National Women's History Month.
Thanks to Jasia and Creative Gene for sponsoring the Carnival of Genealogy. Thanks to footnoteMaven for the poster.
For this issue of the COG I have decided to write a bit more about my grandmother, Minnie Agnes Halterman Trumbo. I have written bits and pieces about her before here on Reflections. Remember that wringer washer photo, where she is teaching my two eldest sons how to do laundry, her way?? Maybe you remember my Sentimental Sunday tribute to her and her lovely lillies.
Minnie was born on August 2, 1905 in Rockingham County Virginia and died June 15, 2003 in Broward County Florida. Her ashes are buried in the Halterman Cemetery (on land owned by the Halterman family for well over 150 years) near Bergton, Rockingham County, Virginia. On July 25, 1923 Minnie married my grandfather, Leonard Homan Trumbo in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland.
Minnie and Leonard lived and raised their two children in Broadway, Rockingham County, Virginia. Minnie was a great seamstress, working many years in the business, sewing clothes for private clients and doing alterations for a local store's customers. She also worked in "chickens" for a number of years, when I was quite young she raised baby chicks. At some point she went to work at the local "egg factory", looking at eggs with light to see if they were appropriate for market. But, there is no doubt her family and friends in Broadway remembered her for her sewing/stitchery skills. One distant cousin told me that at one time her closet was filled with beautiful clothes all sown by Minnie.
|From left: My mother, Minnie, my uncle.|
"When I was a small child and would be visiting her, she would try to get me to take naps, like any young lady, I did not really want to take those naps, so gramma would "bribe" me by allowing me to take one of her baby chicks to bed with me. Sad to say, a number of those chicks did not survive the afternoon nap.
She lived on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. I think she loved the river but also feared it, and its power. She constantly warned us to be careful of the river.
|From left, Minnie, my grandmother.|
Jessie Eloise, my mother.
Moi, holding Son #1 (1st birthday).
When I was about the age of my nephew, and was learning to drive, I came to visit, she helped me to learn to drive.
When I married and wanted antiques I knew where to come. The Valley is the best place in the world to shop for antiques. I would come with a long list of items I wanted to find. She would drag me around to Clory's (a furniture store), Harrisonburg, New Market as well as every antique store within miles and even to a sale or two. We would find everything on that list, and I would go home with a loaded car.
|Minnie and Moi, about 1984|
She taught me to sew, but she REFUSED to teach me to crochet. She said crochet would ruin my eyes. I learned to crochet however, and also learned cross stitch.
When I would come to visit, she would take me "calling". She would tell me, we have to go visit Pauline, we have to go visit your gramma Halterman. Thanks to her, I met a lot of my relatives.
My twin granddaughters were born in XXXX, Minnie was thrilled with the girls, always wanting photos and bragging on them. She loved them dearly, even tho she never got to meet them.
The last time I saw gramma was in February of last year, when Man and I managed to drag our old trailer to Florida. I called her and asked her if she would like me to come visit, she cried in delight, "WHEN?". I said now. She asked how long it would take me to get to the nursing home. I think she called my mother 5 seconds after I hung up the phone. We had a nice visit over the 2 days that we were there. She told me family stories, and I realized that she still was a little bit "fiesty".
|Minnie and Moi, 2002, our last visit.|
I always have felt that my two grammas gave me different parts of my personality. One was the business side, the other was my country side. Minnie was my country side.
She lived almost 98 years, her mind was clear until almost the end of her life. I could only hope to duplicate that long life and clear mind, and still have a little "fiesty" left, and a little country left in my soul. I hope that I will be as good a gramma to my twin granddaughters, as my gramma was to me."
In retrospect, I believe I know where I got my genie bug, from Minnie. Oh, could she cook, Man and I both recall huge breakfasts topped off by gravy, fresh green beans with a bit of salty ham for flavoring. Her oven fried chicken, was to die for, I never could duplicate it. I also learned about antiques, learned how to sew, and learned some driving lessons that I remember to this day, all from my Gramma. However, her true gift to me was her unqualified love.
My Minnie, my country gramma. Priceless to me.
* Even tho Minnie taught me to sew, I never came close to her skills with the needle and sewing machine.
**Reference to sale means an estate sale, most likely an auction.