Sunday, June 9, 2013

Childhood Memories Part 1

Hello, hello, hello!  That's what my little grandson says to me who is near and dear to my heart.  Looking through my previous posts, I've blogged  about patterns and recipes but today I thought I would share some wonderful memories I have of growing up.

I was born and  raised in Ellensburg, Washington which is right in the center of the state of Washington.  My grandparents immigrated there from Denmark in the early 1900's.  It was an idyllic little town, kind of like Bedford Falls in the classic movie It's A Wonderful Life.  Our family moved to Idaho when I was around 5 years ago but we moved back to Ellensburg when I was 12 years old.

Downtown Ellensburg had lots of old, historic buildings.  Back in 1965 Nicholson's Drug was still in business.  I remember going there with my Mom and it had a beautiful, old wood  soda fountain counter and glass paneled cabinets.  I think old Mr. Nicholson was still filling prescriptions. Back in those days, there was no Walmart, Target, CVS, etc....

(this picture I believe is the Davidson Building, down the street from Nicholson's Drug)

(this is a picture of the college's first original building)

My parents bought a home right near the college (it's a university now) and across the street lived Mrs. Taylor.  She was the widow of Dr. Taylor and lived in a beautiful, three story Georgian brick home.  There was a story that the third floor of her house was a ballroom. Well, one day my friend, Nancy, who lived down the block, said we should go and tour Mrs. Taylor's house.  I thought that was a great idea.  So, we crossed the street and rang her doorbell.   I remember entering the home with a large foyer and winding staircase.  I had recently seen Gone With the Wind and all those scenes were fresh in my mind.

Mrs. Taylor told us of course we could tour her home.  The room to the left of the foyer was a large dining room with a long table and lots and lots of chairs.  There was a formal living room, library, and kitchen also on the first floor.  We ventured upstairs and she had a marble faced fireplace in her bedroom.  It was stunning.  We made it up to the third floor and guess what we found?  It was an unfinished ballroom.  We went back downstairs and chatted with her a bit and the curtains started to move.  It scared us since it was such a big, dark, kind of scary house we thought it was a haunted house.   I know now that it was only the wind.  She had a small collection of nick nacks on each table.  I know now that she collected antique snuff bottles.  But, when you are 12 years old you don't know about those things.

I was suppose to attend Hebeler Elementary School which was just at the end of my block.  It's pictured above.  There was some glitch and I was going to have to attend a school the other side of town.  But, luckily, they found a place for me at Hebeler. Hebeler was named after Amanda Hebeler who was a pioneer in childhood education.  It was a beautiful building compared to my school in Idaho.

The first day I walked into the school, I was shocked.  They had a fountain in the entry way and two winding staircases, one on each side.  (the picture above shows this but I don't remember the blue color).  I had gone to old schools in Idaho that were nothing like this.  Hebeler had a beautiful library, with old wooden bookcases and a wonderful librarian by the name of Mrs. Marx who was a French Canadian.  It was so different from the schools in Idaho.  Our schools there didn't have a library - just a shelf in each classroom with some books.    Hebeler's library was beautiful and filled with beautiful things.

Long story short, these impressions of Mrs. Taylor's house, the school and the setting set the course for what I admire in life.  I love antiques, historical buildings, anything that is old.  And I totally love the history attached to such things.

While doing a little research to write this blog, I found out that Dr. Taylor was a Canadian and one of the most highly regarded surgeons in the Pacific Northwest.  He was the founder of Taylor Richardson Clinic.  Mrs. Taylor went to college at a posh private school in New York before she married Mr. Taylor. 

Now, fast forward to 2000.  We were living on the west side of the state and new neighbors moved in next door to us.  It turned out our new neighbor was from Ellensburg and I knew their family.  His brother had bought Mrs. Taylors home after her death.  It's such a small world.

My daughter is always giving me a hard time with my style and decorating.  I know my "style" is based on being 12 years old and seeing Mrs. Taylor's house along with a sprinkling of Gone With The Wind.  Here's an example of my electic taste.......

The chairs are from Egypt.  My husband's cousin sent them to us back in the 80's.  They are  a fake take off of  French furniture.  I absolutely love this style and Egyptians love to reproduce this type of furniture!  The vase is a Chinese dragon vase that I found and bought from a private party last year.  It weighs so much that it took three people to unload it from the car (my husband was not happy).

In my mind, these items would have looked lovely in Mrs. Taylor's home!  I forgot to add, the same afternoon that we visited with Mrs. Taylor, we went down the block and visited with Mrs. Cone.  She was a widow of a well known lawyer and  lived on the corner in a bungalow style home.  I remember seeing a large desk that her son had bought in Paris and lots of tapestries on the wall.  I went home and told my Mother that I had seen lots of "old fabric" on the walls!!  Ah, the joy of being a young 12 year old.

So, that's a little sampling of my childhood.  It was great growing up in a small town.  I look back now and it doesn't seem that far away but if I count the years, it's ages ago.

I told you last week that I would post a picture of the entrelac scarf that I finished this week.  I was going to do a tutorial on entrelac and I may do that at another time.  It's really a fun and easy pattern to do.  This scarf was made from a wonderful, color changing yarn called Mochi Plus.

Here's the finished scarf (sorry for the quality of the photo)

I hope you have enjoyed a little glimpse into my world. Don't forget to stop by Handmade Monday and see all the lovely projects other crafters have been working on.  Until next time, have a wonderful week.



  1. It was a lovely glimpse into your world, thank you. The Chinese dragon vase is so gorgeous. Your scarf is lovely, I really love the pattern - how long is it? Hope you have a good week.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. The scarf measures approximately 50" but I have not blocked it yet so it will be a little longer. I wish you a great week too! :)

  2. Your scraf has lovely colours, but looks like a lot of knitting!

    1. Thank you - I know it looks a bit complicated but it's very easy once you get started. Wishing you a great week!

  3. The scarf looks wonderful, a great yarn colour and the pattern is brilliant

    1. Thank you Natalie. I enjoyed working with this yarn and see the colors emerge. Wishing you the best!

  4. It was wonderful to read your childhood story and the inspirations in your life. The Chinese vase is beautiful I can understand why you had to have it. I'd love to see a tutorial on the scarf, the colours are really pretty. Have a lovely week.
    Ali x

    1. Oh Ali, you are too kind. I know my taste is quirky but that's just me. I will try and put together a tutorial on entrelac knitting. It's really fun once you get started. Have a wonderful day!

  5. I am in love with this scarf! The colours are beautiful.

  6. Thank you for this post. I love seeing what people have been making etc, but it is so interesting to hear about a town in America (or anywhere for that matter) that's not one of the usual ones you see on the tv. It is so interesting! Your big chinese vase is gorgeous, I have a couple of chinese bits myself but nothing that big. The chairs are lovely too and look just right next to the vase.

  7. I also attended Hebeler! There was a bay window that I would sit in everyday and read. This school made a big impression on me. Plus I am a big fan of "Gone with the Wind"!


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