Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wonderful days of Spring

I hear from friends in other parts of the country who are having terrible problems with flooding. They are many of them evacuated from their homes. They don't know if they will have a home to go back to. I guess many of us take that for granted that we have a home to
go to after a trying day at work.

With all this coverage of the floods I tried to imagine what that would feel like to me if
there was no home to return to this afternoon after work.  That old saying,
"Walk a day in their shoes."  IT is easy to sit in our comfortable chairs in the evening and watch in horror as houses are shown almost completely underwater.

IT made me remember that when the Trinity River near here was dammed up in the 1960's that many
people had to sell their properties to the government under Eminent Domain laws.
These same houses are underwater now in the lake created with that action.  My
great grandparents home sat near the river bank. It is somewhere under all that water.
All the days that were lived there are gone now as are the people who lived in the houses.

This same location is where my great grandparents had a store next door to their house.
They operated this for many years. My grandmother worked in the store and her mother shared that work with her.  Her father and the brothers farmed their land.  I have a picture of
all of them in 1910 that was taken shortly before my grandmother married.

She is the one in the picture who stands out because she is wearing a lovely white lawn dress with hat and the brothers are wearing their little short pants and shirts because they were called in from the fields when word was sent that a photographer was at the store.
Granny Allie's dress is a story in itself. While working in the store she  met a good looking man who was working on the Lock and Dam being constructed in the river next to her home and the store. She told me she said the first day that the man, Frank  was the most handsome man she had ever seen. He began to come to the store often and they met outside the store after work was over to talk and walk together. Before long he proposed to her and she accepted.

There was one problem for them because her father would not agree to her marriage to a man who had been married before. (His wife and 2 chilren had died a few years before of yellow fever) but still her father did not approve of him for this reason. She was 16 and he was 32.

Granny Allie at 16.
Grandpa Frank at age 32, wedding day.

Great grandfather offered to order her a new wardrobe as a bribe if she would not marry my grandfather.  So she agreed. When the new clothes arrived  she shortly after ran away and married him anyway. The picture is of one of those new outfits which she wore when she ran away. They were married and the parents forgave their only daughter and they were married for over 40 years before his death. They had 6 children together, one of which was my mother. All of them including my mother and her siblings are deceased now.
There is no way to know where that house and store were located now when you pass near in a boat.  I remember it though as a child.  It was large with a porch surrounding it.  There were many live oak trees
in the yard and that is my little girl memory of it.

But to get back to the original idea here, that house where she lived and the store are
under the lake.  People ski in the lake and swim and fish. Lake Livingston is a huge lake. They would never think of these houses which by now have rotted away for sure.  That was a whole other lifetime before.
But under that lake there are stories that no one knows, such as the love story of my grandparents. It lives in my heart and memory only. I need to remember to tell my children of their love story and the old house which sits in the bottom of Lake Livingston where part of our ancestry began.

I leave you to ponder other stories such as this that will be lost in the flooding going on in our country.
This is America, we take care of our own, don't we?  There will be homes and lives to be rebuilt after the water goes away.  Let us pray for the people affected by this. 

1 comment:

Nelly said...

Thanks for sharing that lovely story.Love the way she took the bribe then ran lol little bit of a rebel? Its so sad to think of all that history under the lake.Would make a great story.