Friday, October 14, 2011

Grandma Jensen

William Alonzo Chamberlain surrounded by his family about 1901. Clockwise from left: Alice Estella (Moore) Chamberlain, Anna Eliza, Henry Ernest, George Francis, Lottie Calvina, Bertha Estella, Walter Alonzo, and Ethel Jane.

Grandma Jensen (Ethel Jane Chamberlain Jensen) was always a safe harbor in any storm. She and Grandpa Jensen (Joseph Moroni Jensen) lived on Pleasant View Drive about two blocks from our home. Growing up, I spent almost as much time at my grandparents home as I did at my own. It was a place I could go and feel the depth of family roots. It seemed that someone in the family was always visiting.

Grandma loved to have family around. Her house was full of wonderful smells, secret hiding places, and old treasures, like an iron that had no electric plug, a wash tub and wringer that were operated by hand, and old photos of people who looked so odd with their funny clothes and hair styles.

Grandma died too young even though she was 74. She was the first close family member I had lost, but perhaps her death prepared me for the loss of my mother 4 years later. I miss them both, but treasure the legacy they left me...a legacy of family and the importance of remembering the ones who have gone before.

Alice Chamberlain with her daughters. Front row: Bertha Estella, Alice, Ethel Jane. Back row: Anna Eliza, Lottie Calvina.

Joseph Moroni Jensen and Ethel Jane Chamberlain Jensen -- photo taken in December 1953.

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