How Close Was Grandma to her Grandparents?

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, August 28, 1913: Nothing doing.

Grandma's grandfather, John Derr (circa, 1900)

Grandma’s grandfather, John Derr (circa, 1900)

Grandma's Grandmother, Sarah Derr (circa, 1900)

Grandma’s Grandmother, Sarah Derr (circa, 1900)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share a 1913 poem that resonated with me. I noticed it in the August, 1913 issue of Farm Journal when I was working on yesterday’s post.

Homely Wrinkles

Don’t neglect the old folks,

Love them more and more,

As they turn their weary eyes

Toward the other shore;

Let your words be tender,

Loving, soft and low;

Let their last days be the best

They have ever known.

This poem made me wonder about Grandma’s relationship with her elderly grandparents. Her maternal grandparents, John and Sarah Derr, lived in Turbotville which was about 5 miles from the Muffly farm. Her grandfather (John Derr) was 90 years old and her grandmother (Sarah Derr) was 79. Were they healthy? . . . ill? . . .fun to be around? . . . crochety? . . .

I may have forgotten, but I can’t remember her grandparents ever being specifically mentioned in the diary —though there were a few general references to events that they may have attended. For example, on January 19, 1913 Grandma wrote:

A bright and beautiful dawn welcomed the approach of day. Ruth and I walked to Turbotville this morning to attend a family reunion. All of ‘em weren’t there. Had quite a pleasant time, but it would have been nicer if some more of the cousins had been there. We had our pictures taken out on the lawn. . . .

18 Responses

  1. That is such a sweet poem. The sentiments are still valid today.

  2. Interesting that they are not mentioned. Were her other grandparents still living?

  3. A delightful poem… thanks for sharing.

  4. So interesting. Just like your grandmother was part of your life, her grandparents were part of her life. Do you know any more about how close she was with her “older” family members like the other grandparents or the grand-aunts and uncles?

    • Her other grandparents were deceased. Several aunts and uncles are mentioned in the diary–but I don’t think that she mentioned any great-aunts or great-uncles.

  5. Love that poem; it’s a new one for me. I’ve always felt closer to older folks than people my own age. I seem to have a soft spot for the elderly.

  6. Thanks for sharing the poem. It was very nice. Another thing that we need to do with the “Old Folks” is get their stories recorded or down on paper. They don’t all leave a diary which is unfortunate.

  7. As an old folk myself, and getting older all the time, I love the title “Homely Wrinkles”. Too bad her grandmother didn’t keep a journal that also came into your hands.

  8. That is a lovely poem. Was it written by one of the magazine readers?

    • I think so. If you look at yesterday’s post, the poem is at the edge of the picture that illustrated that post. Unfortunately the author is identified just as “R.R.”

  9. Talk about turning the hearts of the children to their parents! Love the poem and your family photos!

  10. This is why I blog and created a book of Grandma’s memories in flashbacks for my grand-girls. The grandparents are generally a generation too far back. The poem is wonderful though and your post is thought provoking..

    • Your grand-girls are lucky to have a grandmother like you! Blogging provides a wonderful opportunity for you and other grandparents to share memories with grandchildren.

  11. Very sweet, tender…and as it should be!

  12. Love that poem. Thanks for sharing that.

  13. I really enjoyed the poem “Homely Wrinkles” :D

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