Do you do facebook?
I signed up about 6 months ago, mainly to find and re connect with cousins that I have spread out all over the United States. I seriously do not even know how many cousins I have. If I had to guess it would be about 60 on my mom and dads sides of the family. I know very few of them "well". So it's been fun finding them and hearing family stories.
One cousin has a LOT of photos from my Grandparents on my moms side. She found photos of the farm that my mom grew up on and posted them As the story was told to me, my grandparents purchased this farm in about 1940 at auction. Their previous home had dirt floors.
I have no idea when this picture was taken but I'm sure it was long after my grandparents left the farm. It sat empty for years after they sold it. In the early 70's my mom took me to North Dakota and we got to go through the house. I was about 10 years old at the time and it left such an impression on me. I remember the built in bookcases, the leaded glass windows, the maids quarters in the attic, glass doorknobs....what 10 yr old takes note of these things?.....I wonder if this is where my obsession with old things started.
Even way back then I could picture my mom sitting in the attic window on a rainy day reading her Old Nancy Drew Books. She usually got one for Christmas every year, and her first one was in 1939.
They were regular every day farmers. They lived off their land and had to buy very little in the way of food. Every morning and every night regardless of heat, rain or snow, they had to tend to the cows in the barn, milking etc. No matter how tired, sick or lazy you were, there was ALWAYS work to be done.
I used to hang on to every little thread of story my mom would tell me....because I was able to visit this homestead I had created quite a story in my imagination of what it must have been like. As her older brothers grew up and went to fight in WWII more of the workload was shifted to my mom, her sister and two younger brothers.
My cousin posted this picture on face book last week of my mom, her brothers and my grandparents. I've never seen a picture of my mom so young. I just stared at it and burst into tears. Something about seeing her so young and fresh faced made me so sad.
I knew I had to get the picture to her. I also knew she probably would not recognize even herself. If I framed it she'd never look at it hanging on the wall. I decided to print it out onto a pillow, that way she could keep it on her bed and look at it all day long as she catnapped.
at first there was no sign of recognition. But as I said the names to her a few times, and gave her her glasses to put on I slowly saw the light come on in her eyes. She got that same look in her eyes that she gets when I bring her the milkshakes.
She must have held it like this for 15 minutes or so. Finally I propped it against the wall and the bed so she could always see it and she promptly fell asleep. I tiptoed out and hoped it would give her sweet dreams for a long time.
Jeg elsker deg Mom! (I love you in Norwegian)