Tag Archives: grandmothers

Why Four Grandmothers?

I was guiding a group of grade sevens through the art gallery.  We stopped to look at Dee Barsy’s artwork about her four grandmothers.  “Why would someone have four grandmothers?”  I asked.  One girl’s hand shot up.  “Probably all her grandmothers are lesbians,” she said matter of factly.  I hadn’t thought of that as a possible answer but it was  certainly a valid explanation of why someone might have four grandmothers.

Four Grandmothers by Dee Barsy

I did tell the children that Dee Barsy was adopted and her painting depicted both her two biological and two adoptive grandmothers. But I thought it was great that it seemed perfectly natural to the young girl on my tour that someone’s  grandmothers might be lesbians.

Older people may still be struggling with the idea of same sex relationships but for the up and coming generation it is something quite natural and unremarkable.

Other posts……..

Four Grandmothers


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Lineage- Strong Women

I went to the Garden City Collegiate choir concert on Monday night. It was a terrific concert with many great performances. My favorite piece was Lineage by composer Andrea Ramsey. It was sung by the women’s choir. The lyrics were taken from a poem written by Margaret Walker

grandma and grandpa peters

My grandmother Margaretha Peters in a grain field on the farm where she worked for much of her life

My grandmothers were strong.

They followed plows and bent to toil.
They moved through fields sowing seed.
They touched earth and grain grew.
They were full of sturdiness and singing.
My grandmothers were strong.
grandma laundry

My grandmother Annie Schmidt doing laundry on her back porch

My grandmothers are full of memories

Smelling of soap and onions and wet clay
With veins rolling roughly over quick hands
They have many clean words to say.
My grandmothers were strong.
Why am I not as they?
I often think of the hard lives my grandmothers had and how despite this they remained kind, caring, open hearted women with a sense of humour. They inspire me. I come from a lineage of strong women. 
Other posts………

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Filed under Family, Music, Poetry

Portraits in Hope

This weekend I’m busy preparing a sermon for next Sunday on the theme of hope. I will tell stories about three grandmothers from our family who immigrated to Canada from Ukraine.oma and opa's exit papers (1)My husband Dave’s Oma Margaretha Friesen Driedger shown here with her husband Abram, daughter Agatha and son Cornelius just before leaving Ukraine for Canada

My husband's mother's family just before leaving from Lichtenau. His mother Anne is the little girl on her mother's lap.

Dave’s maternal Oma Gertrude Unrau Enns shown here with her husband Heinrich, four sons Peter, Henrich, Johann and Diedrich and two daughters Gertrude and Anne just before leaving Ukraine for Canada gm hired girl friesens_1024 (1)and my maternal grandmother Margareta Sawatsky Peters shown here with the children from a family for whom she worked as a nanny just after coming to Canada.
Preparing to tell these stories from a new angle is helping me gain an even greater appreciation for the strength and courage of my family’s female ancestors.
Other posts…………..

My Grandmother was a Guitarist

Heinrich and Gertrude Enns- A Family Story 

The School for the Deaf- My Father-in-Law’s Birthplace 

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Filed under Family, Religion

Grandma and Embroidery Hoops

This box of embroidery hoops was in the donations pile at the Thrift Shop the last time I worked there. I took a photo because the hoops reminded me of my grandmother. My Grandma Peters did embroidery and she taught me how to embroider too.

Ready to board my grandfather’s truck and head off to my grandparents’ farm in Gnadenthal for a few days

On a few occasions, I had the chance to go to her house in Gnadenthal for a visit on my own.  This was a special time because I had Grandma to myself instead of sharing her with my fourteen cousins and three siblings. 

My Grandma and Grandpa 

Those embroidery lessons with Grandma are a positive memory because I enjoyed her company and attention and learning to embroider taught me patience and perseverance. 

I have a piece of Grandma’s embroidery as a keepsake. I keep it on my bedroom dresser as a reminder of the many good life lessons Grandma taught me. 

Other posts about my grandmother…….

My Grandmother was a Guitarist

A Chiming Clock



Filed under Family