Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I can't help but to share a picture that is special to me.  We all have those things, a specific fragrance, a sound, a taste, or a small knick knack or toy...  those things that bring back special memories from the past.  In my case, there are many such things, but one is set apart from the rest.

I told my husband a few years ago that I some day wanted to get a picture.  One like my Grandma and Grandpa had on the wall of their kitchen.  I often wonder if they ever realized how that small piece of decor could impact their family for many years to come.  Seeing that picture reminds me of the family gatherings, the meals with all the aunts and uncles and cousins, the great big pot lucks, the softball games, and the togetherness that happened in that kitchen.  The picture hung next to the kitchen door, and under that picture was a small wood shelf that held several pair of Grandma's old glasses and a dried loaf of bread.  Last summer, my kids found a box of pictures and frames at an auction.  Low and behold, there it was.  It isn't in great condition, but it is good enough for me.

"Grace" as the print is properly named, was colored by Rhoda Nyberg, the daughter of Eric Enstrom, natives of Minnesota.  Mr. Enstrom was the original photographer in 1918, but the piece of work really took off after the print gained color.  There are thousands of copies and reprints of this classic picture.   Learning of the death of Ms. Nyberg last year, the picture brought a new, more involved interest in this piece history for me.   Local artists always catch my attention, even if they are from previous generations.

As soon as I pulled it out of the box and showed my husband, he told me that was the same picture his grandparents had on their wall.  I can't help but to wonder as I look around me, "what will my kids see and remember me by in my house?".  "What memories am I making for my family" and "how many other people have special memories when they see this stoic older man humbly praying, hanging on walls around them?".  I can't help but to fondly remember the times I had with my grandparents, and the special moments that come back swiftly each time I gaze at that picture and let my mind wander.  It now hangs in my dining room, just to the left of the doorway.  I am still waiting for the perfect wood shelf to hang beneath it so that I can place my grandmother's glasses on there, just as she did.  The memories will continue.  Hopefully for a few more generations.


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