Thursday, August 26, 2010

She Might Have Been a Blogger

 

virta

Slowly, but steadily, I’ve been transcribing my great-grandmother Virta Knutz’s journals – over 500 sheets of notebook paper spanning nine years.  Next will be a file folder with another hundred pages or so, titled “Our Trips.”  After that, another pile of pages called “Memories.” 

Transcribing her journals has given me an idea of what her life was like on the farm.  Her children lived nearby, so her days will often filled with grandchildren, as well as the household chores, made lengthier and a bit more mundane by the lack of modern appliances.  At the end of her day, she would write.  I suspect it was probably the only thing she did just for herself.  What was her motivation?  Was she lonely out on the farm?  Wanting to share her day with someone, after everyone else was in bed?  Or did she just feel an inexplicable need to put the pen to the paper?   I think many bloggers would know something of how she felt.

If Virta were alive today, I suspect she would be one of us…

10 comments:

  1. Do you have plans for the finished transcription?? If you said before, it has slipped outta my brain cells, ole leaky things that they are! LOL

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  2. You're so blessed to have these writings and to get to know her from the heart!

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  3. Becky, you are so right - all I remember of her was sitting in her rocking chair with her hearing aid turned off... lol...so getting to know her like this is such a treat. Carol, I am not sure what I'm going to do if/when I ever get all this transcribed. I do have a website set up for this family, might post it there. Seems a shame to get all this transcribed and then keep it to myself.

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  4. I have my mother's diaries from 1935 to when she died in 1987. Sometimes she'd write everyday, other times she'd go weeks or months on end without writing. I'm sure having 5 kids made it so sporadic. We transcribed them in the late 80s using a typewriter. I've been debating on how to go about putting them online, or if I even want to. The '60s were a tough time for her and the diaries show that in full detail (5 teens at once)...I'm not sure she'd want her grandchildren to see what 'pains in the butts' their parents were at their age! She wrote for an outlet of her frustrations...guess she thought they'd be buried with her.

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  5. Mary, I'll bet you have some fascinating reading - 5 teenagers at one time would *have* to have it's share of frustrations!

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  6. I got goosebumps all over reading this post. What a gem! I am so happy for you that you have this way of getting to know your grandmother.

    Perhaps you should check with her children and see if they mind having their mother's diaries shared :) That might solve your dilema at least for the time being...

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  7. Hi Michelle, not sure if you were talking about Mary's diaries or mine, but my gr-grandmother's children are long gone. Nothing in her journals, so far, that is terribly personal or "sensitive" - at least not so far. :)

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  8. Sorry Karen, Got confused. Was referring to Mary's diaries. Anyway, I did love this post and that you have had a chance to get a chance to "know" your grandmother better :)

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  9. It is such a treat to have her journals and be able to get to know her personally in a way that most of us will never know our ancestors. I wonder what you can learn from her experiences to use in your own life - even though you both live in very different times. I hope you'll share her journals with the rest of us. Even though she's not our grandmother, perhaps some of the experiences she had were like some of the experiences some of our ancestors had. You didn't mentioned the years she lived and journaled. I have to admit I'm just a little envious....

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  10. Hi Nancy,
    Virta was born in 1890 and died in 1972. Her journal, at least the one I'm working on now, was from 1956 to 1965. During this time, they retired from the farm and moved into town, for the first time since she was a child, so it will be interesting to see what she thought of that. :)

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