Mothers and Daughters

My great great great grandmother. Her mother was Indonesian and her father was a Dutch sea captain.

My great great great grandmother. Her mother was Indonesian and her father was a Dutch sea captain.

mothers allMy mother called me and told me I need to drive to Colorado (17 hrs each way) to pick up six boxes of family heirlooms and transport them back to Oregon…Now.

The timing isn’t convenient as I’m committed to weekly babysitting for the Overlord so his mother can work, and I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo for the first time ever. I shall write on the plane…yes, I’m traveling by plane and engaging the services of USPS for the boxes.

My mom grew up in Indonesia where my grandfather worked for the Dutch government. Our family goes back quite a few generations in that part of the world, and we are proud of the sliver of Indonesian heritage that flows through our veins.

My mother still identifies as Indonesian, an assertion that earns her an odd look from time to time. During WWII, my grandfather was interred in a Japanese POW camp. My grandmother and her children escaped that fate – because of those droplets of Indonesian blood.

When I was a girl, my grandmother told me stories of those years, of supporting her children by painting portraits of Japanese officers, of lobbing chickens over the camp wall. Β My grandfather, a large man, weighed 95 lbs at the end of the war.

My mother has a few Indonesian plates and vases, batiked linens, wood carvings, and other unusual pieces that I have mused over since I was a little girl and first allowed to touch them.Β I like old things that are infused with history. I think about the artists who made them, my ancestors who cared for them. Some pieces go back over two hundred years to my great great grandparents. They’re part of our family heritage and as the family grows, these heirlooms will be dispersed to an ever-widening circle of descendants.

Sometime in the next year or so my parents will be relocating to Oregon to live closer to me. My mom has entered a packing frenzy and has begun giving items away in an effort to lighten the load. I asked her not to part with the family history. She doesn’t understand what I mean. She wants me there to explain and so I will go.

134 thoughts on “Mothers and Daughters

  1. What a fine collection of pictures to treasure showcasing such lovely ladies and of course the overlord!! down the generations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bernadette says:

    I am so happy that you posted this. It is such an interesting piece of family history. I don’t remember the Overlord’s picture the first time around. Was i there? He is adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mariaholm says:

    What a lovely post on your female ancestors on your mother’s side. I adore the way you have set up the portraits in round frames. I treasure the items and family photos very highly too and make posts on the bits I know from their lives

    Liked by 1 person

  5. olganm says:

    What a fantastic story. And it’s great that you can get your hands on art and documentation of the era. It’s so important that those memories are not lost. β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cat says:

    I’m just catching up on your blog, Diana. I love the photo’s… very beautiful women. I didn’t realise you live in Oregon. I have a lovely friend in Happy Valley

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 1weaver says:

    Reblogged this on Neptune and the Oak and commented:
    Time and Timelessness
    a beautiful offering brought to you by D. Wallace Peach (and Saturn square Neptune).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Totally agree with your thoughts…very sad…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is an amazing thing to have objects and letters from your ancestors. When I look at those objects ad touch them I feel the urgency of connecting with those that I love because I know this time that seems so permanent passes so quickly. You come from a long line of very beautiful women. It would be wonderful to hear all of their stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind comment. One of the challenges is getting all those stories down, and most of the letters are in Dutch, which none of us in my generation read. I plan to videotape my parents when they move nearer. No transcribing! πŸ™‚

      Like

  10. Julie says:

    You come from a long line of great beauties. Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kirizar says:

    I am very inspired by your photographic lineage that I am going to have to do something similar. There aren’t as many photos going back generations, but I like how you lined up the mothers and daughter (until you reach the overlord–good nickname for a baby) and will want something similar in my scrapbooks. After nanowrimo, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is nice to have the female line going back (as well as the male line). When my mom put it together for me, my daughter hadn’t been born yet! I’ve added two photos and hope my descendants will keep it up. Thanks so much for the visit and comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sacha Black says:

    I love genealogy – my partner more so, she wonders at the marvels in my family – a large complex one with most of its heritage laid out online unfortunately for me. But I always find others more interesting than my own. You have a family of stunning women, your grandmother is beautiful, and overlord! proper lols. Hey whats your NaNo name? I am doing it too will add you as a buddy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment, Sacha. I’d love to buddy up. My username is D. Wallace Peach. I’ll buddy you back πŸ™‚ I’ve been sorting through old photos with my mother the past few days. Some notorious family members too. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Nominated your blog for award.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. GO!…oh, you’re there. Do choose/pack carefully. We have some very old family “relics”, too – some I’m getting ready to hand off to my daughter who is in process of getting her house – no, her home. Enjoy your time although it will be tiring – memories swirling around you – and will be there to muse over down the road. (Oh, what a cute couple of Halloween pictures!)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Erik says:

    I’m not even going to deny it: I teared up at this one, Diana. There is something about “The Past” that feels like a tiny door in a fantasy world. You can see in, just a little bit, but you can’t fit. I still have dreams about such doors, beyond them expansive and magical places; and it makes me crazy that I can’t go in and experience them beyond the “peek.” I’m not a pack rat or hoarder, but I DO save things from across the past, no matter how many people tell me it’s “junk” and to let it go.

    Forget about even just family items that are generations old. My mind gets this way about everything. I’m constantly looking out of windows, wondering who walked her when it was woods 500 years ago. Or even something as simple as a piece of paper can have me wondering where the tree was from which it was made, and when the seed fell that grew into that tree, and who cut it down, and if that person is still alive, and what they are doing, and …

    There really is something strange and wonderful about holding or touching a piece of history. I wrote about this in the chapter in my book about visiting Notre Dame – that feeling of weight and awe that I was walking on stones that people thousands of years ago walked upon, that the very dust in the corners was still likely and literally part of knights and kings and peasants alike.

    So, I totally get it!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Widdershins says:

    What a wonderful lineage. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  17. dgkaye says:

    What a fascinating article Diana. The women in your lineage are beautiful, no doubt your looks have carried on the family beauty What an opportunity to go collect heirlooms. Have a wonderful time and be sure to tell us about it and show us some ‘artifacts’ upon your return. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Just go! Have a safe trip and an fine time pouring through family treasures with Mom. How nice that she’ll be living close by soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. tric says:

    How amazing to have your history at your fingertips. My mum has only Irish running through her veins but if she said ‘come’ I’d be on my way. It’ll be lovely to have her live nearer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for the comment, Tric. There’s nothing wrong with “only” Irish! It’s a lovely culture full of magical lore that’s always entranced me. And how wonderful for your mum to know you are a phone call away πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  20. claytonjcallahan says:

    Safe travels, Diana. Inconvenient as it is…it’s also a fascinating journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. How wonderful you can trace your mother’s family back so far, Diana. I have some old photos taken around and a little before 1900, but only a couple before that. What wonderful stories you have about family members. Have a safe flight. My daughter, an actor, travels so much she often doesn’t even mention it. She told me in an email today that she was in San Diego, and will fly back to Brooklyn on Thursday. She goes where the jobs are, and they pay her way. I’ve reconciled myself to it. Great piece. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  22. inesephoto says:

    You made my day with this post! What a beautiful lineage! Please scan all the photographs from these 84 albums πŸ™‚ You own a priceless treasure!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scan 84 albums! OMG. When my parents move here, we’ll go through them one by one. There are pictures of people that my parents don’t remember, as well as pictures of a shrub, cat, or flower. There are also near-duplicates – 12 pics of me drinking a glass of water, for example. A digital record makes total sense, but I’ll pare it down. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  23. reocochran says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention that I saw you were traveling on Friday. Sending a quick prayer for safe travel mercies, Diana. I also treat phone calls as if “last ones,” just in case. . .
    (On Dan’s post) πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  24. reocochran says:

    I love studying family portraits. You have beautiful family females! Your overlord will be a wonderful daddy and hope to both boys and girls. I love my grandchildren!
    It is great they all have “cameo” style photographs. β™‘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Robin. My mom cut all the original photos into circles to fit into a little string of plastic frames. They hang on my wall. I’ve been enjoying the recent pics of your grandbaby. I can tell you’re in love!

      Like

  25. Sue Vincent says:

    Some things are worth preserving πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  26. arlene says:

    How one can preserve all those photos from great great grandmother down to the youngest is amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right, Arlene. Even as I was typing the “great, great, great” I was amazed. My mom pulled the pictures together for me probably 30 years ago as a way to celebrate the female lineage. Thanks so much for the comment πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  27. That is amazing that you have family photos that far past! I can only get to my dad’s father, from the Ukraine, when he immigrated to Ellis Island in the late 1800s. Every thing is murky from prior to that. Good luck with your NaNoWriMo!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for the comment πŸ™‚ My mom’s family kept great records. My dad’s family was more like what you describe even though they’ve been in the US since before the revolutionary war. More than the pictures, I enjoy the stories that accompany them.

      Liked by 2 people

  28. C.E.Robinson says:

    Diana, wonderful photos and family history! Yep, better get those family treasures! They need protection from give-away Mom. Write on the way and in between. Good luck & safe travels. 😊 Chryssa

    Liked by 2 people

  29. babbitman says:

    What a cool family tree! I’ve done some digging into mine and my ancestors generally stuck to the counties around the middle of England for a couple of hundred years. I know a reasonable amount about my grandparents but it gets a bit vague and murky just one or two steps further back than that and all I have are names and dates.
    One of the reasons I did my short story on the coat that saved my life is because we all have little anecdotes from our past that we never get around to writing down – and I realised that if I didn’t do it, no other bugger would. I ought to do some more on the stories my mum & dad have told me – like the time they were run out of a small town in the early 60s because the local policeman thought they were some kind of motorcycle gang!
    Gather those family stories and document them for your Overlord πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    • And those anecdotes (like you hanging by your coat from the tree or your parents almost getting run out of town) are all so much more interesting than a long list of dates, facts, and figures that are usually what remains. My grandfather was born in 1896! He had some great stories!

      When I worked in hospice I used to make videotapes of the oral histories of my clients. They loved it, their families loved it, and I didn’t have to transcribe anything! It was great. I will probably do the same for my parents when they move west. They’d get a kick out of it, too.

      Thanks for the comment, as always. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  30. This is such a fascinating family history, D., and a wonderful legacy to draw on for future inspiration! I wish you safe travels. I’m sure this adventure will find its way into your writing and I look forward to reading the results.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. What a bevy of beautiful women you all are (and the Overlord is a handsome lad) . You have a rich and varied history and it is wonderful that you can trace your family back so far.
    Good luck in NaNoWriMo too! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Thank you for sharing this. I love history but in books, history is about uncommon people and not the common people who really made it happen. So much history dies with regular folk and because of that personal histories intrigue me.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Kiri says:

    What an honour (and a responsibility) to become the keeper of this history.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. How wonderful that you are going…I’d jump at the chance to do the same. Your photo array is just lovely…even without smiles, there is such a similarity in that strong gene pool. Beautiful women all, and a lovely overlord. My immigrant history is lost in Europe, but my mother’s family were in Philadelphia in the 1700’s. It’s all so fascinating. You should record it for future generations. Safe travels, Diana. ☺

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Annika Perry says:

    When I started reading this I thought it was a short story! I was immediately drawn into your rescue mission. What a amazing family history and all interlinked with international events. Your poor grandfather and his treatment during the WWII. I loved looking at your family photographs. Good luck with organising the air-lift for the family heirlooms and hope they make it back safely.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. orangepondconnects says:

    That is so awesome that you have all those pictures! Wishing you a safe trip πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  37. balroop2013 says:

    Wow! Diana, those pictures are so adorable! What a beautiful heritage! All the girls are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
    I love, love this post, dripping with love, care and family values. Emotions are invaluable if we pay attention to them. It is so true, things that have been bought and cared for by dearest members of the family become invaluable. You are a darling daughter! Love you for all that you for your mother. Have a wonderful journey and an awesome time with your mother.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It will be awesome, Balroop, even though I do feel a little pressed into service! My perspective is all a matter of choice, though, isn’t it? We won’t have that many years left. I’ll listen to her stories and take notes about what we pack up. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Dan Antion says:

    You are on an important mission. Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I love all the pictures! I don’t have any pictures of my family back any farther than my grandmother. Have a fun trip and at least you can take your writing with you wherever you go. Maybe the trip will spark a new idea, you never know! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  40. The Overlord is so cute. And you at age 16 bear a striking resemblance to the Overqueen, your great great great grandmother. πŸ™‚

    Beautiful post, D Wallace. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  41. How lovely! I particularly loved the photos of you girls. Funny how you’re the only one actually smiling (the Overlord has more of a I’ve-got-you-wrapped-around-my-little-finger grin).

    Liked by 3 people

  42. What an interesting post. I love the pictures right along side your explanation. So, your grampa was Indonesian? Lovely

    Liked by 2 people

  43. You’re all so beautiful, Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  44. I have a few things from my grandparents. I have to go through the box of family photos and “do” something with them. There are several books worth of memories there. What I value most though, is the rich trove of those memories that flit in and out over time. Unwritten, so far, I suppose it is an obligation I have to accept and on which someday must act.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh boy, you have your work cut out for you, Mike. Having names on the backs of photos is really helpful. My mother has 84 photo albums and a bureau full of random photos….Someday soon I’m going to need to go through them. My mom has lost her sight, so I’m on my own.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Annika Perry says:

        84 photo albums!!Blimey, that is a lot – I do hope there are some details below the pictures. It will be an amazing journey to trawl through that family history but also quite emotional and spiritual exhausting / moving. So sorry that your mother has lost her sight. My mother and I have a disease of the cornea which for my mother has happily been rectified with cornea transplants (I need mine soonish) but there is always a risk of blindness which is terrifying.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for the comment, Annika. Yes, floor to ceiling photo albums! Let’s not even go there.
          Sorry to hear about your vision challenges. In our family, it’s macular degeneration. When it’s time, just find a great doc who’s done thousands of them without complication ❀

          Liked by 1 person

          • Annika Perry says:

            Thank you for you care and understanding Diana. I am under the care of a lovely doctor at Moorfields in London. Unfortunately my mother’s doctor has retired, he was a real gem, one in a million. He gave her his private mobile number and in emergency came into the hospital to help. Not many like that any more. That is real tough with the macular degeneration and feel hard for you all.

            Liked by 1 person

  45. The V-Pub says:

    That was a wonderful read. To have such a detailed recollection and history will be appreciated by your family over and over again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for the comment. My family has quite a bit of recorded history. Sadly, some of the memories that are more along the lines of oral tradition grow fainter with each generation. Glad you enjoyed the post πŸ˜€

      Like

  46. joannesisco says:

    To have such a rich and complete family history available to you is a treasure. As I look at the photos of the long generational line of women, I’m amazed and impressed. Yes, even jealous. For those of us with no “roots” … all ties to the past generations long ago severed … this is the motherlode of riches.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Joanne. I’m fortunate to have cousins on both sides of my family who are genealogy fanatics. They do all the work and I oooh and aaah. My mother collected the pictures of the women and I hope to keep it going. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Nurse Kelly says:

    Just loved seeing those photos of you and your family – you’re all so beautiful! Including the “Overlord!” So cute! Definitely sounds like you are needed by your mom… Have a safe trip, and good luck with it all. Sending a big hug… take care of yourself, too. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Annette Rochelle Aben says:

    Remarkable! I love this. Today would have been my mother’s 78th birthday here on earth. She is spending it with HER mother on another plane! ❀ Thank you for the virtual hug.

    Liked by 2 people

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