Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tender Years: Everywhere, There Were Pallets




"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.




One year, when we were living in Carthage, away from my sisters and their families. everyone came up for Christmas.  I  am not sure of the number of people in the house.  I do know, I had a twin bed and Mama and Daddy had a double bed and that was it.  No more beds.  

It's a series of impressions, more than complete memories. Lots of extra noise in the house as everyone laughed and talked.  A real feeling of joy in the home because everyone was together.  The thing that impressed me the most  was that. after Mama had me ready for bed and we walked back into the living room to say goodnight, there were pallets everywhere!  I thought it was the single most exciting thing ever!  I have no idea what we had for Christmas dinner, nor do I remember what gifts I received, but this stays with me.  The thrill, the joy, the anticipation and the sense of family.  

Growing up as the only child in the house, this was the closest I ever came to understanding what it would be like to be in a large family.  Mother had three sisters and they grew up together.  Daddy came from a family were he had thirteen siblings.  This was the fullest our home would ever be, and it is a memory I will treasure always!

What about you?  Siblings?  Ever have your home full of stay-over family for a holiday or occasion? What were your earliest impressions of it?

Thanks for participating!

Barbara
Exactly like the one I had.

42 comments:

  1. Both my parents were from large families - Dad was one of seven and Mum of thirteen - but our house wasn't big enough for get-togethers like you describe.
    My strongest Christmas memory comes from when I was about 5 or 6. My brother and I were sharing a bed at the time, and we had been, I suppose, letting the world know how excited we were about Christmas coming. At about 6am, Mum came in to our room, told us to stay in bed and leave the light off, but gave us one small present each. Whether my sister had the same treatment in her room we didn't know (or care). We dived under the bed covers (why?), unwrapped our presents, and tried to work out, by touch, what they were. We had no idea until we saw indaylight, that we each had a Dinky model of Malcolm Campbell's record-breaking 1935 Bluebird car!

    Keith Channing A-Zing from http://keithkreates.com

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    1. That's a great memory! Thanks for sharing it with me.

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  2. I'm an only child as well, so never got that big family feel until I went to my grandparents' farm. I used to love to spend the summers there.

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  3. I am the only child from my parents, as well as growing up with my mother and step-father. My father and step-mother had 3 children (the oldest when I was 12), so I kind of have had it both ways.

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  4. That must have been such a good feeling to see those pellets everywhere :) I have an older sister and brother :) My mom came from a family of 10 siblings :)

    betty

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    1. It did thrill me. The thought of everyone staying overnight, grownups sleeping on the floor and such.

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  5. my mom was not big on hosting, but I loved going to my Aunt Jane's house - seemed like all the cousins could gather and have fun. I like your memory and I love that hobby horse (I had one too)

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    1. That's neat, Joanne! Seems every family or neighborhood has a house where everyone seems most likely to gather.

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  6. Though we had rather large gatherings for holiday meals, no one ever stayed over. So it was just me and my little sister until I was 12 and went to live with my dad and three brothers - leapin lizards, I'd never heard such noise before! Meals were suddenly blockbuster events when everyone vied for the last dinner roll and bath time was to be avoided (by me!) or risk a smarting towel-slap just for being in the vicinity ;-) The respect I have for my step-mom is immense! Your sleep-over memory is indeed a keeper:-)

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    1. Oh, Diedre, you describe it so cleverly I can just see it, and hear the racket! LOL

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  7. i have three sibs. we always had friends over. we all had those love/hate moments where we couldn't stand each other but heaven help anyone who tried to pick on one of us. only we could pick on each other and live.

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    1. That's the mark of true friends or close family! You were blessed.

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  8. Hi Barbara, with an elder brother who married and left home when I was small, I have enduring memories of when he and his family would come to visit... four adults and five children of varying ages all crammed into a two-bed flat; it was always brilliant.

    http://susan-a-eamestravelfictionandphotos.blogspot.ie

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    1. Sounds like "a barrel of monkeys" kind of fun! :)

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  9. I remember big Christmas Eve dinners at our house with lots of family, but no one stayed over as we all lived close. thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think that's why this stands out so vivid for me, as most of my life we all lived in the same town, so this is the only time I know of this ever happening.

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  10. We never had a big group in the house at one time. Family generally didn't live too far away.

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    1. That's the good/bad side of family living close together. You see more of each other, but seldom everyone at one time.

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  11. My family isn't large, but when everyone would get together for Christmas, it felt like mass chaos.

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    1. Any time your household size doubles or triples it seems like a funny zoo. Even if there are normally only four and then there is 8 or 12, that's a big difference!

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  12. Lovely memory!

    I had five brothers, my parents both came from large families ...11+ So I had close to a hundred first cousins. Our house was often filled when family came to visit. I always loved it!

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    1. No wonder your screen name is Joyful Chaos! ;)

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  13. It is funny how some of our oldest memories are only glimpses or memories. A few glimpses I have had is owning a Humpty Dumpty Toy and for some reason I thought the top came off, but it never did. I don't recall why I thought that. Also, I come from a large family. I have three full sisters, two full brothers, a half sister and a step brother. It was a full house for sure.

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  14. Our neighbors had moved away with the Air Force but one week-end they came back and brought a bunch of family to go to the World's Fair going on in San Antonio. Like you we had pallats everywhere. Good we had a large living room. I got up and made crepes and sausage for breakfast. Now I can't imagine doing that or even having that much company.

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    1. I hear you! But at the time I'm sure it tickled the hell out of you!

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  15. My family is small and widespread. The biggest gatherings we had were at my grandma's house when she was still alive, and those were my most treasured family memories. I still hope to marry a man from a large family :)

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    1. They are out there! My hubby is one of seven children. So, it was always easy to have a bunch at any gathering, especially when his parents were alive.

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  16. Great memories of Family Gatherings. Although one of five, our house barely held all of us, parents and a live in grandparent. Family events were mostly outside in the summer with everyone returning to their own pallets.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. That's how things have always been in hubby's family. He is one of seven and all their family get togethers are hosted outside for the most part. Last count there were 21 children of the seven. And almost all of them are grown and have children. So, I bet if they all came together in one place at one time it would easily total 100 now. Hum, now I'm courious. Gonna have to get out my pen and paper and tally this thing up.

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  17. I slept on pallets plenty of times, a big old stack of quilts that smelled like sunshine and fresh cut grass from drying on the line.

    One of my earliest Christmas memories: maybe I was 3 or 4 years old, sent to bed while the adults were still up, talking and laughing in the living room. I was lying snug as a roly-poly in my quilts in the darkness at the foot of my parents bed, trying SO hard to stay awake but falling asleep knowing I was "hearing" reindeer hooves on the roof!

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    1. Nice memories! There is nothing like a good old, fashioned quilt!

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  18. I come from a large family...I had six siblings. My own family now consists of just my three grown children, their significant others and my two (soon to be three) grandsons. So if one or two cannot make it for the holidays, it feels empty. And that does happen. I know it's normal and natural but I wish we were all closer, physically, so we could be together more often.

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    1. Marrying a man with 6 siblings, I've got to experience to a degree what coming from a larger family is like. After being around that, sometimes just two or three can be restful and at others it just seems too quiet, not "full" enough.

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  19. I think it is interesting the things that make an impression on a child's mind, like the pallets for you.

    I don't remember ever having a houseful of stay-over relatives, but my three siblings and I were often the stay-over relatives for other families. We often spent the night with our cousins due to problems our parents were having. I remember one night when we and another set of cousins descended on our grandparents. They only had a two bedroom apartment and they slept in separate bedrooms. I don't know where Grandpa slept that night, but all of us grand-kids slept in his room. He regretted that, I'm sure, as one of my little cousins wet the bed. I don't remember much else about that particular visit, but I definitely remember waking up wet and fussing at her because we'd all told her to go potty before we laid down. :)

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    1. OH, LOL! There is no worse feeling than to wake up realizing you and your bed is wet. But it is going to happen from time to time when you sleep with little ones.

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  20. I have a brother and a sister. There used to be seven people in this house, between my family and my dad's family (my grandparents, I mean).
    Now it's just my father and me...

    But I remember Christmas when my granddad was alive. He was very fond of this festivity. He would prepare the Chrismast dinner and we kids would help him. Took him a week to prepare that dinner and then we would eat on it for another week.

    Eh... I'm getting nostalgic, now...

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

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    1. Sounds like a lot of happy good times! Kind of nice that you're still in the same house, as well. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Lots of siblings. Seven of us kids and parents so nine of us in all. We all got to sleep on pallets when we had to evacuate our sharecroppers shack because of hurricane Carla. We went to our grandfathers in Houstom to wait out the storm. It was wall-to-wall kids on the floor. It was exciting to us, but watching the strong gusts of wind before we left was just as exciting as we watched parts of the chicken coop fly by along with branches and other things. Of course Mama was frantic yelling at us to get away from the door and the windows.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Exciting memories of a time that could of been very dangerous! We were straight in the path of Hurricane Rita in 2005. We had no where to go and no money to get there. Rode it out here at the house. I have a whole other blog all about those experiences.

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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