The Rest is History

“Dude, have you seen Mom’s desk lately?”

panda on floorFoster’s words woke me up from a sound sleep. We were in the front living room, where we had been helping Mom go through some family history information earlier in the day. “Not recently,” I replied. “I can’t see the top of the desk unless somebody puts me up there.” desk“Well,” Foster said. “It’s seriously a mess.” I was just about to ask what was so unusual about that when Foster continued. “She even moved the laptop up there. And she got a new printer, but she hasn’t been using it to print stuff.”watching scan photos“I’ve been watching her. She’s been scanning a bunch of old letters and photos so they can be kept for posterity.” both in box“Well I don’t know about Posterity,” I said as I attempted to climb into the box with Foster. “But don’t you think she should save them for all the relatives?” Foster laughed. “Posterity is all the generations that will come after us. So basically that is all the relatives. By the way, is that a patch you have on your head?”panda in box 2“As a matter of fact, it is.” I responded a bit testily. Don’t you remember, Mom had to patch me up a couple of weeks ago? This time she used denim because she thought the patches would be sturdier.”

Foster thought for a minute. “Hmm…” he mused. “I must have been asleep in my den when she did that. Nice, though.” Then he changed the subject. “Hey, do you want to look at some of the family history stuff? Mom’s busy working on her blog so I don’t think she’ll notice.”next to typewriter 2“Is that a new piece of furniture?” I asked as we looked around the room. “It looks pretty cool.”starting project“Actually, it’s another one of Mom’s Pinterest projects,” Foster said knowingly. I watched her make the whole thing.”

“Wow!” I exclaimed. “Good thing she already had some scrapbooking paper, Modpodge, and turquoise paint on hand.”sheet“Umm,” Foster replied. “Is there any craft-related thing Mom doesn’t have on hand?”drawer“Actually, you do have a point there,” I replied. “So I see she each drawer will hold two of those shoe box sized plastic containers. They look like they’d be perfect for holding photos or letters.”Foster with pencil“Yep,” Foster said. “And I’ve been trying to remind Mom to put names on the back  of these photos. You know, we can’t have any more like Daddy and Some Babies!”Geo and babies“That’s true,” I said, laughing. “Remember when we were playing Hide-and-Seek and we found ourselves back in time? We met him, didn’t we?”boy holding panda“Yes,” Foster replied. “That was George, but nobody ever spelled his name out all the way. He’s always referred to as Geo in all the family letters Mom’s found.”Nels Nelson and Charlotte (or SH) b“So who are these people?” I asked. “They’re not related to Geo, are they?” Foster shook his head. “No,” he responded thoughtfully. “I’m pretty sure that’s Mom’s great grandma Charlotte. Mom thinks that was her first husband, Nels, who passed away in 1900. But it could be her second husband, Stengrim.”

I looked at Foster quizzically. “So you’re telling me you don’t know if that’s Stengrim or Nels? Well, this one definitely is Nels. He was a stone mason, and he worked on the decorative parts of the Minnehaha County Courthouse in South Dakota. He also – ”

Nels Johnson“Wait,” Foster said, stopping me mid-sentence. “I thought this was Nels. He was a tailor, not a stone mason. Don’t you remember, he’s the one who made the quilt out of wool fabric swatches, that was handed down to Mom!”on quiltNow it was my turn to sound knowledgeable. “That’s Nels Johnson. He lived in Ludington, Michigan.” I replied a bit smugly. “The stone mason was Nels Nelson, from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.” Foster stared at me, amazed. “So two of Mom’s great grandfathers were named Nels?” Johnson ad“Yes, and quite a few of her other ancestors were named Nels too,” I answered. “I guess it’s a Swedish thing. You know she was raised by Swedes. Anyway, Mom found an ad for his shop on Newspapers.com.”

“She had found a photo of the shop in one of her boxes,” I continued, “so she went online and looked up the Rath Building in Ludington, Michigan. You’ll notice from the ad that the address was 108 South Rath Avenue. I guess Mr. Rath was pretty famous back then, so the building is still named after him. Isn’t that just so cool?”close upFoster looked at me thoughtfully. “Well,” he remarked. “For someone who can’t see up on the desk, you certainly seem to know a lot about Mom’s family history. Let’s look at some of the vintage items she’s been using to decorate the front room.”new containerWe stepped back and admired the new plastic “dresser” and the other items against the  wall. “Looks pretty good,” we said in unison. We figured it would look even better when Mom got through putting everything away.living roomStepping back a little further we admired the bookshelf and the vintage suitcases in the corner.trampoline“Hey wait!” I exclaimed as we stepped back even further. “What’s the trampoline doing in here? It doesn’t have to do with family history!”  Foster laughed. “Dude,” he responded, “do you remember the last time you saw mom using that thing? It’s history, all right!”

11 thoughts on “The Rest is History

  1. I love old photos almost as much as old books! Your family history is so interesting, too. Well done for getting organised. I always wondered about the trampoline… 🙂

    1. Thanks Chris! Yeah, I think Foster and Panda get more use out of the trampoline than I do 😋I got it shortly after getting my Fitbit tracker, which now won’t sync for some reason so it’s it a drawer…

  2. Lovely those old memories, sadly our Humanmom hasn’t got much pictures anymore, due to problems in the family. But she has her own memories in heart.
    Purss Annie&Charlie

  3. The vintage photos are great. I often scan old photos into the PC. I have so many photo albums that I have to decide what to do with because when I am not around no one will care about them. To test my memory I often try and write down the names of the people in the photos. I am glad Foster and Panda are around to help and to amuse and to just make any day better.

    1. Thanks! I like vintage photos so much that I even have a “Vintage photos” board on Pinterest LOL. All of people I don’t know, with the exception of a few I have uploaded. Amazing how so many of my old family photos have no names, some have a date, but not most. And my own photos, although a lot are on the computer because they’re digital, are unmarked other than “IMG_” with a number after it. 😬Which won’t be of any help to “Posterity” either. 😋🐱🐼

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