As you have requested I will write something about each of my four grandparents. I love them all and have learned from each of them; they have had so much influence on my life. My grandma Nielsen was a party girl. She was so much fun. In her early years she would play the piano at dances, and she had the ability to play all kinds of tunes by ear. I remember her playing and singing when I was a child. I never saw her use sheet music and am not even sure if she knew how to read music, but she played and sang for us from memory. I loved going to her house as a child. We would die Easter eggs, dance around the maypole, play games like Chinese checkers, and in general have a fun time. About once a year my Dad would take my Mom on a business trip, and my Nielsen grandparents would come and tend at our house. That was a lot of fun too.
One characteristic of grandma Nielsen that I observed during these weeks was that she had her own priorities and schedule. I had a dream about her once that for me is representative of this characteristic. In this dream she was ironing shirts, but the house was on fire. I was yelling at her that we needed to get out of the house, but she said, "you go on ahead, Johnny, I just want to finish this shirt first." And she kept singing and ironing.
One funny thing we always observed and commented on regarding grandma Nielsen was that whenever she invited us over to dinner she would always serve three kinds of meat. I think she felt that not serving three different types of meat was an affront.
One of our greatest treasures is a book my mother made from a collection of pictures and written accounts from grandma Nielsen. It is about 120 pages long and filled with humor and wonderful stories about her parents, grandparents, and her own life.
Grandpa Nielsen was very kind, patient, and reserved. He was a good balance to grandma Nielsen, and they had a wonderful marriage and ability to work together. Sometimes he put his foot down with grandma Nielsen when he wanted to do something differently. One time for instance she asked him to bring home some boxes of peaches so she could bottle them. When he arrived home he had boxes of canned peaches and said, "Retha, we're going fishing", and they hooked up the trailer and went up into the Uintahs for a fishing trip. Grandpa Nielsen loved to fish, and he had the temperament and patience to be a good fisherman. He was very good to me. When he and grandma came to tend at our house he would take me on long hikes and spend other time with me.
He loved going to the temple, and in his later years when they lived in a condominium close to the Salt Lake Temple he would go several times a week. In the month before my mission we went together a few times, and we would do temple work and then go back to our lockers where he had a sandwich for each of us, and then we would go back to work.
I love you. John"
As I mentioned yesterday, each day this week of family history I am giving away some smaller journaling prizes. Each prize consists of a journal, stamps and washi tape... a little something to help you get started writing your own personal history. To enter each day please leave a comment about the post below. You could enter every day. All winners will be announced Monday January 26, 2015.
Don't forget to enter the RootsTech 3-day pass giveaway.