Darlene Foster's Blog

Happiness is seeing your grandson read your book!

Posted on: August 30, 2011

Jesse reading my book

Yes, that is Jesse, my ten year old grandson reading Amanda in Spain. He says his friends can’t believe he has a grandmother who writes books. That is worth millions in book sales!

I have just returned from a wonderful visit to Alberta. It was so great to see my Mom, my son and his family as well as old friends (not old in age but in having known them for a long time)

Mom and Me

It was also a special time as my mom’s father’s family celebrated being in Canada for 100 years. It was the centennial of their immigration from South Russia to the Canadian prairies where my great grandparents set up farming on the Alberta and Saskatchewan border. The homestead is still in the family as an operational farm, although no one lives on it anymore.

We celebrated with a full day of activities organized by my cousin Jean Sanders and her family. The day started with delicious fruit kuchen, coffee/tea and a chance to catch up. There are currently 188 direct descendants of my great grandparents, Andreas and Katherina Mehrer and 81 of us attended this special event.

They arrived in Canada with four small children in 1911. My grandfather John, the eldest, was 6 years old and his baby sister Frieda was only 6 weeks old. Andreas and Katherina went on to have nine more children. The surname Mehrer is derived from a Middle High German word meaning “to increase”. The name is most appropriate as100 years later there are 188 descendants, many of them children. There were five generations at the reunion.

Katherina Mehrer acted as a midwife and delivered more than 60 babies in between looking after her own large family and helping out with the farm work. She was a tiny woman with incredible strength and endurance.

Andreas Mehrer was known as a great storyteller and many of us have the gift of the gab, passed on from him no doubt. I was seven when he passed away and he only spoke to me in German but I remember him as a kind old man. I think he would be pleased to see my grandson reading my book, proof that the storytelling tradition has continued.

Happiness is also being part of a huge loving German family that loves to get together and share stories over good food.

26 Responses to "Happiness is seeing your grandson read your book!"

What a wonderful legacy, and to celebrate their immigration is a tribute to them.

Thanks Patti. I am blessed that we have kept the tradition of meeting on a regular basis.

You posted a wonderful picture of my dad and his youngest grandchild! Soo precious. I wonder if you could email it to me, please?
My mom got me your book, now I am waiting rather impatiently on it to get here!
Love ya, Cousin..

Thanks Lydia. I will send you the picture. I just love it. We missed you and your family at the reunion but you were there in spirit. I hope you enjoy the second Amanda adventure. I am working on the third. Love you too…..

What a lovely thing to see. You are amazing Darlene. I wish we could have attended the reunion, but maybe next time we be able to make it. Thanks for the family history. I have been told the wrong one… they don’t quite match up. Lots of love to you.
Robin

Thanks Robin. You were missed. It would be so great to see you at some time. I will try to send you the brief history that was read out on Saturday afternoon.

I remember the first time my daughter read my book. It made me so nervous. I wanted her to like it–well, love it–and not just because it was mine, but because it was mine and it was good. It is worth more than anything.

The support and acknowledgement of our family is so important to us isn’t it. Who really care what the rest of the world thinks. Mind you, it is great when the rest of the world likes our stories too!

What a rich fmaily history you have. The stories of Russian immigrants to the New World always fascinates me. I look forward to reading your blog on a regular basis.

And thank you for your wonderful review of Shadowed in Silk. I am so over the moon that you liked it.

Thanks Christine. I am lucky to have a rich family history. Germans from Russia have a unique story to tell as they haven’t lived in Germany for over 200 years yet still keep the German traditions. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Loved reading your family story and seeing the photos. Well done, Darlene. You write so well.

Thanks for the encouraging comments Marion.

What a great family history, Darlene. I really enjoyed this post.

So cool for your grandson to be reading your book. I can hardly wait untilMiss Charlotte is old enough to read mine.

Hi Laura. It won’t be long and she will be reading it with you. I know she will love it and brag to her friends about you! Glad you enjoyed this post.

Hi Darlene,

This is a wonderful post. Adding in the pictures to your brief family story gave it great flavour, and one many of us from immigrant families can relate to. As always, I feel the heart in your words.

Shea

Thanks for your kind words Shea. We still have the white dress my Great Aunt Beth, seated in the right hand corner of the picture, was wearing. There are so many stories to be shared with the upcoming generations.

Hi Darlene, Thanks for sharing your family legacy with us – wow, they were really prolific, weren’t they?? Loved the picture of your grandson and you with your Mom – you are so blessed. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Nancy

Thanks Nancy. I truly am blessed. Look forward to seeing you too.

What a fabulous post! I am glad you led me to it!!

Glad you enjoyed this little post about my family Chris.

I can’t believe how much your grandson looks like our Curtis, also age 10. He can read his grandpa’s book The Boy Who Grew Too Small, but not mine, as it exists only as blog posts right now.

Our family histories, yours as Russian immigrants to Canada, mine as Swiss farmers to Pennsylvania, have many similarities: reunions, story-telling, and good food. I love your story and the matching photos. Thank you, Darlene.

Thanks for visiting Marian. Yes we do have much in common. Although my family lived in Russia, they were German, spoke German, ate German food and carried on German traditions. I believe the Swiss speak a version of German as well. I’m sure your grandson will be reading your stories one day soon.

I appreciate the vote of confidence. Thank you, Darlene.

[…] wrote about the 100 year celebration of the Mehrer family here  if you wish to learn more about this side of the […]

I love that first photograph. 🙂 Your family stories amaze and delight in equal measure.

It is a special photograph isn´t it. That grandson went on to help me with my research for Amanda in Alberta a couple of years later.

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