Monday, December 13, 2010

eleanor's babyface

 Here is my grandmother a wagon... perhaps one of the most classic items of childhood.  Her brother, Harlen, was pulling her along, playing in the rose garden at their farm in the rolling hills of South Dakota. 

I just had to include this picture because I thought it was so cool - this is a picture of all the girls that my Grandmother went to school with.  She attended school in a one room school house - imagine that!  As a grown up, she was actually a teacher in one of the last one room school houses in South Dakota - brave woman.  (She is the fourth in from the right.)  IN FACTO - she was one of Tom Brokaw's elementary school teachers, as was my aunt.  Random.  I know.

Growing up, my favorite stories tended to center around prairie stories.  All of those American Girl's Collection books about Kirsten Larson, obviously all of the Little House on the Prairie Stories, and even as I got older, My Antonia was a fave.  So much of my family history revolved around farming the great plains.


  1. jes, its funny. ive been helping my dad scan old family pics and looking at pictures like this from my grandparents too. so cool. you mentioned framing some for your baby's room. i love that idea! they are iconic enough to stand on their own but the fact that you know the people in them make them all the more special. i've been meaning to read my antonia for years. maybe i finally will this winter. one "great plains" book i really enjoyed was called "horizontal world: growing up wild in the middle of nowhere" by debra marquart about a farm girlhood in north dakota, moving away and then coming back as an adult( one line that has stuck with me, espeically having lived through several bleak winters in south dakota is: "the bible seems truer out here." i took that to mean, in the old-testament 'god-smites-the-evildoers' sense, that you realize how small and frail you are, that you need faith and your wits about you, that farmer livlihoods are dependent on weather and luck which can change on a whim no matter how hard you work. farm accidents actually still happen, every day. people really can make an unprepared mistake and freeze to death. stuff people in more hospitable places don't think about haha. anyway, it's a thoughtful, interesting read :)

  2. I love that second photo of all those girls!



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