Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Line of Strong Women

Recently I have been questioning my success with this blog. It's been almost one year since I started it and I feel that I should have accomplished much more than I have so far. But then that's me. I always want to do everything to the best of my maybe this is my best!

It got me to thinking about all the other women in my life....the ones who have gone ahead of me and put me on this path. Mom, grandmas, aunts, great-grandmas etc. They all made it possible for me to be here right this moment. If not for them I would be floating around out there in the ether waiting to be a person!

These women make me feel very happy that I'm part of them because they were strong women. They had to be. Let me introduce you to a few of them. First off, you already met my Great-grandma Martha here. She had to have been a strong woman to move her family of seven children and herself from Kentucky to Illinois back in the days when women just didn't do that kind of thing! Her husband had been killed and so she raised her kids all alone in a state where she apparently had no earlier connections.

This photo shows (L to R) my grandma, Martha (my great-grandma) and the baby was my mom's sister, Hazel who died at about the age of two. This is three generations on my mom's side of the family.

I love the background on that photo. I don't think there are any other photos of baby Hazel that I know of.

Then my other great-grandma was named Mary Ann. I never knew her but my mom talked about her at times. Mary Ann lived in Kansas on a little farm, and apparently from all I've heard, my great-grandpa was not much of a worker!! So I'm sure a lot of the work fell to Mary Ann. My mom described her as a sweet woman with a big heart. I don't have too many photos of Mary Ann and most of them are small and from a distance but I do have one studio photo of her and great-grandpa....

My cousin in Burbank is named after our great-grandma. It must be something about the name because she is also a sweet woman with a big heart.

My grandma on my mom's side of the family married at 16 years of age and I know my grandpa worshipped her! She was a tiny little woman but she could just run circles around everyone else. When she was in her seventies she could still bend over and place her palms flat on the floor without bending her knees!! Heck, I can't do that now and I don't think I ever could! She was deeply religious and ruled her house. She had strict rules about certain things and everyone knew them....some didn't always follow them to the letter!! Like my mom and my aunts sneaking off to the bathroom to smoke a cigarette so Grandma wouldn't see them.

This is a photo of Grandma and me....the back says I'm 16 months old.

My grandma on my dad's side of the family came from the hills of Tennessee and I'm sure she had a hard life growing up. In later years she had a pretty good life but she always kept a photo of her childhood home, which was just a shack, hanging on the wall of her bedroom. Grandma was a farm wife, too and later they had a cattle ranch and hired help. I'm sure in her early married life she had to be strong. She had four children, two of them twins. This is a photo of Grandma and the twins....

I would imagine from that pile of wood that it got cold in the winter!!

There are other strong women in my family and maybe I'll tell about them another day. These four are the cornerstones of who I am. It's a mix of different things. But the common thread is that they were all strong, competent women who guided their families through good and bad times. I wonder what they would think of me today! Me, who worries about whether or not my blog is a success, who worries about whether I'll ever make another piece of art (I had a day of no creating yesterday) and who worries about all kinds of little insignificant things that they would probably laugh at. I'm sure they would all think my life was a bed of roses compared to theirs! And yet, I do worry.