Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Emma ~

Eleven years ago today...we were blessed with the birth of our granddaughter, Emma! 
She is a shining star in our lives and always full of love. 

"Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation."
~ Author,  Lois Wyse

~ Happy Birthday Sweetheart ~ 
We love you Emma beans,  hugs and kisses to you on your special day from all of us.

                                                         ~ with love from your Oma ~ the keeper of our memories...

Friday, November 26, 2010

100th COG Edition ~ There's One In Every Family ~

On the 21st day of March in 1933, my grandparents Adalbert Haf (1907 ~ 1968) and Liselotte Kaiser-Saule (1913 – 2010) gave birth to a beautiful baby girl --Elfriede Haf (1933 ~ 2010). That beautiful baby girl would one day become a most loving and gracious mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, that we could have ever been blessed with…that very special one in our mom. 

In daily life, everything mom did was to enrich our home and family life. She was good at so many things and always amazed me. Children usually don’t pay attention to the things that I did, but I always noticed the little things mom did to make my life safe, secure, and full of warmth and love. Mom made many sacrifices so that the quality of our life was that much better.

Mom was born and raised in Augsburg, Germany. Augsburg is a town rich in history that is over 2000 years old. As a young girl starting out, she worked at a dry cleaning service, and later she moved on to be a seamstress in a factory. She was an excellent seamstress and made most of our clothes for years. 

Mom also sang in her Church choir and loved being a part of a high springboard diving swim team. She loved to travel and toured many countries throughout her life.  I have postcards and photos that she collected and saved throughout her travels…that will be another post or even another blog down the road!

In 1957, my mother, stepfather and I,  (he was in the Army) traveled on a military ship, the U.S.N.S General Maurice Rose, from Bremerhaven, Germany to the United States. I know it was difficult for mom to leave her home and start a new life. But the one thing about mom, she was adventurous, strong and very independent! She couldn’t wait to start that new life.

Modern day photo courtesy of Flickr

Once we settled, mom’s very first job was at the Bear Flag Restaurant located within the historic Cannery Row in Monterey CA. As I was searching for information about the infamous Bear Flag Restaurant, I came across this site “Cannery Row Photo Album” by Robert Lewis…I was blown away to find my most favorite photo of mom (I own the original and have posted it several times on my blog) at the lower left bottom of the page! This must be the gentlemen that took the original photo. There is very little information regarding the Bear Flag Restaurant that I have been able to find.

If you are a Steinbeck fan, Cannery Row was the setting for John Steinbeck’s novels “Cannery Row” (1945) and later, “Sweet Thursday” (1954) based on the life and times of Cannery Row.  The Bear Flag Restaurant was based on an actual business…the Texas themed Lone Star Restaurant. Apparently, in the earlier days, the Bear Flag Restaurant was a “gentleman’s” place, owned and operated by Dora Flood (1923-1941)…way before mom’s time. 

When her job ended at the Bear Flag Restaurant, mom started her career at ‘Montgomery Wards’ in Monterey, CA. As I posted in the Bound for Mom blogging mini series carnival, she started out as a sales girl in the Woman’s Fashion Dept. Later she went on to be the first woman to become a District Merchandise Manager in the history of ‘Montgomery Wards’. She continued to climb the ladder to a Corporate Regional Executive Manager’s position and was very successful up until her retirement 35 years later.

How my mom did it, I will never know, she was amazing. We didn’t live in the best of homes when we first arrived but mom always told me, “You make a house a home” and that is exactly what she did. Mom could make a shack look like a palace. She would make drapes for the windows, and along with table linens she had brought from Germany; she made our home warm and inviting. Not only was she good at decorating, she was good at cooking, and entertaining. 

Mom was an excellent cook. She continued to make traditional German meals and deserts in our home. The two recipes that stand out the most for me is her Marble Pound Cake recipe that was originally made by my great-grandmother, Margarete Kaiser-Saule and handed down to mom, and her own German Spritz cookies. It always amazed me how mom would put on a holiday dinner and never stress about it. She just loved doing those things and did it with such great ease. She made it fun and enjoyable, you felt comfortable, welcomed and relaxed. As an adult, I always loved going home for Christmas and I would feel like a kid again, none of us wanted it to end.

Christmas stands out the most ~

Mom would start baking her Christmas cookies in early November.  It’s hard to think that I won’t be having Thanksgiving or Christmas this year or tasting those cookies with mom but she did instill many traditions and memories in me. As hard as it is going to be, I want to keep them going in her honor. I would like to try my hand at her spritz cookies…and pass the tradition down to my grandchildren so they remember where the cookies originated and who always made them.

Mom made Christmas magical, amazing and true to the spirit of what Christmas is all about. One whole side of mom’s garage housed her Christmas decorations and it took her weeks to put it all up! When she was all done and you walked into her home…it was as if you stepped into an old fashion German home at Christmas time. I have never seen anything like it anywhere else.

One of her favorites was her Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Village collection set. She started collecting this village quite a few years ago.  Mom would painstakingly arrange the village in faux snow and bring it all to life.  I could stand and stare at it for hours and I always wanted to just jump in and walk around!

Mom's Christmas tree was incredible. Up to last year, she would adorn the tree with old fashion tinsel from Germany that she saved along with ornaments as old as I am. I did just inherit some of those ornaments and part of the Christmas village recently after her passing away in July. I am going to try and set it up like mom did but it just won’t be the same. Mom would weave over 2500 lights on the Christmas tree! I don’t know how she did it but you never saw the wiring from the lights anywhere!

Mom was a true history buff, she knew everything about Augsburg and it’s history. She would tell me stories about this wonderful city and how you can still see parts of the moat that had surrounded the city during the medieval period.

Also, mom shared the time she was taken from her family for a year during the war and lived with a family on their farm…the beautiful Cathedrals and the countryside of the Alps, she loved her home and was very proud of it. She knew a lot about a lot of things and I loved sitting and chatting with her about Opera, classical music, Germany, and all the wisdom she had. She was a very wise and warm-hearted person. If need be, she would send me in the right direction after one of our talks!

Mom just made our world beautiful and unique. She made such a difference in so many lives that I know, not one single person she touched will ever forget her.  That’s just the kind of person she was, my hero, mentor and best friend. She was an outstanding mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend to so many. She taught us by example and left a legacy of love. It is with her that I learned the blessing of life. I am extremely grateful and fortunate to have been her daughter, in her life and to have been loved by her.  

There will be an empty spot in our home and hearts this holiday season…it’s hard to want to celebrate but I want to do it for her and in her honor…I know she would want it that way. 

Mom will be dearly missed and your daughter, the keeper of our memories, will always keep your memory were the one. 

blog divider

This post has been submitted for the 100th Edition for the Carnival of Genealogy...There's One In Every Family, hosted by Jasia over at Creative Gene. This is Jasia's 100th Edition!

blog divider

Thanks to Flickr for photo of the Bear Flag Cannery Row Building
and Google Images for the City of Augsburg.  

All other photos are originals and owned by Gini Webb

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happiest Thanksgiving Wishes ~

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving day! 
I am so grateful to be a
part of the genealogy blogging community and family, it's the best gift of all.  

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wonderful Images given so freely: Shadow House Creations 
and Vintage Holiday Crafts...thank you!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Lacie ~

"And still it's from her that you learned that whatever she has chosen to become, you'll still feel proud of her simply because she has the key to your heart forever. "
       ~ Author: unknown 

Thirty-one years ago today, a sweet little baby girl came into my life...she has been a blessing ever since...

Happy Birthday Lacie! 
  Love and kisses ~ 

"Daughters Dance their Way into Your Heart  Whirling on the Tips of Angel Wings; Scattering Kisses & Gold Dust in our Paths."
                ~ Author Unknown

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ Photo Effects ~

~Map of Kentucky ~

I thought I would join in Randy's SNGF over at Genea-Musings! Thanks Randy, this is a fun one!

All you have to do is...

Attention, genea-philes -- it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun again
Your mission, should you gleefully decide to accept it, is to:
1) Go to the AnyMaking website ( - it's FREE to use) and ...

2) Doctor some of your priceless photographs using one or more of their photo effects to turn your photo into a cartoon, into a puzzle, into a wanted poster, etc. Try it, it's fun. You can spend hours doing this. Think about Christmas presents for your family or friends... [Note that if you want decent size photos - or real puzzles, portraits, etc., you'll need to subscribe to their Premium service.]

3) Show off your creations on your own blog, or on Facebook, or some other online photo location.

This photo effect, a puzzle of Kentucky is in honor of my Kentuckian paternal ancestors.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our Family Heros ~ Veteran's Day

Thank you to all my Ancestor's and family members who have served to protect us. The above photos are only a few in our family, there are many more that I hope one day to have photos of and more information about their lives. 

Thank you to all who have served in the Military, Happy Veteran's Day in Honor of  you ~ 

In above collage clockwise:
My grandfather: Adalbert Haf, 1907 ~ 1968,  he did not serve in the U.S. but he served in the German Mtn. Rangers and was shot in the arm/shoulder during WWII.  He loved serving. Also in the photos with my grandfather is my Aunt Inge (the mother of my cousin Pete Kaps in photo to the right) and my Oma, Lieselotte Haf 1913 ~ 2010.

My cousin Pete Kaps (3rd on the right) served in the U.S. Army. Enlisted 28 May 1975, as private E-1. Made E-5 (Sgt) after 2.5 years. Cousin Pete's ETS date was 26 May 1978. He was E-5 (Sgt) when he left the service with an honorable discharge. He was a helicopter crewchief on a UH-1H  Huey Helicopter. Pete and I just re-connected after 30 years! Love my cousin Pete!

My father, John Adam Eimes 1931 ~ 1997,  in the two photos on the bottom to the left, he served in the U.S. Army and was part of the Korean War, also wounded.

My Uncle, James Eimes (my father's brother) 1924 ~ 1989, served in the U.S. Army.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedding Wednesday ~ Mom on Her Wedding Day in 1955 ~

1933 ~ 2010

On December 10th in 1955, mom married my stepfather in Augsburg, Germany. The above photos are so special to me, it shows mom's beauty and the talent she had for making her own clothing. Mom made the wedding dress and veil you see her wearing in the above photos by hand.

The dress and veil are absolutely beautiful.  How I wish I had that dress today. I have no idea what happened to them. I am guessing that she left them behind when we emigrated to the United States in 1957.

Mom was an excellent seamstress and made my clothes up until I was about eight or nine years old. . .about the time I discovered jeans and T-shirts and maybe what was in style! Mom continued to make some of her own clothes, but as her career took off, she had less and less time to sew.  Her wedding dress and veil show the detail and talent she had as she worked with fabric...she was a perfectionist and paid close attention to detail and simplicity that was elegant.

How I wished I had chatted with mom before she passed. I would have loved to have heard all the details and the story behind the making of her very special wedding dress.

blog divider

The marriage to my stepfather ended when I was about 10 years old. Mom and I rarely spoke of my stepfather, I won't go into details but it was a time that mom and I chose to put behind us. Mom stayed single for over 30 years until she married Adam in April of 1999.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday and On This Day ~ Peter Saule born in 1883 ~

Peter Saule, born on this day in 1883 ~

Nordfriedhof Cemetery, Augsburg, Germany

                             My maternal great grandfather, Peter Saule will never be "forgotten".

Peter Saule, born on the 2nd day of November 1883 in Waldberg, Germany, passed away fifty three years ago today...the 20th day of May 1957 in Augsburg, Germany.

Peter Saule was actually my step great grandfather. He married my great grandmother, Margarete Kaiser (1888~1972)  when my Oma, Lieselotte Kaiser-Saule Haf (1913~2010) was just six years old.
Sadly, I do not remember anything about him but I know that I was around him for a short period of time before mom and I left for the U.S.  Mom remembers him quite well, so thru her, I plan on getting to know him much better.

My great grandfather Peter, was a mortician and a funeral director for the Nordfriedhof Cemetery and Funeral Home in Augsburg, Germany.

blog divider

When I first saw the photo of my great grandfather (here and in the above collage), I could not take my eyes off of it! The back of the photo is a post card. It's to my understanding that if the photo is smooth, it was not mass produced by the mortuary to hand out to family members. This photo is smooth and was sent to my mom from a family member, believing it to be an original photo. 

The back of the photo has the photographers stamp that reads:

Photohaus Carl Mader, Augsburg-Oberhausen-Zollernstrasse 31 (address) Telefone 31238.
In my handwriting: Peter Saule b. 02 Nov 1883 d. 20 May 1957, Gini's great grandfather.

German funeral customs were that the deceased would be placed in one of the rooms in the "viewing gallery"  with an open casket, surrounded by flowers and candles.

The viewing gallery was a hallway of rooms with glass fronts.  Family members were allowed to stay with the deceased until the burial.  To this day, viewing rooms are still customary, my Oma was placed in a viewing room. However, in the early sixties, this tradition changed in that open caskets were no longer permitted.

blog divider

The memorial card with the Cross on the front (to the right of photo), opens to a beautiful card/obituary shown below the photo of Peter.   The German word "Unvergessen" meaning, "unforgotten" is printed  below the Cross in the lower right corner.

At the top in the middle of the opened card reads:

Zum stillen Gedenken
To quiet Remembrance

In the middle of the opened card is the newspaper obituary that my great grandmother attached reads:

In Gods holy will, we lost after severe illness, my dear good Husband, our best Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Step Father, Father-in-law, Brother, Brother-in-law, and Uncle. 

 Mr. Peter Saule
Prior Town Mortician
at the age of 73 1/2

Augsburg, Tunnelstreet 12, Gersthofen, Solingen, New Jersey, Kalifornien, on 20 May 1957

In deep sorrow: Margarete Saule, Wife with children and relatives.
The memorial service is taking place on Wednesday the 22nd of May 1957, at 10:00 A.M., in the Thadaus Church, the burial the same day at 14:30 P.M. in Nordfriedhof Cemetery.

I love the bouquet of flowers image that is to the left of the newspaper obituary.  This card along with a note from my great aunt Anni, came in the envelope (in the above collage) with a black border...traditional stationary used when a death occurred in the family.

blog divider

Peter's funeral service memorial card reads:

In holy memory and in prayer
to my loving Husband,
our good Father,
Grandfather and Great grandfather,
Brother and Uncle

Peter Saule
Born on 2. Nov. 1883 in Waldberg
Died on 20. May 1957 in Augsburg
A dear fathers heart is resting from all earths sorrows, he is free of pain and sorrow
and is home with God.
He only hurt us once thru his death, he always loved God and us in happiness, pain and destitute and God gave him eternal rest!
Josef Mayer, Augsburg 3

On the other side of this funeral card and below the depiction of Jesus reads:

Father, not our will, but yours shall be!

blog divider

Sources: My dear and wonderful mom who translated each and every word! She is the owner of all the documents used in this post, I now get to be the keeper of them, thank you mom.

November 2nd, 2010 ~ This is a repost...the information in this post is all I currently have of my great grandfather Peter, at this time.