Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The women in my past - who were they? what were they like?

The photo above is of my grandmother, my mother, my little sister & me.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the women in my past what were they like, were they happy, did they think about the family in their futures or was life so hard they just struggled from one day to the next.
We are doing our family tree and my husband has found ladies as far back as 1400's I wonder about their lives about their families.
Bridget born 1642, Emillia born 1755, Charlotte born 1775 or Matilda 1799 who were they? what struggles did they have to cope with every day, did they have time to laugh, were they happy. So many questions that will never be answered.
We were lucky my sisters and I growing up as we had a family that was full of grandmothers, great aunties, mother, sisters and cousins and I think that made us very structured in that we were secure in knowing we were surrounded by the ladies of the family and many of lifes lessons were given to us within that group.
The ladies of our family gathered always in the big kitchen of my grandmothers home with a pot of tea and a good chat whenever we were together and I miss that so much for myself and for my children as their children too. Lives are so busy and the family structure is just not like that anymore We are all so busy rushing through life do we truly live it!

The dreams our families woman had would be handed from one to the next to keep the family whole and secure. I am glad I was part of that wonderful time sitting around the huge big table and watched as smiles filled many faces and age guided the others in the right direction.

This is a photo of my grandmother, my mother and Me. Now I am a grandmother myself. I try very hard to fill the role of friend, advisor and woman companion to my daughters and their children. I hope I can do as good a job as my mother and my grandmother before her did for me.

But just for a moment I would like to take them all! my daughters and my grand daughters back to that time around the big table in a warm kitchen full of laughter and chatter of many woman of the family.

39 comments:

Tammy said...

Wow...some really nice pictures of some beautiful women...how fortunate you have your memories and I'm very sure you'll find a way to share...don't underestimate yourself...you are great!!!
:-D

PEA said...

Your post is about something that's very close to my heart...in the last couple of years I've been trying to find out as much as I can about my ancestors and I especially love to find anything new about my grandmother and great grandmother. What got me started is when I went to St. Joseph Island near Sault Ste. Marie and found the little house where my gran was born in 1892...also found the grown-in cemetary where my great grandparents are buried. I want to go back one day and find out even more about them:-) Memories are a wonderful thing to have and like you, I also wish my boys had experienced what my brothers and I had with my grandparents and the rest of the family. I've no doubt, though, that your daughters and grandkids are making their own memories with you:-)

Mindy said...

Beautiful ladies in your family. This is quite a lovely post, Ihave learned so much from my grandmothers and my mom...I long for that big ole gathering table also...

Barb said...

Hello Lee-Ann,

thanks for stopping by my place today. I have to tell you...I love the nostalgic look of your blog. Do your scrapbook? Because these photos would make wonderful heritage scrapbook pages. This inspires me to get out a five-generational photo I have that starts with me in as a baby in 1950 and goes through my great-great grandmother. This is really a nice post.

Sue said...

I love the story you tell of your Mom and Grandma. Until I was 50 years old we were a 5 generation family. I feel so blessed that I had that wonderful experience and example
I strive to be that kind of grammy to my grandkids...

Diane said...

Lee-Ann, I know just what you mean. My family was always the same way as I was growing up. The kitchen was always the gathering place for all us women, too. My Mama died a little over a year ago and so much has changed since she's gone. We used to gather at Mama's and Daddy's every Sunday and holiday, and other times, and now that they're gone, we don't really all get together in one place at one time anymore. I really miss those times, too.

Memories like this are precious. We really need to write these things down for our children and grandchildren, and on down. :-)

Autumn said...

Hello, I found you while reading your comment on another blog. I wanted to leave a comment and tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your blog. I just finished all the back post and really have enjoyed my viist. I am going to add you to my side bar so that I can visit with you every day. I look forward to learning more about you, and your family.

Mrs. Mac said...

Great post regarding connections to the past. I can't find much more than info back to the 1800's. Living here in the USA, most people came over with very little in poor conditions. Much of the rich European history has been disconnected through time and the Atlantic Ocean. You are fortunate to have a rich heritage. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog today.

Janet said...

I enjoyed reading about the women in your family, and I'm so jealous that your husband can trace his family back that far. I can only go back a few generations. I find myself wondering about their daily lives and comparing it to mine today. Very different, I'm sure!

Oops, almost forgot....the photos are great!

Puss-in-Boots said...

Hi Lee-Ann,what a lovely nostalgic post. The photos are wonderful and the whole post reminded me of when I was young and my grandmother was head of the family. Like you, we had aunties, great-aunts, cousins and the whole kit and caboodle. Christmas was a great time especially and on Boxing Day we'd have a huge family picnic at the beach. Aaaaah to be in those days again...

Val said...

I really enjoyed this post, Lee-Ann, as anybody reading it would. It reminded me of my mother telling me about her grandmother's house in Brooklyn, NY, and how the big kitchen was the gathering place for everyone. The kettle would be on the big cast iron stove all day (nice and warm in winter), and there was room enough for a rocking chair where my great grandmother would knit or sew, and something called a day bed, which was like a couch for the kitchen, where visitors could sit, or the tired woman of the house could have a bit of a rest. Imagine that!

It is sad that contemporary life makes it difficult to have the kind of extended family life you describe. All the more important to maintain the ritual of family meals and even cooking the evening meal together.

Merle said...

Hi Lee-ann ~~ A lovely post about your ancestors and the ladies in your life. What great memories you have, and I am sure your grandchildren will have their lovely memories of you.
Maybe not the same, but just as good.
Thanks for your comments, glad you get a laugh, and yes it is darn cold in Shepp. I too appreciate all my blogging friends and have grown very
fond of a lot of them. Cheers, Merle.

Daisy Lupin said...

I am in the middle of doing my family tree as well. I also think about the women in it, one in particular who had 14 children, one every 12 to 15months. Can you imagine that . and to think they all lived in a tiny house. I suppose that some would have grown up and left home by the time the last baby was born. Think I will post about this. Thank you for the inspiration.

Believe me if you can dress a shop window, you can certainly do some crafting, I do lots of artistic and crafty things and I was kicked out of needlework at school for being useless! So it goes to show we all have it in us somewhere. Love xx

Buffy said...

The girl in the second photo...what an absolutely amazing face.

Alice said...

What a wonderful posting Lee-ann, recalling those memories of the past. Times may have been tough materially, but very rich in the things that matter - love, support, companionship, sharing, fun and laughter. Thank you, Lee-ann.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a lovely post this is....the remembering of ancestors...where we came from...our Great Greats and so on...especially the women.

Thanks so very much for your visit....I will be back to you too, Lee-Ann.

Motherkitty said...

Hello, Lee-Ann. Well, you've done it again? A wonderful post, to say the least. I loved the photos and the stories of the women in your family. You were so lucky, as was I, to know our grandmothers so intimately.

I also am into genealogy and have a family tree that only goes back seven generations. What is lost is what happened over in Russia before my grandparents emigrated to this country around 1904. Another of your commenters said the same thing -- about not being able to find out information because of a break in communications and lost records in Europe.

It is so important to gather this information and pass it along to the younger generation. Because after we're gone there will be no one who will remember -- and remembering is what keeps the past and our family alive.

It's a FLIP-FLOP World said...

Yes, I see now how you were really surprised when you saw what I had written!! WOW!! that is something else. We were thinking alike from one side of the world apart!! I have a lot of old pictures that soon I hope to start scrapbooking them. Some of the names I do not even know but I want to get them into a book someway to at least preserve them. You have some very special pictures. Keep them and someday hopefully they will be close to someone else's heart just like they are to yours!! Thanks for visitng. I love meeting new friends...Sandy

Lee-ann said...

To share part of my life with many other women from around the world somehow just feels so right!

thank you all for dropping in on this post of mine and sharing with us moments about your women in your families. I love that very much.

I know there are so many who have lost much of ones family history but I would like to say you stand here today because of the love, happiness and survival of the women from those generations lost to you how wonderful just knowing that.

Thank you ALL dear ladies for your very lovely comments and I will see you all soon on your own blogs.

Lee-ann :o)

Belle-ah said...

Thanks for visiting Southern Somedays! Coming from a lady who has longed for a family history like you have, I just loved your entry. The photos are just amazing.

Ginnie said...

What a lovely posting. The women in your family seem to be a strong lot. Just today I posted a photo of my own mother and her pet rooster, taken in
1907. I think you might enjoy seeing it.
I, too, love the idea of corresponding with women the world over.
All the best. Ginnie

christina said...

There is something so beautiful about pictures from that era. I always love looking at pictures of my nana from when she was younger. I look forward to being able to share the kind of stories my nana shares with me with my own grandchildren though that time is still aways away!
thanks for popping by my place.

Connie and Rob said...

Just a beautiful post. Your pictures are wonderful. I wish I could go along with you and your girls to sit around that table too. I never got the pleasure of knowing any of my grandparents. They had all passed before my mother and father started having children. The tradition and knowledge that was passed down back then must have been amazing.

Take care,
Connig

Mrs Blythe said...

My Mum is doing her family tree at the moment. So I loved reading your post. I saw someone else's old family photos the other day and I'm hoping Mum will lend me some so I can post them. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Blessings.

DellaB said...

Hi Lee-ann... it IS a women's thing, isn't it... aren't we just the lucky ones...

I think the real poignancy comes from, as you said - we are grandmothers now, and will be, I am sure, the memories of our young ones.

"Grandi" said...

Hi Lee-Ann! Thanks for stoping by my blog! Wow - Australia! The places that are represented by the folks I've met through my little blog are amazing! I love your pictures - especially your kitchen stuff! Your remodeling project sounds amazing! Keep us posted with pictures! I'm adding you to my "grazings", so I'll be able to check back frequently!

the Flaneur said...

Such a beautiful post.
You're so right about the busy-ness in people's lives today. It must make it so hard for families to give the support that they once could.

Kerri said...

Lee-Ann, Such a cozy look into the past you've given us. I love those pictures....lovely looking women, and two cute little girls...not looking too happy about being photographed :)
I too was wondering who the woman is in the second photo. It's a lovely portrait.
Thanks for stirring our memories of the women who have gone before us.

Jamie Dawn said...

Oh, your post made me long for time around the big kitchen table. I can smell something baking in the oven and taste the iced tea. I have marvelous memories of time spent with my Gramilo. She was such a wonderful cook and a great storyteller.
Time with family is precious.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

littlejennywren said...

Thanks for letting us in on a little of your family history. I think we have to work really hard in these times to make and maintain the intergenerational connections.

Gina E. said...

Well, all you ladies visiting Pear Tree Cottage will be green with envy! On Sunday, My hubby and I had the pleasure of visiting Lee-Ann and Rob at their fascinating cottage. We had a wonderful day, seeing all these treasures 'in person', and enjoying a scrumptious roast dinner for lunch! and Lee-Ann will probably write something about it too, but my own description can be found on Patra's Other Place. Thank you Lee-Ann and Rob for your warm welcome and friendship, which Ken and I hope will continue for a long time to come.

goldenlucyd said...

Lee Ann,
What fun to have had a visit from Pear Tree Cottage last week. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. It's much appreciated!

Re your wonderful post: I'm impressed and want to read many more. Those ladies in your family certainly were "lookers!" You sound like a most interesting gal and I look forward to continuing my "Austrailn Connection."
All the best,
lucyd

Morning Glory said...

What a lovely post and beautiful pictures! I also like all your kitchen-y stuff in your other postings. I collect old teacup and saucers sets, and one of my daughters has a lot of vintage kitchen decor at her house. It's all fun stuff to look at.

Thank you for coming by my blog the other day. It's fun to "meet" someone from Australia. We hope to visit there someday, preferably with our friends (Grandi - who posted a comment above).

Kali said...

This post has given me goosebumps and brought a tear to my eyes. Everything you say is so true and brings an ache to my heart.
I too was lucky enough to have such times with my Mum, aunts and one set of grandparents. Now that I have moved away from all my family, I realise even more how important our gatherings were around at my Mum's kitchen.
How I long for a long chat and cuppa sitting around with my Mum, Granny (now passed on) and Sister and aunties...with our children running around.

All your photos are so precious Lee-ann...My parents lost so many of ours in Cyclone Tracy, which is heart breaking. Thanks so much for sharing and what a wonderful thing your husband and you are doing, documenting your geneaology for your family.

Also a big thanks for your birthday wishes. You must have been on this cruise too...so wonderful...and your sister and I musn't live too far away from each other :)

Kali said...

p.s. Just read Gina's comment...how wonderful! You all are very lucky to have gained such a special friendship through blogging :)

Miss Pink Ponsonby said...

NEAT! I love your blog! Thank you so much for visiting mine the other day, as well! I have often pondered about the lives and contentment of my Gramma's and Great-Grammas. I thought your entry was so well written and thought-provoking! Thank you!

Nicole said...

Oh gosh... I second what everyone else said. Thankyou Lee-Anne for being such a very special friend to me... and thankyou so very much for the wonderful gift that came in my mail today from you. You are one with a generous heart. xox Nicole

Chappyswife said...

I am very interested in my ancestors, too, but haven't had very much luck in researching. It takes so much time and can be very addictive, too. Your pictures are magnificent!

MommaB said...

I found your blog through Chappyswife at Journey to the Prize. It was not mistake. I'm missing my grandmother today and your post reminded me of her, of the times we shared and how I hope to be a grandma just like her someday. I can't believe I haven't "met" you before today. Your posts are beautiful and heartwarming. I'm linking you in my sidebar and will be visiting more frequently. Thank you for blessing me today.

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