As many of you know, I’ve been slowly working on organizing my family history closet. I’ve bought a few nice boxes for storage and been scanning lots of pictures with my Flip-Pal. I’ve been categorizing the different pictures and taking assessment of what materials I still need to buy to complete the project. It is slow, but I am making progress.
I bought a large flat box to store Grandma and Grandpa Doerflinger’s 50th wedding anniversary album. The album has fallen apart and I now have all of the pages. Each page has a letter or card from a family member or friend with memories of my grandparents. Nearly all of the pages also have photos to accompany the letters. It has been so neat to read all the family stories and memories about my grandparents that I never met.
While putting all the pages in the box, I found the page my mom put together. For today’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’ve decided to share the letter my mom, Sharon Doerflinger, wrote to my grandparents:
June 9, 1984
When I was a kid and other little girls were out selling girl scout cookies or lemonade from stands, I always felt alittle left out. I wasn’t a girl scout and my lemonade left alot to be desired. Dad caught on to this and came with the idea of opening up a roadside stand selling chayote squash. He said I could corner the market and that the financial awards would be endless. Squash?….. I thought my old man must be off his rocker, nobody eats squash, so why would anybody buy it. Well, Dad persuaded me to do it, besides, the squash plant was taking over the backyard, and if someone bought it I wouldn’t have to eat it. To my surprise squash eaters came from miles around to buy my squash, I was the most successful little sales-person on the block. I made bunches of money, even ended up liking squash and learned that once again, Father does know best.
Before my operation, I was having alot of trouble with my leg Every night around midnight I would wake up with the worst pain in my leg that would only go away if I kept moving. So every night Mom would get up and walk me around the house for at least one hour until the pain subsided. This went on every single night for three months and she never complained, she was always there, and when the doctors could find nothing wrong she never gave up until they found out what was wrong and corrected it.
Dear Mom & Dad,
There are just two of the many memories I have of both of you. The memory I treasure most is one I can’t remember, although it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. That is, adopting me. In taking me into your home, you gave me the best darn Dad, Mom, sisters, brothers, and family anyone could ask for. Thanks much. Happy Anniversary, I love you both.
The operation my mom is referring to above is the operation that removed the bone cancer in her leg. When my mom was 11, she was diagnosed with bone cancer in her leg that required surgery to remove the cancer – and she had the 7 inch scar on her leg to prove it.
At the time, the doctors were not sure if they could remove the cancer without amputating her leg. My mother, determined not to lose her leg, decided to run away from home with her niece, Carrie (who was 3 years younger than her). My mom gathered most of the supplies (a bag of clothes and canned food). Carrie’s only job was to bring the can opener from the kitchen. Once everyone was asleep, the girls carefully crept out of the bedroom window and made a run for it. They only got a few blocks away when they decided to stop, review their supplies, and discuss their next step – leading my mom to discover that Carrie had forgotten the can opener. Carrie began to cry as my mom scolded her at their now ruined plans.
At the time, the girls had no idea that my mom’s big brother, Larry (who was an adult at this point), had heard the girls sneak out of the house and had stealthily followed them. Calming the girl’s down, he escorted them home and never told my grandparents of their escape.
As you can tell, this album has given me some great family history stories to tell and I am loving getting it organized so that I can gleam even more family stories from it!
[Are you trying to organize your family archive of stuff? I highly suggest that you get Denise Levenick's new book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes. It is AMAZING! Denise is amazing! Her passion for saving these the family "stuff" is infectious and the book is written in a way that makes you feel like she is cheering you on the entire way. Plus? The book sales will help fund the Winsor Student Genealogy Grant (of which I was a recipient of last year with A.C. Ivory). So go buy it - cause I promise you that you will love it!]