The Book of Me Written By You ~ Prompt 5 ~ My Childhood Home Memories

I am participating in Julie Goucher's activity:

Prompt 5 - My Childhood Home

When did you leave home?
Where was it?
Where did you move to?
Was it rented or owned? – with parents/Grandparents
Was it inherited
What was it like – describe it – each room.
Were there a favourite room?
Is there anything you particularly remember from the house?
The road & area


The first home my parents bought, will be the home I’ll share with you for this prompt. I lived in this home in San Lorenzo, California for about three years if I remember correctly, which was when I was in third to sixth grade.

It was a three bedroom one bath home. I am sure it was very exciting for my parents to own their first home.  It was located on a fairly busy main side street through town. On the corner of the street there were mounds of dirt. Our location was three or four houses from the corner. As kids usually do, we rode our bikes over the mounds of dirt and used the area as a play yard.

Photo taken by Cheryl Palmer, 2007.

When we lived in this house, a few decades ago. It was brown and had a different roof back then. Two of the bedrooms are located in the very front, where the windows are, and the third one being behind the room of the furthest window to the right of. For a period of time, my uncle lived with us. While he lived there, all three of us girls shared one bedroom, so my uncle could have his own bedroom. We had wall-to-wall beds, which I think we loved, as I remember jumping from bed to bed. My uncle used to sing, and had a wonderful voice. Whenever he was in the bedroom singing, I would stop whatever I was doing just to listen to him. His singing voice was deep, loud and magical to me. 

Unfortunately I spent a good portion of one afternoon looking for a photo of my uncle and can not believe I couldn't find one. Just as soon as I find one, I will add it to this post.

 In the backyard we had a covered patio and several different trees out in the lawn. One tree made beautiful hugh white flowers (which I believe was a magnolia tree). There also was a plum tree, and a tree off in the corner of the yard, that us kids used as a shade tree. We loved to pick the plums off the tree and eat them. It was amazing to me at that time that we could take something from a tree and actually eat it!

One year, bees decided to invade our shade tree, the magnolia. They made a pretty decent sized hive in it. I recall my father getting all covered up to try to get rid of the hive and not get stung. He had a box like contraption covering his head, with an area his eyes could see through. Maybe it was saran wrap or wax paper covering the areas of his eyes so he could see? I really don’t recall. I do recall his whole body covered with cardboard and silver tape, from head to toe. I thought he looked like a robot. The photo below gives you an idea, of course he wasn't decked out with buttons, a TV screen or a face. How I wish I had a real photo of my dad dressed up like that. He was able to remove the hive without getting stung and I thought he was such a hero!

This home was the first place I started doing craftwork. I crocheted (or maybe it was knitted) my youngest sister a headband using small sections of different colored yarn. I taught myself how to knit and crochet from a book.

Friends up the street used to come over to play with us and I was always the “Boss” no matter what we did. I find that amusing now because my human nature has always been to be quiet, shy and as invisible as possible. We used to play “Zulu” on the patio. I would tell everyone what to do as we planned a skit to perform for my parents. We even made Zulu skirts, I remember wearing them. The image left in my mind reminds me of a hula skirt, same color as below, but somehow I think we made them from newspaper.

The house had a small laundry room, where the washing machine and dryer were located. I know there was a small table in the room. My middle sister used to have to go sit there to finish her dinner, after we all were done. She was so picky and wouldn’t eat. Sometimes she would be there for what seemed like hours…

The front room was small. We had a TV, couch and a chair, and a dining room with a table. These two areas were open as one room. There was a door in the dining room area to go outside to the back yard and another door to go to the backyard from the back porch room.

A quick sketch of the house...

The reclining chair in the front room where my father usually fell asleep was a treasure chest waiting for one of us kids to attack every morning. Whenever dad reclined in the chair, his change would slide out of his pocket, fall between the cushions, and end up on the carpet below. The next day we would go to the back of that chair and rescue the fallen, abandoned treasure.

After my uncle moved out, I, being the eldest was given the bedroom he used. I felt so grown up, having my own bedroom! At one point I had a lizard or a gecko, I don't remember for sure but I think someone gave it to me. I wanted to keep it but my mother said it needed to live outside. Ok then, I had a plan, but I didn’t tell my mother.

I took what I believe now was thread or yarn and tied it around the lizard’s neck, being ever so careful not to choke him. I needed to have it tight enough so he couldn’t get away, but really worried about choking him. When I thought I had it was exactly right around his neck, I tied the other end to the bushes outside my bedroom window. So now the lizard could sleep outside, and come back in the next morning. I was so proud of myself, he was outside, nice and secure, so eventually I slumbered off to sleep. The next morning I went to get my new little pet. My heart was broken because he was completely gone.

 One day while walking home from school I saw a fire burning in the direction of my house. When I crossed the main street where my house was located, I was certain it was our house that was on fire. I started running home. As I got closer I was able to see it wasn’t our house burning, thankfully. I went in the backyard and it was the house across the street from our back yard neighbors that was engulfed in flames. I somehow got through the back fence and the neighbors yard to the street and watched the fire burn. Firemen were there, fighting the flames. There was a woman in the home, in a wheel chair, who was rescued, and I remember seeing her all wrapped up in blankets.

I remember seeing our boat on our front lawn for a period of time as it was up for sale. My father worked a lot of overtime back then, so we just didn’t have much time to use the boat. I really don't remember much about it, like color or anything. I just remember it looked very big with the trailer on our lawn. It seems to me I have seen a picture of this somewhere along the line, I will have to see if my dad has a photo of it.

It was a winter evening during suppertime when my dad was away at work, someone came and knocked on our front door. It was a man we did not know and he was hungry. My mother fixed a plate of food and brought it to the man to eat on our front porch. I got up on the couch and watched him out the window until my mother stopped me... 

One Christmas, I was given a puppy, a toy poodle puppy to be exact. The puppy was a gift from my birth father. He was a little white snowball we named Teddy. We had him for nine months to a year before he got out through an opening in the backyard fence, and never came home. I cried. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Clipart and some photos from:

Copyright © 2013 Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved


Popular posts from this blog

Organizing ~ Cousins Found

#31 WBGB ~ Week 11 ~ Come Up with 10 Post Ideas

Sentimental Sunday ~ Western Union Telegram