” Douggie, Do you supposed you could get me just a few new potatoes? I’ll steam them with some fresh green beans, onions, maybe a little bacon and top them with butter. ” Grandma Marie in her thick German accent every June.
Grandma M immigrated to America on the Bismark when she was 19 years young. My aunt told me later, she never saw her father alive again. She came by railroad to Chicago where she found a job. Her aunt and uncle, a farmer from Iowa were her sponsors. At some point she came for visit them.. While here , she met a 2nd generation German farm boy named John. His parents and her aunt and uncle used to get together to play cards….and the rest shall we say is history…my history 🙂
Marie and John married, scratched out a living on the farm. She was a city girl, who grew up near the North Sea. Grandpa used to tell me, some people would make fun of him for marrying a “city girl”
“What’s it to you?” he told them.
Grandma didn’t realize it until it was too late, that grandpa had a fondness for alcohol. They had a little boy. (my father) Grandma said later, if she could have found the money, she would have went back to Germany with her little baby , but by this time American was in the midst of the Great Depression..
Then came World War 2.
John and Marie canned chickens and beef, then boxed it up, sent it back to Germany after the war.
Their sacrificial kindness kept several families from starving to death.
Then in the early 1960’s Marie, found a lump in her breast.
It was cancer.
Cancer treatments in those days were not what they are today.
Doctor didn’t give her much of a chance.
Grandpa, said “The hell with him,” and found another doctor.
Grandma had her breast removed, and lived another 40 years.
I was in my early 20’s, newly married with two babies of my own when I had a spot for a garden.
I think of Grandma every June when the new potatoes are ready..
“The skins come off when you scrub them.” she would tell me, and they do 🙂
Grandma right before she left Germany.
Grandma visiting her aunt and uncle on the farm in Iowa.
1984 Visit from Aunt Annie, and Mika from Germany
. (Grandma is in the middle)
Grandma, the new potatoes are ready. Was thinking about you this morning. Love, Doug