March 4, 2020
Before we get into the “story”, I thought I’d share some thoughts… first, I’m thinking of naming the book “My Name is Max… short for nothin'”. I’ve added this to his story… “While my mom was pregnant with me, my Aunt Anna was dating a guy named Max. The family loved him and thought for sure they would get married. They broke up before I was born, but I still got the name ‘Max’. Not short for anything.”
I’m thinking for this part of the story, obviously, it’s switched to my point of view, instead of my dad’s. So, it will be “my parents”, or “my dad” or whatever… and I’m going to be doing it in sections, as the memories come back to me. “Moving to Frederick”, “Sandy” (my dad’s dog), “Cape Hatteras”, and so on.
So, now, let the story begin…
Hope you enjoy!
In 1972/73, my parents bought a farmhouse in Frederick, MD. They didn’t go to settlement until the spring of 1973, but were allowed to move in before, so the house didn’t sit empty during the winter. The house was built in 1900 and had a summer kitchen (mom would use for canning), a smoke house (dad used for storage), a chicken coop (no chickens), and a garage/barn (also used for storage/work shop). They had a garden for a long time, and about a dozen peach trees that produced really good, big peaches. I remember helping dad plant seeds, bringing veggies in and picking peaches. and getting yelled at by mom! There were two reasons…spoiling dinner and getting stung by bees. But, I had been watching my dad and knew how to grab the peaches so I didn’t get stung. I never did get stung by any bees! I’d even climb the trees and pick peaches that my dad couldn’t reach.
The house was heated by a coal furnace – they worked on replacing it with oil and a wood burning stove, but couldn’t do this until the weather broke in the spring or summer. Mom’s boot caught fire once, when she was shoveling coal into the furnace. At one point there had to have been a pot bellied stove or some kind of wood stove in the kitchen, because in the pictures before the remodel, there is a small chimney.
When they moved to Frederick, it was a farm community – where the farmers would come into town after working the fields and catch up on any community news. The wives would shop. There was a Sears and CarMack-Jays downtown, as well as other general stores and local shops. Mom used to say that they rolled up the sidewalks when it got dark. All the major stores were downtown – Montgomery Wards was the only store where Frederick Towne Mall now stands. The rest of the area was orchards or farm land.
As you got closer to town, there was the state police barracks which was recently torn down. There is now a Wawa’s gas station in its place. There was also a movie theater (still there), a Red Horse Restaurant and Inn (the inn is now a Comfort Inn (~ I have to check on that). I always wanted to go and eat at the Red Horse, growing up, but mom said it wasn’t a place for families. I never knew what that really meant until I was older.
They nearly remodeled the whole house during the time they spent there. Dad started with the bedrooms, and then started working on the kitchen and the downstairs rooms. When my parents moved into the house, there was only one bathroom, upstairs in the master bedroom. This bathroom, upstairs, had a clawfoot tub, toilet and sink. It also had blue shag carpet and wallpaper with mermaids/men taking showers…mom’s choosing? I think so!
Dad converted the downstairs porch into a bathroom. Or at least part of it. You had to go out the kitchen door, take a few steps, turn left and take a step up into the bathroom. There was a toilet and a shower. Mom had the washing machine and dryer in there at one point. When you walked out the kitchen door, to the right, was the old kitchen counters where mom would keep pies, canned fruit and other veggies from the garden. You could almost consider this an air lock or a mud room nowadays. It was nice having a bathroom that was technically “outside”, meaning you didn’t have to come inside to use the bathroom…yet, it wasn’t an outhouse.
When they started working on the kitchen, mom found out she was pregnant with me, baby number one. She would have to sit outside, while the men put the cabinets in or put the flooring down, so she wouldn’t get sick. This would’ve been in 1976. Then, after I had been born and things started settling down, they started working on the house again. They found out they were pregnant – again! With my sister. At this point, they only had one room left to do in the house. It never did get remodeled. Mom would tease that dad refused to finish it because every time they started remodeling, they found out they were pregnant!
~~~I have photos, but I need to get them off the camera and fixed up. I’m hoping I can show them to you later this afternoon.~~~
Hope you have a great day!
Thanks for stopping by!!
to read my dad’s story from the beginning, click here