A slight departure….I am not writing about our travels this time. Since it is my blog, I can write what I want and being home makes me want to tell you about my family.
My good friend, Brenda Brown, teaches a class on practical ways to leave a family legacy. (Family bucket lists, inscribed holiday tablecloths, etc.) I would like to think that I put my own creative spin on her ideas….My kids just think that I am twisted!
A true legacy can take generations to emerge. I was looking for some old pictures in my grandma’s dresser last week, when I came across a letter that my grandfather had written to his parents in the early 1930’s. The letter reads as follows:
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have been home during the four years George was at Wooster (College) and know just what a struggle and how hard is was on both of you to even try and make ends meet and put George through college. With Barbara wanting to go to college also I realize there will be burden enough placed upon you.
I think it’s about time you and dad had a few things for yourselves.
I know just how things stand here at present and it would be the same for many more years if you endeavored to put me through college. Please don’t think I don’t appreciate all you have already done for me as I do very much.
Therefore realizing how things stand I have decided, after many hours of serious thinking, to give up the idea of going to college. I will stick by Dad and you and try to make my living in the plumbing business.
You see, my great-grandparents left their families in Ireland to come to America in 1915. They wanted to make a better life for their children. My great-grandfather (Peter Lyon Lamb Bowie) was a plumber and my great-grandmother (Florence Mary Carroll Bowie) took care of their 6 children. They were both hard workers who cared deeply about family and obviously passed that down to my grandfather. Family portrait
You see, my great-grandparents left their families in Ireland to come to America in 1915. They wanted to make a better life for their children. My great-grandfather (Peter Lyon Lamb Bowie) was a plumber and my great-grandmother (Florence Mary Carroll Bowie) took care of their 6 children. They were both hard workers who cared deeply about family and obviously passed that down to my grandfather.
My great-grandparents did get a few things for themselves…namely, a cabin in Canada bought for back taxes so that Peter could enjoy fishing.
My Uncle George graduated from Wooster College and Princeton University, where he was acquaintances of Albert Einstein. Uncle George served in World War II before her became a spokesman for Firestone and travelled the world… including his birthplace Ireland.
Aunt Barbara also went to college and was the librarian at the world famous Chautauqua Institute.
My grandfather did make his living in the plumbing business after returning from World War II where he was a B-17 pilot stationed in England. In fact, he became a master plumber. He also made sure that his two daughters went to college.
There were 2 other sisters and a brother that weren’t mentioned in the letter. We were brought up to cherish family. We still get together over the holidays with the cousins (I guess we are technically second cousins but that doesn’t matter to us) over the holidays and summertime picnics.
I am starting to believe that next summer might be a good time for an official family reunion to celebrate 100 years in America. What a legacy!!!