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Souvenirs 11-7-2012

November 7, 2012

by Irma Schwantes
Hard to believe but we are in the second to the last month of this year 2012. Tomorrow will be the birthday of my 7th daughter as she was born on November 8th in 1951, oops that makes it Rhonda's 60th birthday... and she is recuperating from a knee replacement surgery. I hope her 60th doesn't bother her as much as my 60th bothered me. And for those who remember my great grandson Jason, it is also his 15th birthday. Happy birthday to you both and also to Roxie who will turn 65 next Thursday, when she too will be recuperating from a knee surgery, hopefullly doing well.

And along with the birthdays we remember my parents' wedding anniversary.

When we lived in Minneapolis, we almost always felt the need to go spend the weekend with my folks that first weekend in November. And it was almost always a struggle to convince Rhonda to come along as she felt cheated out of her birthday celebration. But the Grandparents were so happy to see us come with our station wagon filled with our kids, tumbling out to run over to the Cordes’ neighbors to play on the swing with their six daughters, and soon all the struggles were forgotten. And of course there was Grammas cookie tin filled with all their favorite goodies, so I do hope they all have wonderful memories of those weekend trips to our parent's home in New Ulm.

My parents were married in 1912, on November 7th, at 10:30 am. It was a Thursday morning, at the Echo German Lutheran Church in Echo, Minnesota. I have a framed copy of their professionally printed invitations, which announces the time as Thursday Morning November the 7th of 1912.

One day recently when I was sorting through some of my older Souvenirs, I came across a shiny black Hymn Book with my mother's name as Lena Schwartz, 1912 on it. Until that day she had been Lena Kastens of Canby, Minnesota. As I look at their beautiful oval framed wedding portrait, I had often wondered how come my Dad has a flower boutaneire, but she had no sign of a bouquet in her hands or corsage. Now it suddenly dawned on me that she had carried that Hymn Book as she came down the aisle with her father for her wedding. I recall her telling me that her grey satin dress had been sewed by her mother, because white satin was too expensive.

And when I was very small my younger brother and I walked in a parade dressed up as a bride and groom, and we won a nice toy truck filled with candy as our prize. I wore my mother's wedding veil. It had been her suggestion. The veil was long and soft netting with a crown of artificial flowers and buds, that sat correctly on my head. The veil was packed back into a trunk at the top of the stairway in our Payne street house.

My parents were good parents all through the Great Depression Years, as one of the memories stands out, my Pa always leading us in the table prayer at mealtimes.

It was always in German as he had learned and so did we: "Vater, unsere. Der du bist im Himmel. Sei Du unsere Gast, Besegnet vas Du uns besheren hast". But of course by the time we married and had families of our own, we no longer said prayers in German, but we did at suppertime all sit down saying those prayers in English together: "Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, let this food to us be blest, Amen."

I decided to save the Hymn Book for a grandson who was married in September of this year. Since it is 100 years since his great great grandparents were married, even though neither Phillip or his bride Kelsey read German, it can be a treasured keepsake for them in memory of their special day in 2012. Ya never know they may someday decide to learn to read the German print and hopefully they will be blessed with many good years of wedded bliss as their great-grandparents had.

"Quick!! Catch all the little foxes before they ruin the vineyard of your love, for the grapevines are all in blossom." Solomon 2;15


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