This is not my mother and father. This photo is from an archived ad for the Great Lakes Mobile Home Company, and the photo shows the kitchen layout of a late 1950s Great Lakes mobile home.

We lived in a 1959 Great Lakes mobile home until I was nine years old. My dad built a two-story colonial-style house in the hayfield across the street and we moved there the day before I started in the fourth grade.

The mobile home was not big. I believe the official dimensions were 10’x50′. The stove in the photo is white, our stove and refrigerator were turquoise. When my sister was on the way, my Dad built an addition, adding a living room, small laundry room (with only room for the dryer, the washing machine was in the bathroom), and another additional bedroom. The addition was 8’x40′. The old living room became the dining room, because if you look at the kitchen in the photo above, there wasn’t really room for four people at a kitchen table for dinner, though I remember us doing just that. The table would be pulled out into the middle of the kitchen.

Apparently the clothes dryer was in the kitchen prior to Dad building the addition but I don’t really remember that. I have no idea where they would have put it.

When I was little the trailer seemed decently sized. I had the former master bedroom and my sister’s crib was in the little bedroom behind the living room. When she outgrew the crib my bed was replaced by bunk beds because the little bedroom didn’t even have enough room for a single bunk bed.

I remember riding out a couple of pretty intense winters in the mobile home before moving across the street. I remember the sound of rain on the metal roof and the windows between the new living room and the former living room. When the addition was built, the common wall with the mobile home was the original exterior wall. I didn’t find this odd.

The structure that defines your house does not define your home. It’s the people inside that make the home, and I remember a very happy home in our trailer.