Grandmothers are special. There is no doubt about that, and some take on the role with a heartwarming zeal. Grandmother’s have lived through hardships and arrive at old age with a wisdom that supercedes all others. No one can take a grandmother’s place in your heart. I love to remember Grandma and am sorry that I was not able to spend more time with her before she passed, to ask more questions, and to know her more deeply. One thing that is for sure, Grandma loved us, and there was never any doubt about that.
Before my Grandmother Marie (Blum) Pierce passed, she left us a little writing I would like to share with you. She titled it:
by Marie Pierce
I remember the day Mother was raking hay and the horses run away and she came with hair hanging down clothes all ragged. She had been drug behind the rake sometime before she got loose, was bare foot, lost her shoes. Was all back and blue and how scared we were and cried.
I also remember the prairie fires. How Dad would have to plow a furrow guard. No wonder I have nightmares.
This is what stands out in my mind most of all. We were getting dinner. Had put on a big granite pan of potatoes on the stove to cook. It was one of those which was smaller at the bottom then and big around at the top, and didn’t set on the stove very good as we always took off the lid and set them down next to it so to get done faster.
She no doubt went to check to see if they were done and the kettle tipped and hot water poured out onto her leg. Don’t remember if both legs or just one and she was bedfast for sometime. It just didn’t heal so someone said a lamb manure poltice should be good. Talbotts had lambs so we got some manure from them and tried it, but she then had a stroke and was sometime before she passed away.
Ida postponed her wedding until after she passed away. It seems Ernest was home. Maybe he was going to Taxidermist School in Omaha then and was just home a few days. It seems it was he who told of her being delirious and trying to climb the walls.
I just don’t seem to remember much about her prior to that. Have been trying to bring something back. That was such a tragic thing. I would have been 10 years. old. We were bed pals.
Ich bin klein (I am small or little)
Nein Herz ist rein (My heart is clean or pure)
Sell Niemand darin wohnen (shall not therein dwell or live)
Als Jesus allein Amen (Save Jesus alone)
And we always said the Lord’s Prayer in German and I still do to this day.
Who will take care of Grandma?
A mother can make room for 10 children but not one of those 10 can make room for one mother. God gave us his blessing and she lived to be 89.
THE KEEPER OF GRANDMA
Who will take care of Grandma. Who will it be?
All of us want her, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Lets call a meeting. Lets gather the clan:
in such a big family there’s certainly one.
Who’s willing to get her a place in the sun.
Strange how we thought she’d never give out,
But see how she walks, arthritic no doubt.
When people grow older- they become such a care.
She must have a home, the question is where?
Remember the days when she used to be spry.
Baked her own cookies and made her own pie’s?
Helped with our lessons, tended our seams,
Kissed away troubles, and mended our dreams.
Wonderful Grandma we all loved you so,
Isn’t it dreadful there’s no place to go?
Just one little corner is all she would need.
A shoulder to cry on, her Bible to read.
What nobody want her? Yes there is one,
where she won’t have to worry, wander or doubt,
and she won’t be our problem to worry about.
Pretty soon now the Lord will give her a bed,
But who’ll dry our tears, when Grandma is dead?
(I found this in a scrapbook of Grandma Marie’s after her death. I don’t know who wrote it.)
I REMEMBER GRANDMA
by Susan Pierce 2010
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Grandma, is the time we went to visit her in Omaha where she lived with her brother Martin. I recall that she had baked sticky pecan rolls that she had just taken from the oven in anticipation of our visit.
During this visit Daddy took us all to the big new mall for a shopping spree. Being a bunch of contry kids in the big city you might imagine our excitement. We split up, the girls were to stay together and the boys were suspose to stay together. I imagine we had a meeting place and time though it doesn’t stand out. When we all got together we were missing my brother Cliff. He was about four or five at the time. Mom, Dad, Charline, and Jeff went in search with the help of the mall officers. Grandma and I took the rest of the kids to the car. In all the excitement Grandma accidently shut the babies fingers in the car door. After a two hour search and the malls closing, Clifford was found. His explanation was that he got into a big box that went up and down. During the search someone stole all the purchases that mother had made.
By the time the family all made it back to the car we had lost all day light. Grandma directed dad to the freeway and we got lost and drove for hours before we found our way back to Grandma’s. Once there we made up beds in the attic. There was all kinds of neat stuff up there.
I remember hearing sirens from ambulances nearby. Where we came from that was a rare thing.
Another memory perhaps one of my earliest memories of Grandma was when my mothers brothers were killed in a car accident in December of 1961, Grandma came to stay with us as my mother needed to be with her family. We lived on the farm south of Narka, Kansas. The weather was cold, Charline and Jeff were in school, and Grandma was trying to entertain Henry and I with coloring books. Henry and I were having a contest to see who could color Grandma the prettiest picture. I got my feelings hurt somehow and took mine to the upstairs determined to color Grandma the prettiest picture in the whole world. Grandma sent Henry to tell me to come downstairs saying it was too cold up there. I refused, and she finally came to get me. I resisted by sitting down on the top of the stairs and she pushed me one step at a time down the stairs with her foot. I remember being really mad at her, but we made up as she fixed my hair and tied the sash on my dress as we prepared for visitors.
I remember Grandma trying to get me to take a nap when I was about five. I didn’t want to so she’d say “Come and lay with me awhile, I need a nap.” I’d lay there and the next thing I know I’m waking up and she was gone.
When we lived in Byron, Nebraska Grandma would visit the neighbor women and talk to them in German. She always dressed up to go to the store. I never understood that as we were country kids and there wasn’t much to dress up for where we lived aside from church on Sunday.
One time while visiting, she took it upon herself to change all the beds. She couldn’t figure out how to run the washing machine so decided to wash the sheets by hand in the kitchen sink. Boy was my mom mad when she came home! There were nine of us and we all had our own beds. We didn’t wash all the sheets at once or we didn’t have enough to remake all the bed.s
Not too long before Grandma died she visited Mom and Dad in Missouri. Mom went to her shop and left Grandma at the house. When Mom came back several hours later she heard water running and she found the faucet in the bathroom had been left turned on full blast. When she told Grandma, her reply was “What a Woman!” (this has become a family reply when we do something not so smart!)
When I had my first child, who only lived one short day, Grandma wrote me a letter of love, this still comes to mind, she apologized for not being able to be with me. Upon the arrival of my second son it was Grandma who commented “he has Venus` eyes.”
When Jack and I were married we made a special trip to Murdock, Nebraska to get Grandma for the wedding. On the way home a bird flew into the windshield of the car and out of reflex, Jack covered his face. Grandma laughed about it for miles.
The first time Grandma saw me smoking she exclaimed “Oh, you’ve learned to smoke.” I was about 16. She never said another word about it.
Grandma was my biggest help when it came to uncovering the family tree. She put me in touch with Uncle Martin who helped me a lot, and it was at her funeral that I met Herbert Blum, my dad’s cousin, we fast became friends and much of what I know from the Blum side of the family came from the two of them.
One time when Grandma was visiting Aunt Carol, Jack and I went to visit with her and took her out to dinner. I was so surprized when she said she wanted pizza and beer. (she was about 85). I told my mom and she said “Well, she is a German!”
Grandma always encouraged me when it came to my religious training and I recall how she voiced her pride in me when I was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran church. Until her death, I did not know she was Lutheran.
She was very proud of her grand children and her great grand children.
I REMEMBER GRANDMA
by Mike McKenzie 2010
My favorite story about Grandma involves a fishing trip. I don’t remember how old I was, probably 4 or 5. There is a picture in the family album…mom has it.
Grandma packed a lunch in a wicker basket and we headed back to the creek NW of her house on the farm near Reynolds. I remember it was a hot sticky day. We were there for hours with no luck. Grandma was using her cane pole. She lifted her bobber out of the water and said “Lets try one more place.” She lowered her line next to a log and almost immediately she hooked a fish. The cane pole was no match for the fish and broke. I can vividly remember her fighting the fish and pulling him in hand over hand talking to him as she did.
She knocked him in the head with a hatchet, pushed a stick through the gills and had me carry it back. At the time the fish seemed huge but the pictures show it to be about 5 lbs. The folks were waiting for us when we returned. They were wondering where we were but not worried because Grandma could always take care of herself.
This is how I remember Grandma: Tough self sufficient, caring, do anything for anybody, and make the best of a situation. She always looked for the good in people. I think of her often and have told Linda many stories about Grandma. Linda is the new woman in my life. She likes Oregon so we plan on making a trip out there in the next few months. Maybe we’ll stop and say HI.
I REMEMBER GRANDMA
by Dennis Pierce 2010
Grandma Marie Pierce
After Grandpa Pierce died, he died too soon for me to see him, but he was a good worker and a good man from all the stories I heard.
Grandma Pierce was always busy doing and making things. She lived in her trailer for quite some time and always seemed happy making the best of each day. She stayed in pretty good health right up until when she died.
We all miss her.
Dennis and Loralie Pierce
I REMEMBER GRANDMA
By Karen McKenzie Lewis Lehr
I have so many lovely memories of Grandma: picking daisies, hot steaming rolls out of the oven, warm fuzzy slippers at Christmas time, listening to German lullibies, and her soft hands.
But the most touching memory I have of Grandma, which still brings tears to my eyes, occurred in January, 1974. My first child, Melanie, was 2 weeks old. We drove to Belleville, Kansas to visit my parents and Grandma Pierce. Grandma hadn’t seen Melanie yet. Melanie was all bundled up as it was very cold.
When I carried her into the house, Grandma was sitting in the living room so I walked over and said “Here is your great-grandaughter, Melanie Marie.” Grandma took her gently, and slowly unwrapped the little bundle of blankets. As she finished, she held Melanie up to her, gave her a hug and said quietly, almost reverently, “I never thought I’d live to see the day I’d hold my daughter’s daughter’s daughter.
The room was totally quiet as Grandma held Melanie. She counted her toes, smoothed down her wild red hair and spoke quietly, privately to her new great granddaughter.
Watching Grandma get acquainted with Melanie touched me in such a wonderful and emotional way, that it still holds a special place in my heart as one of my most special memories of Grandma Pierce.
Here is the article you requested about Grandma Pierce. Sorry that it took me so long to write it. It was a very difficult task for me because of the strong emotions behind it. I still cry when I think about Grandma. Having to write about my memories of her, forced me to get out of the denial stage that Grandma was actually gone.
Best of luck with your project. I’d really appreciate a copy of your finished memoirs.
Karen McKenzie Lehr
THATS ALL FOLKS
Thanks for sharing this tribute to my Grandmother Marie Blum Pierce.
It’s amazing how we we all have different memories, and things that come to mind when we start thinking of our grandparents. What kind of things do you remember about your grandparents? I’d love to hear your stories. I wonder what will come to mind when my grandchildren think of me? One hundred years from now…what do you think your ancestors will want to know about you?
Tell your grandchildren stories…what it was like when you were growing up, how you feel about things, what is important to you. It is how you live on in the hearts of your grandchildren.
The Pierce Family Historian