I Discovered My Great Grandmother in a Box

……no, not her physical body.  But I have discovered the woman she was through what has been kept in a box for many years.  Item by item, I have pieced together who she was and I have gladly found her worth getting to know….and worth sharing the woman she was with whoever happens by to read.

This is Nina.

Nina Trusty Vredenburg (2)

Her family wasn’t wealthy, but they seem to have had enough.  They obviously worked hard.  In the things of hers that someone had the presence of mind to keep was a small book, no bigger than 3″ x 4″.  Here is the dainty-looking cover:

Nina Trustys little book cover

But ironically when you open it, here’s what you find…(typed words follow)

Nina Trustys little book 3

(“To find a ton of loose hay, multiply length by height by width and divide by 500”)  I can picture her keeping this handy little book in a coat or apron pocket where it could easily be pulled out when a transaction was about to happen.  There was, after all, a living to be made.  I was left to wonder if the hay was bought or sold.

Nina’s days weren’t limited to hay…

Nina Trustys little book 5

(“Feed bought June and July 77 2/3 lbs  2.18….Aug 10th 100 lbs 2.50…Sep 14th 100 # cracked corn….”)

Apparently, in this family we count our eggs before AND after they’re hatched….

Nina Trustys little book 2

Nice for history’s sake that she dated her note.  1923?!

Nina Trustys little book 6

So, imagine my surprise after all this talk about chickens and eggs, that I would come across this picture….

Ivys mother Nina and two little goats Waukesha Wisc Springdale Road 1940-41

I wondered what on earth she could be holding.  And I may still be left to wonder if not for the background and the scribbled note of a daughter on the flip side of the picture which reads “My mother Nina and two little goats”.  Yup…goats.  Why not?  And there’s the hay that was apparently bought to feed the goats.  I can’t see the chickens – I hope they are safely inside on that cold, snowy Wisconsin day.   She was obviously a hearty and capable woman who was not afraid of work, whether it meant tallying what was spent on feed or lugging around a couple of goats in the snow.

There was more to Nina than hay and feed and chickens and goats, but you’ll have to wait until my next post to find out what I discovered.

About Climbing Downhill

Wife and mother of grown kids, in my 60's and dealing with MS, making life's moments count and trying to offer something of value to others along the way. https://climbingdownhill.wordpress.com
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