Mother had a party for Gracie.  It was not for her birthday which was in January.  It was in the summer time.  Maybe she did this because the rest of us were going away and Gracie had to stay home with Daddy: a bitter pill indeed, necessitated by Mother having to get a teaching job, by Gracie having to go to high school and by there not being a high school where we were going.

The highlight of this party, beside cake, ice cream and kool-aid, was that the party started with the whole house being a web of different colors of yarn.   We children could not walk through the rooms before the party because the yarn was stretched everywhere and at all angles.  It went straight across rooms, under and over doors and windows, around door knobs and stove dampers, around furniture and up to the light cord hanging from the middle of the ceiling.

When Gracie’s guests arrived, they had to wait in the front entry hall.  Each color of yarn started there and each had a long, narrow card with the guest’s name written on it.  When everyone was present, they were directed to find their name and start winding their string of yarn around the card.  What a scene!  Children were climbing over and under—not just the yarn but each other–wiggling between strands and getting tangled!  At the end of each string was a folded hat made of butcher paper.  Mr. Karnes at the meat market had given Mother the paper.  She had then folded it into hats, and had applied the recipient’s name in fanciful letters with crayon.  After attaching the yarn, she had tucked the hats into some cunning place, such as behind the books in the book case, under the sofa or taped to the underside of the dining room table.

It was such a wonderful way to begin a party.

After that, we all played Blind Man’s Bluff, Flying Dutchman and musical chairs.  Mary played the piano for the musical chairs.  Then, wearing their hats, everyone took their food and went outside on the grass to eat.

It was such a wonderful way to end a party.

It was such a wonderful way to end our early childhood years in that house.