Friday, November 5

 I’m dedicating this Vintage Inspiration Friday post to a truly inspiring woman.
Kevin’s Grandmother Bertie, who is turning 98 - so I guess this qualifies her as vintage!
Born in 1912 she grew up poor with only an 8th grade education. 
 Bertie married young & raised 4 boys in Pampa Texas, a struggling oil town.  
She was green before ‘green’ was in!  
They were totally self-sufficient.  The family raised chickens, grew vegetables, had a milk cow.  Bertie made everything from furniture to clothing. Like all of us, Bertie wanted a nice house & pretty things.


What she lacked in finances she made up for in ingenuity & gumption. If there was something she wanted, she found a way to make it happen.  When she heard that one of the oil companies in town were selling a building used as a recreation center, she bought it, moved it & placed it on a foundation she poured.
She salvaged windows, doors, & laid sheet rock transforming it into their family home.  
At school registration each year she made mental notes of the style of clothes being worn.  Using flour sacks or castoffs she meticulously fashioned shirts & trousers for her boys so they would be dressed equally as their classmates. No better.
No Worse.

 

Grandmother even made my FIL’s prom tuxedo!

 

I was honored when she passed down her old singer to me. 
Her determination & strong faith in God carried her through many tough times, the worst of which was losing a precious son at 16 to cancer.
When she was 80 her husband passed away, but Bertie was still going strong.  She surprised the family when she announced she was going on her dream vacation to Alaska...Alone!
Her greatest legacy is her family & although Bertie had limited schooling education was important to her.
 
The surviving son’s went on to accomplishes great things in life.
Uncle Bill has a master in political science, served as speaker of the house in the Wyoming House of Representatives & traveled the world as a teacher in American schools.
Uncle EJ graduated from Rice University on a basketball scholarship, toured Asia as a Christian College All American & served on the Spring Texas Independent School District Board of Directors. 
My FIL Ted has masters in communication from TCU & has been a professor there for over 30 years. He is a published author & international trainer for professional development has spoken in 40 states & 6 foreign countries.
All 8 of her grandchildren graduated from college, many with masters degrees.
Bertie taught me to not let anything stand in the way of my dreams & that no one but me can make them come true. 
 Happy Birthday Grandmother!
I love you!

Thanks Debra for giving us the opportunity to sing the praises of everything & everyone who inspires us!
Check out Common Grounds for more Vintage Inspiration today.
Next week I'll be sharing some amazing treasures Grandmother gave to me & a collage made in honor of her birthday!


48 comments:

Tete said...

what a cool lady. My grandmother had an 8th grade education, also, and she was proud of it. She had finished school when so many left after 6th grade. These grandma's had common sense and grit. They are have seen enough bad times to cherish the good.
So glad you posted about her today.
Hugs- Tete

Rebecca said...

I was so inspired by your post today-what a wonderful story and legacy she left. The pictures were wonderful=what a wonderful lady!

Jaime Haney aka ArtsyFartsy.Me said...

What a great tribute to a Great Lady! I love that drinking cup! The germ-a-phobes would freak out... ha ha. Things are so different now. Think of how much change your Grandmother has seen. It is truly remarkable. My grandmother is 93 and I am in awe of her and her stories all the time. We truly have much to learn from our elders, I just wish more would listen, for they are a dying breed.

Thanks for sharing her.

Judy said...

Amazing! Thank you for sharing a bit of her life with us.

Motherkitty said...

Happy Birthday to Bertie! She sounds like quite a gal.

Whimsey Creations said...

Oh my gosh Lisa - there is a book here in the making! PLEASE PLEASE get as many stories written down as you can before she passes. I have no one left to ask and truly regret not asking more questions of my grandparents and parents. Thanks so much for sharing her story - she sounds like a wonderful woman!

peggy gatto said...

Happy birthday from me too!!!!
I so enjoyed seeing these pictures and reading the story!
Love posts like this!

Passionate for White said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post... thank you so much for sharing!

Gail said...

Bertie sounds absolutely amazing! I do think back in her "younger" time there were lots of women that did for themselves like Bertie (and I say that not in any way whatsoever to diminish what she accomplished).
I'm in awe of those women, my Dad tells me similiar stories of his mom on a small farm in Texas and all she accomplished.....it's simply humbling. Makes me think twice when I start complaining about having to run to the market...again...:).
I mean, really, how spoiled can we be?

Diane Costanza said...

Wow, what a fully-lived life! Happy Birthday Bertie!

Erica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erica said...

What a wonderful woman to celebrate and honor!!

(And I hear the fabulous Dawn is coming to visit you! How lucky are you?!!)

'odd and old' Linda Dacey said...

loud shout for inspirational strong women...

Martys Fiber Musings said...

So inspiring - a story about a lady who never said never! I love it.

Claudia said...

What a loving tribute to an amazing woman! I just loved reading her story, Lisa. She is a true inspiration. Is it just me, or do I see a distinct resemblance to your triplets in that childhood photo of her?

xo
Claudia

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

I love hearing stories like this of the old days.
What a pampered life we lead now compared to the struggles families like your grandmother Birtie endured.
She is an amazing woman and I look forward to the next episode!
Thanks Lisa
take care
Shane

Attic Rat said...

What a cool Grandma!!

Smiles,
Teresa

T's Daily Treasures said...

Grandmother Bertie truly is an inspiration. How wonderful that she is 98 and still going strong. That truly is a blessing! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful woman with us. Best wishes, Tammy

time-worn interiors said...

Wow! What an amazing lady! Your lucky to have her in your life!
Theresa
aka:TOT

Honey said...

What a special story about a special lady! (makes me miss my own grandmother so much).

My sister's husband and his family (who were farmers) are also my Pampa and probably know each other! I will pass this story along to my sister so she can show it to her mother-in-law.

Cabin and Cottage said...

What a wonderful woman! Thanks so much for the inspiration. A lovely post. These are good times to remember that others have thrived through hardship. And thanks for your recent visit! The white china is Hedge Rose by Wedgewood. Best to you, Jacqueline

kpaints said...

What a wonderful family story! I just love it, thanks for sharing how she grew up and what she accomplished. A real inspiration! She must be so proud that her children AND grandchildren got wonderful educations! Great job, Grandma, and you have inspired me to take another trip...on my own!

Lori Katies Rose Cottage said...

Oh my gosh Lisa ~ Your post is so very precious and makes me cry ~
Aren't we so blessed !!

xoxo
Lori

A Cottage Muse said...

What a loving tribute to a truly beautiful, inspiring woman! Thank you for sharing!

sissie said...

Hi Lisa,
This is a wonderful tribute to a very strong and determined Grandmother. I just love the last photo of her in the convertible. Bet she was uber kool too!

hugs
Sissie

the gypsy chick said...

wow lisa, what a beautiful woman. thank you so much for sharing her inspiring story with us...
i hope that you have a great weekend!
xoxox
amy

Linda said...

This is such a sweet post! She sounds like a remarkable woman~ thank you for sharing her with us! Happy Birthday, Birtie!

Boxwood Cottage said...

Aw what a tough and sweet and truly inspiring grandmother you have Lisa!
I wish one of my grandmothers was still here with us, but they both died when I was a teenager. I miss them! It must be wonderful to still have a grandmother a life as a grown up woman and mother.
Sending very happy birthday wishes to your dear grandma!
xoxo~ Carola

Vicki said...

How inspiring. You can't always find those type of values and silent determination these days. My husband's grandmother just turned 100. She also is a tough little cookie that has always taken care of herself and her family. I made her a card with a 1910 (year she was born) postcard and she gushed over the fact it was made and not purchased. Happy Bday to your dear Grandmom!

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

Really wonderful story...It was an inspiration to me.
xoxo Nita

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Lisa...what an amazing woman!!! She's the kind of woman we all strive to be in our lives and what a true inspiration!!! I can only hope and dream that I could have that type of influence on my sons....hugs and love, Dawn

My Arts Desire said...

Lisa, What a heartwarming story about a beautiful lady! There are many instances in life where wisdom can be far more precious than "book knowledge" and Bertie is a living example of such. What a blessing she has been, and will continue to be to all of her family. So precious that you honored her in this special way. Xo, Sue

Luv Creating Cards 'n' Keepsakes said...

Hi Lisa,
It has been fun to chat with you and Dawn while you were en route back to your home after your visit to The Tin Rabbit. You sound as if you both have had a FUNtastic time and certainly something to cherish and remember always.

Cheryl~ZanyMayd said...

What an amazing tribute for a Beautiful Woman ~ Happy Birthday Bertie.....

Pearl said...

I love this story of determination and grit! What a family indeed, you all should be so proud! I love the pictures how adorable and the cup is so cool. But the best is Bertie herself in her very cool car. Thanks for sharing

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

How wonderful!
Reminds me of my late grandma.
That first pic of her is just priceless!

I hope you and Dawn aren't having TOO much fun without me. ;-)

Storybook Woods said...

Wow, I loved reading about Bertie. What a wonderful post and an amazing woman. We need to hear more about women like Bertie. Happy birthday Bertie. Clarice

Diane said...

She is such a blessing, Lisa. I lost both of my grandmothers - they died much too young. Your grandmother is also blessed to have you!
Hugs,
Diane

Robin Thomas said...

I read your blog but don't think I have commented before. I just love this post. I love Gertie. That first picture is so so so beautiful, it alsmost doesn't seem real! Great tribute Lisa!

Laurie said...

Wow, what a privilege to know her! She is definitely an inspiration!

Linda K. said...

Amazing story to say the very least! What a beautiful heritage. One of the best posts I have had the privilege to read in a long time.

Linda

trash talk said...

Weaker sex...HA! She makes me proud to be a woman (although I'll never be half the one she is)!
She is the epitome of G.R.I.T.S.!
Debbie

Rebecca said...

Hi
They just don't make em' like that anymore! What a great woman, how wonderful to have her influences on your life... and it shows so beautifully on you.
Many blessings dear friend
Rebecca

June said...

Do you know how wonderful this post is Lisa??? Okay then, I'll tell ya...it was so awesome I had tears in my eyes and couldn't get enough pictures and words about Bertie. This is what I want to be when I grow up!!! She is beautiful.
Alsaka? Seriously? Alone? WOW!!!
hugs to you...

vicki said...

Lisa-
What a beautiful and precious story - we chould all live in such a way as to honor a lady like Bertie. She is truly beautiful and this is a wonderful post.

(I have just returned from seeing the fabulous post that Dawn created about her trip to visit you. Wow is all I can say! Your home is so lovely and you girls surly had a fabulous time. You are so kind to show Dawn around and treat her so special. This was a well deserved trip for her!

She is so so right - you are a special lady indeed!

Vicki

Jann said...

What a beautiful post--I just love that photo of your grandmother as a child--precious!

Charlene said...

GREAT POST!!!!! I think Lilly looks a little like Bertie! See ya Sunday. HUGS!
Charlene

Julia - "Vintage with Laces" said...

Happy Birthday to grandmother Bertie!!! What an amazing and inspiring woman! You are one too though, Lisa :-)!
xoxo,
Julia