Watching a child grow up is exciting and yet sad at the same time. It wasn’t that long ago that we were at his kindergarten graduation and saw him walk over this little bridge that symbolized him going on to first grade. How I long for those days sometimes. Seeing him become a young adult and turning into a man is also exciting and yet I can still see that little boy standing at the edge of that little bridge on the stage at school. Now it’s up to him to take this journey into life and make his own choices. In my heart he will always be that little boy standing in left field picking a dandelion for Grandma……
I belong to a group of people who voluntarily restore old photo’s. Not long ago a gentleman posted four photo’s of his Uncles all had served in WWII. As often the case was none were ever home at the same time in those years. Having a soft spot for the military I asked if I could create a digital art piece for him – to which he agreed. All four Uncles had seen combat and each had a story to tell and fortunately all returned home safe, married and raised families. It was such a special pleasure to create “Returning Home” for him.
On May 14, 1914 the SS Vaterland sailed from Hamburg on her maiden voyage to the United States. Traveling in third class was 16 year old Mina Emma Bebensee. How exciting it must have been for her to be on such a beautiful ship and going to see her brothers who she had not seen for so many years. I’m sure it was a bag of mix emotions also, knowing she likely would never see her Mother or Sister again.
Brother Hans had emigrated with his father in 1898 so at that time Emma was barely a year old so I would guess she had no memory of him. Brother Gustav emigrated when she was 9 and he had been sent to live with an Aunt so they barely knew each other. I can guess as the days grew closer to her arrival there would have been a great deal of excitement in Elk Creek, Nebraska for her brothers. Finally after 15 years Hans would get to see his baby sister who he called his “Little Syropstrummel” (no translation found) – now all grown up.
I wish I had known my Great Aunt Emma but, I never got to meet her. Over the last few months I have been so fortunate to make contact with her Granddaughters and feel so blessed to be able to get to know them – even though it’s from a distance.
A little nostalgia from the days of train travel
Forest Valley school near Hildreth, Nebraska was a one room school house where my Momma and her siblings attended through the 8th grade. This digital art piece depicts what it may have been like during the long winters in the 1900’s.