My Grandma Dicke is an amazing woman. In May, she celebrated 94 years!
She’s kind, gracious, and extremely generous. She gives more than she takes (in fact, she rarely takes), and takes care of other’s needs before her own. She’s always been that way. She has a talent for knitting, and she lays out hand-made mittens and washcloths for our family to choose from at family functions…just because. She’s an incredible role-model for our large family. We are blessed to have Grandma as the matriarch of our family.
I was thinking today that she must have learned so much about life in her 94 amazing years, so I decided to call her and ask her a few questions.
Chrissy (as she calls me): What is your earliest childhood memory?
Grandma: “Walking to school at 6 years old. I also remember driving the team of horses. I rode horseback to the school and the church which was on the corner. The church yard had a barn where we put the horses. It was 2.5 miles from home. As soon as were big enough to sit up, we rode horseback. “Freda” was my horse’s name.”
C: What did you do for fun as a young girl?
G: “We played ball at school: soft ball and foot ball. We had a swing, I loved to swing.”
C: What chores did you do on the farm?
G: “I milked cows and drove horses. One year we had 4 horses, and another year we had 6 horses and a cultivator. We worked hard, but we still seemed to have time to play. We had a big loft and Mom would send us out there to play so she had some time to herself.”
C: What was life like when you were raising a family in the early years?
G: “Things were pretty tough, we didn’t have much money. We had a lot of second-hand clothes given to us.”
C: Was it hard raising 6 kids?
G: “Yes, I was always tired! I worked hard in the field.”
C: Can you share an important life lesson you’ve learned through your life experiences?
G: “To be responsible for your actions.”
C: What was life like during the depression?
G: “During the depression, it was pretty hard getting food. We had a beef ring and we took turns once a week taking in beef. The butcher would cut it up and separated it into bags for us and we would pick it up on Saturday morning.”
C: What’s a Beef Ring Grandma?
G: “A beef ring is when you each raise beef and when it gets to be a certain size, you would take it in to get butchered and we would split it up amongst us. There was 20 of us neighbors that did this. Some people would have poor beef and you wouldn’t get much beef one week, and then sometimes a neighbour would have one with lots of fat, so we had lots of meat.
Life now is pretty different living in one-room. I read through my bible once a year and that keeps me strong.”
And then she laughed. The from-the-belly kind of laugh that works into your heart and mind and then lingers there for a while like a melody.
I could tell she was growing tired, so I thanked her for all the interesting life stories, and we said our good-byes. My Grandma continues to teach me so much today. I have no idea how fortunate and spoiled I am. I have all the modern-day conveniences which I take for granted.
As I was listening to my Grandma recall memories of her childhood, I realized something. The reason she’s such an incredible woman today is because of all she went through in her life. The good and the bad both form character, and Grandma’s character is something to aspire to.
I also realized how important it is to find out about one’s history ~ rich in knowledge, tradition, and wisdom. If we don’t ask questions and learn from our elders, that history can’t be passed down. Thank you for sharing with me Grandma. I love you!
From my heart to yours,