Saturday, September 13, 2014

Chinchillas are us

Tonight over a luscious TV dinner, I got to reminisce about the first tv dinners I recall having.  Susan said she has no recollection of having a TV dinner but does remember now and again having a Swanson Pot Pie.  Perhaps that's what I had, too.  Once we went to SLC to visit our Native American Indian Aunt Ann (Piaute) , daughter of the Western Sage.  She lived in a very small apartment, 3rd floor (my first elevator ride ... the kind where you had to pull the screen door to close before going up) with a very tiny oven, 1920s style.  My mom suggested someone go out and buy some Chicken Pot Pies because we could bake them in her oven.  It was late and we were hungry.  We didn't go to restaurants (more on that later).  This was a treat!

From this remembrance I decided to regale Susan about the one big trip from the TriCities train station in Pasco, WA. to Detroit, MI.  All because my dad felt he could make a deal on purchasing a car.  Actually we were going to the Palmyra Pageant to pick up my brother, Frank W., who was doing his thing there.  Performing/organizing/leading/dance director/whatever?  But indeed, somehow my dad thought he could get a cheap car in Detroit.  He ended up buying a new 1960 full size Ford, white station wagon, blue interior.  And we drove to the pageant and stayed with our cousins the Chatterleys in  Rochester, NY. Then on to NYC to visit 2 aunts and then home...all in the new Ford.

In order to get to the main point of this blog entry, I need to tell you that my parents raised chinchillas for coats and I have a few pelts to prove it (in the basement in case anyone wants to see them). We even had a Christmas portrait taken with them for our Christmas cards one year.  I was too young to know how many they had nor how long they raised these animals.  But chinchillas we had...with these adorable carrying cages.  Shiny silver aluminum, about the size  3'x1'.  3 compartments to hold 3 chinchillas.

So on the train, of course, we did not eat in the Dining Car.  Instead my mom packed food...carrots, crackers, grapes, raisins, comestibles, munchies IN THESE CHINCHILLA CAGES.  ( I always thought something was wrong when all the other kids my age would get to go and do fun stuff and I had to mow the grass at the cemetery).

This is not quite what our chinchilla carriers looked like but close.  It had air holds for the animals to breathe  It did have a handle like this, though.


For the record, we left the chinchillas at home.

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