This will be an interesting undertaking – join me on the mind tour! I am going to try to write a quick blog every day – With a themed approach – each day of the week will be devoted to a particular idea or thought. I hope it will go something like this:
Monday – Readerwoman Reminisces
Tuesday – Readerwoman Reads
Wednesday – Readerwoman Reviews
Thursday – Readerwoman Reacts
Friday – Readerwoman Recipes
Saturday – Readerwoman Relaxations
Sunday – Readerwoman Renews
Today – January 3, 2011. Readerwoman Reminisces!
I had a marvelous lunch with my sister Betty in Fairfield recently. It was a chance for us to touch bases for the last time in 2010, prior to her trip to Arizona for almost two weeks.
We talked – as we always do – of what is going on in our lives, and we did what many sisters do; we reminisced! We are 11 years apart in age, so although we have the same set of parents, our memories are different. This time, we talked about my mother’s parents; William and Eva Kline. My grandmother, as with my mother after her, was a woman of good nature and forward thinking ideas. In 1919, when my mother was five, she joined her mother in a walk for Women’s Suffrage! I can trace my roots as a feminist back to that piece of family history – my grandmother and my mother saw no color, no religious barriers, no limitations on self because of gender or sexual preference, no boundaries. Although they were women of their time, they were also well educated (my grandmother was a college graduate, back in the days when women seldom went to college) and a believer in the power of the individual.
My grandfather adored my grandmother, and supported her endeavors both at home, in the parish (he was a Minister) and in the world-at-large. I heard a story this time, from Betty, that I had never heard before…
With two children in college ( University of South Dakota, Vermillion) she took the job of selling door-to-door… UNDERWEAR! The local merchants were irate, the parish was horrified, and my grandfather was actually fired from his job for not “controlling” his wayward wife! Telling this, and other stories, my sister could remember my grandmother’s belly laugh, and her quick wit. I was only 10 when she died, two years after my grandfather died of cancer. Yet as I heard new stories, and rehashed the old gems, I felt closer to my roots than I had in a long time. There is much to be said for tradition and family history. Whether you believe in genetic memory or not, it was (and is!) delightful to feel, however imaginatively, the rush of blood that connects me in a never-ending strand; a Mayflower descendant, the daughter and granddaughter of feminists of strong Christian faith, the love of learning and the value of humor are traits I share, and hopefully pass on. What do YOU feel about your family ties?!