Thursday, June 5, 2008

Adelila Hogensen Bagley

Adelila Hogensen Bagley about 1973

I looked in the mirror and wondered what my grandmother was doing in my bathroom! I inherited her features, but I missed out on her green thumb.

Her name was Adelila and she loved flowers. When we visited she always took us on a tour of her yard to show off whatever was blossoming. In her living room she had a special stand that held small pots of African Violets. They were cultivated until they bloomed, and then she gave them away to her friends.

I once took a trip with Grama and Grampa to see my cousins in Las Vegas. As we drove through the Utah desert she admired the cactus flowers, and we stopped several times so that she could dig a cactus up by the roots and load it in the trunk to replant in her yard.

But she wasn't always a grandmother. She was once a little girl in Montpelier, Idaho.

Adelila and her little brothers, 1910. (Yes, the little person in the white dress is a boy.)

Her mother was Emily and her father was Charles. This picture was taken when she was thirteen, the year after her father died.

"I remember the 4th of July, 1909. I was 12 years old. My dad set off his usual firecrackers--big ones-- and laughed when we all jumped. It was such a happy holiday. He took sick that very night with pneumonia. He was ill for two week and passed away on July 19th.

"My memories of him are so vivid. He took us to the canyons and the lake in the summer. He was a good swimmer and loved to take us out on his back. When the skiing was good, he took us with him and we'd ride behind him down the long, gradual slopes a block from home. He took us to school in the winter in a horse drawn sleigh over deep, snowy roads with no sidewalks to walk on. I remember riding under fur robes, the horses throwing snow in our faces as they galloped along. How we loved the bells jingling on the harnesses! He taught me to ice skate on Bear Lake. It was all so much fun and it ended so abruptly.

"After my dad died, mother took in boarders and school teachers to help support us four children. I worked at mother's elbow to help get the food ready for meals. We saved rags and tore them in strips, sewed them together, and then we would wind them into a big ball and mother would weave them on a loom. That's the kind of rug we had in our front room for the winter.

"I helped card wool by searching for places where the sheep had rubbed up against the fence. I would pick up all those little bits of wool, and then use a carder to pull it through and brush it, to get all the dirt out and refine the wool. Then mother would spin it and make it into yarn.

"As a little girl, I was taken to church and made to be quiet. I recall how hard it was to sit still for so long. We always went to Sunday School. I remember on one occasion a friend invited me to go riding with her. Her family had a Shetland pony and a cart. It was a very special invitation, but mom would not allow me to go because it was Sunday. I really cried over that.

"Our house was made of huge sixteen-foot logs. We had no piped in water, but that did not discourage mom from having flowers. We kids carried water from the irrigation ditch across the street, always at sunset. That was our daily chore during the summer. Mother had lovely sweet peas and morning glories. How I loved the odor and have always thought of mother when I smell flowers."

I think of Grama when I smell flowers, but she cultivated more than just flowers. Her garden is blooming all over the place!

Adelila Hogensen, 1918

What legacy did your grandmother leave you?


gab said...

Great memories! I inherited a love for flowers...and married someone with a green thumb.

Christie said...

Yeah, I think Josh got your green thumb, not hers. I don't have one either. I really wish I did!

kenju said...

Such a lovely post. My great grandmother left me with admiration for her daily serenity and wisdom, despite the hardships of living on a working farm with no central heat or air and no indoor bathroom (until after I was 10 years old.)

Ashlee said...

What wonderful memories...both yours and hers.

SydneyMin said...

I love the old photos and the sweet memories! It made me remember my grandmother's flower garden.

gramakas said...

That is such a sweet post. I love reading about just normal life experience to them but very interesting and unique to us now.

Tina said...

My grandma's, 3 of them, are still alive and doing many wonderful things with their lives. (I have 5 because of divorce etc, but the more the merrier right?)
They have taught me to do good. Serve with all your heart. Trust in the Lord. Be a fighter when it comes to right and wrong. And don't give up.
I sure love them all.
I have one grandma that passed away when I was 8 and it was such a tragic time in my life, for I adored her. She was always so full of life. She was a magnet to people, people just loved her. She taught me love.

Mary said...

Great post - didn't know either Grandma But the lilacs in your grandmother's picture reminded me of my mom and our yard the family photo of your Gran with her siblings - 1910 - reminds me of pictures of my dad (born in 1911) - he always teased me about "now when I was a little girl..." because of his pageboy and his dresses! How wonderful to have this memory jogged.

Jenibelle said...

I love lilacs! I just remember my Great Gram lived in a "fairy" house in Tacoma and always wore "Emeraude" perfume and made the best rhubarb pie, which I would sit on a little stool at her feet and eat. Her father was the tutor for Queen Victoria's children. My Gram had exquisite manners. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Sheri said...

I love this post! My grama and I were very close. When I see or smell a "Snowball" bush I think her. She was such a wonderful person.

Sandra Ferguson said...

My grandmother, named 'Big Mama' taught me how to be my own woman. She was married and divorced three times, when women simply didn't do these things. She could handle her six-shooter (yep, the real deal), drove a maroon Fairlane (no, driver's license that I ever saw) and she could grow anything in hard Texas clay and a little spit. She was an amazing woman.

Ink Poison said...

Grandma passed on her little waist. Thank goodness!!

mama jo said...

my favorite picture of grandma...thanks for the stories of her...we should be so proud of her and her mother...they are great examples

Polly said...

greatest picture ever! Grama taught me how to make the greatest Christmas sugar cookies in the world. She decorated them like an artist...also we made carmels together and of course her chicken noodle soup is a family favorite! I try every year to make my wild yard look similar to hers...the lilacs, snowballs, and morning glories are all there.

Barbara & Morris said...

My Grandmother never took things to serious... She was light hearted and was always interested in someone else instead of herself.. I hope I got some of her selflessness!
I love that you made me think of her tonight:)
Fondly, B.