Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sepia Saturday:The Wedding Photo



They met and married in Wenatchee, Washington.
Loren Lloyd Arnett painted houses for a business owned by his brother-in-law
and learned the automobile upholstery trade.
Mafie Marie Rosencrans worked as a nanny for the children
of the minister of the local Christian church.
They met, I've been told, at a high school basketball game.

Lloyd was quite a ladies man, handsome devil that he was.
He was only 22 when he married Marie,
but he'd been engaged three times before.
Was it her sweet beauty that captivated him?
Her kindness and compassion?
I wish I had asked this kind of question when I had the chance.

They married in June 1922.
Their first child, my father, was born about three years later.
When Lloyd's father died in 1928, he and Marie
and my dad and his baby sister
moved in to his parents' home to help take care of his mother.
After Mary Biggs Arnett died in 1937, 
Lloyd and Marie became the owners of the house.
Dad took the $18.75 mortgage payments to the bank
when he was a boy. 
Now he wonders how his parents managed to scrape
that much money together each month during the Depression.
Lloyd worked a variety of jobs to provide for his family:
 painter, carpenter, shipyard worker,
streetcar conductor, furniture and car interior upholsterer.  
He profited from the New Deal, as it provided him a job
during the Depression years,
but was a steadfast Republican all his life.

He was a pillar of his local church and held tightly
 to a rather conservative religious faith.
But I remember him most as a loving grandfather
who loved to rock his grandchildren
 and sing to us when we were little.
I remember him carefully tending his rose bushes.
I know it was because of him that my grandmother
 cooked both turkey and ham on every Thanksgiving
 and Christmas because Grandpa didn't like turkey.

Marie also worked, both inside and outside her home.
One of her jobs was cooking at the Y in Portland, Oregon.
She was a marvelous cook and baker
and her kitchen was always filled with delightful scents
and conversation, because for the most part,
that's where the adults hung out.

She lived for 23 years after her husband died,
much of it in the home they'd lived in as young marrieds
 with her mother-in-law.
Marie had a marvelous sense of humor
 and was much more flexible
than her husband had been.
 She, too, was a lifelong church member
but I suspect she was more in tune
 with the compassionate God
of the New Testament than the vengeful God of the Old.

She was born before the Wright Brothers first flew
 and lived to see men walk on the moon.
And she took it all in stride, with grace and excitement.
When she heard a story that surprised her,
she'd always say, "Lands' sake!"
for reasons I never understood.

Neither Lloyd nor Marie had a lot of formal schooling,
but all three of their children, a son and two daughters,
went to college. In keeping with the family's emphasis on faith,
their son pursued a divinity degree and became a minister.
Both daughters married (and later divorced) ministers.
 The imprint of parental faith was strong.

For more Sepia Saturday posts,
click HERE.
(Thanks for hosting, Alan!)

20 comments:

Delwyn said...

thank you Meri for this pinch of family history, embedded with your memories and love for grandparents...

My grandparents also left a sizable mark on my impressionable and young psyche...It is hard to believe that we are now walking in their shadows, becoming the grandparents ( well not quite yet for me but imminent)

I wonder if we will seem as old in the minds of our youngsters.

Happy days

Martin H. said...

A beautifully written account of an ordinary couple making their way in the world. In a few paragraphs, you have allowed us the privilege of seeing into their lives with some detail. Thank you.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

You have maintained and described such a loving connection to your ancestors. It's a delight to read of them and how they touched your life.

Have you gathered these memories in one place (a book?) or are you using the blog to compile them. This collection of memories will become a treasure for other members of the family.

Beautifully done!

Vicki Lane said...

A lovely picture of two lives, well-lived!

steven said...

wow meri, what a loving tribute! the stories of grandparent's meetings is a source of fascination for me in part because it was such a different time and those things were so very different back then. managing the formalities but then also the unlikeliness of meeting such a perfect match. wow!!! steven

mouse (aka kimy) said...

beautiful post...your family stories are always so exquisitely written and researched! thank you.

happy sepia saturday!!

Rhonda in OK said...

very sweet story - I am intrigued that your GF was engaged 3 times before marrying your GM.

Barry said...

A lovely story and a beautiful picture. What an amazing generation for them to belong to. My father lived from the horse and buggy age to actually seeing the space shuttle being flown over Toronto on the back of a 747.

Mel said...

I love this picture, he looks so serious, she looks so serene. I also love the words, the bits you remember, and the bits you wish you knew. Me too. This is a lovely, wonderful tribute.

Meri said...

Steven, as I understand it, they met in a casual environment: a high school basketball game. In those days, high school sports were the big community draw in a small town. I'm pretty sure he approached her first, because she was quiet and demure. Oh to be a fly on the wall in that gymnasium!

Meri said...

Martin - it's the details that make people on a page come alive, whether recounting lives well lived or creating fictional people.

Vicki - very well lived. My grandmother died in her sleep at almost 89, but she was still socializing with friends and family regularly up to that point and she was mentally agile with a wicked sense of humor.

Thanks, Mel! And thanks to the rest of you for taking the time to read and comment. I tried to respond to everyone personally where I had emails.

L. D. Burgus said...

What a really interesting writing. It is nice you could have all those memories to share. I really appreciated the values that they stuck to no matter what and that they stayed strong throughout all of life. Great blog!

Barbara said...

A very interesting story..and what a beautiful lace collar!

tony said...

Lands' Sake! What Full & Expansive Lives Lived.Thank You for sharing. I hope You & Yours Have A Fine Weekend.
Regards
Tony.

Crazyasa said...

It seems grandparents are a special lot in our lives. Thanks for sharing!

Poetikat said...

I love that wedding photo; it is wonderful! I suppose being married to a minister must be very trying what with the commitments they must keep. The wives must spend a good deal of time alone.

Kat

Christine H. said...

I get a sense from these pictures why she might have been the one who finally got him.

Allegra Smith said...

This may help a little bit to understand your GrandMother's expression.

"LAND SAKES ALIVE! Not many people use this old-fashioned euphemistic exclamation of surprise anymore, but many have heard their parents or grandparents say it. Often the phrase was land sakes!, lands sake alive!, sakes alive!, my lands! good land!, land!, Lordy!, land o’ Goshen!, and good land a mercy!" (Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins)

Having worked for a minister I guess she picked up the phrase there perhaps. Lovely story, as usual. Remarkable people, and both really good looking to boot.

Alan Burnett said...

It is a pleasure to host, Meri. Especially when the contributions are as interesting as this. I can never got over the feeling of wonderment at seeing the pictures and then knowing the future in a way the subjects never could do. It is special.

violetlady said...

I love your post! Remembering your grandparents is such an honor to bestow on them. Family stories are true treasures.
Thank you for stopping by my blog -- I appreciate it.