A weekly challenge by Lisa-Jo Baker. We all write about 1 word for five minutes.
Unedited. Just thoughts.
I’m reading a great book by Francine Rivers called Marta’s Legacy, about a woman in the early 1900s who comes over from Switzerland, and then it follows the life of her daughter, and then granddaughter.
This has led me to think about my own great-grandma. Signa came over from Norway a year after her husband Thorburgh Christiansen. Famers, they settled in Brooklyn, where my grandma, Doris, would tell stories of the various cultures who swapped recipes and songs.
They ended up trying out life in Washington as farms – can you imagine the train ride across the country? – and then went back to New York, leaving my grandma, Doris, in Chicago with family to finish up high school and get a job in the city.
If I were writing a book about this, I’d love to know the history of Signa. What was life in Norway like? Why did she choose to come to America? How hard was it to know that her husband was an ocean away?
I never had the chance to ask. Both she and her husband died a year apart from each other when my grandma was only 20 years old.
So as I’m reading this book, it helps me think of my roots – what life would have been like for my own great grandparents. And it makes me want to write down the stories that are accessible today – the stories of my parents and my grandparents who are around.