Saturday, March 04, 2006

Me and, not THAT one!

There are many times when I sit and wonder about the women in my family who came before me, and what they would think of my life today. As a child growing up in the Midwest, I was taught not to ask questions!! So consequently there are many huge gaping holes in the things I know about my own family.

I was cleaning out a closet this morning and came across a crumbling photo of one of my great-grandmothers. It's a rather large oval shaped photo and the edges are all beginning to chip off. (I cleaned it up a little in one of my photo programs.) The frame fell apart long ago. Anyway, I stopped to really look at the photo of this woman who is part of me, and wondered if I could find any kind of resemblance. I could not. She is a very stern looking woman, with a dark dress, hair pulled back....most likely in a bun at the nape of her neck. She has what looks to be a small brooch at the collar of her dress and that's the only ornamentation I see anywhere.

I know very little about her. She was my mother's grandmother on her maternal side of the family. I think her name was Martha and she lived in Springfield, KY. At least that's where she lived when my grandmother was born in 1893. Then the mystery develops! Martha's husband was killed, leaving her with seven young children, and she moved herself and her children from KY to IL....and no one knows why!! There doesn't seem to be any reason for her to make the move. She didn't remarry so it wasn't for that kind of reason. There weren't any other family members living in IL at the time. It just seems strange that in that time period (somewhere in the very early 1900's) a widow with seven children would make a move to another state for no apparent reason.

In today's world, no one would even find it remotely odd if that happened! In fact, I did that very thing in 1979 when I moved myself and my two children from IL to CA. Even then there were people who were horrified that I would even think of doing such a thing! There were doom and gloom predictions that I wouldn't make it, that I'd turn around and go back after a few hundred miles but I didn't. But I had the convenience of a car to drive, motels to stay the night, restaurants where we ate, and phones to call if I needed help....and once I arrived in CA I had family living there. Martha would not have had all those things! And yet she made the trip anyway. She must have been a strong, determined woman. And her photo shows that.

Don't you agree? (When my daughter was a little girl she was afraid of this photo.)

I know my life is much different than Martha's but I must thank her for being a strong woman and handing down those traits so that other members of her family would also have them. Isn't it interesting how a chance encounter with a very old photo can change how I will approach things from now on? I hope I can be as strong as Martha.


  1. I like any old picture. That is an interesting story about your family member and how it parralled with your life. Your blog looks real nice. It seem like you like to write. I do too. Your jewerly is beautiful. I don't know what your plans are but you got something there!. The best to you.
    I tried to leave a note about the crocheted outfit your dog is wearing. It is too cute! How has your experience been thus far with this blog?
    Visit me at

  2. Hi Janet,
    I loved reading the story of your Great grandmother Martha, stories like this fascinate me, She certainly does look like a strong woman and i think she looks like a Martha.


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