Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.

COUNTDOWN: DAYS HRS MINS SECS

There really is no place like home

By: 

Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

We lived in a new house on the corner of Lieg Avenue and Evergreen Street until I was almost 6. One day, my dad announced we would be “going on a little adventure” and moving to a small farm on the outskirts of Marion.

Some adventure! The farmhouse was old, and there was no indoor plumbing. There was a cistern pump in the kitchen, and behind the house was an outhouse! Quite a change from our lovely new house to this old one, even for a child.

I recollect my mother saying we’d be fine. In later years, she shared with me how difficult it was for her, too.

I vividly remember taking a bath in a wash tub with water my mother heated in a tea kettle on the wood stove. Makes me think of “Little House on the Prairie.” I sure missed our bathtub!

One afternoon, my Aunt Elaine and my mother wallpapered the living room. My aunt claimed she knew how; it didn’t appear that way. When they put a strip up, the previous one they hung fell down. I was about 10 and remember going outside because I couldn’t hold in my laughter. It could have been an episode of “I Love Lucy.” It was a hysterical sight to see.

As I grew older, admittedly, I was embarrassed about my house. My girlfriends had nice houses, and mine had a lot to be desired. My friends had indoor plumbing, so I didn’t invite them for a sleepover, even though they invited me to their houses. Eventually, our house was remodeled and an indoor bathroom was put in. It was a much-welcomed addition, but the house was old and still needed other repairs.

When I think back on life in that old farmhouse, it really wasn’t so bad. Many memories were made during the years we lived in our old farmhouse; some were happy and some painful.

I loved the smell of the pies baking in that old wood cook stove. I enjoyed inviting my friends down to our woods for a picnic. I loved reading and remember curling up next to the kerosene stove with some hot buttered popcorn and a soda from the local pop factory. I remember playing checkers with my grandma.

So many memories: we bought our first television; my brother Joel was born; my grandparents passed away; my brother Pat was chosen by the student body to be prom king (a clear message friends don’t judge you by where you live or what you have); we made maple syrup up in our woods; my dad had serious heart problems; I played the role of Lady Macbeth and received an A at state; Joe Crow escorted me to school; Pat went into the armed forces; I received a forensics scholarship; two dogs helped make our house a home; I got married; our beautiful newborn daughter, Amy, received her first bath on the kitchen table; and our family celebrated her first Christmas in the old farmhouse.

I came to realize memories and people make a home, not the structure itself. However, I can remember a great deal of sadness when my parents built a new house and sold the vessel that held so many of my memories.

We felt that way, too, when my hubby’s parents passed away and we had to sell their house. Although it was good to get the homestead sold, it was emotional, too. I remember having the baptismal dinners for both our children there. So many Christmases and Easter celebrations, so much laughter and some sadness, too.

My hubby and I both went through an emotional roller coaster, almost a grieving of the passing of our childhood homes to others. We carry our memories in our hearts, but we still miss the houses we grew up in. We sometimes drive by them, but we are glad families are living in them and creating their own memories.

I treasure sweet old memories

As time goes swiftly by

Many bring smiles of happiness

And some tears to the eye

They all are precious in their way

Reopening doors of old

That have been shut for many years

What pictures they unfold!

These precious old sweet memories

All play their special part

In bringing joy and opening up

The latch strings of the heart.

The answer to last week’s question: The three jewelry stores located on Main Street in 1959 were Runge’s Jewelry and Gift Shop, Thimke Jewelers and Kuckuk’s Jewelry.

This week’s question: Can you name the three lumber companies in Shawano in 1972?

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.