A "Brief" Biography of Emma Vissing Lauper
By Alice Lauper Brown, begun December 1, 1956
[This account contains significant references to events in the life of:
- Emma's grandmother, Else Nielsen
- Emma's mother, Maria Johanna Sorensen
- Emma's husband, Emile Lauper
- Emma's children.]
It was about the year 1876, in Horsens, Denmark, when Antoine Lund was Mission President, that the Elders broke through the shell of cold silence and resentment surrounding Else Nielsen and she accepted the Gospel. She was young, only thirty-six years of age, but she had seen sorrow and adversity.
She was a widow. Her husband had become addicted to "drink", squandered their savings, and then deserted her a few years earlier, leaving her with the responsibility of rearing four children. So, at that time, they were without means, except what she and the children earned by laboring in the fields, laundering, and such jobs.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I want to insert her a little incident which happened in this home at about this time. It was written to me in the mission field by (Great-) Uncle Julius, Else Nielsen's only son. [The letter is dated November 12, 1940 from Salt Lake City. The story is excerpted from the rest of the letter:]
My own mother opposed the Church or missionaries for over two years as they came preaching to her. Finally our beautiful home was lost. Father and she had separated – she was alone with four little children living up under the roof of a four story building in one little room, and yet, proud as she was, no one must know that we were poor. She would go out in the country to work for fear it should be found out in the city.
The first prayer I ever uttered was for BREAD when about six years old . Mother sent me to get a loaf of bread on credit at the bakery. Coming down the stairs, I stopped and said the Lord's Prayer and when I came to "Give us this day our daily bread," I repeated it three times – I wanted God to know that that was what I wanted.
The lady at the store asked me why I thought she would let me have it, seeing that they gave no credit. I told her that I had prayed for it and knew that she would. As tears came into her eyes, she said, "My dear, dear boy, is there not something more you want?" Now as my mind goes back, I am wondering where would you and I have been now, if poverty had not come to mother, and she sought solace in religion? Or if the missionaries had given up when she ordered them out of our fine home the first time they called?
|Maria and little Emma, 1884|
One of these four children was Maria Johanna Sorensen. Maria was pretty, intelligent, strong-minded, and somewhat willful. Hers was a colorful, sometimes, sad, altogether unusual life, but it serves my purpose here to say that at the age of twenty-four, in Vejle, a town in Denmark near Horsens, she became the mother of my own mother, the date being November 17, 1881.
Mother began life under the weight of such a preponderous name as Emma Elizabeth Johanne Busch Vissing, and she has been even until now weighed down under loads too heavy to bear without breaking (for one as sensitive and as much an introvert as she).
My mother, then, was born in the Church, as all of Great-Grandmother's children had followed her into the waters of baptism. Mother tells the story that she was told, of how her grandmother's unhappy, moody, silent disposition was changed once she joined the Church. She became hospitable and talkative, and her home became a haven for the missionaries. It was a very humble home, but Grandmother Maria Sorensen and her baby girl went there to live soon after my mother's birth.
My mother's infancy and baby years were with her grandmother in Horsens, while her mother went to work outside. She was not too strong as a little child, and her grandmother gave her constant, loving care, and they became much attached to each other.
When mother was four, 1886, arrangements had been made at last for Sister Else to go to Utah (Zion). For years, ever since conversion, in fact, the urge to gather with the Saints had been uppermost in this family, so now they were to come. Aunt Anna and Uncle Julius went first to Utah and Uncle Julius sent back enough money for Great-Grandmother Else to come. In other ways, enough money was raised so that with her could come her other two children – Aunt Minnie and Grandmother Maria – and with them, the small four-year-old who is my mother.
Mother now remembers nothing of that long, tedious journey by land and by sea. It took weeks to arrive, first in New York, and then by train to Salt Lake City. Grandmother Maria stayed in in Salt Lake City because Aunt Anna was there, and they both worked in prominent homes. The other members of the family went to Nephi, which is as far as the train went at that time, and from there on to Moroni, Utah, by covered wagon. Great-Grandmother Else was very ill during this part of the trip, and mother Emma says she seems to remember her lying white and miserable in the covered wagon. Sometimes, certain city noises or sights make her think she remembers coming to New York. Through the years, there have been scenes, especially of meadow or a country variety, that find a response in her, and she thinks it must be an echo of her short experience in rural Denmark.
To attempt a description of little Emma at this age would fall short at my hand. Suffice it that we in the family have two childhood pictures of her, one at the age of three, and one at seven.
Great-Grandmother Else settled in Moroni, with her was Emma. Emma's mother Maria continued to work in Salt Lake and sent what she could toward their support. They were also joined by Nels, Emma's brother, just three years older than she. They lived first in one room of the home of a Brother Sorensen. Later, Uncle Julius built on another room. They lived in this place about two years, during which time Grandmother Maria married in Salt Lake City to Brother Hans Madsen. He was willing to assume her indebtedness to the Immigration Fund, and also the support of the children. [Viola Lauper Johnson notes: Maria had many changes for marriage, but accepted none before a man came along who would promise to take on and support her two children.] She was his third polygamous wife (at a time when there was serious opposition to polygamy), so she came anonymously to Moroni to protect her husband.
Mother Emma remembers her mother's visit and how they cuddled in bed on the cold nights. She recollects vividly , too, how she and her brother were sent to different homes to accept the donations of fellow members in the ward. Sometimes it was skim milk, sometimes the privilege of gathering chips and kindling from woodpiles, a mutton head (of all things!) from a prosperous butcher, or an assortment of other things. They managed to [survive], as Julius was working herding sheep and studying, learning the language.
Emma had her little pleasures. One game she remembers was with balls or marbles made of spicy pfefferneuse dough. They baked up hard, and she and her grandmother would hold some in their hands and guess how many. There was a little verse to say along with the guessing and forfeits to pay if you guessed wrong.
Then, Brother Jens Jacobsen began to make calls. He came "courting" Great-Grandmother Else. He was a devout, active convert, as Danish as Denmark. He had lost a leg in the King's service – in action in the Danish-German War. At this time he was a widower in his sixties. His wife had not been dead long when he came seeking another, thumping along with his peg-leg and cane. He offered Great-Grandmother a home. I have it pictured in my mind as a little two-room cottage with an open porch along the front, and in back, a lean-to type of kitchen, wash room and what have you. Outside of town he had a farm of five acres on which he planted potatoes, grain, hay, etc., [so] Emma was to know intimately the experience of planting and harvesting.
"Grandpa" (as she came to call him) was receiving a pension from the Danish government which at first came once a year in the mail, then more often, semi-annually, and towards the last it came quarterly. The pension amounted to about $150.00 at first, but dwindled so that at his death it amounted to perhaps $60.00. The life of the family, as mother remembers it, was divided into periods marked by the receipt of payments of this pension.
I am ahead of my story now, and it's superfluous to say that after giving it business-like consideration and practical analysis from all angles (no head-long love match, this), Great Grandmother Else accepted the hand of Jens Jacobsen in marriage, after a courtship of only a few months. They married when Emma was five-and-a-half years old. [Thus] Emma was taken to a new home at the other end of town, and she has ever spoken of it as "the only home I ever had."
"Grandpa" took Great-Grandmother Else to the Logan Temple to be married, and their union lasted twelve years, until his death at the age of seventy-seven. His memory will be forever blessed to the descendants of Emma, for he was very good, kind and loving to her.
|Moroni Home, with Aunt Anne|
[Near this time,] Aunt Anna also took up residence with her mother Else. Grandpa's family had grown by five. Aunt Minnie was there, ill; Nels got sick; Emma had worms; Great-Grandmother Else was doing poorly. Grandpa went to get Aunt Anna to come home and help her mother. She had married into polygamy and was living in Fountain Green, Utah, eight miles away. When Grandpa arrived there, he found Anna ill and in such poor circumstances that he took her home to be nursed back to health from a serious case of pneumonia. She stayed on.
Emma was almost eight years old when Brother Madsen said that he no longer would send support for her and Nels, but that he wanted them to come and live with them [in Idaho]. Whether or not that would have been an advantage for Mother Emma, I cannot say, but the offer came too late. Nels, a misunderstood and rather difficult boy, accepted and left Moroni at that time. [However,], Emma was terrified and heartbroken at the thought of leaving those whom she loved. A council was held, and Grandpa agreed to keep her as his own.
Nels left. Aunt Minnie then went to Salt Lake City to work and eventually marry. Emma turned eight and was baptized in the newly-dedicated Manti Temple by Grandpa's son Jacob. She went to school as far as the Fourth Reader. She missed a lot of school by reason of health and an overly-solicitous grandmother. She learned to read early, and it became one of her greatest enjoyments.
A Danish weekly (Bekuren) came to the house, and she read and re-read it and the almanacs. She would sit in her swing, doll (Sarah) in one arm, or the cat, and a book in the other, and while away the hours. Also, she read the Bible to her grandmother, as well as the paper. Great-Grandmother Else was partial to the New Testament, particularly Paul, while Grandpa's main forte was the stories from the Old Testament. And Emma was always ready to listen.
I think it would be very incorrect to say that Mom's childhood was a happy one. She was too sensitive to the moods of the adults around her. And being an introvert by nature, she was always lonely. However, there were times and experiences of happiness and delight. There were trips up Maple Canyon to picnic, and these she enjoyed. There were also trips to the Manti Temple.
Since I was a small child, I have had in my mind a picture of the road to Mt. Pleasant, lined with rose bushes. I am sure that in reality, they were not growing in the profusion and beauty that I imagined from hearing about them from Mom. Certainly, the travelers had time and opportunity to take in the scenery as they moved slowly along in their light wagon pulled by Grandpa's faithful old horse, "Jack." Jack was something of an institution himself, being known by all in the community. "Na-sheh! Na-sheh!" Grandpa used to mumble as they went along. Flink, the dog, and Emma's friend, was usually running along with this odd caravan.
The story of Mom's clothes used to fascinate me as a little girl. She told how her grandmother always insisted on her wearing so much. She must have always been too warm and bundled. Long underwear drawers, two or three petticoats, vest and such garments as a chemise were staples. Her good dresses were made by dressmakers, and she had one or two each year, at the time that the pension came. She liked her new dresses, except that they would be too long. Her good winter dress would be cashmere, trimmed with pasmentrie, and in the summer, sateen was the popular material.
I'd like to mention many of the experiences she has told me about, little everyday things like the time she cut her chin and tried to keep it from her grandmother and aunt. She pretended it was a toothache. Also, there was the time she tore her dress at the depot in Ephraim [thirteen miles south of Moroni]. I can't put on paper the long, hot walk she took under the May Day sun, from the meadow where almost the whole population of Moroni had gathered to celebrate. Emma, out of bashfulness, walked home alone.
When Mother was almost thirteen, Aunt Anna had a baby girl, Alfreda. Emma loved her immediately, devotedly and constantly. [Viola Lauper Johnson notes: When Emma was a child and young girl, Grandmother Else was very fearful of how she would turn out, if she would stay in control andremain clean and pure. Because of this, Grandmother was very, very strict with Emma, sometimes even harsh. By the time, Alfreda came along, she had mellowed.]
|Emma at sixteen, 1897|
At the age of seventeen, Emma went to work for Mrs. Eliason who ran the Eliason House, a place in Moroni where the drummers or salesmen going from town to town could stop overnight. Emma worked hard as a maid of all work for the sum of one dollar per week. [VLJ: Emma was very proud to save and scrimp so that one day she was able to go home and take little "Freda" (as Mother always referred to her) to buy some shoes: New Shoes!]
While employed by the Eliasons, she had extensive dental work done: all of her upper teeth were pulled and she had a denture fitted. This faux pas was committed because of insufficient or improper advice; her only complaint had been of the stained or discolored condition of her teeth.
Emma's father [Jakob Vissing, who had joined the Church and emigrated to Utah], once stopped at the Eliason House and gave her a choice of his wares. He was selling jewelry, and she chose a ring.
Emma worked for the Eliasons for about two years. She then worked for other women in the town until the May before she was nineteen. At this time, she left to go live with her mother in Lehi. [They had moved back from Idaho.] Grandma Madsen's family, at that time, consisted of herself, her aged and ill husband, [and children] Franklin, Harry, Minnie , Axel and Julius. Nels had left sometime before, to be on his own.
It was a sad parting for Emma to leave her Moroni home and those she loved. However, she was young, and it seemed the best thing to do. Life at Lehi presented many problems and difficulties. Her mother was not well, and in meager circumstances. "Pa," as Emma called Brother Madsen, was kind when he was well, but it was a hard life.
Near the Madsen's home was a vineyard where lived a French-speaking Swiss convert named Emile Lauper. He was 31 years old, and he began making frequent visits to the Madsens. He would have long talks and discussions with Grandma Maria while Emma was nearby, but not ever saying much. So began the odd courtship, which resulted in the equally odd marriage of thirty-five years.
|Emile and Emma, married 1900|
Emile and Emma Lauper were married October 31, 1900, in the Salt Lake Temple. The newlyweds spent two or three days in Salt Lake, visiting Uncle Julius, Mother Emma's Vissing grandparents and some missionary friends of Dad. Then they returned to Lehi, and after a short stay at the Madsen's home, took up residence at the vineyard. When they arrived at Grandma Maria's house from Salt Lake, the children had arranged a small party or reception for them. There was a cake, and there were a few little gifts from the children.
Dad Emile worked hard at the vineyard, but prices for fruit were low. There was little market for his pears, prunes and grapes. While living there, Mother developed a great fondness for muskat grapes, and during the years since, she has been searching and testing for some that taste like "the ones from the vineyard." She put up and canned a great deal of fruit in order to keep it from spoiling and going to waste.
A baby was not long in coming. A boy, Serge James, was born August 28, 1901. Beginning in early childhood, Mother had always unquestioningly and without reservation accepted the Gospel and the Restoration as truth. [Beginning from] the birth of her first child and on until the tenth was reared and on his own, she sought and fought to establish a like testimony in the hearts of each of her children. Dad was also a person of faith, and so the Church was always accepted in the family life of the Laupers.
When Serge was a week or so old, Mom's Grandmother Else wrote to here that her Grandpa was ill and expected to die [at any moment]. She said that for days he had been asking for Emma and that his folks said that he couldn't die until he saw her. Grandmother Else said that while she didn't believe that exactly, Emma had better plan to come as soon as she was strong enough. By the time that Serge was three weeks old, word came that the grand old man has passed on. Emma felt lost and frantic at the thought of not seeing him here again. She, her baby, and her mother went to his funeral.
Before a second son, Ivan Emile, was born on October 28, 1902, Dad and Mother had moved from the vineyard to a mining town, Mercur, Utah. [in the Oquirrh Mountains south of Tooele and west of Lehi] Dad worked in the mills and made good wages, but food prices were extra high, and there was little left over after paying living costs, except more debts. Mother went back to Lehi and stayed at Grandma Maria's to have her baby. He was born with a rupture. Later, she managed to take Ivan and Serge, who was still ill and weak from a serious siege of "summer complaint", to the Temple. There, through the exercise of faith, both were healed, and they were able to return to Mercur.
A third son, John Arnold, was born in Mercur on August 18, 1904. While he was still an infant, my Grandmother Lauper and Dad's only sister, Aunt Alice, immigrated to Utah from Switzerland. They stayed for some time with the folks in Mercur. Then, they all moved to Lehi and lived in separate one-room apartments.
Mother took in washing for a time. That was drudgery, as it was all done by hand without any of the modern conveniences.
Dad went off to the Bear River Valley to get some farming land, and while he was gone, Mom received word from Moroni that her Grandmother Else was dying. She sadly took her little brood of three and went "home." She was there for about three weeks before her grandmother died, December 3, 1905. She stayed on for a little more than two months longer and then, in early spring, returned to Lehi. A few days later, Dad came for his family and took them to Bear River where he had established himself on the river bottom in a little cabin.
The family moved to the Bear River in a wagon. The trip was long and uncomfortable. They lived in this precarious place, at the water's edge, for about three years, and while there, a fourth baby was born to them, April, 17,1 1907. The baby was named Felix Louis, and Dad was pleased that it was another strong little son. He looked forward to lots of help on the land, and through the years he lost no time in putting his boys to work.
Mother was thankful that her baby was healthy, and she gave thanks every night, as she tucked her babies into bed, that they were safe another time. The water was a constant threat and worry. In one instance, Felix did toddle into the river, and she had to fish him out in fear and trembling. They left "The River" to move to Dean House just in time for me, their fifth child and first daughter, to be born, November 25, 1908. Even Dad was pleased that this time, it was a girl. I was welcomed gladly and named Alice Marie, for my Aunt and two grandmothers.
In about sixteen months, on March 7, 1910, another baby girl was born. She was different in that she had hair, and dark hair at that, in contrast to the blondness and baldness of the rest of us. She was named Else Geneva, after Mom's grandmother, and was quickly able to win a place in her parents' hearts. Mom says that Else was just four weeks old when she gave her first smile, but that night, April 4th, she passed away in her sleep at Mom's breast. They had to bury her in Rowville Cemetary, but there was no time to mourn as work had to be done. Dad was forever trying to own some land and never quite succeeding.
Babies continued to be born in quick succession: Marcel Franklin, September 24, 1911; Viola Emma, April 12, 1913; Dennis LaVerne, April 2, 1915; and Ralph Julius, November 26, 1916, the day after my eighth birthday. By this time, we were living on the Homestead, a piece of land on a hill, consisting of 160 acres and another little cabin. There was no well there, and it doesn't take a vivid imagination to feel the hardship, toil and frustration of a mother under such conditions. Dennis and Ralph were both born while at this place. The ground was unproductive, and we just existed. Our living quarters were extended to include a large tent and a small addition to the cabin. I think of the rags that Mom sewed to get a carpet made for the floor of that tent, and how she washed on the board to keep here children respectable.
At this time, Mother served as a Visiting Teacher in the Relief Society. It was a common sight to see her coming down the hill, pushing and pulling her large, rickety baby carriage with two or three in it and one or two beside her. She faithfully made her "beat" each month and went to the meetings. She lacked clothes to go out socially and rarely went anywhere but to church. I can remember once while we lived there that we went to Stake Conference at Garland. I was about seven, and I can remember that Mom wore a hat of Dad's, as she had none of her own, since she couldn't go with her head uncovered. We were late. President Joseph F. Smith was speaking when we went in. I'll never forget the look of him. I was little and the chapel looked so big to me. There seemed to be millions of people, but I can still see President Smith as I saw him then.
Those were hard days for Mom. Looking back, I can see that they were even harder that I've thought before. But she had dreams for her children and was always close to them. Serge was her confidant and hope. He finished the eight grades of school at twelve, and began the first [year of high school] the next year. I should have mentioned that while living at the River, Mom made a lifelong friend in the person of Othelia Elswood, her neighbor on the "top". Their husbands and children, too, were friendly. And now, with a little help from Mrs. Elswood and with Mom's pushing and sacrificing, Serge was able to have part of a year in high school at Brigham City. He did good work and showed promise, but he didn't get to return.
[Alice continues her account in 1975.]
In 1916 [November], after the birth of my brother, Ralph, Mom didn't regain her strength, and she began to have serious health problems. When the baby was three weeks old, he and Mother were take to the hospital in Tremonton, under the care of Doctors Whitlock and Merrill. Mother had a large abscess in her side. When that was ruptured and drained, she was relieved of much pain, but [still] was not well. At home , we were desolate and pitiful. It hurts ever so much, even today, to try to describe our state and my feelings, so I will pass over and go on. After about ten days, as I remember it, Mon and Ralph were brought home, but she didn't get better. Early in spring she was taken back to the hospital. The war, World War I, was now on in Europe, and times were very hard. Dad's horses were existing on molasses, and his family fared little better. It was such a cold winter! Our tent was worn and continually needed patching and further anchorage. On the second trip to the hospital, Mother was not allowed to take her baby, so a kind member family, the Berchtolds, consented to take him and care for him. Dennis was now two years; I was eight; Marcel and Viola in between; and the four "older" boys were headed by Serge, who was only 15 at the time. Mother was operated this time. There were Specialist doctors called in, and the diagnosis was Cancer. Nothing could be done, and she was [simply] "sewed up". I learned to pray at this time. Dad said, "If you want your mother to live, you must pray hard." In the meantime, he sold the homestead and bought a farm at Delta (Sugarville) in Millard County.
Mother did show some improvement. (Can we ever doubt the power of faith and prayers?) With great help from the Elswoods, Aunt Alice [Father Emile's sister], and Aunt Lena [wife of Uncle Julius Sorensen, brother to Grandmother Maria], and others, we did get moved to our new home. It was an arduous trip, fraught with "hurts" and hardships for all. There was a short stop in Salt Lake en route, but it left not much in the way of pleasant memories.
Dad wasn't able to "make it" in Sugarville, either. More than constant hard work and sacrifice was required. We spent ten of the "best years of our lives" finding that out, and Mother always had the worst of it. While there, Ivan left home, [causing her] to grieve and worry. John left, and after only one month, there came word of his accidental death – he was kicked by a horse. Serge left for the mission field from there, the same year that Dad's one promising yield of lucerne (alfalfa) seed was frozen on the eve of harvest. With it went his last hope of success.
Ivan came home from Los Angeles for a Christmas holiday. He and Felix went duck hunting, where Felix was accidently killed, another devastating blow! When Ivan returned to Los Angeles, I went with him. [After] a few months had passed, Mother was seriously ill. She suffered from terrible depression, which brought on a nervous breakdown. When she was critical, almost to the point of death, she was sent to Los Angeles, where Ivan and I had her with us for four months. Se weighed under 90 pounds at this time, and she had no desires or interest in anything. Ivan and I persevered, and the change of scene and routine was therapeutic. By Christmas time, she went back to the "Red House" at Sugarville, where Dad and the others and moved by then. During this time, Dad had suffered a serious accident, and Viola had carried the load of both father and mother. She was just a little slip of a girl at the time, about 15, with great responsibility and abundant emotional stress. (You had to be tough to survive!)
As Ivan was called to a mission the following summer, he helped the family move to Camarillo, California, before readying himself for departure. Life was not too much changed for Mother. The great World Depression came, but we were hardly aware of it. Having no place to go but up, to us it made little difference. Anyways, the "Strawberry Acres" at Camarillo failed, too. However, we grew older and worked at various jobs. Mother continued to accept lots of knocks. Her mother, Grandmother Madsen, passed away. Serge married. Viola graduated from high school and went to Los Angeles to Business College. We moved to Ventura. Marcel worked in a furniture store before leaving for the Danish mission field. Dennis bought Mom her first eye glasses (she had needed them for a good while). Ivan returned from the England mission field and married. Viola graduated and took a job in Ventura. THEN, Dad died on January 1, 1936, leaving Mom a widow at age 54, with many long, lonely years ahead for her. We moved from Ventura to Oakland (not all of us at once, but eventually), and then to San Francisco.
|Emma Lauper, 1939|
Always there was the Gospel, and [Mom] delighted in all the Church activities of her children. Mother was ever thankful for anything good her children did! After Viola married, she made Mother welcome in her home. At one [point], [Viola's husband] Joe was her Bishop, and Serge, her Stake President, a circumstance she loved and reveled in.
Dennis' Helen was especially kind [to Mother] and gave her pleasure by taking her home with them frequently. She made her first airplane trip to see Ivan and Helen in Compton, California [L.A. area], and she enjoyed her time there with them.
Marcel was her special pal; he was most attentive and generous with money, time and love. She told me, with a hint of surprise: "he really loves me."
Ralph was always her "baby," and she enjoyed a spiritual experience – living at his and Jane's home in St. George – while attending the temple there for a few months.
Just as Ralph was her baby, Serge was always her stand-by and support. She was so proud of her sons!
Yet she was "lonely and alone," as she put it. I can see now something of what she meant.
Her real pleasure was her grandchildren. She never saw a fault in any of them. She had a pet name for each, and each could weedle anything she had from her. Her special joy was always "Linda-puss," as she called Linda [Viola's daughter].
Mother lived to be 76 years, sweeter and kinder each year!
So often I have fretted at her ways – the awkward little things she did and said, her faltering speech and fumbling fingers, the seeming uselessness of many days. How queer it is that now that she is dead, and long cool strands of myrtle grow above her grave, the only memory that lingers is of her gentleness and patient love.
Some additional afterthoughts: I do wish, now, that Viola had asked me to write the above earlier, that my memory might have been better. (Let that serve as a warning to you younger ones!) I did so enjoy listening to Mom. Her friends become mine as we often ‘walked the streets and paths of that little Danish town together', as mother reminisced and relived her childhood. I can realize, now, that it was an outlet for her, a form of therapy to keep balance as she came to realize that her dreams and goals were never to be fulfilled.
Mother used to tell of the neighbors in Moroni. Often she was included with the older people – her grandmother's peers – and she would tell of their little ‘coffee clatches', where the visitor would bring [perhaps] a sponge cake or pound cake, or other specialties. If it was a birthday, they would try to take a ‘pair of cups'. I could never get accustomed to the practice of referring to a cup and saucer as a ‘pair of cups'. Great store was put to the fineness of the china involved.
Like cousin Freda, only more so, Mother saw many dead people in her childhood. In those days, there were epidemics of small-pox, diptheria, measles, etc. Death would strike several within a family. Mother spoke of whole families that she knew being wiped out. Many of these were children and those she knew at church or school. It seems they always went to view those who had passed on, and that school would be closed for weeks while the disease ran its deathly course.
In ending this, I have to restate: she lived in a small world all of her life, and deserved so much more!