cooked those oysters since.

Did your mom work outside the home, and if so, was it full-time or part-time?
Mom helped on the farm. She took care of the chickens, both the growing ones and the egg laying hens. The egg management was also her job. Mom and Dad and us kids all helped with the garden.

Was there a clearly delineated division of labor between your parents (or parent and step-parent) and how traditional was it?
Mom did all the household tasks including the cooking and cleaning and washing of clothes. Dad took care of the chores although Mom sometimes helped with that. Then Dad did the fieldwork and managed the equipment and the cars.

Did your parents believe in child labor?! That is, how structured were chores? What responsibility, if any, did you have for things like doing your own laundry, fixing your own school lunch, etc.?
My sister and I had chores. Mine were mostly helping with Dad's work while Lois's was with Mom's. Mom did our care taking items such as washing clothing and school lunches. She also kept our clothing in proper repair, such as hemming skirts and pants and patching of holes.

Were your parents do-it-yourself-ers or did they hire people for repairs, painting, etc.?
We very seldom needed a professional to come help with the homestead maintenance. Dad did most it although Mom was also handy with the tools. Dad also maintained the cars and other equipment both for farming and our living. He did tasks from putting new soles on our shoes to welding a broken bicycle.

Is your current marriage/family structure similar to the way you were raised? What do you do differently than you did then?

We don't live on a farm now so some tasks are much different. But Mrs. Jim is generally in charge of the cooking and other household tasks. I take care of the house, the cars, and the lawn. But we help each other. Especially now that we are retired. For example I keep the floors in good shape by vacuuming and polishing. Mrs. Jim mops any that need that, which would be the entrance hall and the bathrooms.

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We visited Anamosa, Iowa.

The first picture was the National Motorcycle Museum, then a drive by of the Anamosa State Penitentiary and its facilities and then over a low water crossing near the Wapsipinicon State Park and Wapsipinicon River.
I'm glad you were able to participate after all. Sounds like your growing-up years were similar to my dad's.
Enjoyed your memories. I often wished that my grandparents lived closer. I never knew either of my grandpas,I did have a step who I considerded my gramps. But they all lived in another state, so we only seen them once a year.
until next time... nel
dear mr. jim...bernie would have really loved to see those old motor cycles!
are you anywhere near sumner?
that is where my brother, teddy ljves..
mr. jim, i haven't heard from you for a long time! terry
We were raised about the same. Had both parents and we lived on a farm. Milked cows twice a day. Enjoyed reading about your childhood.

Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)
How come the women always end up cleaning the bathroom? It is generally the men who make the bigger messes there!
I'm probably a bit more interested than most in your childhood memories because I knew the people and I could drive to the farm.
Farm women worked harder than most folks realize.
I really was going to say Iowa for the pics because I know the low water crossings are popular there and do save a lot of money on bridges. The bridge we're building right now is over $400K.
Sounds a lot like my growing up years. Mom did take a job when I was in High School so the household chores were mine.
Your memories sound fairly similar to what I've heard of how my mom and her parents grew up--farm children in northeast Nebraska. Their recollections were mainly what I based my observations of my family being almost-country on.

I'm amused by your grandpa's "solution" to your ears sticking out. Did the tape work? If so, I should definitely let my sister-in-law and any future entrants into the family know. Menter ears are enormous, and quite sticky-outie!

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