Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
I'm pretty sure I've written about this memory before. But that post was a long time ago, and happy memories should be shared as often as possible.
When I wrote the ill-fated and now repudiated post about second cousins, I brought up my Grandma Goltz: Frances Esther Weber Goltz. She was the oldest girl in the Weber family and second oldest in a family of 14 children. Seven boys and seven girls.
When I was but a wee brat, we usually used my dad's two weeks off during the summer to visit my mom's mother in Minnesota. Then we'd make a short trip to visit my dad's parents in North Dakota––hey Dakota friends, I know you're suffering with this big uptick in the virus. It's scary, isn't it? Hang in there and wear your masks. Don't go out unless it's absolutely necessary.
Grandma's mother was still having children when Grandma had my dad and his sister, so my dad had a few uncles who were the same age or younger than he was.
I find it interesting that Grandma and Grandpa both came from very large families, yet they chose to have two children. My mom said that every time she and my dad had a new baby (six of us), Grandma would write to them and say, Aren't you through yet?
Grandma and Mother didn't get along very well. She seems to have been quite critical with my mom.
I don't remember much about Grandpa. I don't know if he ever spoke to me.
But one summer we went to their house and actually spent the night there. Mother said that Grandpa was going to sleep on a cot and I would share Grandma's bed with her.
I was frightened. I was going to sleep in a bed with someone I didn't know very well.
Early in the morning, I awoke to Grandma stroking my hair. She seemed kind and loving. Then she said, Wouldn't you like to live here?
I knew what was expected of me. Yes, I said.
Then I went back to sleep. I knew we would never live there. My dad called his hometown Godforsaken country. I was sure that Mother didn't want to live there and be picked on by Grandma.
But I loved that feeling I experienced with her. It spoke of a love and intimacy that I had never before experienced. It was so beautiful to have someone stroke my hair and look at me with love.
I'm not sorry that we lived in Kansas and seldom went to North Dakota. Mother told me when I was much older that Grandma and Grandpa never forgave my parents for not coming to run the family farm after World War II. She said, They would have controlled all the money and given us some in dribs and drabs.
When it was time to leave, Grandma gave my sister and me each a little card in an envelope with five dollars.
She kissed my sister on the lips. Then she kissed me on the lips.
And we got in the car and drove away.
Infinities of love,
Please exercise your right to vote. It means more than ever now.