A new month brings the ritual of “changing” the dates in this needlepoint calendar, a gift many years ago from my mother-in-law, Frances Lohr. A few threads are frayed and the design is showing a bit of wear, but it is a treasure near to my heart. Why? Because it serves as reminder of a very sweet woman.
Frances Hanson (1913-1998) was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and friend. I have yet to know of anyone who spoke ill of her. Born on her own mother’s 45th birthday, Frances was the youngest of 12 children. Growing up in Lily, South Dakota, she did her share of household tasks. My sister -in-law told this story about Frances’ childhood: because her older sisters preferred the cooking, baking and cleaning jobs, the clothes ironing chore fell to Frances. It was only in the later years of sharing family stories that we learned how much she disliked this job. And it continued to be her least favorite household task throughout her life! But few persons knew that because she never complained.
Frances was a rural school teacher in the years prior to her marriage to Walter M. Lohr in 1935. Up until the time she passed away she was still corresponding with some of her former students. She herself was a prolific letter writer, almost always beginning with “… I want to write a few lines before the mailman comes.” It was her form of greeting and conveying her news and thoughts to her loved ones.
Frances probably never realized how meaningful a gift this calendar would become!