Many many years ago

Many many years ago, I’d taken my MIL to see the movie ‘Coal Miners Daughter’ about Loretta Lynn. Seeing the poverty in the beginning of the movie, she started to cry, because they’d grown up like that. She recalls catalog pages covering the walls of a room to decorate it.

After 17 years of marriage the boys dad and I separated but never formally divorced.  No lawyers got rich from our separation :)    He died on April 4 and I brought home a huge cardboard box of photos….I’ve been sorting them and digitally reproducing some for his family prior to us deciding what to keep and what to pass on.

I thought I’d share a few with you.

Back in the day people had large families.  This particular family was combined because according to custom when a brother died, the next in line brought the widow and children over from Italy to live with his own family. I can’t fathom the laundry and cooking that went on! The original photo is from 1929:

Some of those girls grew up and posed with their babies :

Some of the boys went off to be soldiers…

Other ones married sweet lovely women like this one and joined with a few other brothers to establish a family business…

Many many years later, whether the family members were rich from that family business, or had just made their way into the middle class, or whatever their monetary status was, they all still got together on a regular basis.

At first their Christmas get-togethers were in the finished basement of one of the children who had a large home. Later as the family grew a local hall had to be rented out. Easter egg hunts were held at a common property…an old log cabin with a lake across from it. I was married there :) 

But what I loved the most were the get-togethers when homemade pizza was made. An assembly line was created then the pizzas went into an outdoor oven. Everything from the dough to the sauce was homemade. Experts like my MIL and her sisters were in charge of that….young marrieds like me were in charge of assembling, carrying and doing the dishes :)  The uncles were in charge of the oven and the baking.

That is me and the boys dad in the lower left photo and Scott, my middle son chowing down in the striped shirt in the group photo :)

Meanwhile speaking of that middle son, he was very cute as a little boy and digging through all of these photos and momentos covering a century, I see that my MIL kept a card that I’d made for her when he was little :)

And here I was with my oldest prior to the other two being born. WOW I was like a size 5, lol ! :)

If you like old photos I have a Family Tree Research category on the right …my family delved into our family tree and I have lots of old photos in those posts. Like my grandparents here with my mom and uncle :

Mum Bup Glenn and Janet

And if not, that is fine / wishing you a wonderful week :)

I have not sewn much or accomplished much this last month in the way of normal things in my life.  His death, the youngest moving in with his dog, being executor and weaving my way through that mess…every call to a bank or utility involves a long battle with a robot to get through to a human…well, it has just been something :)  I hope to find a balance or ‘back-to-normal’ mode soon.

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26 Responses to Many many years ago

  1. Karen says:

    how wonderful to go through the old photos brings back such memories doesn’t it – a size 5 – I used to be that once upon a time as well!

  2. Karen says:

    I take it your boys are spread out in age a bit?

  3. Wow, Deb, I love this glimpse into your past! What a gorgeous family you are!! You are lucky to have these photos to keep the past alive. Xo

  4. barb says:

    great family photos!!

  5. Margie Miller says:

    Great family photos! I made each of my three kids a decorated photo album of my old family photos.

  6. Joyce says:

    About 10 years ago, when mother died, I experienced the same hours of looking back through photos. It’s both beautiful and sad at the same time. Those years and the people in it will never be the same again. It’s too bad we have lost the caring for each other that was such an important part of the past. Bringing over a widow and her children to join one’s own family is a feat of generosity I cannot imagine!
    And btw – you are one beautiful lady – no matter how old that picture of you is! :)

  7. Nanette says:

    Great pictures and memories for you. It takes time. Hang in there.

  8. BillieBee says:

    Although my Mom was a self-taught genealogist long before Family Tree Maker, I’m still uncovering old letters from family members that were not in her some 15 plus extra large binders…..grin. It was very touching to read a few of the letters before I was born.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. gail says:

    What beautiful photos, and was a rush of memories it must be for you, I imagine you feel almost swept away with all that is going on. Hang in there, breathe and be gentle with yourself as you wait to get your bearings.

  10. Nana Diana says:

    What wonderful old photos and what bittersweet memories that accompany them, I’m sure. It is hard, isn’t it, moving forward to pick up the bits and pieces of a life once shared? Been there-done that.

    God bless you! I hope you have a good Wednesday- xo Diana

  11. I feel for you having to deal with all this stuff after a death. Interesting photos! I stop and think what life must have been like then.

  12. Dewena says:

    I love all your photos but the one of your grandparents with your mom and her brother is such a treasure. I kept going back and forth between your photo and you grandmother’s and am sure I see a resemblance.

    Such a terrific family story. I enjoyed it very much.

  13. Kim says:

    This happened to us when we cleaned out my mom’s home when we had to move her. We got lost in the photos forever. It’s bittersweet, but I love the memories…I hope you are finding some joy in the process…

  14. Kyle says:

    What wondeful photos. I hope your children and grandchildren will know the stories associated with them.

  15. FlowerLady says:

    Love, hugs & prayers for you dear heart.


  16. Ruth K. says:

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your family, I enjoyed the family photos. Things will get better.
    Prayers for you and your family.

  17. I can sense the melancholy in this post Deb. I know what it feels like, but it’s all good. You’re fortunate to have such wonderful memories and photos.


  18. Jane says:

    It must be hard to look at these photos, but interesting as well. I’m sure your kids will enjoy looking them when they have kids who are interested in the family tree.

    I can see that you are moving slower with the loss and the chaos…give yourself room to get used to things and hopefully time will help everything fall into a place that you can manage.

    Jane x

  19. Susan Nixon says:

    What treasures those photos are! The girls look very Italian, don’t they? What fun those get togethers must have been. My husband grew up in a NJ town that was about half Italian, and everyone met at Mama Pistilli’s for Pizza on Friday nights. We were often there, too, and I envied those big raucous families! The decibels were incredible. LOL Thank you for sharing. I’m glad to hear there is healing happening, even if it isn’t complete yet.

  20. Melanie says:

    I really enjoyed seeing these old photos. I was just going through some myself the other day. Brings back so many memories (sometimes painful), doesn’t it? I love the story about the homemade pizza.

    You have a lot going on in your life right now…it’s totally understandable that you haven’t “accomplished” a lot. Be good to yourself.

  21. Great photos and even better memories. :-) I don’t think I was ever a size 5 even in grade school, but I was born with auburn hair. :-)

  22. Sweet Marie says:

    it’s so wonderful that you have those photos. :)
    happy weekend to you!

  23. Such a rich family history and wonderful photos!
    Be sure to make some time for stitching while doing all this hard work. Talking to machines can be VERY stressful!!

  24. Dawn says:

    Lots of memories in those photos! Be sure and take some time for yourself as you wade through closure. Thinking of you!

  25. Kaja says:

    What a treasure trove. Your kids are lucky to have all this to connect them to their history.

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