Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Annette Williamson Enjoys the Yard

Hello All,
And here we have a picture of little Annette taken by yours truly in 1978 (?). She's outside in the winter in her snow suit. I'm guessing we were about to go somewhere. I had my camera and thought I'd shoot a memory. It's either that, or she was out of control, driving Ma crazy leaving me no choice but to bundle her up and get her outside if we wanted to have supper.

Some fun things to notice....
  • Look closely in the bedroom window. What do you see? Bring back memories?
  • Look in the living room window. Remember that old lamp? Yes, here come the memories.
You know, that house was small at 2214 38th Street but we all got along pretty well. The only time things got 'heated' was in the early A.M. when we would fight for the most coveted place in the house, the furnace vent in the living room. We'd huddle around it, several at a time, in an attempt to ward off the bone chilling cold of a South Dakota winter.

That furnace vent was our fireplace (at least until Dad came up with the brilliant scheme of warming the house with a Kerosene heater, sat right down in the center of the Living Room). You know, isn't it a wonder we are all alive today considering how easily we could of snuffed it due to carbon monoxide poisoning?

Remember the place you never wanted to be on a cold winter's night? Did you say "The Kitchen"? Yes you did. Now remember, that kitchen wasn't heated by the furnace. It was an add on after the home was built. The Kitchen had its own heater that worked on natural gas. Now I said 'worked'. Let me adjust that slightly. It worked for the first few years we lived in the house. And then, only if you babied it, caressed it, and struggled to light it's pilot light when it went out every time the wind blew.

I just remember that kitchen floor was cooooold! I remember how often the pipes froze. I remember running the kitchen sink all night long in a steady but small stream of water to try to keep it from freezing.

Anyway, on this cold winter's night in Utah I send you all my warmest greetings. Take a second and join me right now back at 2214 in front of that furnace vent. We're laying down on stomach first on the carpet. Everyone else is walking over us to get to the bathroom and the bedroom. It's dark outside. Mom's in the kitchen cooking up her famous potato soup (boiled potatoes, condensed milk and onions.... Oh, lots of salt). Dad is home. In the bathroom of course and we are watching our old, mud encrusted color TV (rescued from the 1972 flood). Every time someone comes into the house they bring with them the cold, so we're up and sitting closer to the vent.

Now look around you. Look how far you've come since those simple days. Look how easy your kids have it.




  1. Oh so many memories you just made flood back into my memory! Even though I was the youngest, I still sat in front of the vent with a large blanket to catch all the heat, and everyone stepped over me to get to the bathroom. I have fond memories of mom's potato soup also! I still love potato soup so much, but I just have a much better recipe that includes real cream and bacon too! Thank goodness for you Victor, if it weren't for you, I'd have no pictures of me as a child. :)

  2. Yes, the furnace vent, ohhh the memories!!!
    I was laying there with Annette the day Dad drove through the garage door. The brakes on his International Scout went out on his way home from the paper route. The crash was deafening, I thought our little house was about to collapse. Annette and I got up so fast you would have thought our feet caught fire! We ran to the kitchen and threw open the door. There we saw the tangled mess. Our Dads pride and joy, his huge shiny green LTD, is covered in what used to be our red garage door! Smashed behind the LTD, and also covered in the doors remnants, was the Scout with Dad sitting behind it's wheel. Dad had a "deer caught in the headlights" expression frozen on his face!

    That moment will live, forever burned into my brain. The memory of a man that had to keep everything so tidy and perfect, sitting in a mess of such magnitude, all the "partial" result of his own doing............It altered the the way I view the world. I learned to not sweat the "Big" stuff. I just over sweat the "small" stuff, that's actually the only "STUFF" we really have any control over. The "Big" stuff happens no matter what, so you might as well have an "Armor Alled" dashboard, and a "Windexed" rearview mirror when the garage door comes crashing down!!! :)