Cleaning out papers

Here’s a recommendation: Before you die, please get rid of all papers that no one else is interested in.  It is not very fun to go through mounds of medical records, old insurance bills, phone and gas bills, and car payment coupons.  And try to label the pictures (I’m no good at this one, myself).

Today I went back to my late Aunt Bessie’s house to help go through the file cabinet and take any family history information for my uncle’s side.  I’ve come away with a box of stuff, many pictures, and some books.  I’ve gone through it all and straightened it up a bit, sorted things into different envelopes where that seemed to be needed.  I now have my parents’ original wedding announcement/invitation to their open house, as well as clippings from what I believe is the Fillmore paper announcing the wedding.  One gives me a laugh — the headline is “Hyrum Johnson and Idaho Girl Marry.”  Ouch!  That’s a bit reductionist, isn’t it, Mom?

I also found a little black notebook that stopped my heart for just a second when I opened itgrammas-book_cover_050509_1 and saw the words “Hattie Bennett, Holden, Nov 8, 1908” written inside the front cover.  I thought for a moment that I had in my possession my grandmother’s personal journal from her teenage years.  Alas, it is instead her copy book from school.  However, her little essays and notes are rather interesting, too.  I wonder did she select the pieces herself?  The poems in the back are so sentimental, but they are not attributed: grammas-book-last-page_0505092

A maiden fair with golden hair

Was resting from a dance.

Her lover, bending over her,

Was watching every glance.

He saw her blue eyes wandering

Across the ball-room floor.

Although she said she loved but him,

He knew she loved before.

He took her hand and drew her near;

He loved her more than life.

He could not bear to think of her

As another’s wife.

“Forget the past and tell me true

Your thoughts,” the lover cried.

As in a dream with downcast eyes,

The girl he loved replied,

“It was only a dream of the past, Jack,

Just a vision of days that’s gone by.

It may be a waltz they are playing

Or a face that I see passing by,

But I’ll not waltz again just to please you.

I’m tired the light so bright.

Though it may be a waltz they are playing

Brings tears to my eyes, Jack, tonight.”

They left the throng of dancers gay

And strolled out in the night.

The ground was quite deserted

Save from the pale moonlight.

“Tonight I want your answer, Nell,

You promised long ago.

For heaven’s name be merciful!

You know I love you so.”

Tonight he wants her answer

But her thoughts are far away.

For the one she loved was in heaven above

What answer could she say?

She drew her lover’s lips to hers

And gave him just one kiss

And through the blindness of his life

He thought that kiss meant yes.

My grandmother died a long time ago; I certainly never knew her and my father only remembers her as a child remembers.  grammas-book-back-inside-cover_050509Sure wish I knew more about her.  I’m glad to have this little book to peruse.

She was a schoolteacher.  Did you know the difference between the words brothers and brethren?  ‘Cause I didn’t, specifically.  Can you read it?grammas-book-lesson-14_050509_1


About sayingthings

K lives in the US with her man and kiddos, knits, cans, dehydrates, bakes bread, (but doesn't cook regular food, particularly), crochets, spins, gardens, studies for a degree that never seems to end, and um, works. Sometimes she wastes time online. Also -- and family, she's looking at you here -- sometimes she swears and says things you might not agree with. But she still loves you.

Posted on May 6, 2009, in Fambly. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Cool! I just got caught up on your blog. Good stuff! I’ll definitely show this one to my Hattie tomorrow.

    Sigh* I can’t read the brethren page–oh, yes I can. I just had to work at it a bit.

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