Smitten with the kittens
Happy Birthday!

On Christmas Eve 1912 Mason City, Iowa, this first child, Virginia, was delivered to Mary & Clifford.


Grandma and her brothers - Charles, Harold & Robert -- at the farm in Wood County

My dad was born in Iowa in 1883. After graduating from high school he left the farm to work on the railroad. When he met my mother he was a train conductor on a route serving Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota.

My mother was born in Minnesota in 1884. She graduated from Teacher's College and taught grade school in Southern Minnesota.

Traveling by train to visit relatives in Iowa, she was attracted to the handsome, helpful conductor. She had a cheerful personality (perhaps even a bit flirtatious) to break the studious, reserved nature of my dad. Her trips to visit relatives became more frequent as they began dating at both ends of the line.

So, on January 1, 1912, they were married.

My earliest memories began with the train rides I loved (and still do)! My mother had a pass and we took frequent short trips on my dad's line. The birth of brothers, Charles in 1914 and Harold in 1915, meant the end of those trips. The growing family also stirred a restlessness and desire to raise their family in the country, as they had both experienced in their childhood.

Thus, the move to the Wisconsin woods in the autumn of 1916. I don't know how they ever found this patch of woods on a little hill in Wood County!

How exhausted Mother and Dad must have been at the end of that day-long drive in the old Studebaker! The last turn up the hill was rough, muddy ruts and I've been told that this 3-year-old was screaming! I am sorry now to remember that in my early years I was probably a difficult child -- e.g. when I tagged along to the barn, observed where milk came from, and thereafter refused to drink it. Likewise, my witness to the source of eggs! And you know I still don't drink milk or eat eggs, except as camouflaged in other foods.

excerpted from my grandmother's 2001 memoir, "A Look Back"


I'd sure love to share some eggs & milk -- camouflaged as a birthday cake -- with you today, Grandma!! I sure do miss you. Happy 105th Birthday!



It's an incredible thing to have her memories like that in her own words. She was beautiful!

Julia in kw

At first glance at the picture, I thought the little boy in the back was one of your nephews! What a happy photo and great memories to read!


What a treasure, Vicki! Thank you for sharing it with us!!


To have your grandmother's story is such a gift, one you'll have forever. I enjoy hearing her story, your story, your families history. Happy Christmas, Vicki!!

Robin F

Memories in pictures and words- how lucky you are to have them.


What wonderful memories! I admit, I laughed at the milk and eggs story. I have a daughter who did likewise with meat! And, as she says, there is just no hiding it in anything mom! Hahaha

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