|The Mueller family in New Braunfels 1902--Grandma's the baby|
Grandma grew up in a large family with seven living brothers and one sister, who wasn't part of her life for long because this sister was sent to a mental institution. Grandma became a second mother to her five younger brothers. She only finished the sixth grade.
|Young Henrietta Mueller|
|The courting couple took many photos together.|
|My grandparents, uncle & my Dad c. 1936|
Life on their small farm was constant, back-breaking work. Not only did Grandma do all the cooking for her family, occasional farm workers, and mooching relatives, she washed clothes by hand (using water from a cistern since they didn't have indoor plumbing until the 1960's) and hung them on a clothesline, ironed with those cast iron monstrosities heated on the stovetop, sewed dresses by hand for herself and shirts for her men out of flour sacks, kept hundreds of chickens for eggs, meat, and "egg money," picked cotton, tended a garden, and did it all with a meek and gentle spirit. I never saw her angry or heard her complain. But I did see sadness in her eyes.
|My uncle's wedding 1949; Grandma already white-headed|
When she knew we were visiting she'd bake for days, filling a table with pies, cobblers, cookies, and her special homemade bread. I remember her hands were so strong and her fingers so long she could hold all her dominoes when she and Grandpa played "42" with my parents.
My hair was long, especially as a teen, and Grandma liked to brush it and "fix" it. While she did this I would ask about her family, and once even wrote down the names and dates she could remember (I still have those notes). Later she gave me photos of her great-grandmother, parents, wedding photos, and her catechism booklet (in German). She must have known I would treasure them.
|Her catechism booklet dated 13 Apr 1919|
|Only photo I have of her smile--captured in the late 1960s|
I have a few things in common with my Grandma: I too wanted many children, including a daughter or two, and like Grandma I have two sons, both of whom also moved far away to make their own lives with their families, and so I don't see them often, just like we weren't able to see Grandma often. She had two grandsons and five granddaughters; so far I have one and 2/3 granddaughters.
Thankfully, unlike Grandma Huth, I don't feel trapped on a farm with never-ending, back-breaking work. I have more freedom than she ever dreamed of having, and I try to count my blessings daily. Danke, Oma, und ich liebe dich.