Monday, December 11, 2006

A week in the life of Della Carringer - Christmas 1929

I have been reading my great-grandmother's journal (Della (Smith) Carringer) for 1929 off and on during the day - it is intriguing and frustrating. Intriguing because of the daily news and bits of family information, frustrating because there are usually just a sentence or two for each day, plus a weather report.

For example, at Christmas time 1929:


Fri[day], 20 [December], warmest day in years on this date. Ma [Della's mother, Abigail (Vaux) Smith] washed her hair. I worked on cards cut out cushions for Rose - and Xmas things.

Sat[urday] 21 [December] warm. Gave Gilbert girls some Poinsettias & Mrs. Paden. Ed [brother-in-law Edgar Carringer, a single codger] over cut lawn. A[ustin Carringer, her husband] & Ed put cut leaves off Palm.

Sun[day] 22 [December] warm. Ma & I went to see Mrs. Putnam got home ten min[utes] of 4 P.M. Austin watered and put a little manure on fruit trees on West. Miss Thoren [a renter] went N[orth] for Xmas.

Mon[day] 23 [December] warm. We worked on Xmas things. I took box up to University P.O. sent to Kimballs sent Xmas cards.

Tue[sday] 24 [December] warm. Roberts [no clue who this is] called has changed to 5th Ave. Gave him candy, & a box with fruit & cookies. Fixed poinsettias & gave to the neighbors & finished sending cards. Gave boxes of candy to Sim & Union boys.

Xmas Wed[nesday] 25 [December]. We were all at Lyle's [her son, Lyle Carringer, wife Emily, daughter Betty, mother-in-law, Georgianna Auble, a widow] had a lovely time. Went to see the tree picked in morning. Ed over. In afternoon Lyle took Austin Ed & I to see Will Rodgers in "Had to see Paris" Fine.

It appears that they exchanged gifts on the 25th but did not have a big Christmas dinner - they went to a movie! This family was not religious at all, due to the death of Della's first child as a baby - it devastated them and turned them against God, I was told by my grandmother..

The front page of the journal lists the people that they sent Christmas cards to in 1928 and the back page lists who they received cards from. I recognize many of the names - many first and second cousins. I'm going to try to extend my knowledge of these families more than what I have now.

I will probably do a week of the journal at a time on the blog with this material as the year goes on. After a year, I should have this transcribed and can put it into a document to share with my brothers and children. I'm fascinated by the glimpses of each person, especially of Lyle, Emily and Betty (my mother), since I knew them well.

1 comment:

Jasia said...

Oh what a treat! Thanks for sharing this segment of your great grandmother's journal. Her comments may have been brief but still they tell so much.

For instance... It's interesting how close to Christmas she worked on and sent her Christmas cards. If I'm not mistaken, I think the U.S. Postal service had twice a day mail delivery back then didn't they? If she was mailing her cards to all local people I guess it made sense to wait until the 23rd to do so.

It's also interesting to note what she gave as gifts, candy, fruit, cookies, and poinsettias. And she gifted her neighbors! How many people do that anymore?

I also can't help but see the truly kind and thoughtful person Della was. Even though she herself may have given up on God she still cared enough about those around her who believed to send them Christmas greetings.

Reading this bit of Della's journal has been heart warming. What a nice person Della was! And I'll bet she'd be pleased to know that her kindness genes carried on down to her great grandson, Randy. He's a really nice guy too.