Ehley, Clara. "Missed Opportunity." Forum, 4 May 2004, 31.
"I wish I would have asked my mother before she passed
away," is a phrase that comes to my mind very often, since
I have taken a great interest in family scrapbooks and family histories.
When I see some of the old family photos, I think there must be
an interesting story connected with it.
My mom, who was one of twelve children, was born in 1899 and graduated
from eighth grade from a [Eureka] Lutheran Academy. She then was
a rural teacher until her marriage to my father. I'm sure she would
have had many interesting stories to share; but when I was younger,
I didn't think of asking these questions. I wish I had the opportunity
to do so now.
I would like to reach out to the younger generation to slow down
from their busy daily schedules; to take the opportunity to spend
whatever spare time they have to visit with their grandparents (if
they still have some), and ask them questions about their childhood
and various experiences they had, and ask if they had any interesting
pictures to share.
I was always interested in hearing stories my grandfather told
me about his journey to America with his parents in the late 1800s
and about the many hardships they endured. They located in South
Dakota in 1890, where my grandfather went to seek employment there.
He was unable to find work immediately. As he had no money to pay
for his lodging, he and another man also seeking work, walked a
mile out into the country every night, where they dug a hole in
an old straw stack and slept there. They later found employment,
so they worked there all summer and fall during the year of 1891.
It was kind of my grandfather to relate this story (plus many more)
to me, which I always will treasure.
Reprinted with permission of The Forum.
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