Our First House – 1961 – A Journal Memory

4108 Maple-1961

Throughout the years while I was raising my four kids (beginning in 1954), I kept a journal where I periodically made notes about holidays, school, vacations, etc.  As an occasion arises where I think one of my journal entries would be pertinent, I’m going to post it just as I wrote or typed it back in the day (except for an explanatory note or correction of a typo).  

In 1952, when my husband and I returned home from his brief stint in the Navy, my parents offered to let us rent the upstairs portion of their two-family house at the rate of $12/month (cheap, even in 1952).  By 1961, I had 3 children who were 6, 4 and 10 months – we had outgrown the apartment and were looking for an affordable house that was big enough to accommodate our growing family.  While the oldest girl was in school, I had been on numerous outings with the real estate agent, grasping the four-year-old by one hand and carrying a very heavy baby in a snowsuit on one hip.  Nothing we had seen was right for us.  Then, one February Saturday morning, an ad in the paper caught my eye – and we were on our way to our home on Maple Drive in the Oakley suburb of Cincinnati.

The picture and the following description are from the 1961 real estate flyer.  (Click on picture to enlarge.)

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“If all goes well with the building and loan, I think we have finally started to buy our own home.  On a rainy Saturday morning, I looked through the ‘House for Sale’ ads quickly and suddenly ‘Oakley – $11,250’ leaped at me from the page.  I could hardly wait to call the real estate office, and was even more excited when I heard it described.  It was in a driving rainstorm that Frank, the three kids and I turned onto Maple Drive.  At once, I felt it was too good to be true – such a pretty, quiet, dead-end street, with well-kept homes.  Then we saw the number 4108.  ‘Oh, it’s a shingle!’ Frank said disgustedly, but then we noticed the shingle was only a small amount of trim on the gable and the rest was gleaming white frame.  There was a nice lawn in front and some short pine-like bushes close to the house.  Cement steps led up to a large front porch and on the small second-floor windows were green and white aluminum awnings.  A driveway at the side led to a two-car garage and in back was a small fenced yard, with more property going over the hill.

L. – February 26, 1961″

My parents had been so good to us and I hated to leave, but we needed more room and to have a house with a nice yard for the kids was just a dream come true.  We added another baby girl in 1970 and lived there for 21 years.

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Cleaning White Resin Patio Furniture

This is my 8th year to use 5 chairs and a table which are of white resin.  Year by year, they had gotten more and more discolored and mottled.  I tried steel wool, various cleaners and cleansers but nothing helped without a tremendous amount of scrubbing time.  I was about ready to throw out these terrible looking chairs but they were still sturdy and I wanted white which didn’t seem to be available in the stores this summer.

Then, I heard somewhere that you could use a brush to paint undiluted laundry bleach on the surface and it would clean up like magic.  I didn’t have a brush but I had a long narrow sponge and poured bleach into a small bowl where I could dip the sponge and slather it onto the chair.  I wore rubber gloves and worked on an outside concrete patio in the open air. 

The results were amazing.  As soon as I made the first swipe, I could see the crud starting to fade away.  For more stubborn stains or hard to reach places, I used an SOS pad.  Then I hosed everything off to a rewarding finish!

Please note that this worked well on white resin furniture – I don’t know what it would do to other colors or other surfaces.  Be sure to wear protective gloves, to work outside and to work on a floor surface that won’t be damaged by drips.  I also wore old clothes which had a lot of patches of bleached surface when I was finished.  It’s good to have a hose nearby for thorough rinsing, too.

I cleaned 5 chairs and a small umbrella table in about an hour.  I’m very happy to be able to use my furniture for another season or two.

Christmas Handiwork

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Thanks to two talented daughters, I have a lot of Christmas handiwork to enjoy.  Over the past couple of years the oldest daughter has made primitive Santas….

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…an embroidered picture and a handpainted apron….

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…a kitchen wreath with vintage cookie cutters and decorations.

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The youngest daughter made some craft decorations when she was a teenager …..

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…and later, an embroidered picture ….

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…and just this year, an afghan that looks like rows of Christmas tinsel and snowflakes.

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It’s so nice to look around the house and see all these beautiful things that the girls have spent so many hours making.