Wednesday, October 3, 2012


“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors.  All of them are alive in this moment.  Each is present in your body.  You are the continuation of each of these people.”  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I am related to each and every one of the persons in the photos of this post.  Spending a wonderful summer with beloved family, dragging my poor father on two trips through an old mountain cemetery looking for a lost family plot, and perusing family "documentation" served as a reminder of the importance of present family and ancestors long gone, in my life.  I'm a sucker for old photos (it's usually the first thing I go for in the antique stores), so thought I would share the love in this post.
My Paternal Great Grandparents O'Brien; my Grandmother Katherine (left), and her little sister.
My Grandma Kate and Grandpa Carl Rudolph Anderson, who immigrated to the United States from Sweden at the age of 17, all by himself.  Ja...that makes my maiden name Anderson, also.
My "Greats"; My Grandmother Kate; her son/my father Arvid (it's a Swedish name), as a baby; and his older brother/my uncle Robert (Bob), with his wife/my aunt Delores.
These gentlemen were all brothers on my Mother's side...the Rhyno brothers - uncles of my Grandpa Rhyno, I believe I have been told.
My Grandma Hazel and Grandpa Herschel Rhyno - Grandpa ran his own garage business behind the house in North Denver for as long as I had him in my life.
Their marriage brought about my Aunt Violet (upper left, with my Grandpa and Mom as a toddler), and my own Mother, Barbara (that's her at age 3); bottom photos are the family, and my Mom and Grandpa sharing a story on a family camping trip.
The union of two families led to this, folks, Arvid and Barb; me, with both sets of Grandparents; my parents with me and my brother, Arvid; and my brother and myself in a photo my talented Dad took and developed himself.  I married and had two kids of my own, further propagating both family lines (as well as melding with the ancestors on my husband's side), much as I hope my own children will.
"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one" ~ Jane Howard
And, driving down the road this summer from the meadow and mines in Freeland, where we spent the day remembering those that came before us, we set out on a mission to locate the long lost family plot of my Great-Great Grandmother Lory (the older woman from the family photo in the FREELAND post), my Great-Great Grandfather, and their 3 year old grandson.
Three of us hiked for an hour and a half on the first trip through, looking at just about every single headstone there was.  Sadly defeated, we left the mountain for the lure of margaritas, but with a vow to return and find the plot later in the summer...and that we did!  Another hour and a half spent walking row after row looked like it was going to end the same way - hand in hand my Mom and I headed back to the car that held my sleeping Dad.  We had all but thrown in the towel when we decided to look over one last wall before we quit - there they were.
"Misplaced", but not forgotten - found at last...documented now in the online registry of the Idaho Springs Cemetery - Margaret and Richard Lory, and Ernest Nicholls (he had passed in 1894, before the photo in the previous post was taken - he would have been the oldest of the children)...a sweet, melancholy day, rewarded with a tear, a hug, and a huge thank you for dragging my dad back through with us a second time - he's pretty awesome!
"We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies"  ~ Shirley Abbott


Dorthe said...

Dear Tanya,
thankyou for this wonderful story -,inviting us to meet your family and ancestors, -what an exiting trip you all have had this summer.
Love that you are a fourth part Scandinavian girl :-)
Thanks for the chipmunk explanation,dear.
I wish you a wonderful day.

oldgreymare said...

aw you got me all weepy thinking of my family grave sites so very far away that I have not seen in over 40 years...

this is a lovely post dear and makes me realize how much history has been denied my children....
ok weepy again..:D

Jackie said...

Your stories amaze me, love the picture of your mom and dad, you are so lucky to have them and the fact that they go on all your adventures with you, wow, double lucky!!

bj said...

I LOVED looking at these amazing, olden photos of yours. I went on a trip like this a few years visit a cousin that lives close to where most of our family is buried. It was amazing....

DearHelenHartman said...

I LOVE this post! Love all those pictures, all those quotes.

The Primitive Bucket said...

I love this post too!! It is amazing that you found the plot!! Love you!!!

vicki said...

Tanya -- this gives me goosebumps. Truly this is an amazing story - and so well documented with the photos of your family. Not everyone is so blessed to have photos like you do and these are amazing. The photo of your Dad here is so touching -- I cant even imagine what this meant to him that you did all of this and were successful in finding the grave. Bless your heart for taking on this deeply personal mission and fullfilling a wish of your Dad's. I'm nominating for the post of the year award -- lol --- its that good!!


Cindy said...

I love this post....xoxoxo