Saturday, July 26, 2014

Happy 30th Anniversary to the Osborn House!

On March 30th my family celebrated the 30 years that we have been living in our house.  (Funny thing - even though I am the oldest, I have only lived in the house for 17 years, while my younger siblings have all lived there for 16-25 years.)
To celebrate the anniversary of our home we had a family work day.  I love our family work days.  It is so fun to all be together working to improve our home.  Our projects for this day consisted of weeding, cleaning up the pine needles, spraying for bugs, cleaning up the back patio and shed, and the biggest project was fixing the play house my dad built for us years ago when Natalie and I were young.
 The boys loved helping Grandpa Ron and Taylor measure, cut, and paint the new wood for the playhouse.  Actually I think we all had fun doing the work together.  Living in the same house for so long means many memories of that house.  I don't know if I have ever written down my memories, and my children love to hear stories of when I was a kid, so now seems like a good time to record a few.
 Well first of all there are so many memories of our playhouse.  I remember when dad built it for us, I loved watching him work and "helping" I especially remember when we went to get the sand for the sand box.  We got it from the rock quarry on Wasatch Blvd. I remember being so amazed at that place.  Best of all I remember the Princess and Robbers game we used to play with all the kids in the neighborhood.  All of the boys were the "robbers" and they lived in the playhouse while all of the girls were the "princesses" and we lived on the opposite side of the back yard.  Every day (which was every ten min. or so) we would venture out of our house to pick imaginary flowers; and of course the robbers were always waiting to kidnap us and take us to their dungeon, where we would have to rescue them by tagging them and bringing them down the slide, only to begin the game all over again.  It was Great!  So simple but fun just the same.
 I remember the ice cream truck - we called it Ruby the Rip-off. For so long every time he would come around we would naturally want mom to buy us something, but there was no way mom was going to spend that much money on something she could buy for much less at the store, (for that matter, she had probably already bought it and it was in the freezer, but the truck and them music had such an appeal:)) she told us it was a rip-off, thus the nick name.  So we began to despise the ice cream truck.  Well right next to our mail box there was a great tree for climbing and hiding in, we would spend hours up in that tree.  Across the street there was a pine tree with tiny pine cones.  So we would collect the pine cones and as soon as we heard the music from the ice cream truck we would get to our battle stations and hide in the tree; as soon as the truck was in range we would start pelting the truck with tiny pine cones.  I don't remember ever getting in trouble?  We should have, but I think the poor man just stopped coming to our street.
 The neighbors to the East of our house were never very permanent, and they were often "different".  One particular neighbor had the adults and children in fits.  They were professional drivers, they drove limousines, giant dump trucks, and several other vehicles.  The adults were upset because they parked all of the vehicles on the road and blocked everyone's view which was dangerous to us children because we couldn't see very well around them before crossing the road.  They had a giant box (probably for storage) that sat in their drive way.  As kids we were convinced these "bad" people had a dead person in the box that they were hiding from the police (our imaginations - YIKES) we did everything we could to convince our parents of the danger, but they didn't believe us - can't imagine why. :)  Not only did these neighbors have too much stuff in their front yard, but they also had pigs in the back yard - and the pigs stunk!  In the summer we only had a swamp cooler to keep us cool and on those super hot days the smell of the pigs was unbearable, and it would come through the swamp cooler, so we would have to turn it off, which made the heat unbearable.  And if the pigs weren't stinking things up - the smoke from their cigarettes was.  So we were not very fond of these neighbors.  Come fall time the apricots on their tree which hung over into our yard were past being ripe and were littering our back yard, so mom gave us the job of cleaning them up. We were supposed to bag them up and throw them away, but we soon discovered it was a lot more fun to lob those over ripe, slimy apricots over the fence and try to hit the piglets, we missed more than we hit, but we did manage to get a few smashed right on the piglets back.  It was great fun, until mom found out and made us hop the fence to clean up the mess.  How could she have sent us back there - we were sure to be caught, killed and stuffed in the box with the other dead bodies!  Looking back we were really little terrors!
 Oh that apricot tree!  Another year and another new neighbor - the Kester's had us throwing apricots again, only this time it was friendly. The Kester's were great neighbors; a single mom and her children.  We had lots of fun with the children and the mom was nice too - except she was Mrs. Kester - my fourth grade teacher, super nice, but its not very fun having your teacher at home to remind you about homework when you would rather be outside playing.  Anyway one summer night mom put us to bed at 7:00 again. (UG! why did we always have to go to bed so early - and in the summer!)  Natalie and I shared the room with the window that looked over into the Kester's back yard (and the apricot tree).  Well not wanting to go to sleep when all the other kids were out playing we opened our window, removed the screen and began a friendly war with the Kester kids who were out on their back deck.  They would pick the unripe apricots which were perfect little green balls and try to throw them into our open window; we would try to catch them and throw them right back.  As soon as we thought we heard mom or dad coming we would hide all the apricots in our nightstand drawers.  We must have had hundreds of little green balls scattered around our room. :)
 The swamp cooler was getting old and wasn't working as well as it should, so every now and again we would have to get up on the roof with the hose and spray cold water on it to help it along.  It got to where we were getting up so often it was just easier to leave the ladder in place.  Well dad had taught our dog Sadie how to climb the ladder to our playhouse and then she would go down the slide - she was such a great and fun dog.  Well dad also encourage her to climb the ladder to the house so she could be up there with him while he was working.  Its pretty funny to see a dog walking around on the top of your house.  I think she may have even managed to climb up on her own without anyone else being up there and dad had to go retrieve her.  One time we even had Family Home Evening on the roof - that was great fun and the sunset from up there was amazing!
 Family Home Evening was full of fun and adventure.  I remember the lesson dad taught about Jesus turning the water to wine.  Dad found to identical pitchers filled one with water and the other with grape juice.  He hid the one with grape juice in a brown grocery bag and pretended  that he had turned the water into wine. :)  Another lesson was about putting on the whole armor of God.  Scott and Taylor had pretend knight costumes, so we discussed the meaning behind each piece and then Natalie and I had nerf guns and were given free reign to shoot at them - that was awesome!  The best part of our FHE was the games.  We loved playing hide the pine cone, button toss, and I Spy; but the best game was Hide-N-Seek.  Dad was always the best at this game, once he hid on the large window sill in my parents bedroom, and another time he climbed out our bedroom window and hid on top of the shed; it took us forever to find him.  As kids we would enlist his help for hiding places, but the best one was when Lindsey was two, maybe three and he hid her on top of one of the kitchen cupboards.  She could have fallen off into the kitchen or fallen off the back side into the living room, but she was so good to hold still and be quiet, it took us a long time to find her as well.
 Dad is a great guitar player.  Natalie and I loved it when he would pull out his guitar after dinner and play.  We would dance to his music and play in the guitar case until it was time for bed.  Then we would fall asleep to him singing.  I think Natalie and I would both agree that our favorite song that he would sing for us was Pooh's Corner! 
As I got older and better at playing the piano one of my favorite things is when dad would ask me to play a song so he could sing and play the guitar with me.  He would find some pretty challenging music for me, but I loved the challenge, I love the time spent with him, and I loved the variety of music I was exposed to. 
I also have fond memories of playing the piano with my mom sitting on the couch listening.  To this day she was and is my best audience.  Except for when she would listen while she was fixing dinner.  If I ever made a mistake I would hear her over the wall making terrible noises; "ugh, igh", or other critiques, "too fast, slow down, tare you counting?"  But I am sure that is how I got better. :)
This is silly I know, but I also loved playing the piano while Tyler Carlson - my next door neighbor (who I had a crush on for years) would play basketball outside.  I was too shy to talk to him and he was too shy to talk to me, so I would play the piano and imagine that he loved listening to me.  hahaha, that is so pathetic. :)
 I wasn't always terrified of Tyler, when were younger we were relatively good friends.  I remember playing a weird kick the stick game with him often.  I would swing in the direction of his house and he would hold up sticks that had fallen off of the nearby tree and I would have to try and kick them over his fence.  Weird, I know, but it was great fun until his dad discovered why sticks kept littering his perfectly manicured yard and made us stop.  The neighbors behind us, the Sevy's, had a tree house right next to our playhouse that we would love to play in.  One time I was playing tag with Tyler and Eric, we were in Eric's back yard and I was trying to get over the chain-link fence as quick as I could.  Well my back pants pocket got caught on one of the chain links and it tore the whole pocket off.  I didn't realize it and continued running, but Tyler and Eric had a good laugh about it before I realized it and went in to change, how embarrassing.
 I can't forget to mention the famous neighborhood gatherings.  It began when my mom (probably seeking silence) set up her lawn chair in the front driveway and took out her Ensign to read on a Sunday afternoon.  As people would pass by, she would chat with them, the conversation would go on, so she would offer them a chair to sit, more and more people would join in on the conversation, until there was a pretty considerable gather of people.  While the adults would visit the kids would play games in the yards.  I remember playing baseball in my front yard and one time I hit the ball too hard and it hit the Carlson's car.  oops.  but most of the time Sunday afternoon gatherings were without incident but full of good friends and neighbors enjoying each others company.  It became a tradition and the circle of friends would get so big it would fill the entire drive way.  That is one tradition that I am super grateful has continued in my driveway now that I am an adult.  I love our Sunday night gatherings with friends!
 I remember one summer my mom organized a Summer Fun Club for all the girls in the neighborhood.  Natalie and I had been begging to have a club, but my mom said it wasn't allowed because it wouldn't be fair to be exclusive and leave others out.  Finally we came to an agreement that we could have a club but every girl in the neighborhood from 8-12 years old was invited and each week we would meet and have a planned activity.  She must have spent hours on this club for us, but it was so much fun.  We did dress-ups, cooking, talent shows, water parties and several other games.  No boys were allowed but that didn't stop them from trying to spy on us or out do us. :)
I haven't even scratched the surface of all the memories I have of this house.  The holidays, birthdays, neighbors, friends, family, and day to day things that made it so special could fill volumes!  I am so grateful that I was blessed with such a wonderful, loving, stable, and happy home to grow up in!  I love my family so very much!!!  Here's to many more wonderful years and memories in that house!!  

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