Monday, March 1, 2010

Sharing Memories Week 14 Grandmothers

I have been joining The Olive Tree Genealogy Blog  (clicking on this will take you to her memory)in the Sharing Memories on my personal blog because they were associated with my personal memories of myself.  This prompt was to share memories of our grandmothers, so I thought this blog would be a better place for my participation. 

My Grandmothers were alike but different.  Interesting you say.

My mother's mother talked some about her youth, and she was always engaged in doing something.  She was not a sit still person.   I have looked at some newspaper clippings of her activities as a community hostess for Eastern Star meetings, Methodist Church Women's meetings, etc.  She was actively engaged.  I will give you some background on her. 
Mathilda Roberts Whitson is on the right.
If you click on the picture you can view it in a larger size.
She was born in Elk Falls, Kansas.  She was the ninth of 11 children.  They moved to Oklahoma after some very hard winters in Kansas.  When her father obtained land in Oklahoma, they lived in a tent near an Indian reservation.  One of her favorite story to tell, was of her sister (who is shown with her above) and her going down to a near by village.  The Indian women were cooking and doing other chores.  They ventured near one tepee, and the woman smiled at them and while stirring the pot, gestured for them to get some bowls for food.  Then she said, as they started to dip the spoon in," hmmm, dig deep, puppy in the bottom".  My grandmother would give a hearty laugh when she told this.  It was almost always when we were stirring a pot of stew.  
She loved sports.  I don't remember days associated, but if there were a bowling league on TV or baseball game (she loved the Yankees) she was there watching it.  Interestingly she had arthritis all her life.

She was a good cook.  Her rolls were to die for.  I think that the recipe book her recipe was written in was ruined when in storage.  My favorite cooking memory was of making a spice cake with her.  We did it together, and some how when we took it out, it looked like a ski slope.  I was distressed.  She laughed and said, 'failed cakes taste the best' and proceeded to show me how good it tasted.  That stuck with me to share when my grandchildren have been distressed when a food did not come out as they planned.  
Her other talent was sewing.  She pieced quilt tops, and when she was young, quilted them also.  When I was 15, she gave me two quilts.  One for then, and one for when I would get married.  The admonition was:  I was to use them, not put them up in a box.  I used them, and now I am salvaging pieces to make pillows for my children to have a piece of their great grandmother's handy work.

She died when I was 16.  She was a mother of 13 and raised 2 grandchildren a widow when my mom was 2.  That subject will be for other posts.

Lenorah Gildon Langley with youngest daughter Lillie
My dad's mother was around a lot more than my mom's mother.  My dad kept trying to take the roll as care giver of her by purchasing homes for her live in.  We ended up having 4 rent houses near ours, because she would live in one for a while, then go off to another child's home.  I had fun while she was there.
She was a quiet person.  She didn't talk about her youth or family at all. [ I did know her mother.  She lived with my grandmother until I was 5.  I remember she always had nickels  in a pocket book and gave one to a great-grandchild when thy came to visit.]
My grandmother would sit daily and read the scriptures.  She had a devotional calender every year that she would mark off the scriptures as she read them.
She would take me to church with her.  My dad said his father was a Church of Christ evangelist. 
Her favorite thing to do was to make fried bread and jam for me when I got home from school.  I can still remember the great taste.
She loved sewing.  She would embroidery, piece, and crochet.  I learned my love of sewing creativity from her.
If you gave her what she considered a treasure, the gift went into a trunk.  When she died, my aunt  gave some pillow cases my grandmother had put back in the trunk for when I got married.  She died two years before I married.  I was to have been given the trunk, but lightening burned the barn it was stored in at my aunt's farm.
They were two similar women in that they loved creating and cooking, but different in that one was out going and the other was not.  I was blessed to get to know each.


  1. I love genealogy. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

  2. Wonderful memories and write up! Thanx for sharing.

  3. Interesting! My grandmothers were very different from one another, and I was very close to one but not the other. Your post makes me want to sit down and see what I can recall about them both. Thanks!

  4. I've been to Elk Falls, Kansas. Small World! Thanks for sharing!!

    Keep these ancestor stories coming!

    Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"