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Missed Opportunity

Ehley, Clara. "Missed Opportunity." Forum, 4 May 2004, 31.


"I wish I would have asked my mother before she passed away," is a phrase that comes to my mind very often, since I have taken a great interest in family scrapbooks and family histories.

When I see some of the old family photos, I think there must be an interesting story connected with it.

My mom, who was one of twelve children, was born in 1899 and graduated from eighth grade from a [Eureka] Lutheran Academy. She then was a rural teacher until her marriage to my father. I'm sure she would have had many interesting stories to share; but when I was younger, I didn't think of asking these questions. I wish I had the opportunity to do so now.

I would like to reach out to the younger generation to slow down from their busy daily schedules; to take the opportunity to spend whatever spare time they have to visit with their grandparents (if they still have some), and ask them questions about their childhood and various experiences they had, and ask if they had any interesting pictures to share.

I was always interested in hearing stories my grandfather told me about his journey to America with his parents in the late 1800s and about the many hardships they endured. They located in South Dakota in 1890, where my grandfather went to seek employment there. He was unable to find work immediately. As he had no money to pay for his lodging, he and another man also seeking work, walked a mile out into the country every night, where they dug a hole in an old straw stack and slept there. They later found employment, so they worked there all summer and fall during the year of 1891.

It was kind of my grandfather to relate this story (plus many more) to me, which I always will treasure.

Reprinted with permission of The Forum.

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