Thursday, December 17, 2009

By The Attic Window…

This is one of the two original attic windows from my parents’ turn-of-the-century farmhouse.

They gave it to me several years ago, when they had their windows replaced.

I removed the glass, put a mirror on the back of the frame, and hung it up for display.  It is now one of my very favorite things and I like to decorate it for Christmas. 

I grew up in that old farmhouse, and remember sitting on the floor of the attic next to this very window.  I’d wander up to explore boxes of treasures, and wind up staring through the wavy glass at the tall oaks, and the little red house on the hill, which all looked so different. 

Attic WindowIn the winter it was icy cold.  And in the summer, it was unbearably hot.  It’s funny, I don’t remember being up there when it wasn’t one extreme or the other. 

I remember the musty smells, the single light bulb, and the string that dangled from it.   And I remember where the best boxes of treasures were stored. 

My dad’s Lionel trains and his old police uniform were back to the left, next to the Christmas boxes.

In front of them, was a tattered blue polka dot box of wrapping paper.  My mom faithfully gathered and smoothed every piece we tore from our presents.  It was all saved there in that box.  Taped, and stuck together, and sporting old tags from YEARS of use.  That paper was full of stories.  Because somewhere on each piece, in tiny pencil letters, she wrote what was wrapped inside…for her own benefit…in case she forgot.   (smart lady!)

To the left of the stairs was an old cast iron typewriter, complete with a paper in the roller.  I’d peck out a sentence every so often and think it was SO cool.  Lol!  You had to pound the keys to leave an imprint on the paper, because the ribbon had long since dried up.

Behind that, there was a bag of my stuffed animals.  Snoopy.  A soft yellow bunny with pink velvet ears.  Several Teddy Bears.  And my favorite, a giant red Clifford dog.  Orange with age, but still wearing his black plastic collar. 

Oh how I LOVED that dog!  I took him for walks on the end of a rubber band leash.  Because it made him bounce along as if he were real.

To the right of the stairs, was our big dress-up box.  In it were dresses and pants and pretty blouses.  There were funny hats with little lace veils, and pretty white gloves that went up to my elbows.  There was a happy clown face, a green monster mask, and an ugly rubber dog mask that my brother loved to wear.

When I was older, I remember being sent up to open or close the stubborn window.  I would end up using the prop stick to bang it free.  Even then, I would pause to sift through a box or two.  And stare out the wavy glass.

When I look at this window in my living room now, I can almost see my best friend’s house on the hill.  And just like that, I’m a little girl in the attic, trying on her mother’s high heels, and watching the dust sparkle in the sunlight.  

This year, I took the boys’ Christmas pictures beneath the window on the couch.

It’s special to me, and I think my parents will appreciate it, too.  :)

Merry Christmas 2009

The boys look so nice, (and cooperative) don’t they?  I wish I could have figured out a way to have them sit a little higher and yet not look too unnatural.  I would love to have gotten more of the window in the picture.

But I guess I’m lucky to have gotten what I did.  They (too) quickly dissolved into this…

Christmas 2009 Crazy Kids ScribbleCrazy kids.  Crazy pictures.  Sentimental keepsakes and memories that make us smile.

They’re all part of the fun of this season!  And definitely some finer things of life.

I’m joining the party this week at Photo Story Friday and Finer Things Friday.


DaBudges said...

I Love that window! what a great idea. Your kids are very sweet! Thanks for sharing

Chris said...

What a terrific reminiscence. I love decorating with old windows -- there's so much character, so much life in them.

Take what you can get with the family picture -- especially when it comes to boys. :)

Mari said...

I love it! The window is just wonderful and so are the memories you shared. Your photo of the boys turned out good, and I like the goofing off one too.

Cheryl said...

What a great post, as usual! I sure miss that little red house on the hill. From my view, I saw a huge house with an endless supply of ice skates, board games and the biggest yard ever. I think you were the first to get the pool, too! We sure had a memorable childhood. Thanks for the post.

The boys look so cute.

The Real Me! said...

Oh what a beautiful story my friend.
On our last trip to Maine we visited my Grandparent's old ship Captains house. It is over 100 years old and the guy was remodeling it and he gave us 5 windows out of it that I am cherishing right now. I've made one into a picture frame type thing. (I think I posted it on my blog awhile ago) But I like the idea of a using a frame as a mirror!
I really enjoyed this story. We have so much in common it's scary!
I hope you get your package soon!

Raise Them Up said...

Oh, yes! The box of ice skates was behind the type writer.

Remember that little adjustable metal pair that strapped onto shoes? I think we ALL wore those at one time or another. I wonder what Mom did with them...I bet they would look adorable hanging next to that old window!

We DID have fun, didn't we? :)

CC said...

Love the kid pictures. And the decorated window... how cool!

Tracey said...

What a wonderful keepsake that window is! Love how you've decorated it for the season!

Christina said...

Thank you for sharing your memories of childhood! I really enjoyed reading them. (And will it be bad it I admit that I think I might like the second photo of your boys better.) hehe.