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Happy Hot and Drafty Homes

Trivia Question

What was the surname of the fictional family in the television show Father Knows Best?

Happy Hot and Drafty Homes

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Thirty years ago this month, I became a mom and an official homeowner, both for the first time.

I was 26 years old; my husband of four years was 30. We were in the throes of building our first house. Six months prior, the $200 a month rent we had been paying for a two-bedroom apartment was about to go up to $225. We deemed that excessive (which makes me smile now), so we moved our meager belongings to the basement of our unfinished structure and worked on completing it in the evenings and on weekends. When our son arrived, on income tax day, we had just finished installing our kitchen cabinets. The living room furniture, in trendy country blue and mauve colors, was still wrapped in plastic. We officially moved upstairs. But the kitchen countertops were MIA, flooring hadn't been installed in much of the home, there was only one working bathroom, and most challenging of all, there was no air conditioning. That first Ohio summer was a hot and sweaty one. But we were happy!

My mom likes to tell the story about the first home she and my dad moved into. They bought it for less than $3,000 in 1953, and it was everything the doe-eyed newlyweds wanted. It had two upstairs bedrooms for their hoped-for children, a spacious living area and a private backyard that was the envy of the neighborhood. They were married in October. Soon after, they discovered that their new home, purchased from a couple who lived in Florida during the cold months, was not insulated. Their first Ohio winter was a cold and drafty one. But they were happy!

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Signature

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. When did you start your seeds or garden in the Good Old Days? What old-fashioned gardening tricks did you employ? We want to hear about it! Send a brief response to me at, and it could appear in a future update or in Good Old Days magazine! Here is one email response from the Feb. 17, 2021, update question: Do you recall getting new appliances or kitchen cabinets in your Good Old Days?

Jo Ann Nessmith shared: "I remember when my mom finally got a new washer and dryer when we moved. It was around 1964. All my life, up until then, we washed all the clothes in an old wringer washing machine and hung the clothes out to dry. Mom had never owned a dryer until we moved. I recall helping mom run the clothes through the rolling wringer and hanging them on the clothesline, from a very early age. I was always cautioned to make sure I didn't get my fingers or hair stuck in the wringer or I might end up injured or bald. It's funny how I thought it was so much fun helping mom with the wash when we used the old wringer washing machine. After we got the new washing machine and dryer, it wasn't so much fun anymore."

Mary Beth Weisenburger has been with Annie's since April 2011. She has 25 years of experience in the marketing, advertising and publishing fields. In addition to her job as editor of Good Old Days, she has been writing a family humor column for over a decade. She and her husband, two college-age kids, two dogs and various other critters live on five acres in the country, where she enjoys reading on the back porch, refinishing furniture, feeding the birds and digging in the dirt of her perennial gardens.

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Trivia Answer

Anderson. The Anderson family included father Jim (Robert Young), wife Margaret (Jane Wyatt) and children Betty (Elinor Donahue), Bud (Billy Gray) and Kathy (Lauren Chapin). The Anderson family lived in fictional Springfield.

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