O have you ever gone home shopping? I was old enough to remember it with much detail.
We covered many areas around where my Aunt and her husband Comillo Morelli lived. They being our only kin in California on Dad's side at that time. Mom had distant cousins in the Los Angeles area but did not hear but at Christmas from them.
Uncle Comillo Morelli had a very prosperous Dairy and was written up in many magazines over the years. My 4-H calf came from his herd. My brothers animals, many also came from his ranch.
On a warm spring day we would drive to various houses. Remember there was no AC in this time period. Some homes had dogs running so even Dad was concerned about getting out and going to the door.
My little brother had just been born and we had almost lost him and my Mom. We were all just getting over a bout of ailments. Sis brought in Trench Mouth, we also had measles and had to stay in the dark and then sis got mumps, she was younger than I and then we all got mumps but MOM.
Dad ended up in the hospital with the reaction to getting up and going to milk cows at Moretti's where we lived at this time.
Chuckling years later, Aunt Etta married Mr. Moretti since they had both lost their spouses and were close friends.
So on various days we headed out starting generally with the farthest away to the closest because Dad had to be back to milk and Mom to candle eggs. It would get so warm and muggy and our skin would get sticky and my siblings fussed a lot.
We looked in South Petaluma towards Napa and we looked east Petaluma, Novato, Santa Rosa, Cotati, Bloomfield, and Valley Ford. We also looked at Bodega, Bodega Bay, Occidental and Freestone. It seemed it took us awhile to find something that fit the budget and our needs.
It was in the town of Valley Ford. behind the school and came with a huge barn that was built in 1854 stamped on the wall ( really it was chiseled into the boards). So school was close and we were able to purchase it. It was an old trial ranch for Luther Burbank and the fruit trees were put in by him.
When I was last there, four trees still lived from Luther Burbank's planting and Dad had added more as the old ones died. Best apple I ever ate was the one just before he marketed for the Delicious.?
Not to sweet not to tart. I had a tree growing I was to move at sale but it did not come to pass.
The house had not been properly lived in for 15 years but a hermit stayed there with a bunson burner and a sleeping bag. He was a member of the family that had moved away and finally decided to sell the home as I recall.?
I think of all the old newspapers we shoveled out of that house and burnt in the front yard. Later when we were redoing the walls, Mom and I would be so busy reading the old 1880's papers on the wall and 1910 papers on the other rooms walls we would forget to scrap. Dad would growl gently but wow, I wish I could remember all the news of old that I read.
We moved in after Dad got us a bathroom so we did not use the outhouse. The house was planned for it but it was never implemented. I was just past 8 years of age but I helped Dad run the pipes under the house and the wires and learned so much as we did this.
We knocked down walls and reinforced the stairs and Dad took out the inside stairs after we moved in. It was the cubbyhole for groceries. We took the entry area and moved it into the hall by the back bedroom that had been added just before they moved. (Those stairs were only like 24 inches wide and you could hardly go up and down them.)
By moving the stairs in the kitchen we could put a table in and Mom and Dad had bought special cabinets for the kitchen for there was none. it all took time and funds and patience. We washed dishes in a metal pan on a card table for the time period before the cabinets came and the stairs were taken out.
Dad moved the stove and it opened up more space. Cabinets came, awesome cabinets. They were taller than average so Mom did not have to bend over so much at the sink since she had a crippling
Arthritis she was battling. ( Every woman should pre plan the height of her counters. I have lived where the pain from bending over so low, is horrid and was thrilled when I finally got my custom cabinets in our current home.
Dad put a ladder to the upper area for us to go up and sleep since the bedrooms were knocked out to make a 12 by 20 living area. So we had back bedroom large and upstairs to sleep. As we grew and the last baby came. Dad and I and 2 cousins built the back porch bedroom area on to the house in 1952. Baby brother needed a room to sleep.
My Mother's Sister, had came to visit and her husband was a carpenter and he helped Dad with some of the joists. We had a back porch, quite large and roomy. We had storage area, a large bedroom added and a washer /dryer area for laundry. Two large double tubs to help and a huge Freezer in this space and still we could get down and play games with friends and cousins when it was cold or wet outside. We even had a couch out there for a long time.
I helped Dad learn the county code for wiring and he passed it and was able to wire the house himself with the county approving what he did. He was so pleased he mastered that.