Wednesday, April 9, 2014

1946 -- A Year of Great Events

Today I am sharing photos from the two biggest events of 1946.

The year started of in a great way for the McLaughlin family. Our father was coming home! The war was over, his stint with the army in the Philippines was done. He was receiving his discharge.

Mother resigned her country school teaching job and we moved back to town.

Red McLaughlin with daughters Terry, Michelle, and Grace.
Take Two: Grace and Terry have switched sides. I don't know what I was doing!

There are no photos that show the progress of the other big news of that year. Our Mother was expecting a new baby! (I am sure she did not want any pregnant photos for posterity.) I remember her giving me the job of getting things out of the bottom cabinets for her when it got difficult for her to bend over. My five-year-old self felt so proud of being able to help! I don't remember what I understood about the coming addition to our family. I remember Mother and Daddy building a crib for the coming event (this was not a kit they just put together).  And I remember that I was sent to the country with my grandparents as November neared (Grace and Terry were in school; I wasn't yet.)

I remember when we went to get the mail at the Teckla Post Office, which was three miles from my grandparents' home. Mail was delivered twice a week. On that day there was a postcard with the news. Not only was there a new baby, there were two!

These new sisters, born November 6, 1946, were named Kathleen Elaine and Kathryn Elizabeth. I always thought they had the most beautiful names. However, they soon gained nicknames that were all they were known by in their growing up years. Kathleen was a rosy cheeked, light complexioned little girl with big blue eyes like our father; Kathryn had the dark hair and light brown skin like our mother. Her eyes were also blue, but with a touch of gray, and her dark lashes reminded Mother of a quote she had once read about someone having eyes that looked like they were put in with a sooty finger. Lucky girl.

So Kathleen became Pinkie, and Kathryn became Brownie. It seemed perfectly natural to us then; now I feel kind of sad that they did not get to grow up using those lovely names they were given by our parents! Nicknames have such a way of sticking.

Even though stuck with the nicknames, nothing could change the fact they were absolutely beautiful babies.

Since they were born in November and it would have been too chilly to photograph them outdoors, the first photos we have of them are of very poor quality. Mother placed them near a window to try to get enough light, but it really wasn't enough. I scanned the tiny photos and tried to bring the babies out a little better, without much success. But because they are the first photos of the twins, at age one month, I'll share them anyway.

Kathryn (Brownie)
Kathleen (Pinkie)
Since I am working on 1946 in my Scrapbooking-the-old-album-photos project, there will be more from that year to come.

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