100 Years Ago This Week the Journey Began

On the 12th of September 1912 my Grandmother, Elsa Schaefer left Grossgartach.  She was only 17 years old.  Alone, she came to America.  She carried a small tan, cloth-covered diary with marbled page edges and a small pencil holder stitched into the back cover.  The inside cover has this inscription:  zum Andenken von Deiner Mutter.  S. Schafer.  (in memory of your mother, S[usanna] Schafer).  This diary is one of my treasures.  It speaks to me of courage and adventure and destiny.  Her destiny and mine.  When I was 17 I traveled alone to Germany to be an exchange student.  I was drawn there because Grandma was drawn here.  I knew our paths and lives were meant to come together and meant to understand each other.  Growing up on the farm next door to Grandma, I knew her well and loved her dearly.

This week I honor her and give thanks for her courage to find her destiny. The road she traveled has made all the difference.



About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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