August 16, 2021, “Stories Dad Told Me Later…”

      When I saw this picture, taken in 1929, I knew my Dad loved me. He always wanted to take care of his family.

I remember how my Dad often told me, I was so cute.  Every Sunday, my parents took me to church as a tiny baby. They often came home without me.  The ladies of the church took turns taking me home with them to play.  Sometimes, I wasn’t with the same lady who took me home first.

On day Dad took me to the post office to meet his boss.  I was not aware of the furor I caused. Evidently the postmaster asked for a kiss. I did the unexpected again. I thought it over and emphatically said, “No!”

He asked me, Why not? I looked at the cigar he held and responded, “You stink!”  Dad told me later he was not fired.  But knowing him he probably laughed to himself.  No one I knew in the family smoked. I did not intend to kiss a smelly old man.  I think I was about three years old.

I can’t remember why I cried, but I must have been a cry-baby as a little girl.  Every time I cried my Mom held my brothers’ hands and surrounded me in a circle. They sang a little song:

Little Sally Water, Crying and weeping ‘cause she is mad.

         Rise Sally rise, wipe out your eyes – turn to the East, turn to the West,

         And turn to the one you love the best.

By that time, I had forgotten why I cried. The task of choosing one person I loved was intensely difficult.  My nick-name became Sally, and then shifted to Suzy.  When my daughter, Anna, visited her grandparents while going to college, they often called her Suzie Two.

When I found the picture of Dad stopping his farm work to check on me in the basket, I knew he loved me. He taught school in a one-room schoolhouse, and a part time farmer.

While in the first grade, my Dad bought a large box of crayons for me.  I loved the varied colors and could hardly wait to color. The day came the teacher made copies of picture of an apple in the magical pan that copied papers. One at a time. I loved smelling the odor of a new page.

We were told to color the apple red.  I looked at the many colors in my box. Which one, Which one. I felt so rich. I couldn’t read the crayon to see which is red or even thought about it.  I chose an almost red color.  When the teacher looked at my apple she declared it wasn’t right.

I chose an almost red crayon with a bit of orange in it.  I asked for another copy of the picture to correct my mistake. She said she didn’t have any more.

Years later, I stood at the counter of apples in the grocery store, and laughed.  I saw apples the same color I used when coloring my apple in the first grade.   As a teacher, later, I understood she was testing to see if we knew the true red color.

It is always wise to see another person’s perspective.  Later as I learn to paint murals, I realized trees are different shades of green, and not a pure green.  My delight became using several different colors on the brush and delight in the surprises of colors.

When God created the world, He majored in shades of color…in the skies, and all over the earth.  There would be no ‘art’ without God’s Unique Creation.

      I found a four-generation picture when I was a baby.  My mother held me.  Her mother, Anna Suderman, is standing to the left, and Anna Suderman’s mother, stands on the right, Justina Loewen.

Growing up I so enjoyed hearing about my Grandmother Suderman and Great Grandmother Loewen.

No one ever told me about the day this picture was taken.  One thing that colors our lives is the blending of teaching our parents give us through the years.  Their teaching paints who we become and is our legacy.

Mother wrote a story of her family, The Lines Are Fallen. My Anna Payne re-published Mom’s book.  One story she incudes is after learning to read and to add and subtract, it was decided that she would stay home and helped her Mother care for her thirteen siblings born from 1881 – 1998.  Grandma Suderman often cried as she sent her brothers and sisters to school each day.  She had a thirst for learning. She left her a legacy of learning with the five children she raised from the nine children she bore after she married in 1900.

Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20b.  This is the Joy Grandma Suderman lived.  Grandpa and Grandma’s gravestone has the reassuring scripture from Job 19:25. “I know that my Redeemer liveth!”