Meet the malevolent matriarch’s great granddaughter!
Given the monumental task of organizing and preserving our family heirlooms–actually, I took it on because time marches–I’m determined to teach my children the importance of their past.
Hi! I’m Karen Geier, and I’m happy you’re here.
I’ve always enjoyed looking at old family photos. I was all ears when grandma and her sisters shared family stories. I recall conversations about certain heirlooms. Most of all, I love trying to imagine the lives of the people I call ancestors.
They aren’t just names on a chart; they were real people. They experienced life’s hardships and joys. This was never more apparent than when reading great grandma’s letters. There are hundreds.
Why do these letters matter?
Great grandma Orah was nasty…and I say that with the utmost affection
Her nastiness was the inspiration for this blog. She poured her heart out for 12 years, writing, ranting, and cursing about everything under the sun. She captured my father’s childhood, but she also mentions:
- Tacoma in the 50s–theater, ballgames, politics, gardening
- 38th street–shopping was a near daily event
- neighbors–Cyr, Pollack, and many others
- family–Langton, Lytle, Butterfield, Smith families
- church–Orah attended a Methodist Episcopal church
It’s a personal life account, and immensely human.
Speaking of history, here’s a peek at mine.
My goal for this blog is threefold
1) I want to show you how I’ve profiled my ancestors using various forms of documentation. Did you catch that I already snuck one in, right here?
2) Through story profiling, I want to show you how I’m teaching my children about their past. Do they know who made that doily or who carved the wooden box? They don’t now, but by creating ancestor profiles using heirloom artifacts, they will.
3) I want a place for you to meet your cousins, where we can connect, share, and learn together. I want to host the place where you might find otherwise elusive information. I want to share your photo of Great Uncle Albert, and you have to see a real V-MAIL.
Join me! THIS is the place.
How did I come up with malevolent?
“Grammy” helped raise my father who often spoke about her less-than-kind temperament.
Reading her letters was difficult; they were hurtful, yet left me intrigued. She was vengeful, ill-willed, vindictive, and hostile–I eventually learned why–but it only made me realize she was real, just like the rest of us. When thinking of one word–the best word–to describe Orah during that period of time, the word that stuck was malevolent.
If this seems harsh, I understand your thinking. Yet, I also discovered a world of good in Orah’s writings; in fact, I was inspired so much that I decided her gift must be shared, warts and all. She was my kick-in-the-caboose.
To read more about grammy, click here for THE REST OF THE STORY.
Another useful link: SITE MAP.
- I was once a Pow Wowette, a baton-toting twirler (photo above) in a town with a real pow wow tree. History buffs: https://www.triposo.com/loc/Gladstone2C_Oregon/history/background
- I lived in Brazil for three months when I was 17.
- I was a dental hygienist for 34 years.
- I speak Portuguese.
- I make a killer pie crust.
- My daughter calls me the Cat Whisperer (she’s right).
- A college professor once told me to send my screenplay to Hollywood.
- At the age of 54 I earned a master’s degree in Aging Studies.
Thanks for joining me on my profiling journey.
Welcome to The Malevolent Matriarch!