Today is the birthday of my great-grandmother, Caroline. I wish I had asked my grandpa Rudolf to tell me about his mother. His parents were Weingartner (wine grape growers) in Grossgartach, Germany. Our family members still harvest grapes on that same land. My grandpa had 3 brothers: Heinrich, Hermann, Wilhelm and a sister, my Tante Marie.
The last time I was in Grossgartach, I visited Caroline’s home. It’s an old Bauernhof, or farm house on the main street of town. Grandpa said they had about 3 cows, a few young stock, 2 pigs, a couple dozen chickens, a few geese and a few rabbits. The animals were kept in the barn adjoining the house and the family lived upstairs. My father’s handicapped cousin lives there now, alone. The barn is still filled with old farming tools and wagons and wood. As I wandered through this ancestral home, I felt strangely at home. I could smell and feel and see that the family who lived here worked very hard. I’m proud to be a part of this Laemmlen family.
Below are a few photos of Caroline’s home and garden. My grandfather Rudolf grew up here and my grandmother Elsa grew up across the street and a few houses down from here.