As I had written earlier, mom's childhood was simple and filled with much love from 2 older women, whom she believed everything they told her. I remember her talking about having to wash dishes at an early age, she said 5, and they made her a stool to stand on so she could reach the sink. She also told funny stories like how the old women had underwear with a slit in them, so as they walked back and forth to town they could just go to the side of the road to tinkle. The dresses were long so no one could see anything. The reason she told me this was we were up in the attic looking through things and I came across these big white pair of bloomers with the hole in them. We laughed afterwards just thinking about it. She talked about harvesting grapes and making wine in the fall, and we even grew our own grapes here on the farm, but I don't remember making wine, she always made jelly. As I said my mother was fluent in french and italian so when she went to school she was asked to help tutor the other children in french, thus earning the nickname "Frenchie". She herself would take German and this would come to play a vital role in her later years. Nights were spent around the fire and there was a kerosene lamp, which we still have, sewing and saying prayers, telling stories. My mother said that her grandmother could knit a sweater in one night. She said those needles clicked so fast you could almost see sparks. She did all of this without a pattern. Mom also picked up this skill, I remember her knitting socks while in the hospital after having surgery. She also was an expert seamstress, sewing all our clothes, including coats, formals, and bridesmaids dresses. Her mother was a seamstress, sewing clothes for many of the rich and royalty of Europe. Of course I can barely sew a button on but oh well that's life.!!
Mom got rheumatic fever at some time in those early years. She said the house was on quarantine and no one could come in and Nonna Maria and Aunt Ida could not leave. It left an impression with my mother because she said they never left her bedside. I guess this is part of the reason mom was always helping people who were sick, trying to make them feel better. She not only went to their homes but brought them here to the farm. So it is only fitting that 2 of us are nurses. I guess she has passed that on.
I wish I knew more about her younger days, and I'm sure as I go through more things I hope to find more.