Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Joe and Josie Harstad


I thought it was time you got to meet my grandparents who lived at 521 Lake Street. This is Joseph and Josephine aka Joe and Josie Harstad. I was named after both of them as I am Sandra Jo.

I have absolutely wonderful memories of both of them, as do all of my cousins. We often reminisce about our time in this home on Lake Street. My grandfather worked for a few different meat companies in his life time, he ended up at a place called Peter's Meats the longest, and my Uncle Bob, his son, worked there most of his life too. I can remember going into the refrigerated areas of the plant and pulling wieners off of the string and eating them right than and there! I know, don't go there please... :) My grandma Josie was of pure German descent and was a stoic woman. She never worked outside of the home, and I don't think she ever even learned to drive, as was the case of a lot of women of her time. Now when we speak of her we seem to all agree she was the serious one in the relationship. I never doubted she loved me, but she wasn't real demonstrative. But she did give good hugs! Now Grandpa on the other hand was a hoot! He always seemed in a good mood. I have one memory of him taking me to the new Woolworth's Store and I was to go along so he "wouldn't get lost". He bought me a chalkboard that had a little abacus on the top of bright colored beads...I still remember that so well today....he also liked to walk down to the lake, just a few blocks from their home and let us grand kids feed the ducks....I took my son Bryan back to Wisconsin when he was just two, I had lost both my folks and my Dad's sister, my Aunt Rosemary wanted me to come home. I took Bryan to feel the ducks and it was a powerful, surreal moment.

This home that means so much to all of us grand kids, ended up being a college town rental.....it was hard to see this house with so many memories end up looking like crap. So run down...I swore if it ever came up for sale, it was mine! Well....it came up for sale, but no one knew and and very quickly was snatched up by another rental company. This made me nuts for a few days....but I have let that company know if they ever want to sell it...let me know first! I have a lot of thoughts of what it would be like to own that home and lovingly restore it....you never know!!!! We might just have a retirement home yet! :) Thanks for letting me ramble...

6 comments:

Lori E said...

This is a beautiful story Sandy.
I never knew any of my grandparents but my mom would tell me that her mother was a miserable woman. Okay lets think about this she had a baby every 12-18 months for her whole reproductive life. What in the world did she have to miserable about hmmmm?

A Stitch In Thyme said...

Oh my gosh, I can so remember taking weiners right out of the icebox as it was known back then, and eat them half frozen. I think now, egads no way. I have very fond memories of my g'parents. I miss them terribly some days but I do have my memories. We also used to eat mustard and sugar sandwiches. Mmmm still like them. :) Tammy

Josette said...

What a sweet post. I enjoyed seeing what your g'parents looked like.
I also adored my maternal grandparents. Ahhh! What sweet memories.

Jo

Julie said...

Oh, Sandy!
What a wonderful story...and so real - I mean you didn't sugar coat about your grandmother and yet you know that she loved you and you her. I especially love the part where you said, "she did give good hugs" - she probably said it all right there! I've got some German roots, as well -- I'm a mutt!

I sure hope that you're able to get their old home one day. That's so sweet of you...
I don't have such memories with my grandparents (both grandmothers passed away) and I just love reading stories like these. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

Before I go (and forget) ... the young man that sings that version of "Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered" is Joey Mcintyre. He used to be a part of a teen boy group called "New Kids on the Block"! He grew up and I just love this song, too!

Many Blessings,
Julie

Teresa said...

They are very cute! It's nice your memories of their house are so vivid and wonderful.
ps. your VTT post is great too. Glad you posted.

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