The Story of Our Childhood
by the Children of
Donald Graham Dick and Bertha May Neisinger Dick"
Grandma and Grandpa Dick                            Grandma & Grandpa Neisinger
Grandma & Grandpa Dick          Grandma & Grandpa Neisinger
Blanch (Graham) & Conda Dick           Nathan & Louisa (MacDonald) Neisinger



      Going to visit our grandparents was always a fun excursion because both sets of grandparents lived so FAR away. Daddy's family lived in Shelton and Mommy's family lived in Snohomish. Either way we went it was a long drive. We used to sing in the car and play games to pass the time.

      One of our favorite games to play in the car was the ALPHABET game. We had to find Signs that had words that began with the letters of the alphabet, but we had to find them in order. If we were looking for the letter "C" and we came upon a sign that said "KING", for example, we couldn't use the "K" because we hadn't found the letters before "K" yet. Going to Grandpa and Grandma Dick's house we had a really good chance of finding all of the letters because somewhere around Olympia I think it was, there was a sign that said "Zebra" (for ZEBRA FIREWORKS). So we were always hoping to be ready for the "Z" when we reached that sign!

      Daddy's family was really fun to visit because three families lived right together. Grandma and Grandpa Dick lived in a one room shack separated into two areas by furniture piled up in the middle and they had their bed on one side of the stack, and the stove and sink and table and chairs were on the other side. They had an outhouse across the driveway. Grandma Dick had a vegetable garden and would take us out to pick something for dinner. Usually it was peas, beans or corn. Grandma was so sweet and loving. She also made the greatest gravy! Grandpa had an old one-axle flatbed trailer that we could use like a teeter-totter. We would walk slowly from one end to the other and it would flip flop. We thought that was great fun. We usually played on it with our cousins Stanley and Norman, and (Maurice) Junior and Harold because they all lived next door.

      Stanley and Norman are Uncle Dave's boys. Uncle Dave is Daddy's brother. He and his wife (Aunt) Joyce built a house right next door to Grandpa and Grandma on the same property on the lot above them, closer to the main road.

      (Maurice) Junior and Harold lived a little further away but on the other end of the same property. They are Uncle Maurice's oldest children. Uncle Maurice is Daddy's youngest brother. He and (Aunt) Mary were building their house too.

     There was another old run-down vacant house between Grandma and Grandpa's house and Uncle Maurice's house that I think we lived in at one time when I was tiny.

      Often Uncle Zane, the other of Daddy's brothers would come to visit while we were there because they also lived in Shelton at that time. Their oldest daughter, our cousin, Nancy was the only of their children that I remember when we went to Shelton.

      Aunt Frances (Daddy's only sister and the oldest of his siblings) lived in nearby Tacoma I think, so sometimes she would come to Grandma & Grandpa's place while we were there. Sometimes we would go to her house on the way either to or from visiting our grandparents. I loved going to her house! She was such a loving aunt and her house always seemed so warm and friendly. She had a woodsy type yard and I thoroughly enjoyed every visit there! Once she gave me a little wooden music box that had a blue mirrored glass cover. I cherished it for many many years until it finally broke.


      The Neisinger family almost all lived in or near Snohomish. They didn't live clustered altogether on one property though so visiting them sometimes meant only staying a short while and then going to the next place. My first memory was visiting while Grandpa Neisinger was still alive. I remember him playing the fiddle. He had lots of thick gray hair. I always remember a smile on his face and how he hugged us when we arrived to visit. He passed away when I was only 6 yrs old, so I am fortunate to be able to remember him.

      It seems like we often spent the night when we visited Mommy's family. Sometimes we stayed at Aunt Viola's house. She was Mommy's sister. She was married to Uncle Irwin then and they and their daughter, our cousin Marie, lived right by a river. Uncle Irwin died when I was quite young also.

      Usually our first stop on trips to Snohomish was Aunt Thelma and Uncle Coy's house. Aunt Thelma was Mommy's sister too. They were often the first stop because their house was the first one we came to. Also, after Grandpa died, eventually, Grandma Neisinger moved in with Aunt Thelma. Sometimes all or most of the other family that lived near Snohomish would gather at Aunt Thelma's so we didn't have to go to all of their houses. They had a big piece of property with a barn and some farm animals, and a lot of room to play.

      Uncle Glenn (Mommy's brother) and Aunt Clarice lived out of town a ways so we didn't get to stop there very often.

      Aunt Emma (Mommy's sister) and Uncle Alvin lived across the Snohomish valley from Aunt Thelma and sometimes we stopped at their house. Aunt Emma had five boys when Mommy and Daddy had five girls and she was expecting a sixth child while Mommy was expecting a sixth child. We always thought that was so fun because Mommy had her first boy within a couple of months of Aunt Emma having her first girl . So then she had five boys and a girl and our parents had five girls and a boy. But then Aunt Emma had one last child and it was a boy, and our parents had their last child and it was also a boy, and that broke the exact opposite string of siblings.

      Uncle Mervin (Mommy's brother) and Aunt Eva seem to have always lived in Idaho. Maybe not, but I don't remember them living around here. The visits with them were only when they came to visit as I recall

      Uncle Andy (Mommy's brother) and Aunt Bonnie lived in Seattle, so I remember seeing them more often. But then Uncle Andy died quite young. And I lost track of whatever happened to Aunt Bonnie

      Uncle Danny was the youngest of Mommy's siblings. He was quite a bit younger than the others, in fact, he was younger than Shirley. Shirley was the oldest grandchild, then I was next oldest and Uncle Danny was between us in age. We never called him Uncle.

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