Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Family Territory

In the past couple of weeks, I've been doing some serious thinking about our family history (or lack thereof). I begged my grandma to keep a notebook and write some things down... her handful of favorite stories even.  I told her she didn't have to make it entertaining, just jot down some notes about the most important details.  But she refuses.

When I was young, she used to tell me story after story about being born in Alaska (back when it was a territory).  She lived in a small town named Cordova.  When I was a teenager, my grandparents took a ferry to Cordova to look at the town and see some other parts of Alaska.  They offered to take me (at the last minute when we were at the ferry dock).  Being a snotty teen, I couldn't imagine a trip wearing the same outfit the whole time.  Now I regret not going.  I wish I could have seen the little house my grandma lived in.  They lived in a big house on the hill.  Originally, the house was built as part of a church property, but the church decided the hill was too steep and difficult to navigate in the snow, so they sold it to my grandma's father and mother.

My grandma's mother had been a nurse, visiting from Illinois, when she met "Mr. Koch" as she called him in her letters.  She ended up moving to Alaska to marry him.  They married in 1918.  My grandma came along about a year and a half later.

My grandma's mother died when my grandma was only six.  Ironically, even though Edna was a nurse, she died of blood poisoning from an infection.  I think that haunts my grandma to this day that she didn't really have a mother around or remember much about her.  Her father hired a housekeeper to help out with raising my grandma.

My grandma's father ran the dairy in town (Lakeside Dairy) and had *the only* horse.  Bill pulled the milk wagon around town, and all of the kids would run out to see him. My great-grandfather also ended up working on the railroad during the war.  The government recruited him to help with it because he was one of the only people around who knew anything about logistics and handling big projects.  He remarried at some point after sending my grandma (when she was 12) to Tacoma to live with her aunt.  She never lived in Alaska again after that.  She met friends and had so much fun in Tacoma, she didn't want to go back home.

Credits: Black Crow kit, Grunge Stamps v.10 & Watercolour Brushes

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