Monday, May 30, 2011

The Farm

I thought I'd write a bit about the farm where I grew up. On the left is a photo of the old farmhouse, with my aunt and cousins. Regrettably I don't have a complete picture, but only parts of it supplied by a cousin (the farmhouse burned down when I was 10). The house, built by my grandfather, Joseph W. Hawk, had a gabled roof. You can just begin to see the beginnings of it on the left in the photo. The living room is at the front just off the porch at the left under the gabled portion. On the west wall (the house is facing south) there was a staircase behind a door which led you up to a landing, where you turned and went up to a long, narrow room. This room served as our playroom. As I remember, the sides of the walls went up before meeting the ceiling which went up to a point in the middle of the room. My sister and I spent many days up there, especially rainy ones--which happens pretty often in south Texas.

Grandmama Nora Timmons Bond with granddaughters at the farm.

On the opening wall from the staircase opening upstairs was a opening to the attic, showing an unfinished space with rafters. We weren't allowed to even crawl into this space as Mama and Daddy were certain we would fall tlhrough and land somewhere downstairs. Daddy would sometimes walk across the boards to get whatever was stored up there. I sure was tempted but kept picturing myself falling through the ceiling. Just inside the door (which was covered with a cloth curtain) were several very old trunks which had likely come with the family when they traveled from Kansas by covered wagon in 1908. I know these trunks held lots of old photos because I was able to lean over from the doorway and reach in far enough to lift the lids and peak in. Gosh, would I love to have those old photos now. Sadly, they were lost in the fire that destroyed our home on November 8, 1956.
Playing Paper Dolls
My sister and I were big on paper dolls. A Sears catalog was a great boon, and we looked forward to the new one coming so we could tear up the old one. We cut out people and made whole families, and then laid out homes with rooms furnished from the Sears pages. I always had big families, with lots of kids, and parents who looked handsome and very fashionable. The kids were of all ages, although none of the kids was old enough to be married. We did love those wedding gown-clad ladies though. Sis and I would each take a side of the bed for our families. Sometimes we would play on the floor. We had other games we played, but paper dolls was always my favorite.

Our parents would also buy us books of dolls, and we would cut or tear those out along with their clothes. Another favorite pastime was designing and coloring clothes and then adding little tabs so we could put them on our favorite paper ladies. Imagine my surprise when I found old paper doll books on, as well as collectors of old paper dolls. There are even people who design paper dolls (see ). Another page I really enjoyed was one with Betsy McCall dolls from the pages of old McCall magazines. Click on Betsy McCall to see the pages. You can download a pdf file for any of the Betsy McCall pages they have, if you still want to play with paper dolls. Oh, I mean if you have children who might enjoy them, or grandchildren. :)