Al and I moved into our home on Seattle’s Beacon Hill in November of 1973. The house was built in 1925. I was attracted to it because it felt like a house in the country. For the last 43 years, I have continued to feel as if I am living in the country even though in reality I’m only three miles from downtown Seattle.
I grew up in the army and my family moved every three years. I resolved that I would never do that to myself or my children and I didn’t. Recently, I came across some photographs that I had taken in 1974. I did a major remodel in the mid-80’s so the inside of the house looks very different than it did when we moved in. I doubt there are many people in my life now that would remember it ever having looked like this. In fact, I even wonder if my son and daughter will recognize it.
When we bought the house, it was considered a one-bedroom house; the upstairs was seen as an attic. In 1973, this was that bedroom. I believe I made the yellow curtains. This room was converted to a meditation room in the late 80′ and still is.
The basement had a small area that was finished. We considered that to be the “family room.” I laughed when I saw the paisley chair in the photo. I shouldn’t have been surprised since the wall-to-wall carpeting we had in the dining and living rooms upstairs was burnt orange. After all, it was the 70’s! I haven’t seen a phone like the one in the picture for a long time.
The rest of the basement was unfinished. There was a laundry chute that went from the main floor to the basement. Or to be more accurate, there was what looked like a cabinet door in the hallway of the main floor. If you opened that door you found a hole. When we threw the laundry down the hole, it landed on the basement floor. I was horrified when, as adults, my son and daughter laughed about how they used to jump down that hole. I wonder what else they did that I don’t know about.
The pipe on the left side of this photo connected a wood stove to a chimney.
I was excited that we would be able to have a garden. Here are pictures of some of the vegetables from our first harvest. I still have the pan that is in the last photo.
I’m trying to figure out what the vegetable is that is in that pan. It doesn’t look like lettuce. Could it be mustard greens? They seem too light green for that but I don’t have another guess.
My pride and joy was the basement pantry. I know we had concord grapes in the yard but I doubt I would have put grape jam or jelly in a jar that big. We also had cherries but the fruit in the jar looks too small to be cherries. The jars next to that one seem to be filled with pears.
I remember canning pickles but I’m stumped by the jars in the bottom left corner. I made applesauce in those days, I think, but the contents don’t look like applesauce. It looks a little bit like corn but the raccoons ate the only corn we grew.
On the back of the next photo, it says “photo of part of our back yard.” The blue spruce looks like our blue spruce. The trees to the right of it look like our neighbor’s trees. The view looks like our view. What is weird though is that our clothes line was a pulley style clothes line. It went from a high pole in the yard to the side of our kitchen porch.
Since the lines were on a pulley, there should have been only two ropes not three. And it looks like there was a totem pole in the bottom third of the photo. I don’t remember anything like that. The structures on the right side of the photo are completely unfamiliar. I sent the picture to Al to see what he thought. He can’t figure it out either.
Here is what that same shot would look like today. The pulley is still there but since the trees have grown so much, it had to be placed further out in the yard and is much higher. Now it is connected way up on the blue spruce.
As you can see in the 1974 picture, in those days I could show the whole blue spruce in one photo. Now it takes two photos to capture the entire tree. I would guess the spruce is at least 150 feet high at this point.
I have really enjoyed looking at these photographs from my past. Thank you for accompanying me on my stroll down memory lane.
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