In 1950 when I was 10 years old we moved to Alderwood Manor, WA. I remember driving down that gravel road and as we neared the property, I saw these magnificent tall Poplar trees. Their leaves were waving to me and clapping in celebration of our arrival. There were six running along the road on each side of the driveway. As you turned into the driveway there was a slight rise with pasture on the right and an apple orchard on the left. The house originally had been a small with just one bedroom, but my older brothers and my uncle Bert, who was a general contractor, had taken the back of a huge chicken coop and attached it to the side of the house adding a large living room and another bedroom. They had built a porch out front, but no stairs to get up to it. In fact, I don’t remember there even being a door to get out to it.
You entered thru the back porch which was enclosed and the home of mom’s washer and the table where she separated the milk. This is also where a bathroom had been added. In there was a large old tub, but no heat. In the winter, we had an electric heater, but in the summer, no need. I don’t remember doing a lot of bathing; I think it was a Sunday night thing.
From the back porch you entered the kitchen, a long narrow room with windows facing the driveway. Across that driveway was a circle of Lilac bushes with a beautiful white Birch tree in the center. There were Daffodils planted in that circle and they would pop up in the spring to tell us it was time to come out and play.
There was a long building next to that circle which contained a wood shed, a tool storage shed and an old outhouse. Never having seen an outhouse before, I was quite fascinated at first, but was more than happy not to have to use it.
There was still enough of the chicken house left for mom to fill it with laying hens. There was a giant (to me) fir tree between the chicken house and our home and I can remember climbing it once and getting so sticky with the sap I decided never to do that again.
We had a big cherry tree with large dark cherries and I would sit up in the branches eating these delightful goodies until I felt sick and had to climb down and lay in the grass below. There were at least five Greenstein Apple trees in our little orchard and the apples were huge and juicy. I would bite into one and the juice would run down my arm. Mom made incredible apple pies and other baked goodies from them and canned jars and jars of applesauce.
There was a basement under the old part of the house and it was filled with shelves of canned goods that the former owners had left behind. I don’t remember mom ever throwing out any of the old stuff, she just added her new jars.
The kitchen was a long narrow room with a counter than ran the whole length, under the windows, up to the sink and beyond to the turn for the stove. That section of counter between the sink and the stove had these giant bins that tipped out. They were for flour and sugar. I think they would hold about 50 pounds each. I remember one year, mom’s Siamese cat had her kittens in the sugar bin and mom had to throw out the whole bin. I can remember her washing the kittens with a smile and a laugh at her cat