Saturday, February 9, 2013

Threads of Life


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2nd Weekend Writing Warrior

I am writing of my family, various members in various places. I am starting with August and Auguste Schumann, my great grandparents, living at this time in Boguslawka, Volhynia.

The summer of 1887 was one of those hot summers on the prairie of Volhynia. German families had come to eke out a living in a new land. The August Schumann family had many of their relatives on surrounding small farms. It was harvest time now for the grain, which produced the income for the family. Normally, the mother would be bringing food to her husband as he worked. She should also be helping to tie the bundles and shock the grain.  In my previous blog, I wrote about the serious condition of the three children. She has taken a brief break to sit down. In this section I refer to four children although only three are lying ill on the bed.




     "Auguste dragged herself out of the chair where she had been sitting for no more than five minutes. She plodded into the adjoining room which served as both a kitchen and storage for small garden equipment like hoes and rakes. She grabbed a glass from a cupboard now nearly empty of clean dishes. With a dipper, she filled the glass from the nearly empty bucket of drinking water.
     Returning to the room, in which the children lay, she was determined to get them to drink some water. All three children lay in the children's bed, crosswise to allow sleeping of all four children.  Their necks were so swollen and their color so dusky. Only a day or two ago, there were children's voices, joyfully playing outdoors with many other children living in the small settlement."

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22 comments:

  1. You've continued the mood so well, Carol. Sadness, not quite desperation, and you've really shown how utterly exhausted Auguste is, without telling it--and that's a good thing.

    The only suggestion I'd make is that it might read smoother if you added the word, "both" in front of the word "kitchen". Just a thought.

    Nice eight! :-)

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    1. You are correct, Teresa. I am talking of two functions. Thanks for that comment. I am going to edit it.

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  2. Sad story. You paint a good picture with your words.

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. I am finding it fun to read others postings.

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  3. This is heartbreaking, and I can feel the fatigue in the details - clean dishes and drinking water - that I assume would normally be kept under control.

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    1. I spent a part of my life on a farm where water needed to be carried from the well to the house in a bucket. Indeed, clothes washing day was the same. My mother heated it on a stove with corncobs burning because my father felt it was frivolous to heat wash day water with gas. I am so glad that I do not live in those days any more.

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  4. Poor sweeties - as a mother I feel so sorry for them! Powerful excerpt!

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    1. Thank you. Vaccines, in spite of some concerns about them, are so essential for our health today.

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  5. Oh my goodness, what a way to twist the heart. Puts us right there in the heartbreaking time with her ...

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    1. Yes, Sara, it is a wonder that any of us live today after the difficulties that our ancestors went through. Even royal people had their difficulties.

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  6. Vivid description, but yikes! So depressing. Thanks for sharing though.

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    1. One wonders how our ancestors got through life.

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  7. Very oppressive and well portrayed, sure hope things change for the better...poor Auguste.

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    1. It will take a while. What our ancestors endured for us to be here!

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  8. Good writing breaks a heart in many places...and I can't wait to hear more of your life's tale, to find out how it will happen. Thank you. :)

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    1. Thanks, Dana. I want to get this history in some meaningful way for family members before my life ends.

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  9. Poor thing, can't help but wonder what's going on.

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    1. Thanks Marie. I'm sure that Auguste was wondering the same thing.

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  10. I just want to tuck Auguste into bed and tell her to sleep while I take care of things for a while. What is it the children have? And where is the fourth child?

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    1. I don't know where the 4th child is. I hope to find her some day. I have not found a death record for her. Nor have I found any other at this point.

      I believe that the children have diphtheria. Family lore tells me that some of the family did.

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  11. This is dire. Terrifying, even, as a mother to read this. Intriguing words!

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  12. We are so fortunate to have vaccines today. I know that there is sometimes a side effect. However, there are not whole families ill with Diphtheria.

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