Mom is the youngest of six kids - five girls and one boy. Here she is, during her tomboy preteen years, I'm guessing, being pulled out of a box by my aunt Susan. I'm not quite sure what she's wearing - small sailor stripes, then a technicolor-dream coat type sweater? Then colorful knit gloves. I'm not quite sure who cut her hair, either. It makes me laugh.
They lived in a house on Dumbarton Street, where my grandma lives to this day. Four bedrooms, very small. My uncle Jim had his own room, so there were two and three girls in teeny rooms with beds bumping up against each other. Two bathrooms; one in the master bedroom, so that meant one tiny bathroom for all six kids, with only a bathtub. I can only imagine the frantic rush that took place with all those girls trying to get ready! There is a fairly small kitchen and dining room, no dishwasher, and one main living room. That's it. I remember my aunt telling me once that she would sit outside in the car and read, just to get some peace and quiet.
Grandma made dinner every night and the family sat together. Afterwards, dishes were the kids' responsibility. I remember when I was little, baking cookies with her in that small kitchen, and could just imagine my mom doing the same thing when she was a little girl. Or banana bread, which is grandma's specialty. Little tiny loaves that you can eat in one sitting, covered with cold butter and maybe warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave.
I'll be seeing them all this weekend as our family gathers to celebrate my grandpa's life and say goodbye. Although it will be a very sad time, there will no doubt be silliness and laughter; it's just the way we Hansens's are.