What's up Wednesday

Mommy Diaries: The even more experienced Mommies

My Grandma Diehl. Mother of 7. Grandmother of 18. Great Grandmother of 16? (I lost count).
My mom sat down with Grandma earlier this month, and this is what she had to say (verbatim)

Good evening daughter - I am awfully glad that you are good at writing and recording things down- it's so amazing how so many ppl have such a difficult time remembering events!!  Talked to Aunty Louise today and can you believe she cannot recall anything from christmases when she was a child???  Hard to believe!!  And then Aunty Chris came to the lodge and she has no memories either from when she was a little girl!! Then there's me of course who can still recall the clothes I wore and many other very vivid memories.  I tired gramma out with my remembering and probing of her memory bank!  So keep writing things down - it's good to record these things!

Anyway from Gramma Diehl - speaking about family to her now is very emotional and when I read your question about what keeps a family close, she immediately began to tear up but she did say - it's even though you are miles apart like some of her kids are  - you still keep in touch with your family by phoning often etc. Then Aunty Chris came along and the same question made her tear up - we had a good laugh over that ( btw - Aunty Chris is asking her kids what they think the answers to these questions are so she can put her info together)

Back to Gramma.  She is very proud of her Santa Claus tradition that she kept going for 25 years but before that she had trouble remembering anything extra special she may have done at Christmas.  She said our tradition of going to midnite mass and reveillons afterwards didn't start till Aunty Judie and I weren't babies anymore, so that gets into my school-age memory where I remember having to take a nap in the evening because I would be staying up very late.  I told mom today she probably did that just to get us kids out of her hair for a bit while she was busy in the kitchen.  She was amazed that I could still describe my very favourite christmas dresses that were never new but new to me!  

She said our best vacations when we were young kids were our trips to our cabin at Martin's Lake. Although she didn't do anything relaxing but keep us fed, she said it was a get-away from their hard work at the school and she loved going there.  Then I probed a bit more to ask about Christmases when she was a little girl, and she remembers travelling in a horse-drawn caboose  (stove included) from their farm to town for midnite mass and then going over to their cousins' house in town who she called "rich" and lived in a very beautiful house on the corner of main street for reveillons.    She said her mom was always cooking and baking and she could even make those beautiful swan-shaped cream puff pastries!! Imagine that!!  
That's all I got - Grampa Diehl probably has lots more stories and memories but alas he is still on his "reprieve", as Gramma calls it, on his moose-hunting trip with a couple of my cousins.  
I do love old stories.

My Grandma Park.  Mother of 2, Grandmother of 6 and Great Grandmother of 6.  I had the pleasure of sitting down with Grams earlier this month and am hoping I can get the gist of all the goodies she told me.  

1.  Best Christmas Traditions/Memories:
When Grams was a young girl, they would always travel to their aunt/uncle's home by horse.  She remembers leaving early in the morning to make it for a turkey dinner and then a play in the snow.  She recalls heating rocks for the sleigh ride home and also going for a horse ride every Christmas.  They didn't get a lot of presents, although she does remember one year when her parents were so mad because they received a bag of apples/oranges that were rotten because they were wrapped too early.  They were poor and a standard gift would be fruit.  Other families got toys.  As an older girl (10 years old-ish) she remembers getting clothes that were bought (would otherwise have been made).  They always had Christmas pudding with one sauce (the brown sugar one).  They would go to Grandma Ingram's for New Year's and have goose.  Doug and Don (my uncle and Dad) were always spoiled.  Grams told me about the time that she got a muskrat coat from Gramps and she cried, she was so happy.  Grandpa said "Isn't that nice, I buy you a coat and you cry" .  Ah, Grandpa, how we miss you.

2- The best vacations were out to B.C every year.  They (my Dad as a child) would go to New Westminster and drive the whole way.  They would stop in Hinton to see Aunts/Uncles.  Don had to pee a lot.  Grams emphasized that point.  One of his lines that she remembers is, as they were approaching Canmore he yelled out, "I need the can more than ever"

That is all I got, I think we got interrupted with a good game of Scrabble.

That's all for Mommy Diaries this year.  Thanks again to everyone who was willing to share a little peak into their world, I know I definitely profited from it!


  1. Deena, thank you for sharing this! It was lovely to read. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope you find hope, solace, and healing through your written memories!!


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