Sunday, May 10, 2009

Treasure boxes

A few weeks ago, we had a visit from Rob's Great Aunt and Uncle Dorothy and Lyle Feisel. So they would be our boy's Great-great Aunt and Uncle. They live about 1 hr and 30 minutes south of us and it has been such a joy getting to know them. They have become so dear to us and we are so grateful to have such wonderful people in our family. Growing up, my dad always made a huge effort to help his children know the legacy and heritage that we came from. Even to the extent of a 16-18 hr. ride with 9 kids in the back of an S-10 Chevy pickup truck. We spent that trip playing with cousins, visiting gravestones and bonding with the generations that have gone before. I remember sitting at the feet of my Great uncle Paul as he told us stories about my Dad. And listening to my uncle Roger sing us silly songs while playing the guitar. I can't speak for my siblings, but the memories that I still have of those summer vacations/reunions are of the importance of knowing where you come from. Rather than the long miserable car rides throwing up from motion sickness and trying not to kill each other in the process. Since then, I am a sentimental fool when it comes to learning about my ancestors. I want my children to have a strong knowledge of the legacy that they have come from on both sides of the family. With that said, you can imagine my joy when Great Uncle Lyle shows up with the most special gift for my two boys. Lyle is an extremely gifted woodworker. He made a treasure box for each of my boys. In the inside of the box was this picture of Rob's Great Grandfather Clyde Feisel Holding Rob's dad Steve when he was a baby in about 1954. I cried when I read the story below the picture. Here's the story:
About 1935, Clyde Feisel and his family were renting a farm about three miles southwest of Tama, Iowa. It was the depth of the great depression and while farmers were well supplied with food from their own labors, there was no market for crops or livestock so there was no cash available to pay the rent. The farm was owned by the Meskwaki Indian nation and they were very happy to barter for the rent since no one else had any cash, either. They made a deal with Clyde that if he would cut down trees on the farm, have them milled into lumber in a nearby sawmill and then build a barn, they would accept that in lieu of rent. Clyde cut the local hardwoods-elm, ash, cottonwood and hickory-for the barn. At the same time, he cut and had sawn some walnut trees that he didn't use in the barn but instead stacked and dried for later use. As the five feisel boys grew up and went to high school, they all used this walnut lumber for shop projects. A small amount of this lumber still survives and Lyle now uses it for inlays in projects for the descendents of Clyde and Clara.
Clyde Feisel is Adam and Lincoln's Great Great Grandfather.

The diamond in the center of the lid is the remnant of walnut that is spoken of in the story.
Thank you Dorothy and Lyle for sharing this incredible gift with us! We love you guys!


The Wilsons said...

SO neat--what a really thoughtful, wonderful gift!!!