Today’s post is a rerun, first posted several years ago in honor of my paternal grandmother. On top of that, it’s a day late. From what I remember of her, she would be happy to have the greetings and tardiness would be overlooked with that smile I remember so well. Her birthday was November 10, same as Martin Luther. This year I decided purposefully to post on November 11, and will likely continue this into the future. One day late every year and I’m sure she’s smiling. Ninety-five years ago, today, the day after her birthday, she gave birth to twin sons – Elmer and Alfred, my dad’s brothers. Uncle Elm went on to marry my Auntie Arlene, spoken of often in these pages and together they raised their family here at The Homestead.
Hattie – a name you don’t hear too much anymore, in this case short for Henrietta, my Grandma Buelow who, if she was still with us, would have been 123 years old yesterday. She passed away at age 85 and played an important role here at Her Father’s Homestead. She came as a young bride in 1907, when she married my grandfather, Henry Buelow. That’s right, Henrietta Jantz married Henry Buelow, as you can see in their wedding invitation.
That’s where I first saw her referred to as Hattie. She came to the Homestead and built a life here, raised ten children, seven boys and three girls, all born in this wonderful old house I call home. She lived here until she passed away, cared for in her later years by her son, my Uncle Elmer and his wife, my favorite Auntie Arlene, well known to readers of this blog.
We saw Grandma often, as on any given Sunday we’d drive to what my Dad called The Farm, the place he grew up along with his brothers and sisters, the children of Her Father’s Homestead, and the place we visited with those aunts, uncles and cousins, because this was where Grandma lived. So many memories… A white-haired Grandma, saying grace in German and smiling; I remember her smile just like you see in the picture in the barnyard with my Grandpa, who passed away long before I was born.
That photo is a bit unusual for its time in that it shows what’s today called a public display of affection – Grandpa has his arm around her, she’s snuggled into him and is holding his hand and she’s smiling. In the background of that photo, you see her brother-in-law, the gentleman with the hat, and also her son, my Uncle Elmer, hatchet in hand if you look closely, whom I remember with a great smile and quick to laugh, who’d be 95, today, if he was still with us.
The last photo, again a smiling Grandma, in front of what may be the old lilac tree at the corner of the house where I live.
I said a long time ago that this old Homestead of mine would tell a story, herstory, I called it. And that it has, the story of Her Father’s Homestead told through my eyes with gratitude for the women who came before me – the great grandmother I didn’t know, Grandma Buelow, Auntie Arlene and now me. Happy belated birthday, Hattie! So many memories…