Getting to Know Ruth

January 17, 2010

crochet afghan

When I think of my grandmother, the first thought that comes to mind is needlework. Knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch—you name it, she did it.

As a kid, I took this all for granted. Don’t all grandmothers knit endless supplies of mittens, scarves, sweaters and afghans for their grandchildren? And when those grandchildren grow up, don’t all grandmothers crochet lovely lace doilies and table runners to adorn their homes?

Well, my grandmother did. And no, I didn’t know the value of these treasures until I actually tried making them myself. I wish I paid more attention to her instruction when I was young.

As I’ve mentioned, Ruth was born in 1909.

She was born March 5, 1909, to Carl and Emma (Hornburg) Hooge. Her brother, Carl, was two years older, and, according to a Chicago Tribune article, they lived on 5340 South Wood Street in Chicago, Ill.

Ruth grew up, married George, and together they had two daughters, Carol and Judith. In the 1940’s, the family packed up their household and left the big city of Chicago for Henderson, Mich.

Henderson, Michigan?

Is that even on the map? Well, maybe on a county map.

Henderson was a pretty small village back then (it’s even less today). It was a blink of an eye, with only a country school, church, grocery store, hardware store, post office and feed mill (grain elevator, as we call them in Michigan).

It was here that George, Ruth and the girls started their new adventure. They bought the village grocery store, lived in the large apartment above the store (seemingly large to me, as a child) and supplied the rural townsfolk with food and a friendly smile.

Can you imagine the extreme change of lifestyle this must have been?!

George and Ruth kept this store for 25 years, and all the while she knitted, she crocheted, and she cross-stitched.

That was my grandmother. To start, anyway.

Also, just thought I’d mention: I’ve got two bells done.

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