Lorraine and Bert
My Grand­ma & Me
Lor­raine in the ’80s

In 2008, I said good­bye to my Great-Aunt Muriel. (You can read that in this post).

Yes­ter­day, at 7:00 p.m. on Valen­tines Day, Muriel’s Sis­ter (My Grand­moth­er) passed away. She was 86 and a half years old. She was the last of her broth­er’s and sis­ters. Muriel, Clay­ton, and Byron nev­er had any chil­dren. Only Lor­raine and her sis­ter Zel­la had any children.

As I have writ­ten count­less times, these two women were a huge influ­ence on my life.

Every week­end, for most of my child­hood, I would spend the week­end at their home at 1981 Pine­hurst in High­land Park.

These two women taught me so much about life, about art, about edu­ca­tion. about food and about fam­i­ly. I learned the prop­er way to host a par­ty, how to use sil­ver­ware in a din­ner par­ty, table man­ners, and so many things that are apart of a lost generation…things that aren’t real­ly passed on to chil­dren anymore.

There are quite a few things that real­ly stick out in my mind when I think of my grandmother”

  • Snug­gling up on their “rock­ing-couch” and tak­ing after­noon naps or talk­ing in their three-sea­son porch with the win­dows open and the breeze and scents from their flower gar­den flow­ing over us. We would talk about so many things. While we talked she would trace my freck­les on my arm (to this day, when­ev­er I see the six freck­les on my right arm, I think of her)
  • Play­ing soli­taire togeth­er (she taught me how to play…and how to cheat).
  • Dec­o­rat­ing their Christ­mas tree with the same red and white dec­o­ra­tions that she has had for years. I can almost remem­ber every sin­gle orna­ment and the sto­ries she would tell about them.
  • Being sick at their home and she would always feed me man­darin oranges and I would always feel so much better.
  • Lis­ten­ing to Muriel and her argue about real­ly stu­pid stuff.
  • Going to sleep in her bed, only to wake up in Muriels…then find out they stole me from each oth­er through­out the night, because I was a lit­tle “heater”.
  • Mak­ing pop­corn in their airpopper…that was always a treat.…or get­ting “Wheat Nuts”…and then hav­ing them sit on either side of me and steal from my pile.
  • Learn­ing the prop­er way to make a bed. “Hos­pi­tal style”
Lor­raine in her younger days
Lorraine and the Kids
Lor­raine and the Kids in 2006

There is just so many mem­o­ries. The thing that I regret the most is not get­ting more of their his­to­ry writ­ten down. I know very lit­tle of their child­hood, their lives before I came along, what their par­ents were like. What it was like being a wealthy fam­i­ly in Duluth dur­ing the Roller Mills Hey Day (Their father was the gen­er­al man­ag­er of the first Roller Mills in Duluth, which was owned by his broth­er. Their moth­er’s broth­er (Hen­ry Paul­son) was a notable fig­ure (and I think found­ing mem­ber) of the city of Sacred Heart, and the Paulsons come from a large gath­er­ing of over 300 fam­i­lies in the Ros­te fam­i­lies of Cana­da. They have such a rich his­to­ry and I know so very lit­tle of it.

But I know she is in a bet­ter place, and I know that some­day, I’ll see her and Muriel again.

1 thought on “End of a Generation

  1. Bert this is beau­ti­ful. So many good mem­o­ries. That’s what will make your grand­ma live on in your life. She must have been a beau­ti­ful lady. I’m sor­ry for your loss. But she is hap­py now and in God’s hands. HUGS to you and to all your fam­i­ly. Love you.

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