from JULY 4 to SEPTEMBER 8, 1923
The most difficult time of my life was when my mother, Julia Serena Lund, passed away on January 23, 1996, and I flew back to Washington for the funeral. The hardest part was to arrive at her home on Camano Island and not find her there. The horrible words I had heard on the phone were true. She was gone.
The spirit of the home was absent. Mom wasn't nervously about her usual business of making her company happy. The television was dark and silent. She wasn't there to greet us with hugs, relieved that we had made it there safely. There were only us children, crying on each other's shoulder, looking into each other's eyes, sharing our heartbreak. Mom lived a good Christian life, and we knew God was giving her His eternal mercy and love, but O, how we missed her, and always will!
I spent five days and four nights in her house, constantly spending my waking hours seeking familiar and sentimental things to remember her by. There was so much I still didn't know about this wonderful woman, and she wasn't there to answer my countless questions. I had told her that I love her many, many times, but how I wanted to tell her just one more time! And so I did, in prayer. At one point, while alone in the house, I sat in her chair and got into the same position that was described to me that she was in when she died; and I let the tears and prayers flow.
Although I searched the house for things that would bring me even closer to Mom, it wasn't until just before leaving that my sister-in-law found for me the most wonderful thing of all - a diary! In all my searching I had somehow overlooked it, but there it was - a 73-year-old Student's Note Book No. 1, filled by my mother's hand in penciled script. Here you can read her words.
I tried my best to keep the wording unchanged, correcting only a few obvious errors in grammar (Mom would be proud of me for doing that). But I purposely left some minor mistakes intact, and left the spelling for Pappa as she wrote it. By speedometer, I assume she meant odometer, and that the odometer in their car registered only three digits.
There is a lot of repetition in this diary, but it's reminiscent of a time when life was orderly and proper, notwithstanding the long stormy night following the trailer accident. And we'll probably find a time in our oftentimes grueling workdays to remember Mom's words, "Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day," and smile.
I didn't know that such a diary existed of Mom's move to the Northwest when she was only 14 until it was handed to me that day. And what a joy it is for me to know this remarkable and wonderful woman a little bit better! I hope you, too, will enjoy it.
|From left to right: Miriam, Wesley, Dagny, Evelyn, Julia, George, and Gidia & Peter Haugland|
READY TO START - Milan [Minnesota] to Benson
Wednesday, July 4, 1923 -
Country looking fine, rye fields nearly ready for harvest, good roads. Arrived at Benson OK at 9:15 p.m.
Between Milan and Benson was 53 miles. (Had a good night's rest.)
Thursday, July 5, 1923 -
Leaving Benson 10:40 a.m.
Nineteen miles from Benson delayed 20 minutes fixing blowout.
When we came to Starbuck we bought a new tire.
On the outskirts of Starbuck we were delayed again 1 hour and 10 minutes on account of a bad tire. When we came to Glenwood we bought another new tire.
Roads were fine between Benson and Starbuck.
Roads between Starbuck and Glenwood were fine.
Roads between Glenwood and Alexandria were fair.
Arrived at Alexandria 6:50 p.m. where we found a very nice tourist camp. Here we enjoyed a good supper and a good night's rest, and the beautiful park.
Friday, July 6, 1923 -
Left Alexandria tourist camp at 2:50 p.m. From Alexandria we took trail No. 3 to Fergus Falls. Passed the Alexandria cemetery where the noted Senator Knut Nelson is buried.
We took a picture of the car and trailer on the road to Fergus Falls about 10 miles from Alexandria.
The road is just splendid. Stopped 50 minutes for lunch by a beautiful lake about 27 miles from Alexandria.
Arrived at Fergus Falls OK at 6:00 p.m. Friday the 6th. Roads were excellent between Alexandria and Fergus Falls. Camped at the fair grounds (as that is the tourist camp) over night.
Saturday, July 7, 1923 -
Left Fergus Falls at 8:45 a.m. Pappa not feeling very well. Passed the Fergus Falls Insane Asylum and saw the insane people marching. Stopped on the road 50 minutes draining off oil on car.
Stopped about 1 hour and 15 minutes at Moorhead tourist camp and had lunch by the Red River. After lunch we crossed the river to Fargo. We were at Fladseths' place for supper. Pappa ate a little but not well.
Sunday, July 8 -
Stayed at Fladseths' all day, had a very nice time. Pappa not any better.
Monday, July 9 -
Pappa was so sick he had to go up to Halleck to see the doctor. Doctor said that it was appendicitis and that he had to take an operation the coming Thursday morning. Mamma went with Pappa up as far as Crookston, Minnesota in the car, and then Pappa took the train from there up to Halleck, Minnesota. We are still at Fladseths'.
Tuesday, July 10 -
Mamma stayed up in Crookston all day, and came back at 10 o'clock p.m.
Wednesday, July 11 -
Got a letter from Pappa in which he said he was in hospital in bed to rest 24 hours before the operation.
Thursday, July 12 -
Mrs. Fladseth's mother came last night and is here visiting to-day.
Friday, July 13 -
This morning Mrs. Carl Nelson from Milan came over to see Mamma at 8 o'clock. Had some mail, from Hillsboro and Milan.
Was over to see the Agricultural School grounds. Went to the store and bought some bread and tried to get some potatoes. When we came back we had lunch.
Saturday, July 14 -
Stayed home in the morning. After noon I went across the street to a family named Gronaas to wheel their baby. Mamma went on the train up to Halleck to see Pappa and came back Monday evening. Pappa was doing as well as could be expected.
Sunday, July 15 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas a little while in the morning and then went home as they were going out in the country for dinner. I had dinner at home. Fladseths had company in the afternoon.
Monday, July 16 -
Went over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. She went with the baby to the hospital and didn't come back until dinner time. I had dinner ready when she came home. Mamma came back from Halleck around ten o'clock that evening. Pappa had to have that sore opened again Monday because it pained him.
Tuesday, July 17 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day.
Wednesday, July 18 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. Went out for a ride in the evening.
Thursday, July 19 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day.
Friday, July 20 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. Mamma got a card from Mrs. Harry Frost. She said that Pappa could sit up Sunday and have some ice cream.
Saturday, July 21 -
Mamma and I were to St. John's Hospital to see Miss Johnson, a nurse. Mr. Gronaas took us over. Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day.
Sunday, July 22 -
Was over and helped Mrs. Gronaas a little in the morning. Gronaas's family and I and some other people went out and had our chicken dinner by the river. Came home and went over to Fladseths'. Margaret made some fudge (candy) and treated us.
It was so hot we had to lie around in the evening. It got cooler so Mamma & Evelyn & Miriam & George walked down to the depot and wrote a letter to Mrs. Dr. Frost and walked back again.
Monday, July 23 -
I went over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. In the afternoon Teiens came after Mamma and three of the children and went out for a ride. They saw the cemetery, two parks, and many pretty places of interest.
Tuesday, July 24 -
I went over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. She washed clothes. Mrs. Eklund invited Mamma to come over there and pick some peas and beans and then they had a lunch. And after a while they went out for a ride, Mamma, Evelyn & Miriam. Mamma had letter from Pappa.
Wednesday, July 25 -
Went to help Mrs. Gronaas. Mamma and Mrs. Eklund went to tent meeting in the evening.
Thursday, July 26 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. Mrs. Gronaas sent me over with some bread for Mamma. Mamma washed clothes to-day which is a rainy day. Alma and Evelyn went to prayer meeting in the evening with Eklunds.
Friday, July 27 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. Mrs. Gronaas cleaned the house after their roomers. Mamma ironed and mended clothes today. Mrs. Gronaas sent over some corn on the cob this evening.
Saturday, July 28 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. Mamma got a letter from Pappa in the morning in which he said that he was out of the hospital and that he was going down to Crookston, so Mamma went up to Crookston to meet him on the noon train. We were all very glad to hear that Pappa was able to come out of hospital.
Sunday, July 29 -
Was over to Gronaas's all day. Evelyn and Alma went with Eklunds to church. We had rainy weather all afternoon. Towards evening I went with Gronaases out in the country to Brubakkens'. Here we stayed and had a little lunch and looked around on the farm. I had a few chokecherries from their trees. I got some clothes from Margaret Brubakken. Then we started out for home. When we got to Harwood we went with a lady and her little boy to their home in Fargo.
Monday, July 30 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day.
Tuesday, July 31 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. She washed clothes to-day. Went out for a ride in the evening.
Wednesday, August 1 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas all day. Evelyn and Alma went with Eklunds to prayer meeting in the evening.
Thursday, August 2 -
Was over to help Mrs. Gronaas in the morning. Evelyn got a letter from Pappa in the morning. In the afternoon Mrs. Gronaas said that Oscar and I could go downtown and look around. We had a very good time. Came back on the street car. After supper I went home and was so surprised to see Pappa and the rest of them back, as we thought they were coming tomorrow. Went out for a ride with Gronaases.
Friday, August 3 -
Helped Pappa and Mamma pack all morning. Mamma and I went over to Mrs. Gronaas for a little while. Mrs. Gronaas gave me 50 cents. We went home again and helped with the packing. At noon time I went over again to Gronaas's to say good-bye. Mr. Gronaas gave me another 50 cents (which made it $1 from Gronaases). Had dinner and washed up the dishes and left Fargo at 3:55 p.m. Arrived at Aneta at 11:30 p.m. Camped in the Lutheran church yard. Got into bed when it was 11:45 p.m. It was a very cold night.
Saturday, August 4 -
Got up in the morning and washed ourselves, packed up and started off again. We went to a farm near Mamma's land and pitched our tent. Then we had a little to eat, and then unpacked our stuff. Then we went to town after some bread. When we came back we had supper. After supper we washed ourselves and went to bed. Had a good night's rest.
Sunday, August 5 -
Got up and had breakfast. After breakfast we washed the dishes and started to get ready to go to Romness. Just as we got ready to go, it started to sprinkle, so Pappa had to put on the side curtains on one side of the car. But it stopped raining when we started out. When we came to Romness we went to Halvor Johnson where they were going to have Sunday School. We got there just in time for S.S. Had a very nice S.S. Then we went up to McVille to see if there was going to be a meeting in the evening, but we found that there was going to be a meeting in Hamlin. So we went out there to Gilbertsons' but only their oldest girl, Harda, was home. So we went over to George Nelson's where we had a good supper. After supper we were to church. Just as we started out it started raining hard so Pappa had to put the side curtains on the other side of the car. When we got a ways from Nelsons' we had to stop in the shelter of some trees until it stopped raining. When it had stopped we started out again, but soon had to stop again on a farm. When it stopped raining we started out again. The roads were so slippery that we had to go in to Gilbertsons'. Here we stayed over night and had a very good night's rest.
Monday, August 6 -
Got up in the morning and had a very good breakfast at Gilbertsons'. After breakfast we started out again. Came home and had dinner. Then Pappa and Mamma, Mrs. Sigardson and three of the children went to town. When they came back we had supper and washed the dishes, and then washed ourselves and went to bed. Had a good night's rest.
Tuesday, August 7 -
Camped all day. Pappa rested all day on account of not feeling strong after his operation.
Wednesday, August 8 -
Pappa painted the house on Mamma's farm.
Pappa, Mamma, Miriam and George went to Aneta, then they went to Romness to visit friends. The rest of us children had supper with Sigurdsons. After we got through with supper Pappa and Mamma came home. Then we washed ourselves and went to bed.
Thursday, August 9 -
Pappa painted some more on Mamma's house. Camped all day.
Friday, August 10 -
Got up and had breakfast and then started to pack up our things. Got ready to leave Sigurdsons' farm at 4:45 p.m. Drove 40 miles. Got to Hannaford tourist camp at 8 o'clock. Had a good night's rest.
Saturday, August 11 -
Got up in the morning and packed our things. Left Hannaford tourist camp at 7 o'clock a.m. Got to Jamestown tourist camp at 11:45 a.m. and had our dinner. Left Jamestown tourist camp at 3 o'clock p.m. Arrived at Stelle camping ground at 7:30 p.m. Pitched our tent and had supper and then went to bed.
Sunday, August 12 -
Got up in the morning, feeling fine after a good night's rest. Pappa and George went to church. When they came home we packed up and started out again. We went as far as Mandan tourist camp where we had supper, then after supper we started out again. We were going to try to get to Flasher, N.D. but when we were about 4 miles from Flasher (it was a dark night) we were going down a rough hill so that the trailer was rocking up and down and all of a sudden the handle of the trailer broke and the trailer and everything that was in it tipped into the ditch. So we had to stop there over the night. Before we went to bed we had to pitch tent and put all the stuff into the tent. We didn't get into bed until about 1 o'clock that night. During the night it was so windy that Pappa and Mamma had to hold the tent poles so that the tent wouldn't blow down. They didn't get to bed until quite late.
Monday, August 13 -
Got up in the morning and started to straighten out our things. Pappa fixed the trailer, and then we started to load our things into it. Left there at 3:15 p.m. Had awful bad roads to Flasher and Carson. When we came to the hills Mamma and all of us children had to get out and push the car up the hill. The country was nothing but hills. We struck a nice road quite a ways before we came to Carson. When we had passed Carson we took the wrong road so we had to turn back and go about 1 1/2 miles before we got on the right road again. When we came to Heil we camped for the night.
Tuesday, August 14 -
Got up at 6:30 a.m. feeling fine after a good night's rest. Had breakfast, left Heil at 9:30 a.m. When we left Heil the speedometer read 96. Got to Stroms' place around 6 o'clock p.m. When we came to Stroms', Johnsons were there visiting. Had a good supper, and then had a good wash and went to bed.
Wednesday, August 15 -
Got up in the morning refreshed after a very good night's rest. Had breakfast. After breakfast we visited with Stroms. Had a good dinner. After dinner I took up crocheting patterns. At supper time when we were all seated down at the table, Nelsons came over to visit. Had a very nice evening. After they went we all got ready for bed.
Thursday, August 16 -
Got up after a good night's rest. Visited with Stroms all day.
Friday, August 17 -
Pappa and Mamma packed up all our stuff. Left Stroms at 4:15 p.m. Got to Gascoyne, N.D. at 6:45 p.m.
Saturday, August 18 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Left Gascoyne at 7:25 a.m. When we got to Buffalo Springs, Pappa mailed some letters. Fourteen miles from Gascoyne we had a blowout. Were delayed 20 minutes fixing tire.
(At Mandan we made such good time that we gained 1 hour. We had to change our watch to the mountain time.)
Had dinner in the Marmarth tourist camp. Crossed the boundary line between North Dakota and Montana at 3:55 p.m. Got to Ismay, Mont. around 7:30 p.m. and camped over night in the tourist camp.
Sunday, August 19 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Had breakfast. The altitude of Ismay, Mont. is 2550 ft. above sea level. Camped over night here.
Monday, August 20 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Left Ismay camp grounds at 6 o'clock a.m. Drove as far as Miles City, which is 97 miles from Ismay, where we had dinner. Left Miles City camp ground at 2:20 p.m. Drove all afternood. Got to Forsyth, Mont. at 6:55 p.m. where we camped over night.
Tuesday, August 21 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Had breakfast. Left Forsyth camp ground at 2:05 p.m. Drove all afternoon. Had pretty bad roads. Got to Billings camp ground at 5:30 p.m. We had to pay 50 cents to get into the grounds, but it sure was worth 50 cents because of the gas stoves, nice toilets, warm and cold shower baths, and everything was very handy there. Camped there over night.
Wednesday, August 22 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Had breakfast and dinner there. Left Billings camp ground at 3:30 p.m. The population of Billings is 15,100. We traveled 118 miles on August 21. Got to Columbus camp ground at 7:00 p.m. Before coming to Columbus we saw some wonderful landscapes. The Yellowstone River runs by Columbus. The population of Columbus is 987. It is the county seat of Stillwater County. Camped at Columbus camp ground over night.
Thursday, August 23 -
Got up after a good night's rest. Left the Columbus camping ground at 8:00 a.m. Three miles out of Columbus we took a picture of a beautiful scenery. Had dinner in a nice shady place about 17 miles from Big Timber. Left the dinner place at 2:00 p.m. Stopped on the road about 10 miles from Livingston to put the canvas over the car because we got caught in the rain. After we had been there about 10 minutes we started again. Got to Livingston at 7 o'clock - a nice shady camp ground. Camped there over night. Rained quite a bit during the night. Drove 92 miles today.
Friday, August 24, Pappa's birthday -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Had breakfast. Packed up and started out again at 11:30 a.m. Had dinner by a nice spring in Gallatin National Forest where we took a picture of us children wading in the water and Pappa standing beside us. Left there at 2:20 p.m. We had paved roads for 6 miles out of Bozeman. Had to detour from Belgrade. Had very nice roads. Got to Three Forks, Mont. camp ground at 4:50 p.m. Had supper there, and camped there over night. Drove 69 miles today.
Saturday, August 25 -
Got up in the morning after a very good night's rest. Rained quite a bit during the night. Had breakfast. Left the Three Forks camp ground at 10:15 a.m. Had very good roads all the way. Took pictures on the Continental Divide. It sure was beautiful scenery over the Rocky Mountains. The roads were just splendid over most of the Rockies. Got to Butte about 5:30 p.m. Drove 79 miles. There was a very nice camp ground in Butte. They had electric stoves, electric toaster, and oven where we could bake anything we wanted to, and everything that was necessary for preparing meals. They also had a dining room where we could eat our meals, a laundry where all the necessary things for washing clothes were, and all nice toilets and shower bath. Had a very good time. Stayed there over Sunday.
Sunday, August 26 -
Was in the community house where we got some maps. Took a shower bath in the afternoon. Stayed there over night.
Monday, August 27 -
Got up after a good night's rest. Had breakfast. Left the Butte camp ground at 9:00 a.m. Had pretty good roads all the way to Missoula. Got to Missoula camp ground at 7:00 p.m., which is located about a mile out of town, where they had electric lights, tables, plenty of shade, nice big Norway pines, good soft water. Camped there over night. Drove 141 miles.
Tuesday, August 28 -
Got up in the morning after a very good night's rest. Left the Missoula camp ground at 9:00 a.m. The city of Missoula is located in the Bitterroot Valley, which is 5 to 25 miles wide, and about 125 miles long. Had dinner under some nice big Norway pines, which was about 1 1/2 miles from Alberton. We saw many beautiful sceneries. Came to the "Camel's Hump," which is a little ways from Cabin City, about 5:30 p.m. Was climbing the "Camel's Hump" for about 1 1/2 hours. We camped at the foot of the Camel's Hump over night. It sure was a beautiful place to camp. There was a nice little spring where we camped. Drove 92 miles.
Wednesday, August 29 -
Got up in the morning after a very good night's rest. Pappa took a picture of the place. Left the "Trout Creek Camp" at 11:50 a.m. Climbed up a very big hill, and turned a very bad place what they call a switchback. Had dinner just before we started to climb the Bitterroot Mountains. Got to a camp ground at 7:00 p.m. Was not a very nice camp ground. Drove 69 miles. Had supper and then went to bed.
Thursday, August 30 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Had breakfast. Left the camping ground at 8:30 a.m. Saw many beautiful sceneries. Got to Spokane, Wash. at 2:00 p.m. Had dinner. After dinner we took a shower bath while Pappa washed the car. After Pappa washed the car we were going to see the Methodist Church and see different places in town, but the connection wires between the batteries got wet so he couldn't get the car started. So we couldn't go. Had supper and then went to bed.
Friday, August 31 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Had breakfast. After breakfast we straightened up a little. Then had dinner. After dinner we went to see the Methodist Church, and visited with Fields. We didn't see Rev. Field because he was in Butte, Mont. We had a very nice time. Oliver made a good lunch for us. Then we went back to our camp and had supper. While we were having supper Mrs. Rev. Field and two of her sons came down to visit with us. Had a very nice visit with them.
Saturday, September 1 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Had breakfast. Then started to pack up our things. Left Spokane tourist camp at 9:45 a.m. Speedometer registered 92 when we left Spokane. Took the Sunset Trail from Spokane to Seattle. Bought some apples and had a good treat. Drove 110 miles. Got to Coulee City camp ground about 6:30. Had supper and camped there over night.
Sunday, September 2 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Had breakfast. Packed up our things, left the camp ground at a.m. The speedometer registered 02 when we left Coulee City camp ground. Drove 105 miles. Got to a nice camp where we camped over night.
Monday, September 3 -
Got up in the morning after a good night's rest. Had breakfast. Left the camp ground at 8:00 a.m. Got to the top of the Cascade Mountains at 9:00 a.m. The elevation of the summit is 4071 feet. After we had crossed the Blewett Pass we got on another summit. It was so easy to climb that we didn't even know we had started to climb it. The elevation of this summit was 3070 feet. Had dinner at CleElum, Wash. tourist camp. After dinner we drove on. Got to Seattle, Wash. at 6:00 p.m. Before we came into Seattle the roads were so crowded for a while that we could only go 10 miles per hour, but that was because there was a wreck ahead of us. In Seattle they have a very nice tourist camp. They have a nice kitchen where there are stoves, an electric oven, tables, a nice sink, hot and cold water, a nice place to wash dishes, shower baths, bath tubs, community house, and the street car line runs right by the camp. Had supper, pitched our tent and then went to bed.
Tuesday, September 4 -
Got up in the morning after a very good night's rest. Pappa, Mamma, Wesley and George went up town to see Rev. Vereide.
Wednesday, September 5 -
Pappa, Mamma, Wesley and George had to get up early because they were going on the boat and that left at 7:00 a.m. They were away all day. They were down on the seashore for a picnic. We girls were home alone all day. Pappa and Mamma came home while we were having supper.
Thursday, September 6 -
Got up in the morning after a very good night's rest and had breakfast. After dinner we girls went up to the park to see the animals. We saw polar bears, glacier bears, black bears, tigers, lions, coyotes, foxes, panthers, monkeys (Sarah and Domino), canaries, cockatiels, golden pheasants, silver pheasants, goats, snakes, kangaroos, elephant, camel, beaver, (Alaska), peacocks, eagles, owls, ostriches, white mice, mud turtles, ponies, horses, and chipmunks. When we came home Pappa, Mamma, Wesley and George went to Ladies Aid. Came back at supper time. After supper they went up to see the church.
Friday, September 7 -
Got up after a good night's rest. Had breakfast, and then packed up our things. Had dinner. Left the camp at 1:40 p.m. Speedometer registered 57 when we left Seattle. Got to Bellingham at 7:00 p.m. Camped in the Methodist Church basement. Had supper and then went to bed.
Saturday, September 8 -
Got up in the morning after a very good night's rest. Mamma made pancakes for breakfast which tasted very good.
|Original Page of Her Diary|
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