"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~George Bernard Shaw

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." ~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aunt Alice, Aunt Nell and Elise

Three Extraordinary Women
Ignore your age
Remember your youth and play
as you did before
My Grandmother Elise was born in 1893 and was an
amazing woman. A child who endured great hardships;
her parents divorced and her father took her from
her mother and put her in an orphanage.
Her mother rescued her and they had to make their way
cross country on foot to a safe haven with family.
She grew up with her cousins Nell and Alice.
Married at 22 and a widow with two sons at age 26.
The photographs I have of her as a young woman
and a mother only show her delight in life as she takes
her children cross country skiing or camping during rare vacations.
She worked all her life for the same company and when
she was forced to retire at age 65 they had to hire
two people to replace her. She died at age 96.


  1. Fascinating story ... you don't think about divorce happening that long ago.

  2. such a nostalgic image....:-)

  3. 96 , a lovely age.

    what a tale. you have made your character come alive.

  4. She sounds like an amazing woman.

  5. Oh my gosh, I love that. I wish I knew more about my family.

    Brave and strong women. Beautiful.

  6. What sort of a bastard takes a child from her mother and dumps her in an orphanage? I hope he had a crappy life!
    I'm glad it all turned out fine for the child. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sue- I would say that my Great Grandmother's husband must have been a very mean man-hence her getting a divorce. Putting my Grandmother in an orphanage was his way of punishing and getting revenge. I would imagine he did not have a very good life.
    Thanks everyone for your comments!

  8. What a wonderful lady she was Kathe!!! She is an inspirationa to us all! :-)

  9. Now we know where you got your love of the great outdoors! Can you top 96?

  10. That picture just draws me in, so glad your grandmother was able to make her way and keep her family with her. My grandmother (born in 1894) and her sister were dumped by their father into an orphanage as toddlers until their mother came and rescued them. Amazing ancestors we have.

  11. I'm all for remembering youth! LOL

  12. Always play as you did before is wonderful advice.

    This is such a heartwarming tale.

  13. Kathe,
    I love people who exhibit their love of live with unrivaled exhuberance.

  14. A woman of substance indeed. I take my hat off to her....!

  15. An amazing history!


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