Today is a very special day for three loved ones in my family.
First of all, it is the anniversary of my grandmother's birth. Caroline was born in Norway in 1883 and immigrated here as a young child. Her parents were deceased so she came over with a foster mother and joined the rest of the foster family here. She told stories of traveling to North Dakota and how she and her foster mother, Elen (Ellen?) raised sheep, sheared, spun yarn and knit socks to sell in order to purchase food for themselves. I never heard her talking about spinning, myself, I just read about the story in a newspaper article about her.
Nana was my hero, my guide, my love. I adored her and thought she was the smartest person in the world (yes, even smarter than my mom!). She taught me how to crochet, how to make butter, how to hang clothes on the line in the proper way, how to cook, how to be conservative with food. I remember once going to her little apartment where she lived for years and finding a small bowl of oatmeal. She had not finished it for breakfast, so would eat it cold for lunch - she told me "sometimes that's all we had to eat!" Her apartment was a "bed-sitter." She had a small living room and her couch was actually her bed. She had no closet so hung her clothes in the shower in the bathroom. So she most often took a "spit bath" - and taught me how to do that. I think of her when I am camping and can't take a shower, so need to wash up in Nana's way. Nana died at the age of 101; she moved to a nursing home less than 3 months before she died - before that she lived in her little apartment until about age 90 and then in an assisted living home until after she turned 100.
Nana and Grandpa Saueressig (Robert)
Now that she is gone from this plane, she is my guide
The next person is Glenda. I was thrilled when she was born on Nana's birthday, even though she is not "of my family." Glenda is technically Norm's niece, being daughter of his brother, Darrell, and wife, Mavis. But since I was there before she was born, just after she was born and helped carry her to the many auctions that Darrell, Norm, Mavis and I went to when she was an infant, I feel that she is "of my blood." Glenda is the oldest of four gangsters that ran around together. Our two girls and Glenda and brother Wade went a lot of places together, as Mavis and I did a lot of things together. We spent weekends at the family ranch where Glenda and Wade grew up, right next door to Grandpa and Grandma Peterson. Glenda now portrays herself as an adult but doesn't fool many people. If you want to learn about the craziest person in the Peterson family, you can visit her blog Glenderella.
With husband, Ken
Thirdly, but not least, is my one and only "blood" niece, Cookie. She was born on Nana's 80th birthday, which thrilled not only Nana, but Candy as well. Now, I was not there for her birth - I was in Australia at the time, but I was thrilled, non-the-less. The story that I heard was that Candy claimed that the baby was a girl and would be born on Nana's birthday, no matter what the doctor said. Lo! and Behold! Candy was right. Cookie was named after Nana - (hope I spell it right) Cotalena. Nana's name was Caroline but she pronounced it Cotalena (again, is the spelling correct?).
Cookie and my two girls spent a lot of time together, once we got home from Australia. She is in the middle between Joy and Jill and they were "thrown together" when we had family events, as well as times when she came out to spend time with us. I have watched her grow up and am very proud of her. She has the wisdom of the elders and is very loving.
Joy, Jill and Cookie
Cookie, Jill and Joy
Happy birthday to all three! I love you all!