The history of a family is so important.
When your history is known to you
there is knowledge of fulfillment and contentment.
A knowledge of your place in the world.
When there are missing pieces,
and no one left to fill them in,
you are at a loss as to what those pieces mean to you.
This was my great-grandmother, Susie, on my father's side.
She is shown above with my dad as a young boy.
My dad was born in 1912,
so I am guessing this photograph was taken around the early 1920's.
Beyond that I don't know much about my great-grandmother,
but before I get into what I do know,
let me take you through the years
of five generations
that came after her.
This is her son,
This is her grandson,
This is her great-grandaughter,
What you don't know about me is
that I have a new look,
or an old look,
however you want to think about it.
Debbie shared with us her new look a while back
and I told her I would too!
Talk about your 50 shades!
I don't know yet
if this will be my shining hour!
This is her great-great grandaughter,
and her great-great-great grandson,
There were more generations before her
and there will be more to come.
I have very vague memories of Susie.
From what I have heard over the years,
and these are quite blurred,
she was a sort of an eccentric.
Whether those are accurate truths
or someone's version of the truth,
I do not know,
but could account for why nothing much was told about her.
In other words,
she could have been a sort of outcast.
Can't you just envision
a woman of her tiny stature
I find that to be more endearing
the real thing.
I have a perception of a large, yellow farmhouse
across the road
from this above stand of trees...
...and through the haze,
I seem to be holding my mother's hand
and talking to Susie outside her door
next to a lilac bush.
Maybe that is why lilacs
are at the forefront
of my most favorite flower.
I do know for a fact though,
that Susie and my great-grandfather, John,
(I think this was his given name but he passed before I ever came along)
came from English stock and settled on, what became, the family ranch in Soquel.
At this time, and throughout the time that the property was in the family,
it was just a winding road off the main road,
over a bridge
and past the old barn.
It wasn't until the property was sold in the 1960's
that the new owners put a name to it.
Susie's husband was a smithy
and worked from this little shop on the property.
The shop was torn down when I was very young
but I do recall it being on the property.
Their home burned to the ground
when I was a small child
and whether my memories
are from what I had seen
or what I had been told,
I truly do not know.
Parlor stove that sat in my great-grandmother's parlor before the fire.
Over the years
I have acquired a few precious momentos
that did belong to Susie
and which had all survived the farmhouse fire.
(In foreground) a fancy little porcelain cup
Commode with marble top
Wheeler & Wilson treadle sewing machine
Small double barrel, double trigger, hand gun
This little hand gun
evidently was used for protection.
I assume it was Susie's
as it is small and appears made for a lady's hand.
The stock was evidently made of wood
and burned up in the fire.
There are no distinguishing markings that I can see.
For some reason this weapon intrigues me
and I tried to look it up online
but couldn't find any information regarding it.
I think I will try a gun shop
and if I find out anything I will report back,
or, if in the meantime,
this little weapon looks familiar to any of you out there,
I would love to hear about it.
This is my latest project
and what inspired this post.
( I can sure ramble on when talking about one little chair!)
It belonged to Susie.
The seat was originally hand caned
but was broken out
so we replaced it with a fibre board panel and I painted it.
I love the charming design
of it's back and the petite size of it.
It is definitely a ladies chair...
...and now it resides in the guest room
and I can see Grandma Susie
( or as everyone referred to her: Ma)
removing her slippers,
whenever I pass by.
This is my last piece of the puzzle.
It is the original document for Susie's final resting place.
Since it is dated 1918,
I think it must have been procured before the photo
of Susie and my dad was taken,
but I wonder,
at what age
a person would consider doing this
I know there are good places to check out your ancestry
and someday I will follow up,
but it would have been so much more fulfilling
if all these questions could have been answered
by the ones
Happy March to everyone.
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