Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gerber Girls & Their Stories

I posted a layout this past January of the "Gerber Girls" - my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my six great aunts (their last name was Gerber.)  You can find the post here.  My mother had told me that she would write a little bit about each of the Gerber Girls and I planned to incorporate her stories into a second page of the layout.  I finally finished the layout this week.
My mother wrote such great stories about her grandmother, mother and aunts.  I am so glad that she did this for me.  Thanks so much mom!
I used mostly BasicGrey Curio collection on this page.  I made the rolled flowers with a 7 Gypsies paper and a beaded flower embellishment that came in my April 2010 Studio Calico kit.  All of the letters, the bird, and the nameplate were made using my Slice.  I used Tim Holtz crackle paint on some chipboard on the leaves and vines.

Here is a close up of the left-hand page:

A close up of the right-hand page:

My mother's jounaling reads:
The Gerber girls have all left this earth.  Anyone who ever knew them, the first thing they will say is what hard workers each and every one was. That is the trait they were most known for. Was it their Swiss ancestry that made them that way, I do not know.  They were also known to be very frugal. I remember at a family get-together at my mother’s house, I walked into the kitchen to find them busy talking and washing Styrofoam plates we had used!  All of the Gerber girls married dairy farmers and all lived within 20 miles of each other.

Aunt Leona – I called her Aunt O-nie for lots of years. My dad and Leona’s husband were brothers (brothers married sisters.)  The brothers shared their farm equipment.  Therefore, I got to spend lots of time at their house. I loved it ‘cause they had eight children, so I had lots of cousins to play with. Besides, they had more toys to play with!

Aunt Katherine – All my aunts had a distinct brogue. That is one thing I remember about her. She was a religious person.  When she was in her 90’s she even went to China on a missionary trip. She wanted to die in her later years. So every year she made up a theme for the year.  When she was 97 her theme was “I’m 97 and going to Heaven.”

My Grandmother Leah – Granma’s husband  (my grandfather) died in a car accident in 1935. Grandma was left alone to raise 7 daughters and to run the farm. I have heard stories of granma plowing the fields with a horse and walking behind the plow. During the years I knew granma she would live with elderly people to help them and also make an income for herself. When I was married she would help me sometimes. I remember her helping me peel apples for freezing or making pies. She was so frugal! She would get every tiny little bit of the apple that was possible to eat.  Granma fell and broke her hip. Then when she was in the hospital she fell out of bed and broke her other hip. She lived to be 6 months short of 100 years. Oh, yes, and how could I forget – granma was well known for her excellent pie making. I hate to brag, but I do believe I inherited that trait from her!

Aunt Mary – Her husband (Uncle Fritz) was one of my favorite uncles. The story goes that I was so bashful when I was little that I would not go to anyone except Uncle Fritz. Aunt Mary only had one eye.  She lost the other one in the car accident that killed my grandfather.

Aunt Selma – I remember her being tall and thin like granma was. She had seven children, but they were all older than me.  I do not remember spending much time at their house playing with the cousins. All together my aunts and uncles gave me 31 first cousins. (I also had 21 cousins from my dad’s side.)

My mother Ruth – to describe my mom in a few sentences is hard to do. If only I could be half as ambitious as her at my present age of 65 I would be happy! We lived on a farm. She milked cows morning and night and also helped with the fieldwork. When they retired from the farm she started an antique business.  She would even drive into Minneapolis with this huge ugly van to buy antiques from estates. After probably 20 years of being an antique dealer she opened a Bed and Breakfast. I could go on and on about all my mom did in her life. I loved her dearly and miss her.

Aunt Pearl – She died of stomach cancer when I was about 5 years old. All I remember is the funeral which was held at her house, with the dead body being there.  All of us kids had to play outside.

Aunt Florence – She was the youngest and also my godmother. She married an Irishman who was 20 years older than her. They lived on a farm that was kept immaculately clean.
Have a great Saturday everyone!


  1. This is so pretty! And I love how you blocked off the journaling!! :)
    You are so lucky to have so many stories.

  2. This is gorgeous, and a great way to preserve the memories and stories :)