Friday, June 10, 2011

June 10, 1920

A day that will live in the hearts and minds of all the Charles Childs family.  Today is Grace Anna Delaine Saueressig’s 91st birthday!  She was born in McClusky, North Dakota in an apartment above a saloon called the Bloody Bucket, so we have always teased her that she was born IN a saloon.

My mother was the youngest surviving child of Robert and Caroline Saueressig.  They had a farm 10 miles from McClusky where she lived in her early childhood.  My grandfather died when she was around 14 years old and Nana struggled to keep food on the table for her children.  By the time that Grandfather died, there were only two girls left in the household.  The rest of them were married and independent.

The family farm was taken over by my two uncles, Hugo and Vernon, but Uncle Vern soon moved to other pastures and Uncle Hooky continued on.  Right now is it owned by two of my four male cousins, John (Jake) and Tom.  Bob is an artist and he has moved around with his art.  Jim moved to Fargo and has been busy with his four boys.  There is also my only girl cousin from this line, Jean Marie, who lives and works in Minneapolis.

Nana, Mom and her sister Roberta (Auntie Nute) moved to several different towns where Nana supported them by being a housekeeper.

Mom was able to go to college because of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.  During the depression the government made jobs for people and also allowed young adults to go to college by working their way through.  Mom was one of those fortunate ones and received her two-year teachers’ degree.

She met my dad at college and wrote to him while he was in the (then) Army-Air Force, learning to fly so he could go overseas to the war.  She taught in a one-room school house then went down to Georgia by train to meet Dad and marry him a day after he received his wings (which meant he was officially a pilot in the Army-Air Force).

Mom stayed home while Dad was in Europe during World War II; I was born in Florida before he left, then she moved up to Bismarck, North Dakota to wait for him to return.

Once the war was over, Mom followed Dad where ever the (now) Air Force sent him.  He would fly to the new Air Force base and find a place to live; Mom would drive with the ever increasing brood of children, even if it was across the nation.  The “brood” ended up to be 4 of us ... Me, as oldest, Charles, 2 years later, Cara, 4 years later, Candy, 7 years later.  We even ended up in Japan, but she didn’t drive there!  We went over in a troop ship, as it was during the Korean War.  Dad worked on a base in Japan during this time so we spent 3 years there.

When it was close to retirement for Dad, we moved to Rapid City, South Dakota.  Mom started substitute teaching, got her four-year degree in education and started teaching full time.  She taught 4th grade until she retired.

Once she retired, she remained active in many different organizations, especially Eastern Star, where she has been an officer many different times, including state offices and representatives to other countries.  She and Dad have continued traveling, often in a motor home until just recently.

This last week, she and Dad drove to Sioux Falls where he took an “Honor Flight” to Washington DC and she drove over here to spend the weekend with Candy and I.  Then Dad came up and they just left on Tuesday (day after Candy’s birthday) to head home.

She is 91 years old and still going very well.  She is slowing down but loves to go out to visit and to have friends come visit her.  She has her own computer and reads my blog (hi, Mom!) as well as Candy’s.  She also sends and receives e-mails from many friends across the nation and world.

Happy Birthday, Mom!  You’ve had a good, long life!  May the rest of your life be as good. 

I think this is her high school picture

 This was taken Tuesday, June 7, 2001

1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

Belated Happy Birthday to your Mom! Thanks for telling her story..:)