Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Family Home - Part 2

The kitchen.  Although this kitchen is relatively small, it was where countless batches of apricot jam were made, apricots and peaches were bottled, chili sauce simmered all day and where my mom made all of her wonderful, delicious, beautiful food that she was famous for.  Homemade fudge, fondant, butter mints, dill bread, meringue mushrooms, peach pies all year round, "chocolate cake with the custard like center," "Aunt Hopes Rolls," Snoopy cookies, Romney's candied popcorn, Baked Alaska, Floating Island, Angel Sandwiches, apricot nectar, toffee bars, meat loaf, French chocolate, custard, banana bread, jello salad of many varieties including her elegant apricot mold, Homespun salad dressing, twice baked potatoes, chicken Marbella, popovers, German pancakes, baked apples, chocolate cake with 7 minute icing, ginger snaps, "Ellen's Things," Brigham Young's taffy, and many, many other delectable creations!
The bake center.  An ingenious idea.  And it can be closed off with an accordion door.
The hutch.  The introduction of that microwave was about as far as my mom went technologically.  She never fully learned how to use all of the functions.  Anything that came after the microwave was difficult for her to use and in some ways overwhelmed her.  The VCR, the TV remotes, the CD player and definitely the computer were things that she mostly depended on others to work for her.  We used to tease her about this and she was a good sport about it.

When my parents put this antique hutch here, it covered up one of the light switches.  My dad jimmy-rigged it with a curtain rod covered up with electrical tape that was nailed to the wall and acted as a lever. His creation can still be seen sticking out of the left side of the hutch (under the hanging onions).
My mom's beloved double oven.  This oven is as old as the house (45 years old!) and still works like a charm (sort of :-). My mom loved her oven and she would say so all the time.

I think Tess gave these salt and pepper shakers to my mom back in the 1980s. 

This bird cage was for sale in The Naturalist gift shop until my parents brought it home to house their new cockatiel, "Cocky."  After Cocky died, they never moved the cage and just left it hanging outside their kitchen window.
There is a half bath next to the kitchen and right outside the door to the bathroom is this tiny drawing.  I must have drawn this picture of myself with my pets when I was 5 or 6 years old.  I never remember being scolded for drawing on the wall and my creation has been there ever since - over 30 years (and is still there now!).  Thank goodness it just looks like a knot in the wood!
Two of my Grandfather Beck's paintings.
One of my mom's botanical art pieces.  It is an artichoke.  There was a period of time when she experimented with pressing paper-thin slices of fruit and vegetables for her artwork.  The cabinet with the blue cups hung there my whole life but I only remember drinking out of those cups a handful of times.  
A botanical piece done with slices of green apple.
View from the kitchen into the family room.  One thing I love about this house is that it has such nice flow from room to room.
My parents always had pictures of the grandkids and their artwork on their fridge.

Kip made this spice rack for my mom when he was in scouts.  It is a brilliant idea and has functioned well all these years.
For years my mom received Mexican vanilla from a friend who traveled there.  She loved using Mexican vanilla in her desserts!
Those metal measuring cups were around long before I came along.
Another one of my mom's best friends in the kitchen - her KitchenAid.  She used it for mixing (of course) but also for grinding apricots for apricot jam (a job reserved for the grandkids) and grinding ham for her famous ham loaf.  That KitchenAid has had a lot of use!
The phone/desk area.  I remember the old phone used to hang on the wall and the cord would reach almost anywhere in the kitchen or family room.  My mom would talk on the phone for hours with her friends!  Hours!  I remember her sitting in the family room, talking on the phone - and having to step over or climb under the phone cord that blocked the entrance to the kitchen. 

My mother's cookbooks (picture turned upside down in order to read the writing).  Like everything else in her life - her recipes were extremely organized.  We all covet those cookbooks.  
A photograph of my mother - the perfect hostess.  Her traditional meringue mushrooms are the crowning glory of that dessert plate.
The pantry.
The family room - the center of the home - the main gathering area for all of us.

My Dad and my Uncle Bill did the stonework on this fireplace and hearth.  My dad told me that my parents chose this stone to use on the exterior and interior of the home because it matched the mountains behind the house.
This fireplace - with a fire in it, laid and ready to light - is the heart of this home.  My mother describes in her journal the perfect winter evening, all gathered around the fireplace with a soup supper and peach pie for dessert.  It was pure contentment for her and all of us.  She treasured and longed for moments like those for her family and she did everything she could to create them.  As grandkids came along - they always looked forward to helping light the fire and after it had burned to coals - there would be marshmallow roasting.  My kids speak often of memories of spending time sitting by the fire.  After Christmas they would get excited to burn the "greens" that my parents had cut from their pine trees and used as decorations.  Sitting on the hearth was the prime seat in the room.    

Up until fairly recently, there was a box TV here.  And not long before that there was a TV with manual controls and a record player.  And those old MGA speakers have been there all along.  
I can't think of a more lovely, cozy, welcoming, comfortable, beautiful room.  I believe this room epitomizes what a home is.  At least for me.
This table sat in my grandmother's home - with a plant on it.  I am sure they purchased it during their time in Taiwan.

These delicate ivory sculptures were also purchased during my mother's time in Taiwan.
A Gary Collins painting on a wood block.  More wood block ideas below...
As my dad tells it, my parents found this old pill box hat at Deseret Industries.  It had a Sax Fifth Avenue label on it.  They just loved the top that was made from real feathers (pheasant I believe) so they removed it and had it framed.
One of the original Naturalist pieces.  This shadowbox frame holds flowers (Indian Paintbrush) that have been preserved in silica gel and a butterfly.  My mother's uncle Rondo Robinson made the weathered wood frame.  

This is a portrait of my mother's father, D Elden Beck.
This painting of my sister Terressa was done by Trevor Southey, an artist native to Utah who now lives in California.  He was living in Alpine, along with other local artists when he did this.  He also made some products for The Naturalist.
These French doors were installed in the last 15 years.  My dad said they always wanted French doors.
The antique toy zeppelin originally had wheels.

The picture of the woman is actually done with very fine embroidery.  My dad thinks it came home with the Becks after they lived in Taiwan.
My maternal grandfather, D Elden Beck taught for a few years at Dixie College in the early 1930s.  This is a copy of his employment contract.  My mom framed this because of the last paragraph where is states that the "Junior College reserves the right to pay a small percentage of your salary in such produce as may be received from students in payment of tuition or registration fees."  Students paid tuition in produce
The old MGA speakers.
These antique light fixtures - along with the leaded glass windows and the candelabra in the living room came from Fitzens, an antique dealer in American Fork.

This unique table with the tile top was actually left by the previous renters in the retail space that my parents leased up at Trolley Square in Salt Lake City.  It is a gem.

This chair once belonged to my paternal grandmother, Tessa Romney Clark.  She covered the seat with needlepoint that she did, which still exists under the current fabric.
I'm not sure what the original purpose of this small nook was.  When I was a child it was a play area.  When I got older it was where we kept the old Macintosh computer where we played Lode Runner and Transylvania.  Most recently it has served as a library and an area to display family pictures.

D Elden Beck.
My Dad with his twin sister Joan.  And a picture of my sister Amy's kids.
As a family we spent most of our vacation time in St. George.  It is where my mother was born and where my father's ancestors settled.  My mother had a great love for Southern Utah and took every opportunity to educate us about our family history there and how we were connected to that place.  My great, great, great grandfather Miles Romney was the architect for the St. George tabernacle which we visited almost every summer (along with many other St. George historical sites).  Miles Romney designed and built the circular staircase and when Brigham Young requested that the staircase be lowered to the level of the balcony, Miles Romney was adamant that the staircase could not be shortened.  So there were stairs built to come down from the top of the staircase to the balcony level.  
When the tabernacle was restored, my parents collected dozens of these original square nails.  They put together several of these art pieces with pictures of the tabernacle, Miles Romney and a sampling of the nails.  My parents would often frame these type of historical objects as a way to preserve and display them.
These pictures blocks were a product that was sold at The Naturalist.  A photographer was hired to take black and white pictures of a family and then they would be mounted on these wood blocks.  These are pictures of my brothers and sisters.
Me as a child and my bridal picture.
My brothers.
A very early family picture in our living room with our dog Goliath.

My mother as a child and my grandmother.
Looking down the hallway into the north end of the house.
A hallway of closets.
The costume armoire used to stand here and then after that it was the puppet theater that my dad built.  We also had an old pump organ in that spot as well.
This is a picture of my paternal grandfather.  It is mounted on a piece of his saddle blanket - the one that he is sitting on in the picture.
One of Amy's kids drew this picture of Steiner - a dog that originally belonged to my sister's family and then was sort of adopted by my parents.  They loved Steiner!!  He was a loving and loyal dog that sometimes appeared to be smiling! They were actually visiting us in Pennsylvania when they received the news that Steiner had been hit by a car.
My mom grew up with the annual tradition of hiking Mt. Timpanogos every year - back when it was an organized event.  These were some of her pins.

My mom made these fun scrapbooks and called them "The Clark ABC Books."  Pictures of people, pets, places, holidays and many other things were organized alphabetically.
This is the toy closet.  
Note the fabric-lined walls.  I'm surprised that the circus fabric didn't bother me when I was a child.  I actually never really noticed it until recently.
Stan Collin's father made the marble track - the all-time favorite toy in the toy closet. 
These light fixtures came out of the old theater in Albion Idaho.  My dad told me that my parents were peeking in the abandoned theater and it was completely empty except for these light fixtures.  So they just took them!

One more post still to come!


Ann Mitchell said...

I was born in St. George...because my Dad taught Math, Physics, and Surveying at Dixie Junior College in the late 1950's-early 1960's. The juniors and seniors in high school were with the freshmen and sophomores in college. My dad taught Elder Holland in at least 2 classes every year in high school and college. I attended Nursery School (preschool) at the college across the hall from my dad's room. It was taught by the college Child Development class. Of course, I went back there for junior college!

Laurie Payne said...

This is so very beautiful in all the best ways, Emily. I'm sure your family will be forever grateful that you took the time and care to put this together so thoughtfully and so well.