“Please (don’t) pass the peas.”

The Frederick Hansen home flourished in Montana, eventually featuring eleven girls and two boys.

I have always marveled at the fact that Grandpa Hansen,  by all accounts, just “went on his way rejoicing” even though I’m sure he was hoping and planning and praying for boys to help on the homestead.  Over the years, this home was counted on to provide lovely brides for a number of farmers in the region.

The stories that Mom (Edith) would tell of their childhood were of a home full of music, optimism and wonderful memories.  She told stories of Christmases that were certainly short on “special” or “boughten” presents, but loomed large with presents that were lovingly prepared and given, sometimes including a piece of fresh fruit for each child, brought by a neighbor who had made a special trip to Kenmare or Williston for a box of fruit available after a midwinter train arrival.

She told me one specific story about the sweet mothering of Granny Johanna.  When Edith was a small girl, she really detested peas and simply could not get them down when they were served with a meal.  The common rule, of course, was that every child had to accept a serving of everything on the table.  But then, she told me, after everyone else was busy with their eating and talking, Granny would quietly and stealthily reach over to Edith’s plate, scoop the offending peas off the little girl’s plate into her hand and on to her own plate.

The only photo I’m aware of that we have with every family member on it was taken on the day of Immanuel and Edith’s wedding, April 10, 1926.  When I have the equipment to do it, I will scan that photo in to the site somewhere.

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