Thursday, December 23, 2010

Grandma Taylor and Christmas, By Julie Lochner Riber

I remember those Christmases at 427 West Main Street in Waterloo! I can still see all of us kids jammed into Grandma and Grandpa's living room, anxiously awaiting our names to be called out, even though the living room was not very big and also served as the dining room, making it even smaller.

We had to sit on top of each other, but it never mattered as the anticipation was all that mattered. And the smells wafting from Grandma’s kitchen still bring joy to my senses. A big ham, a pot full of butter beans, a fresh apple pie…yum.

We each received a gift, and I don't think our parents were allowed to spend more than ten cents on each kid. But boy! It was a highlight of the Holiday Season.

Afterward we'd all head upstairs into that big bedroom to escape the watchful eyes of our parents where we'd continue to enjoy our new toys. I loved that bedroom upstairs because it always had so many interesting things/cubbyholes/boxes/closets to explore, and it just seemed to wrap you up in comfort.

Grandma's entire house was just what every grandmother's house should be, and Grandma was so sweet and lovable and never yelled at any of us.

All my thoughts about her give me a warmth inside that continues to this day. She never, ever had a harsh word for any of us, no matter how many times we would slide down the banister or ring the front doorbell.

She was a wonderful woman, and clearly was joyful to have her family surround her at Christmas.

Picture One: Julie in April, 2010 in the Rockies
Picture Two: Grandma Taylor, Christmas 1959
Picture Three: 427 West Main, Waterloo, NY—1983
Picture Four: Grandma with MaryLou, Aunt CB and baby Tom—Christmas 1960
Picture Five: After a Long Day of Opening Presents, Grandma with Uncle Dick Lochner, 1960


Pat said...


Thank you for these memories!

As one slightly younger than you, I cannot remember much from these get togethers at Christmas.

I do remember those upstairs rooms, though--they WERE filled with cool things to look at.


Sue Kinsella said...

Boy, I loved that front porch on 427 Main. I don't remember playing on it that much, but I loved that it was there and it was so wide, like an outdoors room.

I remember my present from Grandma and Grandpa at the Taylor Family Christmas Party at least one year - a pen, maybe even a Bic pen. My memory is that the party was held at the Lochner family's house on Hillside Drive in Spencerport that year, so Grandma and Grandpa were probably getting to the point of not being able to put on the big production every Christmas.

I remember the big front bedroom upstairs at 427 Main Street, but I don't seem to have explored it a lot. My favorites, instead, were the room directly at the top of the stairs that was filled with National Geographics going back to around 1910, and the room back behind the bathroom, where I found a clarinet one time. I put it together and played it and was quite proud of myself.

I also loved the clawfoot bathtub. And at least a couple of times I got to climb a ladder into the cupola, but I was dearly disappointed. I expected a place as dreamy as a cupola to afford gorgeous views and a way maybe to see the whole world differently. Instead, I only found dead flies.

Ah, memories . . . why do things change? I'm still kind of confused about why we can't just go back and visit other times. Thanks, Julie, for bringing back good family Christmas memories.

Happy Christmas, everyone! Love to you all!


Diana said...

Great memories - Susan love the "only found dead flies" Made me smile.

Cousins - take some time this weekend to create your own memories for the next generation.

Aunt CB/Mom said...

That 1960 Christmas was at Esther's house. It was getting too much for Mom with all of us for a meal at her house! And that room where we congregated WAS the dining room! BY that time Mom and Daddy had turned living room into their bed room! I think that happened after Jack and I [1949] and Harold and Barb[ 1950] were married . We both had our receptions there at 427.
Those were the years tho, kids all over the place, crying, teasing and just being kids! Yes, we drew names!!