As I was browsing through photos in my computer tonight I came upon this wonderful picture that really touches my heart. It was taken about 5 years before I was born. And I think it was taken in the back yard at my Grandma Mollie Margheim's house, 114 E. 6th St, Hoisington, Kansas.
Pictured at far left is my Grandma Nannie Becker Flanders and behind her left shoulder is my mother, Ruby Nadine Flanders Margheim. Second from right is my Dad's mom, Mollie Koleber Margheim and at the far right end is my Dad's sister- my Aunt Laverna Margheim.
These women are special to me because they are the women who took care of me during the first few years of my life. I was born in 1947 and in 1949 my mother, Ruby, divorced my Dad and moved away. Finding himself a single parent with two little kids to raise and responsible for working full time at Thies Packing Co. in Great Bend, KS, Dad made the practical decision to move to Hoisington, KS to live with his parents, Mollie & John Margheim. My Grandma Margheim was a homemaker, so for the following two years she became our caretaker and substitute "Mommy". At that time my Aunt Laverna was newly graduated from Hoisington High School and at age 20 was living at home prior to her marriage to Al Irelan. She was like a big sister to me--a really big sister. I loved her and trusted her and spent most of my toddler days in her company. I still am able to remember climbing up on a stool in front of the bathroom sink as she washed my hair with Suave shampoo, and the bubble baths she gave me, I remember sitting very still with my fingers extended as she polished my nails, I remember her putting barrettes in my hair, and showing me how to play her grand piano. I remember "hanging out" with her when her best friend Joanie Miller came to visit.
As I grew up, it was my Aunt Laverna who, along with her husband and daughter, took me shooting--teaching me how to fire a pistol, they took me water skiing and camping at Boyd Lake in Colorado, swimming at Lake Barton near Hoisington, KS, and to the theater in Denver, CO. She taught me how to ride a horse--she was a member of the Hoisington Saddle Club. She gave me piano lessons from age 4 to age 6. She also tapped my knuckles with a ruler when I didn't lift my palms and fingers up at the keyboard! She helped me make decorations for my Dad and Step-Mom's Christmas tree. And Aunt Laverna sang to me and sang with me. How I loved my Aunt Laverna.
I loved my Grandma Flanders---I remember putting earrings in her pierced ears when she was not able to following a stroke. I loved her peach cobbler! I remember sitting on the dishpan at her dining table so I could reach my plate. I remember gathering eggs in her chicken coop and then watching her kill and clean the chickens that she prepared for our Sunday dinner. She was a quiet, gentle and kind woman.
I can't put down in words tonight the love and feelings I have for my Grandma Mollie Margheim and my mother Ruby Flanders Margheim. They're not only IN my heart, they ARE my heart. They have a lot of company there. And they are special for all the obvious reasons, but also because they always made me feel special. That's a wonderful gift!
People who make us feel special at a very young age seem to always remain dear in our hearts. These women will always be special to me!