Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thursday, June 24, 1926

No diary entry for this day. Aunt Marjorie has been sending me notes every few weeks with her comments on the diary so I can post those online, and my mom (Eleanor) comments frequently. In some of the notes Marjorie sent me, she wrote the following about their life:

"I loved clothes probably because I didn't have many. I supposed I was a typical whining kid who wanted 'things', and I remember wanting new shoes and told Mother that Joanne (a neighbor) had two pairs of shoes, and Mother said, "Joann has a father." End of discussion."

Gilbert, Ruth's husband and my grandfather, died in 1935, when Marjorie was almost 10 and Eleanor was almost 6. Following that, Grandma did go back to work, at Tech High School, but never made much money. The older boys helped financially as they could, I believe. Aunt Marjorie said that Grandma never discussed her finances with her or Mom.

Does it make a difference reading the diary to know that Grandma would be a widow in less than 10 years?


  1. Yes it does make a difference because I'm wondering how she still got everything done with working an additional job at the same time. I guess we manage. I've been a single mom for all but 5 years of my son's life and you learn to find strength that you often don't realize you have. I think your Grandmother is an amazing woman and I love reading about her life. I hope you are able to find the other diaries because I'd like to be able to keep reading. I'm curious to how she reacted to losing her husband. Was it a sudden or expected death?

  2. Gilbert died from Parkinson disease. He had been sick for awhile, so it was not unexpected.

  3. I barely remember my father when he wasn't sick. I have a few memories of him; he would bring some of his work home with him & my mother would sit at the dining room table at night & help him get it done. My baby bed was in the dining room at that time & Mother would throw a blanket over the side of the crib to keep the light out of my eyes. At one time I had trench mouth & couldn't get my mouth open very far without pain. I would sit on Daddy's lap & he would scrape an apple with a knife & slide it into my mouth (a table knife without sharp edges). Before he went to the hospital she would help him get in & out of the bathtub & get dressed. I think I remember one her first jobs she made $15.00 a week. Not much to raise a family on, even in those days

  4. Yes it does! I have been enjoying the diary for awhile now, during my morning coffee, but I just got a lump in my throat thinking how did she do it?
    By 1935 she would have been right into the Great Depression alone, with no husband to help!
    Her life is already so full of chores and kids!
    I love the 1914 picture of her to the right as I read. I think about how that young womans future was so unknown at that time.
    I hope you can get the rest of the diaries!

  5. Yes, this will defiitely add a different tone as I read more of the diaries. I doubt that there are many of us "modern" women who could make it for very long in the conditions your Grandmother had.